From Midland Reporter-Telegram

An increasing number of Permian Basin oil and gas companies are working to ensure their employees have timely access to health care.

Apache Corp. has joined that list of companies, partnering with Marathon Health of Winooski, Vermont to operate an onsite clinic in the new building Apache is constructing in Midland. It will be staffed by full-time nurse practitioners and registered nurses for Apache employees, their spouses and dependents. It is expected to open when Apache moves into its new building this fall; recruitment to staff the clinic is underway.

Jerry Ford, Marathon Health's chief executive, said the company has had a presence in Midland for almost six years.

"We were originally brought in by Concho," he said in a phone interview.

Since then, Marathon Health has established partnerships with companies such as Endeavor Energy Resources and expanded into Artesia, New Mexico.

He said the company prides itself in offering an overall health management service. Staff focuses not just on primary and occupational health services but also preventative care, lifestyle coaching and helping patients manage chronic conditions.

Katie Disher with Apache told the Reporter-Telegram the company went through a rigorous bidding process for the onsite clinic.

"It has always been a component of the new building and will be a complement to the other benefits we'll be able to offer" with the expansion of Apache's Midland office, she said.

"This is one component for us in the many amenities that will be available in the next few months," she said.

Nothing his company's work with different Permian Basin companies, Ford said it's a rising tide.

"One of the biggest things companies in the Permian Basin as well as across the nation face is how to make sure care is readily available to employees at the right time with the right provider," he said.

Answering that question can reduce unnecessary utilization of medical care and unnecessary hospitalization, he said.

He described Apache, Concho, Endeavor and other companies that establish onsite clinics as forward thinking.

"It's a good draw when everyone's fighting over the same worker you want to be part of your family," he said.

In talking with potential partners, he said the conversation involves "how do we do the right thing for our people? We align with all those companies that we've had the joy of working with in the Permian Basin," he said. 

Download: The Definitive Guide to Workplace Health Management and ROI

Topics: In the News, onsite healthcare, onsite clinic