EFFINGHAMCS – McCall Farms on Friday took a 10-year milestone – it opened an on-site health clinic to serve not only its employees, but their insured dependents as well.
“We’re really proud to be able to offer this benefit to our employees,” said Woody Swink, plant co-president.
“This is for all of you. The McCall Farms team, the McCall Farms family,” said McCall Swink, factory co-president.
Both spoke to a crowd of employees who gathered for the announcement outside a new plant medical clinic, located in Effingham on US 52, just north of Lynches River.
“What it does is bring private care services closer to the patient,” said Jared Bennett, associate vice president for onsite care. “Convenience, access points are easier to access, reducing costs for the patient and employer and allowing for faster entry and exit.”
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The clinic will be open at all times during plant production and will provide care from a nurse practitioner and two paramedics.
“It’s a huge benefit for all of our employees, to be able to provide primary care and see people for diabetes, hypertension and stuff like that. Before, they had to go off site trying to find a clinic,” said Tim Aponte. , director of security for McCall Farms.
The on-site clinic can do everything for patients that would normally be done in a doctor’s office.
The building includes two examination rooms, a laboratory, a bathroom with a shower for decontamination, offices and a waiting room.
Staff have access to an emergency response vehicle—a golf cart with flashing lights—that allows them to quickly travel through the plant to a patient.
Aponte, however, said most patients had no problem getting to the clinic when needed.
The factory has about 1,200 workers and only about 100 of them have primary care doctors, he said.
“We hope this will change that,” he said.
“We don’t have to be the patient’s (primary care doctor), if they have PCP, we’ll work with them and share the data,” Bennett said.
The new medical clinic took several years to build.
“We’re talking about him, and we’ve had a vision for this and we’ve been dreaming about it for over 10 years. We’ve come a long way since 2012,” McCall Swink said.
“We have partnered with McCall Farms for almost 10 years. You could say it’s been working for nine years,” said Donna Isgett, president and CEO of McLeod Health. “What we saw was that bringing health care locally to the industry was so beneficial to the workers.”
“McCall Farms wanted to expand this so it’s not just for the workers but for their families. They started the work probably a year, a year and a half into the concept,” Isgett said. “Today we are going to celebrate the opening of this.”
Isgett said the clinic gives the plant an edge in an emergency.
“By having them here and accessible when the plant is running, they get immediate access even faster than 911,” Isgett said. “Not just emergencies that happen to workers in the field, but they can access primary care, the things they need to do to take care of their health.”
“It goes a long way toward getting better results,” Bennett said.
“McLeod Health believes in making care convenient. We’re concerned that people won’t receive care if it’s not convenient. We see that in the results,” Isgett said. “If you look at the health burden in that area, a lot of it is because they can’t access quality health care. Bringing it closer to where the worker is is great for industry because (workers go out) a lot less.”
Friday’s groundbreaking ceremony included members of the Swink family, Aponte, McLeod Health staff and Patch, the mascot of the Peanut Patch boiled peanuts. Apopnte made the official cut.f
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