SOUTH BEND -- The University of Notre Dame did its homework.
And after several years of studying companies like Toyota, Disney and Intel, which offer similar programs, the university recently announced plans to build a wellness center to offer employees an on-campus medical clinic and pharmacy.
The clinic will serve more as a complimentary service to employees’ existing medical care and will have a staff of about 14, including one doctor, said Denise Murphy, director of compensation and benefits at the university.
“We were really looking at it as a way for our faculty and staff to access care,” Murphy said. “It’s more of a convenience.”
The center will not be very large and will be at the corner of Bulla Road and Wilson Drive, near the northeast corner of campus. Construction will start this fall and be completed by next summer.
It will employ a physician, who will be in charge of the clinic, and a nurse practitioner, additional medical professionals and a pharmacist. Physical therapy will be offered at the site, too, she said.
It is not meant to serve as a replacement for employees’ primary care physicians, Murphy said. This would be more like an urgent care facility, she said.
“We also recognize that some of our employees probably don’t have a primary care doctor,” Murphy said. “It’s surprising how many people don’t have a doctor, so we are trying to reach out to those individuals so that they are at least getting the primary care that they need.”
The center will be operated by Take Care Health Systems, a Walgreens subsidiary that is the manager of more than 700 workplace health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics throughout the country.
The center will be open to full-time university employees and their dependents, but not students.
The move could save both the school and its employees some money, Murphy said. But it will also save time.
“It’s definitely not intended to replace the primary care in the community, not at all,” Murphy said. “There will be some (financial) savings but it’s not overwhelming.
“It’s going to really enhance the benefit program ... that we can offer faculty and staff.
“We see it as a win for everybody.”
Staff writer Jim Meenan: