Huntington Ingalls Industries will offer on-site family health centers at its shipyards in Newport News and Mississippi that are scheduled to open in 2015, the company said Wednesday.
The centers, open to workers and their families, will offer primary care, an on-site pharmacy and lab services, said Bill Ermatinger, corporate vice president and chief human resources officer. They will be located near the yards at Newport News Shipbuilding and Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss.
As the defense giant looked at its health care costs and ways to serve its employees, it wanted to improve access to care, Ermatinger said.
"Like a lot of companies, emergency room and urgent care costs were high," he said. "So let's eliminate the access problem."
Most visits will be a $15 co-pay, and employees can use the health care center as their regular doctor if they wish, Ermatinger said. The centers will be open Monday through Saturday.
The centers will be run by a third party which HII would not name. They will have a staff of between 30 and 40. It hasn't be determined whether it will require new construction or can be handled with existing buildings.
The shipyard has a history of employees with decades of service, and some workers are second-, third- or fourth-generation shipbuilders. Ermatinger said he sees the centers as an investment in the workforce — and possibly in future workers.
Other than getting treated, workers will receive wellness information during their visits.
Lessig can be reached by phone at 757-247-7821.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun