The employee is the number-one asset," says Mark Stier, vice president of corporate human resources for Worthington, which has annual sales of $2 billion and employs 8,000 at 55 facilities in 11 countries.
"We say employees are our most important resource, and we back it up with action. ...We want to take care of our employees, service their needs.We want to make it as easy as we can to maintain their health and be proactive, and we make the pharmacy an integral part of that plan.That's why it's called a 'wellness' program."
The medical center is set up like a private physician's office, with three full-time doctors as well as labs and X-ray facilities.
They don't have to drive two miles" to a pharmacy, says Stier
Like retail pharmacies, the Columbus facility maintains an inventory of drugs and purchases pharmaceuticals from vendors.
The pharmacy program is voluntary, and employees also have a discount pharmacy card they can use at a retail pharmacy.Workers at other Worthington plants can also fill maintenance prescriptions for conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure by mail order from the Columbus pharmacy.
For the company's 8,000 employees, a total of 25,000 prescriptions were issued in 1999, while 2,300 prescriptions were filled in September of this year.
"The medical center has always operated in the black," says Stier
."It's a huge benefit for employees and a great tool in recruiting and retaining employees, especially in a tight labor market.It's a dynamite attraction."
Saving MoneyThe free-standing, on-site pharmacy is not only an impressive recruitment tool and a benefit to workers; it can also save money, compared to conventional drug purchase programs.