DILLON, S.C. – Perdue associates and guests gathered on Aug. 31 at the site of Perdue's Dillon, S.C., processing complex to celebrate the groundbreaking of the company's newest Wellness Center – which is a $700,000 investment.

Perdue explains its Wellness Center program is an innovative corporate health strategy offering associates and their eligible dependents primary care through fully equipped, on-site clinics staffed by healthcare providers from the community. The new, stand-alone facility at the Dillon plant will replace a smaller facility located inside the plant. Already under construction, the new Wellness Center will add dependent care in addition to offering primary care for the plant's more than 1,200 associates.

Perdue executives said the company helps its associates overcome two of the biggest obstacles to obtaining health care through its Wellness Centers: accessibility and affordability.

"With the Wellness Center, an associate can step off the production floor, walk to the Wellness Center and see a doctor -- without taking time off from work and while still getting paid," said Roger Merrill, M.D., Perdue's chief medical officer. "By making it convenient for our associates to access affordable, quality health care, we've been able to provide early intervention and treatment of potentially catastrophic diseases as well as addressing common health risks. The end result is that our associates are healthier. That's a win-win for the associate, the community and the company."

Perdue's Wellness Centers offer primary care, women's health services, occupational health, pediatric care and on-site laboratory draws.

The cost for employees and dependents covered by Perdue's insurance to visit the Wellness Center is only a $15 co-pay. Associates not covered by Perdue's insurance can visit the Wellness Center for $30 per visit.