Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC, which has five manufacturing facilities in Howard and Tipton counties, is partnering with Indianapolis-based St. Vincent Health on a new health and wellness center. FCA says it is the first domestic automaker to offer a near-site employee clinic. The "one-stop shop" is designed to deliver care to a workforce where some 40 percent do not have a primary care physician and often turn to emergency and urgent care facilities for primary and preventative care needs.
Director of Integrated Health Care & Disability Kathleen Neal says the decision to launch the center in Kokomo came down to rising health care costs. She says employers, especially large manufacturers, are getting hit by annual increases in health care costs of up to 7 percent, which she calls unsustainable for business. "We began looking for innovative solutions that might help us maintain the quality of health care that we wanted to provide for our employees and families," Neal told Inside INdiana Business, "and yet work with a well-respected, high-quality partner in the community of Kokomo to do something very innovative and do it also exclusively for the benefit of our employees that live in the Kokomo area." The employee-centered facility will also help deliver services in the face of primary care physician shortages.
The 11,000 square-foot facility is slated to open July 30. It is located, officials say, close to all FCA facilities in the Kokomo and Tipton footprint — some 22,000 health care members in all. FCA employs nearly 8,400 at its Kokomo Transmission, Kokomo Casting, Indiana Transmission I and II, and Tipton Transmission plants. The transmissions produced in Howard and Tipton counties power Jeep Wranglers, Jeep Cherokees and electric transmission for the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.
The statewide health care provider operates St. Vincent Kokomo Hospital.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC Director of Integrated Health Care & Disability Director Kathleen Neal says the decision to launch the center in Kokomo came down to rising health care costs.