Huntington Ingalls Industries opening employee health center
Newport News-based Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) is providing its employees with another option in order to keep them healthy.
On Tuesday HII is opening a 22,000-square-foot health center just outside the gates of Newport News Shipbuilding, the shipbuilding company it operates in Newport News. The center will offer eligible shipyard employees and their families primary care, radiology, physical therapy, laboratory services and a pharmacy.
“This is all about the health and well being of our employees and their families,” says Matt Mulherin, president, Newport News Shipbuilding, which employs more than 20,000 workers.
HII already has opened another health center at its other shipbuilding division in Mississippi, Ingalls Shipbuilding, where 24 percent of employees and their families have used the services. Both facilities are operated by QuadMed – a Wisconsin-based health care services provider – and are available to HII salaried employees and their families plus members of the shipyard’s firefighters’ union who are covered by Anthem. Members of the steelworkers’ union won’t have access to the center for now because they chose not to participate, Mulherin says. The facility has more than 30 full-time QuadMed employees, including three primary care doctors.
Building a location that was convenient to employees was extremely important for HII.
“There’s a lot of empty places where we could have put this in the Hampton Roads area, but we said, ‘Right here, this is the place where it needs to be,'” says Mulherin.
An appointment at the center costs $15, including lab fees. The pharmacy also offers generic prescriptions for $3 for a 30-day supply and $6 for a 90-day supply. Employees still have the option to see another primary care provider for $20 or to make an appointment through Teladoc for $10, a medical provider that offers telephone and virtual consultations. The new center also is expected to lower HII’s healthcare costs, Mulherin says, but he did not speculate by how much.
HII estimates that once the new health care center opens, about 30,000 people will have access to the facility, including 12,000 employees. On Feb. 22, more than 40 appointments had already been made at the center, company officials said during a press tour of the facility.
QuadMed has 80 health centers in 21 states. In Virginia, it also operates onsite health and wellness centers for Moog Inc. in Blacksburg and STIHL in Virginia Beach. Later this year, it also plans to open a health and wellness center in Richmond for the Commonwealth of Virginia and another one in Winchester at Kohl’s distribution center.