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.”

(12) comments

Dora

I say, "GOOD FOR THE KT EMPLOYEES." I also say, "GOOD FOR KT." KT is as close as the old neighborhood grocery store. This establishment serves more than beer and cigarettes. Salads, fruits, milk, yogurt, eggs, potatoes, water, etc. sell much more. The employees at KT meet the public and provide a great service. Good for them!!

jeff

Well maybe the next time your in there you should get a salad. You go to a grocery store and you can choose bacon and potato chips a twelve pack of dark beer and a carton of smokes or choose veggies and fish with a green tea. This article isn't about the poor choices you make at the counter, its about the program they have started to benifit their employees. This article isn't about americans being fat, lazy, wasteful and spending too much time surfing the web when they should be working or exercising. You don't want the food police but you sure do want to police the food. Bunch of hypocrites.

FUBAR

These people complaining on here are a bunch of blame it on the store babies. We have choices and sadly some people make bad ones. So what is the answer here? Ban KT from selling chips? Nonsense, what if someone like me wants a bag Doritos, I can't have that one small bag of chips I may eat once a month?

logical thinker

From all the comments you have smattered on here, one would think that Kwik Trip is your mother or something. Is Kwik Trip your mother, FUBAR?

Dora

I agree.

MAK

How Orwellian!

If Kwik Trip was sincere in their interest in protecting the health and well-being of their employees, they would probably forbid them from eating virtually anything available at their stores.

Here is a corporation that is quite possibly the largest purveyor of tobacco products, alcohol and junk food in our region boasting about their interest in promoting health. With a straight face, they are telling the community that, “We are trying to prevent diabetes and cancer and other diseases."

I once corresponded with this company and suggested they consider taking down their indoor and outdoor advertising promoting cigarettes and chewing tobacco (because of the exposure to children). Tobacco is legal, and they can sell if they'd like (although some retailers have declined to do so), but promoting it in the presence of children is another thing.

Many of their customers have problems with addiction to the very products that contribute greatly to their bottom line (nicotine, sugar, fat and alcohol), and this imposes a great burden on society in terms of healthcare costs. I think we should take their announcement today with a grain of salt (whoops, I forgot to mention the high salt content in many of their products and its contribution to hypertension).

MAK

Napoleon
Napoleon

Nothing like Kwik Booze and Kwik Smokes for good health! Top it off with a greasy Kwik sandwich and a 64-oz. Kwik soda... you'll be the picture of health!

List of the heaviest people

"Had the largest waist ever in circumference at 9'11."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_heaviest_people

FUBAR

And people do not have partake in any of those things, do they Nappy? KT also sells, fruit, yogurt and other healthier kinds of foods. Why didn't you mention that?

logical thinker

You are welcome for that TIF you got, Kwik Trip.

FUBAR

OH BOY! You can't just say good job for once? They provide jobs and are a good local company that is know helping provide care for their employees and all you can do is talk about TIF's? I would rather my taxes go to helping provide jobs and care for people than continue to be going to public assistance folks with no willingness to better themselves.

logical thinker

Oh, I forgot. I am only entitled to YOUR opinion. Sorry.

commonsense

Great idea! Please also contribute to the wellness of your customers by not asking if we want to buy cookies, muffins and doughnuts when we check out!!

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