The Hartford Business Journal has ranked Yale-New Haven Hospital as the number one place to work in Connecticut.

The Journal cited Yale-New Haven’s extra effort to support its employees and the surrounding community.

The Journal noted how the hospital recently held a company picnic, which can be especially challenging for an organization of 8500 that runs 24 hours a day. To solve this problem, Yale-New Haven held smaller picnics every three hours throughout the entire day, making sure that even a graveyard shift nurse could enjoy a meal at 3am.

The hospital even allows its employees to take advantage of resources offered to patients, such as pre-natal classes or geriatric care.

“A growing percentage of our employees use our Geriatric Center for advice and counsel for dealing with aging parents and family members, such as referral services to home care,” Lina Perrotti, the hospital’s Manager of Employee Relations told the Journal. “It’s benefits on top of benefits.”

The Journal was also impressed by Yale New-Haven’s support for the local community. Over the past two years, over 200 Yale-New Haven employees have worked with Habitat for Humanity to build three houses – with two more planned in future months.

“Our last house was built for an employee’s family,” Perrotti told the Journal. “Talk about the employee relations home run”

The rankings were based on two different assessments. The first, worth 25 percent of the ranking, judged the benefits, policies, and general practices of the company. The second, worth 75 percent, consisted of a 72-question, confidential survey of employee satisfaction.

The News reported today that Yale-New Haven has signed a letter of intent to merge with Saint Raphael’s Hospital.

Correction: March 28, 2011

An earlier version of this post did not mention that Yale-New Haven’s honor was in the “Large Company Category.” Additionally, due to an editing error the headline said New Haven when it should have said Yale-New Haven.