OurHealth Patient Success: Jim’s Story

Jim Sturgeon says he never imagined the discomfort he felt in his chest signaled a far more serious problem.

“I was having sporadic chest pains off and on for a couple of weeks,” he says. “Initially, it started as a pressure in my chest. I had never felt it before, but I didn’t think it was my heart.”

Jim says it wasn’t really a sharp pain, but more of a dull pressure that initially lasted for a few moments. But after the symptoms became more frequent and long-lasting, he decided to seek medical help.

Jim saw nurse practitioner Elizabeth Jernagan during his initial visit at OurHealth @ Haynes Health Care Center, which he could access through his employer benefits at Haynes International in Kokomo, Indiana.

“She examined me and said, ‘You need to go and take a stress test,’” Jim says.

Two days later Jim went in for a cardiac ECG test, which involves walking on a treadmill while sensors measure how the heart responds to stress. He says he was on the treadmill for less than a minute before the nurse rushed to get a doctor.

“He looked at the monitors and said, ‘Stop, you need to sit down,’” Jim says. “They gave me nitroglycerin to calm my heart down and then started prepping me to be taken to the cardiology catheter unit to have an emergency procedure performed where they went up through my groin and put three stents in arteries coming out the right side of my heart. The following Tuesday I went back and they put two stents in the left side.”

What Jim didn’t realize is he was on the verge of having a heart attack. He says he’s fortunate Elizabeth immediately recognized his symptoms.

“It was primarily Elizabeth who diagnosed me,” he says. “Who knows if I would have died or had some major problem. I feel very fortunate Elizabeth was there and told me what to do. She very well may have saved my life.”

Jim says the fact that he was able to quickly schedule an appointment at OurHealth @ Haynes Health Care Center was another factor.

“I called that morning and got in that afternoon,” he says.

Today, Jim says he’s feeling much better – he’s started exercising regularly and he’s changed his diet. Most importantly, he says his heart wasn’t permanently damaged.

“I’m not ready to run a marathon but having blood flow to all regions of my heart is awesome,” he says. “This was a huge wake-up call. I got in at the right time and hopefully I now have a new lease on life.”

State of Indiana Opens Onsite Primary Care Clinic at Government Center

Government Center Clinic by OurHealth brings convenient, affordable onsite healthcare to more than 7,500 state employees.

INDIANAPOLIS — Through a partnership with Indianapolis-based OurHealth, the State of Indiana has opened an onsite clinic at the Indiana Government Center. More than 16,000 state employees and their family members live or work nearby. Government Center Clinic by OurHealth, which begins operations today, provides comprehensive primary and immediate care medical services to covered employees and their families.

“Indiana is making great strides to improve quality of life for Hoosiers – and that includes improving access to healthcare,” Gov. Eric J. Holcomb said. “Offering medical care when and where it is most convenient for employees not only makes for a better workplace, it supports overall wellness.”

Founded in 2009, OurHealth provides employer-sponsored onsite and near-site primary care clinics and wellness programming. The company’s primary care model is designed to address three factors – patient access, quantifiable health improvements and overall cost.

The model leverages technology and data to learn unique organizational challenges and inform custom healthcare solutions addressing the needs of each workforce. Each solution embraces the growing body of research confirming more focused time with patients leads to a higher standard of care, and in turn, predictable savings.

Clinic providers are empowered to spend quality time with each patient, which further enhances individualized treatment plans and results in greater patient success.

“OurHealth provides employees and their families with the healthcare they need, when and where they need it, all while saving them and their employers a lot of money,” said OurHealth co-founder and CEO, Ben Evans. “As an Indiana-based company, we’re thrilled to partner with the State of Indiana to improve the health of thousands of Hoosiers while also generating measurable savings for Indiana taxpayers.”

The company currently operates clinics in Indiana, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

OurHealth clients enjoy an average savings of 17 percent on health plan costs through better management of chronic conditions, ER avoidance and reduced lab and drug costs. The company’s Indiana clients include a wide range of employers, including CNO Financial Group, Ice Miller, the Indianapolis Airport Authority and the City of Indianapolis.

The onsite clinic is one of several enhancements this year that promote a healthy workforce and reduce healthcare costs while supporting the State’s emphasis on engagement through wellness and clinic services. Onsite and online wellness coaches are now available to covered employees and spouses throughout the state, part of a program that rewards employees with reduced premiums and other incentives when they complete best practices for proactively supporting good health. And the State now offers an interactive online platform, also in conjunction with OurHealth, which engages participants in wellness activities and competitions linked to healthy living and overall wellbeing.

In addition to these benefits, the State is continuing a heightened focus on mental health as a critical component of well-being by increasing employee access and options in 2019 for counseling sessions with licensed therapists under its employee assistance program.

About OurHealth
OurHealth provides employer-sponsored healthcare to organizations of all sizes via its onsite and near-site primary care clinics. Its system of industry-leading near-site clinics, called the MyClinic network, significantly lowers the barrier to entry by allowing employers to gain immediate access to a network of primary care clinics. OurHealth offers a comprehensive healthcare approach to its clients and their employees, which includes primary care services, wellness services, onsite laboratory and medication dispensing services and referral guidance. OurHealth has clinics in Indiana, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. To learn more about OurHealth, visit www.ourhealth.org.

 

OurHealth Patient Success: Brandy’s Story

I first visited MyClinic @ Northlake approximately three years ago. Honestly, I’m not sure if I remember exactly why, but it was either to get my biometric screening or due to a cold. I can access the clinic through my husband’s employer benefits with the City of Charlotte.

At the time, I wasn’t actively in control of my health and was more than frustrated by the climbing co-pay every time I stepped into a doctor’s office. We heard we could access the Charlotte MyClinic network with no copay, and I admit I was more than skeptical at first. I thought, “There’s no way this is quality healthcare if there’s no copay and there are so many locations to choose from.” Reluctantly, though, and because I had lost hope in my previous primary care physician, I decided to schedule an appointment.

When I first met Dr. Teressa Watts, I was blown away. She is very attentive, knowledgeable and personable. At some point early on in our medical relationship, I ended up asking Dr. Watts, “So, could you be my primary doctor?” And thus, it began.

Before becoming Dr. Watts’ patient, I was already diagnosed with bipolar disorder, hypertension, prediabetes, anxiety and endometriosis with PCOS. I requested for all of my medical records to be sent to Dr. Watts and updated her on all my present-day medical conditions. It’s quite a laundry list of conditions to take on from a brand-new patient, but I think she could tell I was struggling to find a doctor that I could connect with, confide in and have hope in.

Shortly thereafter, I had an onset of tough allergies that I didn’t even know I had. I went through months of difficult breathing, chronic sinus infections and headaches. After several treatments of inhalers, nebulizers and steroids, Dr. Watts referred me to Carolina Asthma & Allergy—it was a real game changer! I’m now receiving two allergy injections weekly and haven’t suffered a sinus infection in over a year. I’m so thankful that Dr. Watts didn’t continue to drag out one round of antibiotics after another and one inhaler on top of the other. She realized something else was going on and was quick to refer me to an allergist. The entire process was very seamless.

My next obstacle – weight loss. Boy, what a challenge that is! Dr. Watts has never made me feel inferior or badly about my weight. She has always listened to every single complaint and treated each one individually while educating me on its relation to my overall health. Around the latter part of 2017, I voiced my sincerest desire to Dr. Watts to be healthier and lose weight. She was very realistic with me and explained that I shouldn’t expect too much from myself over the holiday season. She told me that it’s one small decision after another, and I have to tackle a different task daily and take small steps towards that giant goal. I made some drastic changes in my diet in January of 2018 and in February I joined Weight Watchers. By June, I had successfully lost over 60 pounds and couldn’t wait to see Dr. Watts again and show her.

At my most recent biometric screening, my waist is the smallest it has been in two years, my blood pressure is spectacular, I’m no longer at risk for prediabetes and my allergies are very well-managed.

Since becoming a patient of the OurHealth clinic, I’ve been able to find a wonderful balance for all of my different medications and for the first time in my life, I feel completely in control of my health. I know that I have a lot of work left to do, but I’m hopeful and supported in reaching my goals.

Dr. Watts and I communicate often on the OurHealth portal, in person and via phone consultations. I believe she has a vested interest in me, my health and my well-being. Dr. Watts understands my nuances and how particular I am about seeing different providers. She knows that I drive 45 minutes one way just to see her and she is always very respectful of my time with her.

I used to dread going to the doctor’s office. I used to feel completely hopeless—as if a good doctor didn’t even exist. The availability and accessibility of the OurHealth clinic cannot be matched. From the immediate sick visits at any of their locations, to the delivery of prescriptions from HomeMeds, I’m beyond impressed and so thankful. If I still feared having to call a doctor or drag myself into their office, there’s no doubt I would not be in such a healthy state of mind and body like I am now.

Thank you, Dr. Watts, and to each and every nurse and phone representative I’ve ever encountered at OurHealth! I’ve literally never had a single negative or unpleasant experience in over three years. Dr. Watts, Lori Buckner, Teresa Watson, Beth Scheck and Nichelle Simpson have changed my life. I’m so humbled and beyond blessed to be their patient (their favorite patient, I’m sure!).

– Brandy Teets, OurHealth Patient

OurHealth Patient Success: Andrenetta’s Story

For years, Andrenetta Galloway of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department suffered from “strange” health symptoms that included unexplained rashes, severe leg and foot pain, debilitating headaches and extreme fatigue.

At first, the symptoms would come and go, but overtime they became so severe she could no longer function. Desperate to find the cause of her agony, Andrenetta says she visited four different doctors, but none seemed to understand what was wrong.

“I had been on multiple medications and none of them were working,” she says. “They’d do basic blood work and say, ‘We can’t find anything serious to be worried about.’”

But Andrenetta clearly knew something was wrong.

“I was missing a lot of work and lost a lot of weight,” she says. “I was so sick and couldn’t get any information on what was wrong with me. I didn’t know if I had cancer or what. I was scared to death.”

One day, Andrenetta saw a flyer hanging in the police department promoting OurHealth benefits for City of Charlotte employees and decided to schedule an appointment.

She met with Dr. Teressa Watts, OurHealth regional medical director, during her initial appointment, and admits she was surprised by her in-depth questioning.

“At the time, I was kind of laughing that she wanted to know my entire life history,” Andrenetta says. “But I was thinking in the back of my mind, ‘What if I find out what’s wrong with me?’”

Near the end of her appointment, Dr. Watts asked Andrenetta if she’d ever been tested for lupus.

“She said, ‘I really feel like we need to explore it,’” Andrenetta says. “She told me what the testing would involve and gave me really in-depth information. I was satisfied with what she said as far as the route we were going to take. For once, it felt like someone was trying to help me.”

The test results confirmed Dr. Watts’ suspicion, and Andrenetta was diagnosed with lupus.

She’s now in treatment and has to have infusion therapy a couple of times per month, but ultimately, she feels significantly better.

“I’m not going to say I’m 100 percent now, but I’m 100 percent better than I was before I started dealing with Dr. Watts at the clinic,” she says. “I’m on a lot of different medications, but they are the right medications.”

After four miserable years, Andrenetta says she’s relieved to know the cause of her suffering.

“I’m grateful that the City came up with this because I don’t know what shape I’d be in right now if I hadn’t started seeing Dr. Watts,” Andrenetta says. “She took the time to go the extra mile and help me.”

OurHealth Patient Success: Tom’s story

Maintenance supervisor Thomas Books was at a routine appointment to refill a prescription when Elizabeth Jernagan, a family nurse practitioner at OurHealth @ Haynes Health Care Center, asked how he’d been feeling.

“I told her that I felt like an 80-year-old man trapped in a 60-year-old body,” Books says.

Books’ symptoms included feeling tired and sluggish, and he noticed he was drained of energy by 10 a.m. each day. He mentioned those symptoms to his family doctor, but never felt like the doctor paid much attention to his concerns.

Jernagan clearly thought Books’ symptoms warranted further attention.

“She sent me to have a stress test, which I failed,” Books says. “Then they sent me to Howard Community to have a heart catheterization and the doctor said I was so blocked up that even eight stints wouldn’t open me up.”

Less than a week later, Books underwent quadruple bypass surgery in Indianapolis—a procedure that likely saved his life.

“I’m glad somebody finally listened to me,” Books says. “I like how much time they take with us – they actually have the time. I’m glad Elizabeth listened to me and I’m really happy with the referrals OurHealth gave me. It’s nice they take the time to do that.”

Now in rehab therapy, Books says he’s making solid progress in his recovery

“I feel pretty good,” he says. “I’m short-winded, which is to be expected from having quadruple bypass surgery, but I definitely feel a lot better.”

Meet Mark Fakhoury, MD

Dr. Fakhoury has more than 20 years of experience serving patients in Indiana. He earned his Doctor of Medicine from the Kansas School of Medicine and completed his residency training in family medicine at Community Health in Indianapolis. Dr. Fakhoury is passionate about building lasting relationships with his patients to help them live and feel their best.

What made you decide to pursue a career in medicine?

My father was a family doctor, so I had always thought I’d be a doctor like my Dad. He was someone I deeply respected. He taught me a lot about being a caring person.

Which areas of medicine/wellness are you most passionate about?

I take a whole-person approach to medical care. I think there are many aspects of our lives that affect one’s health, so I try to take those things into account. I enjoy working with patients to maintain good health habits and take steps to improve in areas that need it. I enjoy building good relationships with my patients so we can partner together to be help them live a healthy life.

Why do you like practicing at OurHealth?

OurHealth emphasizes those things that I’m most passionate about. They give providers the time and resources to do more than just treat an illness, but to focus on the whole person. I am thankful that having the clinic available takes away a lot of the financial barriers that people have that would keep them from getting the care they need. I like being able to offer medical care that often goes above and beyond what people would ordinarily expect.

Tell us a little about your family.

I was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. My wife and I met while I was in medical school at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City, Kansas. We have been happily married for 26 years. We have two kids in college. Our son is studying environmental science and art at Goshen College. Our daughter is studying sustainability, anthropology and Spanish at IU Bloomington.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy being outside and I try to take a walk most days. I have been involved with Boy Scouts since I was a boy. I am an Eagle Scout and my son is as well. After he graduated, I decided to stay on as Assistant Scoutmaster. I am also on the missions committee at First Baptist Church of Indianapolis. When I’m not involved in those activities, I like to do home improvements or play around making things with wood.

What’s one fun fact about you that your patients might find interesting?

Several years ago, my wife and I took some ballroom dance lessons. We found that it is a great activity to do as a couple, so we have continued taking lessons and enjoy that together almost every week.

Are you an OurHealth patient? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Fakhoury at member.ourhealth.org.

For Indiana non-profit Bosma Enterprises, an unwavering mission to help employees lead healthier lives

For more than 100 years, Bosma Enterprises has led the way in fulfilling its mission to support and serve Indiana’s citizens who are blind and visually impaired, serving nearly a thousand clients each year. Programs range from counseling and support to job training and skills development to help adults stay self-sufficient. It also operates a production, warehouse and fulfillment business that provides employment opportunities for employees with vision loss that may not otherwise be available because they face a 70-percent unemployment rate.

And although its workforce is unique – more than half of its employees experience low vision, the challenges that Bosma faces as a healthcare benefits provider are familiar to many employers: Rising healthcare costs, the increasing prevalence and cost impacts of chronic conditions such as diabetes and the need to help employees gain better access to more convenient healthcare.

Addressing cost by giving employees more

To help counteract these factors, Bosma selected OurHealth as its near-site primary clinic provider for medical plan members. Through the partnership, employees and dependents can access primary care and other healthcare services via OurHealth’s network of seven Indianapolis-area MyClinics, including MyClinic @ Traders Point, which is only about 10 minutes from Bosma Enterprises headquarters on Indianapolis’ northwest side.

 

Image courtesy of Bosma Enterprises.
“The partnership with OurHealth is a perfect example of where we can do something that is going to make it easier for our employees to get services and maintain their health,” Matlock says.

 

“We felt it might help us address the rising healthcare costs that we were experiencing as everybody else is,” says Senior Benefits Manager Joseph Matlock. “We want to help our employees maintain their health in any way we can. The other part of it was convenience and just how much easier is it if you are not feeling well when there’s a near-site clinic that you can just run to during the day versus having to get an appointment then set up your transportation for three or four days later, or having to find somebody to take you to the clinic. We felt it was a benefit we can add as far as the things that we offer to show our employees that we value them.”

The accessibility of a primary care provider where employees could receive help managing and reducing the impact of chronic conditions such as diabetes – a leading cause of blindness and vision loss – were also important factors, Matlock says.

More than just convenient healthcare

Not only does Bosma help employees access convenient healthcare, but they also help ensure employees make it to their appointments as transportation can be especially challenging for people with low vision or blindness. When and if an employee schedules a clinic appointment during work hours, Bosma provides free transportation to the clinic, helping employees keep their appointment and stay on track with preventive healthcare. The firm also encourages healthy behaviors with a wellness incentive program that encourages regular preventive primary care, vision and dental care check-ups and other amenities, including a recently opened onsite fitness center.

“We just think that as a company who cares about their employees, we want to provide the best opportunities,” Matlock says. “The partnership with OurHealth is a perfect example of where we can do something that is going to make it easier for our employees to get services and maintain their health.”

Meet Brooke Curry, PA-C

Brooke Curry is a board-certified physician assistant with more than 10 years of experience providing primary care for adult and pediatric patients. Prior to joining OurHealth, Curry helped patients in underserved and homeless populations and provided in-home care for homebound patients. She received her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana. Curry grew up in Thorntown, Indiana, and today lives with her husband and three children in Brownsburg.

What made you decide to pursue a career in medicine?

Growing up, my grandma was a nurse’s aide. Listening to how she helped her patients was always intriguing. She highly advised me to avoid going into medicine, as she felt I wore my heart on my sleeve and would have a difficult time leaving work at work. However, I have always enjoyed science and biology. There was never anything else I wanted to do. I did not listen to my grandma!

Which areas of health and wellness are you most passionate about?

I am really passionate about caring for adults that have multiple chronic illnesses and multiple medications. On the other end of the spectrum, I love providing education to our younger population regarding risk management.

What brought you to OurHealth?

The combination of primary care medicine and more time with patients. OurHealth allows adequate time for education and relationship-building. I feel our patients really benefit from this type of model.

How is OurHealth different from other clinics/medical setting you’ve worked in?

I feel we pride ourselves in caring for the entire patient by providing time with our patients, time for education and time to answer questions. Everyone I have met within this company has been very down to earth and friendly. It is such a joy to be part of such an amazing organization.

Tell us a little about your family

I am married with 4 children! My husband, Clark, is a respiratory therapist. I have a step-daughter, Haylee, that is 17 and lives in Montana. I also have three children of my own. My son, Rush, is 9 years old and my gentle brainiac. My daughter, Franki, is 7 years old and is my risk taker/trouble maker. My youngest daughter, Pepper, is 3 years old. She is my mini me and her personality is too big for her!

What do you like to do in your free time?

Free time? I don’t get a lot of free time. However, after the kids are in bed, I will read a book or watch Netflix. If I get a date night, I really enjoy listening to live music.

What’s one random fun fact about you that patients will find interesting?

I have multiple tattoos!

How Employer Clinics Attract and Retain Top Talent

We’re living in a competitive time, and it’s more important than ever for employers to set themselves apart from the crowd when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent. The modern employee is all about unique benefits and perks, which employers can deliver both inside and outside of the workplace.

While it might come as surprise, a recent study found that health benefits are the most-requested perk of millennial employees, and many companies are starting to offer these benefits in the form of onsite and near-site primary care clinics. These clinics make it easy and convenient for employees to visit regularly with primary care physicians (often without leaving the office), as well as engage with high-value services like diagnostic testing, health and wellness coaching, and free or low-cost medications dispensed in the clinic.

Here are three ways onsite and near-site clinics can help employers attract and retain top talent:

1. They create a company culture of wellness

Near-site, onsite and other employer-sponsored clinics are a great opportunity for organizations to build a large-scale, long-term infrastructure of health and wellness. Not only do they help promote regular primary care visits, but they can help facilitate other kinds of appointments as well. Everything from nutritionists to wellness planners and even fitness coaches can be arranged through workplace clinics. Instead of being another face in a long line of patients, employees receive personalized, one-on-one care from a real physician or health coach who knows their face, name and medical history.     

Workplace clinics go a long way toward making health and wellness part of the company culture because they become ingrained within the company community. Instead of having to take multiple hours off to drive to an appointment, sit in a waiting room, see a doctor, follow up with nurses and then drive back to the office again, employees can simply go directly down the hall or drive a few miles away to a dedicated clinic. Near-site and onsite clinics help both employers and employees facilitate a culture of wellness while also preserving efficiency or productivity (or employees’ coveted PTO).

2. They reduce the risk of critical health issues

Surprisingly, according to a recent study, only 8 percent of US adults ages thirty-five and older had received all of the high-priority, appropriate clinical preventive services recommended for them. Without regular checkups and screenings, employees have a greater risk of critical health issues or chronic diseases, such as high cholesterol or diabetes. These critical conditions can lead to expensive care experiences or even result in hospitalization. For employees, working for employers who take an active interest in long-term wellness outcomes is a definite plus and can help both attract and retain them.

3. They encourage healthier lifestyles

Employer-sponsored clinics refocus the average employee’s view of ‘healthcare’ into something bigger than just an insurance plan. When an employer takes such an active role in its employee’s health and lifestyle, it makes it clear to both prospective and current employees where an organization’s values lie. Today’s employees enjoy eating healthy, exercising, and generally living healthier lifestyles than past generations, and employees are actively searching for employers who share these same values.

Near-site and onsite clinics give employers the competitive edge they need to both attract new employees and retain the ones they have. OurHealth, the leading provider of near-site and onsite clinics, can help your organization realize a significant return on investment in talent retention.

Meet Gretchen Huffman, FNP-C, EMT-P, MBA

Gretchen joins OurHealth as a family nurse practitioner with more than 17 years of experience and an eclectic medical background. She has worked as a neuroscience researcher for the National Institutes of Health, a paramedic, an ER nurse and has served patients in occupational health and urgent care settings. Gretchen will split her time between OurHealth’s onsite clinics at Anthem and KYB.

Why did you pursue a career in medicine?

As a child, I was frequently sick and spent a lot of time in and out of hospitals. They took very good care of me, so all I’ve ever wanted to do is take care of other people. I absolutely love it. It’s the perfect job for me.

With your extensive background, what brought you to OurHealth?

I like how the OurHealth model allows for more time with patients. Patients will tell you what’s wrong with them, but you have to give them enough time to share. If you’re only allowed 10 minutes to see a patient, you’re going to miss some very important information. That information could be the key to helping the patient achieve optimal health.

Which areas of medicine are you most passionate about?

Prevention! I’d rather prevent disease than wait until someone gets really sick before doing something about it. I prefer to take a more holistic approach to medicine. I do this by addressing boundaries and help the patient formulate an action plan that works for them. It is important to empower patients with the right information, which will help them make better decisions.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love running and working out. I have the privilege to run a free clinic at Wheeler Mission Homeless Shelter in Indianapolis. I also volunteer for a dog rescue, which explains why I have a house full of dogs. But we can all fit on the couch together!

What would you like to say to your new patients?

My biggest wish is I hope to meet them where they are, so we can go on their health journey together.