Keller Citizen

Keller school district may open employee health clinic in 2014

Keller district officials are exploring the possibility of opening an employee wellness clinic later this year to contain cost increases and improve staff members’ health.

Administrators discussed plans with trustees at the Jan. 16 board meeting.

“We see this as a way to stave off increasing premiums and lost employee work time,” said Superintendent Randy Reid.

Officials are looking at an on-site or near-site clinic that, if approved, would open in September.

Administrators visited the employee health clinic for the Northwest school district, now in its second year of service.

A district employee planning committee is currently studying options and a request for bids will likely be posted in February.

Several trustees spoke in favor of a clinic.

Board member Cindy Lotton said she favored the proactive focus on wellness.

“We’re not just providing insurance coverage but helping you be healthy,” Lotton said.

Trustee Brad Schofield said he was concerned about the cost of running the clinic and asked if there were options to use an existing medical facility or share with another district.

Penny Benz, assistant superintendent of human resources, said, “We know we’re not going to see immediate cost reduction; it’s more long-term containment.”

With an emphasis on early treatment and convenience, the clinic should reduce costs over time and help teachers spend more time in the classroom, Benz said.

“This is not just a Care Now for Keller,” she said. “It’s a doctor dedicated to helping keep people healthy.”

Officials said they would look at various options but sharing such a clinic with an existing medical facility or with another district could make it less accessible to employees.