In an effort to combat skyrocketing health care costs, Nebo School District formally opened its new Health & Wellness Center on Jan. 27.

The center, located at 135 W. 300 South, Spanish Fork, will be accessible to the district’s approximately 1,600 insured employees and their dependents.

The center will offer basic health care services including care for infections and colds, sports and school physicals, immunizations and health and wellness exams.

The district has contracted with a company called CareHere to staff and operate the center. CareHere is a healthcare organization specializing in delivering innovative, quality and cost-effective primary care.

Making up the center’s staff are a doctor, a nurse practitioner, a registered nurse and a medical assistant.

Members of the district’s board of education are constantly struggling with the cost of insurance and how to provide the best benefits they can to district employees, said Ken Van Ausdal, human resource director for Nebo School District. Van Ausdal spoke during a ribbon-cutting ceremony held for the new center Jan. 24.

“Through this struggle, this vision came about to find a way that we can provide quality health care for the employees of the district at an affordable cost,” Van Ausdal said.

Ryan Kay, human resources coordinator for the district, said a visit to the center will cost employees $35. Any preventative services will be offered for free.

Patients will also be able to obtain a generic prescription through the center’s dispensary before they leave their appointment for $5.

“Every dollar that goes to insurance is a dollar that is taken out of the paycheck for a teacher,” Kay said. “This is our way to help control that and put the money back to our most important asset, our teachers.”

The new center will also help attract talented staff to the district as it is unusual for a school district to have its own onsite clinic for employees, Kay said.

The district has considered creating a health center for its employees for 10 years; plans became more concrete during the last three years. Half of a warehouse located behind the district’s offices was renovated to house the new 1,500-square-foot center. The other half of the warehouse was renovated to house several training classrooms for district employees. That area opened last fall.

“We’re excited for our employees,” said Nebo School District Board of Education Member R. Dean Rowley during the ribbon-cutting event. “We know it will be a great benefit to them, and that’s really why we’re here and that’s really why we did it.”

 

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Photo by Christi C. Babbitt/Spanish Fork Press

Source: Spanish Fork Press

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