SPRINGDALE, ARK. – To improve employees’ accessibility to health care, Tyson Foods Inc. announced it will maintain seven health clinics near processing plants as part of a pilot program in partnership with Marathon Health. The clinics are slated to open in early 2021.
Employees will be offered primary and preventative care in addition to health screenings, counseling services and lifestyle and health educational services. Most of the services will be offered at no cost to workers and their families and the facilities will be operated my Marathon health professionals.
The pilot clinic project represents the expansion of the company’s We Care workplace safety program to include overall team member health and wellness. It is an addition to the company’s existing health services staff, which includes on-site occupational health nurses at most plant locations.
Storm Lake, Iowa, where Tyson employs more than 3,300 workers at two plants, will be the site of one of the first clinics, according to the company. Another facility is planned near the company’s beef processing plant in Holcomb, Kan., which employs 3,000. The other five facilities will be identified soon, according to Tyson.
The seven pilot clinics will serve nearly 38,000 employees and their families who are covered by Tyson’s insurance plan. Employees, spouses and dependents over the age of 2 will be eligible to utilize the clinics.
“We’re piloting these clinics to promote a culture of health in our company that results in a healthier workforce,” said Johanna Söderström, executive vice president and chief human resources officer for Tyson.
Söderström added that too often employees working on the company’s frontlines wait too long to utilize health benefits already offered by the company, when addressing an issue earlier could have made a difference.
“We want to change that by providing access to care that can help detect health conditions early and promote healthy habits,” she said.
“Partnering with Tyson to improve the health and well-being of their employees and families is an honor for Marathon Health,” said Jerry Ford, chief executive officer of Marathon Health. “We offer care that often looks beyond the symptoms and helps people take new actions around their own health.”
Maggie Elehwany of the National Rural Health Association added, "These investments in employee health care, in collaboration with local providers, are critically important to rural communities across the country. We look forward to working with Tyson Foods and other public and private partners to ensure the health and wellbeing of rural America's families."
The clinic services are in addition to the benefits already offered to team members such as affordable health, life, dental, vision and prescription drug benefits. Tyson Foods requires all regular, full-time team members who have completed 59 days of employment to have health care coverage through either the company-sponsored health plan or through a family member’s plan. This means that 100% of the company’s eligible team members have access to health care coverage.
As recently announced, Tyson Foods has created a chief medical officer position and plans to add almost 200 nurses and administrative support personnel to supplement the more than 400 people currently part of the company’s health services team. The new chief medical officer will lead the company’s strategy for occupational health and team member wellness.