Posted at: 12/11/2012 6:27 PM
Updated at: 12/11/2012 6:28 PM
By: Benita Zahn
MECHANICVILLE - With soaring health care costs, there's a national trend for businesses to provide on site health care for employees.
Research finds it can both save money and improve employee health and satisfaction - no matter the size of the company.
That's just what a Mechanicville company is finding.
It's mid-afternoon at the health and wellness center operated by Decrescente Beverage in Mechanicville and owner C.J. Decrescente says it's just as he envisioned it.
With benefits key for employees nowadays, he took a page from a beverage distributor in Indianapolis.
“I saw how it worked. I saw how it operated and they said it was their, clearly their number one item on all their surveys,” he said.
Decrescente employees 340 people - a number that swells to 400 during the busier summer months.
To accomodate the various shifts the health and fitness center is open 3 a.m. to 9p.m. weekdays and 6 to 6 on weekends for employees, their spouses and children over age 16.
“It's definitely not gonna pay off anytime soon. It's an investment,” he continued.
Tina Pickett agrees and says, the ease of access to the fitness center gets her to kick it up a notch.
“Do you think you would be doing as much if you had to go somewhere for a facility? No, even though I had that gym membership I didn't use it very often,” she said.
Exercise opportunities are only part of Decrescente's commitment to employee well being.
Physician assistant Julia Roske works part time providing 'work place' physicals and supports an array of healthy lifestyle programs.
“People who would never go to the doctor, people who don't have doctors come in her for their health risk assesment and some of them find out things they didn't know and some of them find out they're on track,” said Roske.
People like Inventory manager Mark Varone who works out during lunch, daily and has Julia keep track of his blood pressure.
“I always say doc, I'm doing the right things, don't get in trouble but yeah, it's great, tell you, peace of mind, you know, healthy,” Varone said.
Decrescente also employs a physical therapist, part time, to help employees returning to work if they've been injured - and evaluate them prior to starting on the job to help them stay injury free.