Kwik Trip plans to open a health clinic at its La Crosse headquarters to provide wellness programs and acute care for 3,000 employees and their families.
“Our new health and wellness center aligns with Kwik Trip’s vision and mission, which is to take care of people and make a difference in their lives,” company vice president Steve Zietlow said.
It also aims to reduce health care costs, said Kwik Trip benefits manager Mila Spencer.
“We have a lot of long-term co-workers,” Spencer said. “If we can get them to take care of themselves and stay well, they save money, and we save money.”
The convenience store chain tapped Marathon Health Inc., a national worksite health care company based in Winooski, Vt., to run the clinic. Spencer said it has the capability to provide online services to Kwik Trip’s 8,000 other employees in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.
“It has the technology that matched what we were looking for to provide care in La Crosse and also health risk assessments,” such as cholesterol and other screenings, throughout the chain, Spencer said.
“We are trying to prevent diabetes and cancer and other diseases, and Marathon will allow us to work toward the wellness piece of it,” she said. “It will be basic prevention instead of ‘I’m going to the doctor because I’m sick.’”
Marathon Health vice president Greg Hiss said, “Kwik Trip understands that companies need to be proactive and create a culture where co-workers want to get healthy if the cost trends are going to bend.”
Kwik Trip officials spent two years studying the concept, visiting similar clinics in three states, including a Logistics Health Inc. clinic and the Ashley Health and Wellness Center that Gundersen Health System personnel staff for Ashley in Arcadia, Spencer said.
Spencer discounted any notion that the clinic would compete with local hospitals, saying, “Absolutely not. Our clinic won’t be able to provide all services.
“We want to collaborate with Mayo and Gundersen and other local providers,” she said. “We want to partner with chiropractors and others.”
Officials at Mayo and Gundersen declined to comment.
Wellness programs at the clinic will be free, while there will be a minimal co-pay, as yet to be determined, for acute-care visits, Spencer said. Kwik Trip already boasts a variety of wellness programs, including one that offers a free piece of fruit each day, she said.
The clinic’s services won’t pivot on insurance coverage, Spencer said, adding, “This will be a good benefit for all of our co-workers, regardless of whether they have our insurance.”