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Merit Medical Systems, Inc. is dedicated to enhancing the lives of its nearly 2,200 Utah employees. Founded in 1987, it is a leading manufacturer and marketer of proprietary medical devices used in interventional, diagnostic, and therapeutic procedures, particularly cardiology, radiology, oncology, critical care, and endoscopy.
Impressive Growth Trajectory
Merit acts locally and globally, designing and manufacturing products in Utah at its South Jordan headquarters and sites across the globe. There are more than 2,200 Utah-based employees and more than 6,000 employees worldwide.
Merit’s business has grown to nearly $1 billion in 30 years by serving client hospitals worldwide. Locally, Merit’s South Jordan manufacturing facility drives economic growth and employment opportunities for Utahns. For every $1 spent in manufacturing, another $2.79 is added to the economy. That is the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector. In addition, for every single worker in manufacturing, five employees are hired elsewhere. (Author: NAM calculations, (2019) using IMPLAN data.)
Attracting and retaining talent is key to Merit’s continued growth. “We are proud of our product innovation, and we strive to be equally as innovative when engaging our employees,” says Fred P. Lampropoulos, Merit Chairman and CEO. “As a significant employer in Utah, we see ourselves as industry leaders—setting an example for how to care for our people, our community, and the environment.”
People are the foundation of Merit’s success, so having key differentiators to attract and retain talent is important to the company’s success. “We understand the employee experience is an integral part of our culture; how they are treated and their everyday experience at work drives our success,” Mr. Lampropoulos adds. A sampling of Merit’s employee offerings includes an on-site medical clinic, a robust wellness program, two cafeterias, a community garden, and walking paths on campus.
By innovating and delivering products that help save patients’ lives, Merit’s mission is to be the most customer-focused company in healthcare. That same level of focus goes into improving employee wellness.
Merit Chief Wellness Officer Dr. Nicole Priest oversees employee well-being worldwide. “We want to take care of our employees, so they, in turn, take care of our customers,” Dr. Priest says. “I see my job as an educator and as an advocate, from sharing information about breast cancer prevention and working with our head chef on ideas for nutritious meals to coordinating on-site diabetes screening for employees.”
Five years ago, Mr. Lampropoulos envisioned building a small employee garden at the South Jordan manufacturing facility, hoping employees would find an outdoor space to enjoy. Today, the garden has expanded to more than an acre. Two employees, Laura Flower, community garden project coordinator, and Michelle Egbert, garden assistant, oversee the gardens. More than 175 employees cultivate individual garden boxes with the produce of their choice. The garden team also has a dedicated space for planting additional fruits and vegetables each year. More than 2,200 pounds of food has been harvested for use in Merit’s on-site cafeterias as part of the Smart Choice program, which provides a free healthy meal choice for employees.
According to Ms. Flower, employees value the garden. “This year, more than four hundred employees have taken part in Merit’s U-Pick program, and we’ve distributed four thousand pounds of produce to employees,” Ms. Flower says. “Merit also donates its produce within the community, partnering with Utah State University to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to local senior centers.”
Even employees lacking a green thumb enjoy garden benefits. Flowers grown in the garden are sold to employees as fresh-cut arrangements. The garden also hosts plant, pumpkin, and poinsettia sales to raise funds for the employee Candy Cane program, providing Christmas gifts for those in need. Because of initiatives like these, the garden has grown into a robust employee engagement program that blooms in all seasons.
Merit sets an example by addressing local challenges the entire Utah community faces. To help mitigate the current water crisis, Merit implemented a xeriscape initiative, removing most of the lawn located on its South Jordan grounds and replacing it with drought-resistant landscaping to reduce water usage by 60%.
“We continuously innovate, adding services and programs at our facilities and for our employees that competitors simply don’t have,” Mr. Lampropoulos explains. “It’s not new for us; we’ve been doing it for more than 30 years.”