DAN NIEPO via Twin Cities Business
Eden Prairie-based Starkey Hearing Technologies on Wednesday formally opened its “employee wellness center” at its Eden Prairie campus. As part of the launch, Starkey has rebranded its existing MyCare clinic, which will now bear the Starkey name. Vermont-based Marathon Health has inked a three-year contract to operate the clinic.
Starkey has also opened its 5,000-square-foot gym to all its workers. Previously, the gym was available only to employees participating in the company’s “StarFit” fitness program, which has been in place for five years. The wellness center is designed to bridge the gap between the clinic and gym. For chief human resources officer Jeff Krautkramer, it’s all part of a more holistic approach to employee wellness. “It’s taking a comprehensive approach,” he says. “We want to make sure people take preventive health seriously.”
Starkey officials expect the new wellness center to cut down overall health care costs and boost productivity. “Sometimes you have to meet employees where they are,” he says, noting that Starkey employees about 1,600 people at its Eden Prairie campus.
“If you think about all the time lost from going to the doctor for preventive care, it can be a huge productivity hit.”
The center features two full-time physician assistants who can provide general wellness exams and dispense some medications. The clinic includes two exam rooms, a lab, and a conference room.
Krautkramer sees the wellness center as a way to attract workers in a tight labor market. “This is a differentiator … as we compete for talent in the med-tech industry,” he says. In the Twin Cities, the unemployment rate hovers around 3 percent.
The center will include a range of preventive health services. Over the next few months, Starkey aims to host events aimed at improving employee health. For instance, the company aims to offer mammograms onsite. There’s some flexibility built into Starkey’s partnership with Marathon, Krautkramer notes. “Depending on the needs of the workforce, we can add on to that service model,” he says. The clinic could one day include behavioral health-oriented services, for instance.