On-site health clinics grow
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- When employees at ADT headquarters in Boca Raton need a flu shot or are feeling ill, they don't have to leave the building for medical care.
In May, ADT security firm joined a growing number of large companies by adding on-site health clinics for employees and their families.
With health care and workers' compensation insurance major expenses for employers, some companies find it economical to build on-site clinics. Convenient medical services can minimize time off work and prompt workers to get preventative care. On-site clinics tell workers they're valued and help with employee recruitment, companies say.
Anita Graham, ADT's human resources chief, said the company's clinic makes preventive care easy for workers. "People either put off treatment or going for a physical, and they end up going to an emergency room, worsening their health outcome," she said.
Since ADT opened its clinic a few weeks ago, "I've been there three times," said Jodi Calfee, manager of interior design. Ms. Calfee, 34, has a 2 1/2-year-old son and has visited ADT's clinic for a cold and sinus infection. "I get all the day-care colds," she said.
ADT, which has 700 employees in Boca Raton, said the clinic offers physical exams, blood work, vaccinations and health screenings, as well as emergency needs. The clinic is staffed with a nurse practitioner from Tenet Florida.
Tenet also has opened a clinic at Royal Caribbean Cruise headquarters at Port Miami. The clinic opened in September and is providing primary care to employees and their families.
Companies adding health care services often look to JM Family Enterprises, which has had on-site health services since 1989 on its Deerfield Beach campus.
JM Family has three full-time doctors on staff and visiting doctors who specialize in obstetrics and gynecology. Its Deerfield Beach clinic has been well used, with its 1,400 employees making a total of 13,000 clinic visits in 2011.
While many health clinic visits are routine, one JM Family employee found the company clinic a lifeline.
Morris Castaneda, 40, complained to a clinic doctor of trouble swallowing and an earache that wouldn't go away. The doctor referred him to a gastrointestinal specialist, and he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He had chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.
The clinics' doctors and nurses were there for him, providing physical and emotional support, he said. "They guided me through the entire process," said Mr. Castaneda, who said he's now cancer-free.
Tamarac-based City Furniture is modeling its clinic, opening in late July, on JM Family's. City Furniture has partnered with Holy Cross Hospital, which is providing a nurse practitioner to care for City Furniture's 925 employees and dependents, for free.
Janet Wincko, human resources director, said it will be less expensive for the company if workers see the nurse practitioner than visit an urgent care center or outside provider.
The company also sees the clinic as a benefit that will attract new workers. "It helps us to be an employer of choice," she said.
First Published June 23, 2012 12:00 am