Healthy Staff for Healthy Schools
How Onsite Care Benefits Teachers, Staff, and Students
Healthy, hard-working teachers play an important role in the education of our children, which is why access to quality care and health education for our teachers is critical to inspiring learning in the classroom.
Based on a 2016 report by Education Week, approximately 39% of Florida K12 teachers missed more than 10 school days during the 2013-2014 schoolyear. Nationally that same year, slightly more than 1 in 4 teachers missed 10 days or more, according to data from Education Week Research Center’s review of U.S. Department of Education and the federal civil rights office.
While personal reasons for time off may vary, sick days out for colds, flus, and other preventable conditions are days setting students and teachers behind. In an attempt to prevent teacher absences from impacting learners, some districts are taking a proactive approach to ensure their employees have convenient access to high-quality preventative care, vaccines, and primary care. Florida schools are particularly embracing an onsite-care model by offering employee health and wellness centers at or near the worksite.
When opening Lake County School’s first employee health and wellness center in August 2011, risk manager Lauren Deridder said, “The health and wellness center provides convenient and quick service, and the employees have quality time with the doctors, less of wait, and no out-of-pocket expenses.” Now with four centers spread across the county, the district is saving $150 for every patient that is seen by the employee center instead of an outside physician.
The ease of use and cost-free care keeps utilization high for teachers, staff, dependents, and retirees. Patients visiting onsite health and wellness centers enjoy free access to primary medical, screenings, lab work, X-rays, EKG, occupational health, wellness programs, generic prescriptions, as well as comprehensive treatment and health education for managing conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.
“In addition to helping employers save millions of dollars, we’re thrilled to be helping keep teachers in the classroom,” said Ray Tomlinson, president of Crowne Consulting Group, which operates over 30 on- or near-site health and wellness centers throughout Florida, including several for school districts as well as private companies, cities, counties, and sheriff offices.
Unlike outdated wellness programs that are triggered by large claims or passive educational material, the onsite-care model includes an active approach based on extensive lab work, Health Risk Assessments (HRA), and health education through customized wellness programs. “These increased screenings, HRAs, and easy access to preventative care like flu shots are helping districts increase productivity, while also cutting absenteeism costs and expenses that could be reallocated for other school resources,” added Tomlinson.
Crowne Consulting Group’s school district clients have included Citrus, Levy, Pasco, Lake, St. John’s, and Indian River. Crowne and its affiliates also serve city government, county government, sheriff’s offices, and private organizations.