Magazine article Workforce Management

On-Site Clinics on Wheels

Magazine article Workforce Management

On-Site Clinics on Wheels

Article excerpt

Leaders at Dallas-based Energy Future Holdings decided to invest in mobile health treatment after they unearthed a troubling fact.

Three-fourths of employees working for a subsidiary, roughly 1,000 based in rural East Texas, hadn't gotten any urgent or preventive medical care during the prior three years.

That lack of prevention sometimes ended in tragedy, says Cyndie Ewert, director of benefits and human resources services at Energy Future Holdings, whose subsidiaries include energy company Luminant, where the 1,000 employees work.

"I saw a number of early deaths, men in their late 40s who should have survived a heart attack or a stroke," Ewert says.

So Energy Future Holdings introduced a 40-foot mobile health clinic last year, one of the latest corporate trends in employee health outreach.

On-site clinics have become an increasingly common workplace sight, with 23 percent of U.S. employers offering one by 2011, according to an annual survey of 588 employers by Towers Watson & Co. and the National Business Group on Health. But mobile clinics offer an alternative for reaching geographically scattered workers. This spring, Mooresville, North Carolina-based home improvement retailer Lowe's Cos. added three more mobile clinics to the two that already provide health screenings at stores across the country.

"Having a van makes a lot of sense," says Helen Darling, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health. "For the most part, unless you have a really big location, it's hard to justify an on-site health center. …

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