Clinic saves city money

Published 6:45 pm Saturday, November 28, 2015

Washington will spend $12,480 on a city employees wellness clinic for six months.

The City Council authorized the expenditure during its Nov. 23 meeting.

The city spends about $1.3 million annually on medical expenses incurred by its employees.

In October 2014, the council authorized the city forming a partnership with Vidant Health to establish a free, drop-in wellness clinic at fire station No. 2 for four hours every other week. That clinic was used by about 32 percent of the city’s employees from October 2014 to June of this year. That low use was attributed to non-consistent hours, according to a city document.

The council decided that effective July 1, the city would offer the wellness clinic four hours every week instead of four hours every other week. The clinic was relocated to City Hall. Use of the clinic increased by 18 percent during the first three months of the new schedule.

The new arrangement and other changes have resulted in the city saving money, according to the document. The city requires physicals and screenings during the course of a city worker’s employment with the city. Those services have been added to the clinic. Fourteen of the 33 city firefighters/EMTs used the clinic for their physicals. Previously, they would have been away from work about two to three hours to complete their physicals in Greenville at a cost of about $180 per person. The clinic charged $30 a person and reduced the time away from work from about three hours a person to 30 minutes, according to the document. The savings came to about $2,500.

“Feedback from the employees who use this clinic has been overwhelmingly positive, and the City believes the clinic more than pays for itself,” reads a memorandum from Stacey Christini, the city’s director of human resources, to the mayor and council.




About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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