News and Tribune

February 8, 2014

WELCOME TO WELLNESS: Greater Clark celebrates grand opening of wellness center

By JEROD CLAPP
jerod.clapp@newsandtribune.com

JEFFERSONVILLE — Get an exam, have some labs performed, get a prescription and walk out without paying a dime.

Teachers in Greater Clark County Schools are able to do all of that at the district’s new Employee Wellness Center.

At the center’s grand opening Friday, Andrew Melin, superintendent, said the facility will save money for the district and the people it employs.

“We think this is a great idea for our employees,” Melin said. “They can come in, not pay a copay or for [generic] prescriptions and leave.”

Frank Denton, president of the Greater Clark County Schools Education Association, said he’s heard good feedback from teachers since the center opened Jan. 13. He said some of the testimony includes a teacher who came in and walked out with five of their six prescriptions at no cost.

“If they can provide those services at a savings, that’ll help teachers and hopefully, in the long run, for the district,” Denton said.

Melin said the contract with Wellness for Life, the company providing services at the wellness center, costs about $880,000 for each of the three years of the agreement. The district also provided about $50,000 to renovate the facility in the River Ridge Commerce Center.

But he said after tracking the cost of prescriptions, they’re already realizing about $6,000 in savings every week, not including other services.

He said in prescriptions alone, they plan to save about $300,000 annually in the general fund, which is mostly used to pay teacher salaries.

Joe Furr, physician for the wellness center, said he’s glad he can provide services that not only keep people healthy, but garner a pretty significant savings to them.

He said after working in corporate medicine, this is a nice change of pace for him.

“I love the concept of seeing patients without copays,” Furr said. “I think that’ll save everyone money and time.”