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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Human Resources: 44 Binney St.
Boston, MA 02115
Employees: 3,773
President and CEO: Dr. Edward Benz Jr.

Career Site

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a leading cancer center and principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

Providing advanced training in cancer treatment and research for an international faculty, the Institute conducts community-based programs in cancer prevention, detection, and control throughout New England, and maintains joint programs with other Boston institutions affiliated with Harvard Medical School and the Partners Health Care System, including Brigham & Women's Hospital, Children's Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital.

The Institute employs over 3,700 people supporting more than 200,000 patient visits a year, is involved in some 600 clinical trials, and is internationally renowned for its blending of research and clinical excellence. The Institute has 447 faculty.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is supported by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the generous support of numerous foundations and individuals, who contribute to the Institute's individual research and clinic programs or to the Jimmy Fund, the principal charity of the Institute named for one of its child patients.


In 1947, the late Sidney Farber, MD, founded a Children's Cancer Research Foundation dedicated to providing children with cancer with compassionate, state-of-the-art treatment and simultaneously developing the cancer preventatives, treatments, and cures of the future. The Institute officially expanded its programs to include patients of all ages in 1969, and in 1974 became known as the Sidney Farber Cancer Center in honor of its founder. The long-term support of the Charles A. Dana Foundation was acknowledged by incorporating the Institute under its present name in 1983.


Employees scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week are eligible for benefits, and the health and dental plans both come with a generous contribution from Dana-Farber.

Dana-Farber employees are covered from the first day they start work, and have 30 days to elect their benefits.

Health plans

Dana-Farber currently offers three health insurance plans through Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.

Dental insurance

To complement our health insurance plans, Dana-Farber offers two reasonably priced dental plans through Delta Dental.The DeltaPremier plan allows great choice, with more than 96% of dentists participating in Massachusetts. Under the DeltaPremier plan, there is a cap of $1,500 in services per person per year. Under this plan, all preventative care is covered at 100%.

Vision insurance

Under our new Vision Care Plan, administered by EyeMed Vision Care, you pay less when you receive services from a participating EyeMed network doctor. If you elect the plan, you pay coverage costs in full, but at a lower-cost group insurance rate and with pre-tax dollars, so you save on the cost of coverage.


Regular full-time and regular part-time staff members scheduled to work at least 20 hours a week are eligible for vacation benefits. Annual paid vacations recognize accrued service and the need staff members have to enjoy periods of rest and relaxation free from work.

Staff members accrue vacation from their dates of hire. A typical full-time staff member will accrue three weeks (15 days) of vacation time per year. Part-time staff members accrue vacation time on a pro-rated basis. Length of service at Dana-Farber will provide more vacation time.


The Institute recognizes nine holidays during the year, on which non-essential departments will be closed. In addition to the nine recognized holidays, Dana-Farber provides three additional "floating" holidays, which can be used at the employees' discretion with approval from their supervisor.

Sick leave

The Institute's paid sick leave is designed to protect staff from loss of income due to their own illness or the illness of an immediate family member.

Regular full-time and part-time staff working at least 20 hours per week will accrue sick time. Full-time staff will accrue sick time at a rate of eight hours per month (12 days per year). Part-time staff will accrue at a prorated rate.

Staff members may use up to three sick days per year for personal business (e.g., medical, legal, or financial) or to celebrate religious holidays.

Retirement plan

Dana-Farber provides a generous retirement plan for eligible staff, paid for entirely by the Institute. The retirement plan is a defined contribution plan, which means that the Institute makes a fixed contribution to each participant's account.

The formula for contributions is based on the annual Social Security Wage Base (SSWB), which is the amount of annual earnings subject to old-age Social Security taxes. The SSWB changes every January. The Institute contributes 7.5% of eligible staff members' earnings up to the annual SSWB and 12.5% of earnings above the wage base.

Employees select how they wish to invest these contributions from a variety of investment choices offered by Teacher's Insurance Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) and Fidelity Investments.

All staff members are vested in the retirement program after completing three years of vesting service in which they have worked 1,000 or more hours in each calendar year. Vesting means that the staff member has a non-forfeitable right to their retirement account.

Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA)

Dana-Farber offers a voluntary retirement savings program under section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. This is called a Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA). Retirement savings invested through a TSA supplement retirement income from Social Security and from qualified employer retirement plans such as the one described above.

The TSA is paid for entirely by employees, who are fully vested in their accounts at all times.

Participation is through payroll deduction. Under the TSA program, a staff member elects to make a regular contribution to their TSA account on a tax-deferred basis. This means the money contributed to the TSA is not subject to federal, state, or social security taxes until it is withdrawn. Employees may invest in two different TSA savings options, offered by Fidelity Investments and TIAA-CREF.

Retiree medical savings account

A Retiree Medical Savings Account (RMSA) allows you to set aside money in an account while you are working and draw upon these funds to pay for qualified medical expenses you or your dependents incur while in retirement (or while you are working past age 65).

Key benefits include:

* New savings opportunity
* A matching contribution from Dana-Farber
* No taxes on match
* No taxes on interest income
* You can purchase any medical coverage in the marketplace
* You can use it for unreimbursed medical expenditures
* You never lose any of your own contributions

Employees must be 50 years or older and participating in the Dana-Farber sponsored retirement plan to participate.

529 College Savings Plan

This plan allows employees to have a portion of their paycheck direct-deposited, post-tax, into a variety of investment accounts to cover costs associated with a secondary education. Some advantages of this plan include tax-deferred earnings and federal tax-free withdrawals for qualified education expenses (such as tuition, room and board).

Short-term disability

The plan provides a benefit for non-work related injury, illness, accident or pregnancy while totally disabled under a doctor's care. The plan pays up to 70% of your pre-disability weekly salary, with a maximum benefit of $750 per week. The benefit is 100% employee paid, which means that the benefit you receive is tax-free.

Coverage begins the first day of the month following your date of hire, for those employees who choose to enroll. You can select coverage up to 70 percent of your base salary.
Long-term disability

Staff members working 20 or more hours per week are automatically enrolled after six months of continuous service. Coverage will end if you change your work schedule to less than 20 hours. After 90 days of continuous disability, the plan pays 65 percent of your monthly salary, up to a maximum of $10,000 per month, less any amount paid by other income benefits. Benefits continue as long as you are disabled to age 65.

Legal plan

With this plan, employees have unlimited phone and/or office consultations with plan-participating attorneys for virtually any personal legal matter for a low monthly premium. More than 9,000 attorneys nationwide participate in the plan.

Long-term care

This benefit is being offered for the first time effective January 1, 2009. Administered by John Hancock, it is designed to help protect your savings by paying a portion of the high cost associated with nursing homes, alternate-care facilities and care received at home.

Coverage is available for your eligible family members, too. The plan offers important coverage generally not available through medical or long-term disability benefits or by government programs such as Medicare or Medicaid.

Coverage is available for you, your spouse or domestic partner, and your immediate family members, including adult children over age 18 and their spouses, parents, parents-in-law, grandparents and grandparents-in-law, your siblings, and their spouses, and your spouse or domestic partner's siblings and their spouses.

Life insurance

Dana-Farber pays for all benefit-eligible employees to be enrolled in a life insurance plan that covers one and a half times their annual salary. Employees are enrolled after just three months of employment. Employees may also purchase supplemental life insurance for themselves at one and a half, two, or three times their salary, as well as dependent life insurance for their spouse and/or children.

Pet insurance

Your pet is an important part of your family. Help pay for the cost of ensuring your pet's continued good health with Dana-Farber's new pet insurance plan, starting January 1, 2009. This plan is offered through Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), one of the oldest and largest health insurance plans for pets.

VPI helps you pay for your pet's major surgeries, minor incidents and routine care such as vaccinations, annual physical exams, heart worm protection, spaying or neutering, prescription flea control and more. Multiple-pet discounts are available, and you can visit any veterinarian.

Age limits apply for pets at the time of enrollment based on your type of pet. Premiums are based on your pet's age, species, state of residence, and the type of coverage you choose. You have several plan options to choose from, with annual benefit maximums ranging from $9,000 to $14,000. No lifetime maximums apply.

Automobile and home insurance

Dana-Farber, in association with the Massachusetts Hospital Association, has a group plan for automobile, home, renters, and boat insurance through Metlife Auto & Home. The MetPay program provides participating members with group-rate discounts. All benefits-eligible staff members can participate by calling Metlife's toll-free number to receive a free group discounted quote on insurance.Top

Tuition reimbursement

Tuition reimbursement is offered to staff members for educational courses that relate to any role at Dana-Farber. The Institute will reimburse 100 percent of tuition costs, based on number of years of service. Employees are eligible for $1,500 after three months of service, and then up to $3,500 based on years of service.

Tuition reimbursement covers only tuition and laboratory fee costs, and is calculated on an academic year (September 1 – August 31).

Computer reimbursement

The Institute will reimburse eligible staff members 50% of the cost of computer hardware, not including sales tax. The maximum amount of reimbursement is $500 over a three-year period.

Fitness reimbursement

Eligible staff members who have completed at least one year of service are eligible for the Institute's Fitness Reimbursement Program. The Institute will reimburse 50 percent of the cost of annual membership at a qualified health club or fitness center. The maximum benefit is not to exceed $400 per year. Fitness reimbursements of $150 are also available through Harvard Pilgrim for employees who are enrolled in health plans through Dana-Farber.

Tobacco cessation reimbursement

Staff members who wish to participate in a tobacco cessation program receive 100 percent reimbursement for approved programs. Applications should be sent to Human Resources for reimbursement prior to starting the program. Covered programs include hypnosis, acupuncture, classes, prescription drugs, and the patch.

English as a second language

All staff members are eligible for 100 percent tuition reimbursement for English as a Second Language courses, with maximum reimbursements of up to $2,500.

Other benefits

Flexible spending benefits

This is a pre-tax basis benefit to help eligible employees save money. Employees can decide to enroll in two reimbursement accounts for either medical expenses or dependent care.

Transportation benefits

Staff members are eligible for subsidized parking. Parking is not abundant in the Longwood Medical Area, but spots in area lots are discounted as they become available. Parking fees vary depending on lot location.

Staff members are also eligible for subsidized T passes from the MBTA. Passes are subsidized by Dana-Farber by 50 percent, up to $125 a month, and deducted from employees' paychecks on a pre-tax basis.


Dana-Farber has contracted a number of daycare slots through Bright Horizons at the Landmark Center. Slots range from infant to toddler to child, depending on the age of your child. Staff members may be eligible for a childcare subsidy, depending on household income.

A helpful option available for eligible employees is Parents in a Pinch. This program provides back-up childcare if your usual daycare plans fall through. Staff members can have a Parents in a Pinch childcare provider come to their home to care for their child.

Adoption assistance

Starting January 1, 2009, Dana-Farber will assist employees with the significant costs of qualified adoption-related expenses. The child must be under age 18 at the time a qualified adoption expense is paid or incurred. Employees can be reimbursed for up to $5,000 of qualified expenses per child per year. There is a $10,000 per family lifetime maximum. Examples of qualified adoption assistance expenses include adoption agency fees; legal fees and court costs; and adoption-related expenses for travel and lodging.

Updated April 23, 2011


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