More Than an Apple a Day

Kwik Trip to provide onsite health services through Marathon Health

Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Tobacco, CSP

LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Kwik Trip Inc. has announced a new initiative to offer onsite health services to more than 3,000 co-workers and their family members at the convenience store chain's La Crosse, Wis., headquarters.

The initiative is part of a partnership with Marathon Health Inc., whose clinicians will provide total population health management services--primary care, health assessments, lifestyle coaching and disease management--at an onsite health center that is scheduled to open in December. Kwik Trip's new health center will also leverage community healthcare resources as part of a collaborative effort to improve the coordination of care and eliminate fragmentation in delivery.

Kwik Trip officials said the decision to implement an onsite healthcare program was based on its commitment to its co-workers' health and wellbeing, as well as an opportunity to help reduce healthcare spending.

"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," said Kwik Trip vice president Steve Zietlow.

Kwik Trip has for many years had a wellness program in place that included things like health-related coaching and offering a free piece of fruit a day to employees, John McHugh, manager of corporate communications and leadership development for Kwik Trip, told CSP Daily News. But the chain decided to expand the service to include an onsite clinic, which will be housed in a building in La Crosse next to the company's food safety lab. The clinic will be fully staffed five days a week.

In addition to being more convenient for its La Crosse-area employees, the hope is that it will also cut down on expenses and save employees time.

"We all know through healthcare, if people can't get [scheduled] into their primary physician, they might likely go to an E.R., which can be more expensive," McHugh said. "Hopefully this will help curb our healthcare costs [overall]."

The Marathon Health model moves away from "sick care" toward a solution focused on the whole person, not just their symptoms. Through this approach and by integrating with Kwik Trip's other health services, the onsite clinicians will help co-workers achieve their goals of leading healthier and longer lives.

Marathon Health vice president Greg Hiss said Kwik Trip understands that maintaining the status quo in the healthcare delivery system is no longer viable.

"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," Hiss said. "Kwik Trip, like Marathon Health, believes that their people are their most important asset."

Marathon Health of Colchester, Vt., offers a proven solution for helping employers reduce the total cost of healthcare. The Marathon Health approach integrates the best practices of onsite primary care, health assessment with risk identification, coaching and advocacy, and disease management for high cost chronic conditions. Marathon Health supports its unique model with an eHealth Portal delivering medical content, interactive diet and fitness tools, a personal health record, and an electronic medical record to manage care.

Kwik Trip is a privately held chain of convenience stores owned by the Zietlow family. Kwik Trip operates more than 400 convenience stores in the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. It employs more than 10,000 co-workers company-wide. It operates its own commissary, bakery, dairy, beverage plant and ice plant. Kwik Trip also maintains its own distribution center and fleet.

Angel Abcede, CSP/Winsight By Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Tobacco, CSP
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