One of Wake County's largest employers is reinstating an incentive plan it suspended earlier this year as the recession raged.
WakeMed next month will hand out about $6.5 million in checks through its "WakeShare" program. The program was canceled in March to help WakeMed meet its budget for the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30.
But other cost-cutting, including eliminating 85 jobs in September, allowed the Raleigh-based health system to exceed its earlier financial projections. WakeMed also recently received high marks on a quality and patient satisfaction survey and the hospital's management wanted to reward workers.
"We could not be more proud of what you have helped WakeMed achieve in one of its most challenging financial years due to the nation's economic trial," CEO Bill Atkinson wrote in a memo to WakeMed's more than 7,500 employees.
On Dec. 2, employees will receive checks worth 1.79 percent of their 2009 wages. That's down from last year's payout of 2.78 percent, or $9.6 million.
Still, the money could provide a small boost to the local economy as WakeMed workers plan their holiday shopping.