Free Onsite Employee Healthcare – An Innovative Idea!
When Daniel Defense CEO/President Marty Daniel met with his architect to start designing the company’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Black Creek, Georgia, he had one design requirement with no direct connection to the manufacturing of rifles.
“I said, ‘Hey, I want to have a doctor’s office in the building,’” Daniel explained. “So, when we built the building, we built the space. It’s got a waiting room, a reception area, and one exam room that have been there since we moved in back in 2017.”
Marty Daniel had the vision to provide his employees and their families with free onsite medical care. Yes, you read that right: free healthcare—in addition to the health insurance the company already provides to its employees and their families. Unfortunately, building the clinic proved easier than staffing it and getting it up and running, especially with the additional challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic.
“It was supposed to open in April of 2020,” said Keli Parish of Daniel Defense’s human resources department, “but Covid put everything on hold.” Still, opening the clinic remained a priority, and eventually Daniel Defense found the right physician’s assistant, associated with a local doctor’s group in Savannah, to staff it. The doors to the clinic opened for Daniel Defense employees on July 2021.
“Us getting this up and running this year is a dream come true,” Daniel said with pride. “It’s just a really great program. We dreamed it up years ago, and we just kept looking until we found an organization that would help us do it.”
Employees are encouraged to book appointments ahead of time. Staffed by an experienced physician’s assistant who’s licensed to write prescriptions, she’s qualified to administer a wide array of services, including giving Covid and flu vaccinations.
“Most services that you can get at a doctor’s office or health clinic you’ll get there,” Daniel explained. “If it’s outside of what she can do within the clinic, she’ll coordinate additional care as needed, or you can visit your primary-care physician. If she has questions or concerns, she has doctors in Savannah she can consult with.”
“The clinic is really like a second doctor’s office for employees,” Keli Parish added. The fact that it’s onsite saves employees from having to take valuable time off from work to seek medical care, a win-win situation for employees and the company. But helping reduce time away from work isn’t the only way the clinic benefits employees and the company.
“I believe we’re going to find things that need to be worked on and solve medical problems for people that may extend or even save their lives,” Daniel stressed. “It’s also going to drive costs down because the earlier you find a medical problem, and the quicker you work on it, the less it costs you down the road.”
The onsite clinic is currently open two days a week to Daniel Defense employees, with plans to extend free onsite care to employee family members later this month.
“It’s tentatively scheduled to open to families on September 20th,” said Parish. “We’re hoping Covid doesn’t delay that start date, but we’re going to start allowing employees’ dependents, spouses and kids—ages 12 and up—to go to the clinic.” Children under the age of 12 will not be eligible, as they require the care of a licensed pediatrician. “We’re hoping to eventually expand the number of days and/or hours the clinic is open to better serve our employees and their families,” Parish added.
The free onsite clinic is just one more way Daniel Defense is working to set itself apart as one of the premiere places to work—not just in the firearms industry but in any industry. It’s a natural extension of Marty Daniel’s three-pronged philosophy on how to successfully run the company he founded back in 2000.
“In my mind, I’m always thinking about what we can do better for our customers and vendors and employees. If you serve all three, and try to do what’s best for them while doing what’s good for you as well, they’ll take care of you.”
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