- Phil Long Ford Motor City has a health clinic and a wellness director at its Colorado Springs, Colorado, dealership.
- The clinic, which is staffed by a doctor, a physician assistant and a registered nurse, offers physicals, tests like electrocardiograms, blood workups, prescriptions and more to dealership employees.
- Wellness Director Scott Uhalt counsels individuals and groups to help them lose weight, stop smoking or ramp up a healthier lifestyle.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — Tucked near the 2014 F-150s at Phil Long Ford Motor City in Colorado Springs, Colorado, are two rare finds in a dealership — an employee health clinic and a wellness director.
The clinic, which is staffed three days a week by a doctor, a physician assistant and a registered nurse, opened in June 2013. It operates like any other doctor's office would, taking appointments, offering physicals, tests like electrocardiograms, blood workups, prescriptions and more.
The clinic, run by CareHere of Nashville, is an option for Phil Long employees and their families who are on the company's healthcare plan. It covers more than half of the group's nearly 900 employees at its 12 dealerships in Colorado and one in Raton, New Mexico.
"The idea is to keep employees and their families healthy, while keeping healthcare costs down," said Scott Uhalt, the dealership's wellness director, a post he's had since 2002.
"Phil Long CEO Jay Cimino decided to hire me because keeping his employees healthy is the right thing to do," Uhalt told Edmunds.
The dealership has been self-insured since 2006.
Uhalt offers both one-on-one counseling and group sessions to help employees lose weight, stop smoking or ramp up a healthier eating and exercise regimen.
He is starting the new year by hosting a yoga class, an exercise boot camp, a 12-week weight loss program and the dealership's most popular class, a smoking cessation course.
"We decided to make smokers more accountable and charge them $50 more each month for their health care if they smoke — that's $600 a year before taking even one puff," Uhalt said.
The higher healthcare cost has been a good motivator to stop employees from smoking, he said.
To further entice them, the dealership picks up the cost of any special aids, like nicotine gum or patches.
Uhalt has helped about 150 employees tackle the vice, with about 80 — or more than 50 percent — successfully quitting.
"We've been trying to change this culture for 12 years," he said. "It's been slow but clearly we've had a lot of success."
Edmunds says: Healthy relationships between a dealership and its employees can only be passed on to customers.