Public Employer Sponsored Health & Wellness Centers

Community: Cities of Battle Creek, Ferndale, Madison Heights & Royal Oak
Population: 10,000+

fundingPublic Employer Sponsored Health & Wellness Centers have been introduced by cities as an alternative to the traditional health care model that will save money and improve the health and wellness of employees. At the centers, high quality care can be delivered onsite at a lower cost to the employer than the traditional model, and at little or no cost to the employee. The centers concentrate on basic health care and wellness services. The model provides quick service at little or no cost to employees, who otherwise may not have chosen to obtain health care service. The centers have been shown to be better at the identification of pre-chronic conditions and the treatment of various highly expensive chronic conditions. In addition to saving money, these centers also improve morale, presenteeism and productivity as employees can access and receive quality wellness-focused care in a timely manner. When the staff is healthy, productivity increases.


  • We feel the model is quite easy to replicate and has already been replicated. We see a tremendous opportunity to develop a “network” of Health & Wellness Primary Care centers around the State of Michigan. Municipalities are uniquely positioned to partner together, leveraging their employee populations, to seek out alternative ways to deliver health care services in a more cost-effective manner.
  • Demonstrating success one Center at a time will position municipalities to grow and invest in their most valuable asset: their employees, the public servants that make local government work. All stakeholders, employers and employees alike, have been battling over the re-distribution of the total health care dollars spent. Why not pursue a more innovative approach by creating a health care plan alternative that recognizes that employees must have access to affordable, quality care; that places the “patient” first and simultaneously saves money for the employer and taxpayers. The Health & Wellness Primary Care Centers do just that. Municipalities small and large can collaborate, pool their resources, and use the savings generated through operating a center to re-invest and expand the center. This would include the ability to explore additional medical service offerings to employees while continuing to lower overall costs and impacting long-term health care trend.
  • It has been easy to replicate due to the across the board understanding and support of the model itself. Our vendor, CareHere, has over 170 centers across the nation and has developed a turn-key process for getting the centers up and running. In addition, all public sector communities involved have strongly embraced this collaboration in that we are all open to each other’s ideas regarding what works, what doesn’t work, what would be more efficient, etc. We hope our communities’ adoption of this model, and the success we have found in it, will make other community leaders consider this option for their community.

Creativity and Originality:

  • The on-site center is an exciting but relatively new concept for municipalities in Michigan. The parties involved see this as a unique opportunity. How can we save on health care costs without sacrificing care and without increasing employee costs? Is that even possible? The short answer is yes.
  • The successful collaboration that developed, implemented and is now maintaining an alternative for not only providing health care but also reducing costs, would best describe the creativity and originality of our project.
  • The Battle Creek center is comprised of the following entities: City of Battle Creek, Calhoun County Government and Toyota Tsusho America. In January 2015, Mushashi Auto Parts and Systex Products Corp were added. The public/private nature of the Battle Creek collaborative is seen as not only a budget impactor but also an economic development tool center. MiLife Health and Wellness Center was created from a collaboration between the cities of Ferndale, Madison Heights and Royal Oak through a shared services agreement. These 3 communities are very close in proximity, and the center is located in the lower level of the Madison Heights City Hall building. It was designed this way to provide very easy access to staff but also to save on building/lease costs.
How are the Centers unique and creative? They provide a brand new opportunity to:
  • Reverse the rising healthcare trend through the use of a direct-cost pass through model for delivering primary care to employees/retirees
  • Improve employees health and productivity with a Wellness Program that engages them and can focus on identifying and treating chronic and pre-chronic conditions
  • Provide a collaboration opportunity- partner with another cities schools or key private sector employers.
  • Increase collective purchasing power in order to negotiate lower pricing direct with providers and suppliers
  • A more cost effective approach to managing worker’s compensation and occupational health services
  • Lower or no co-pays for office visits, blood draws and generic drugs dispensed at the Center
  • Provide easier and more convenient access to care for employees
  • Create an environment that provides a greater opportunity to engage in wellness
  • Offer a sensible alternative for seeking medical services that does NOT take the place of an employee/retiree primary plan

Community Impact:

  • From a budgetary perspective, solutions that result in less funds being spent on medical costs (i.e. chronic conditions/events), frees up funding to be used in a different area within the budget. This greatly impacts the community as it can shift money that otherwise would have been used to fund health care to other services that benefit the citizens and community as a whole.
  • City collaborations on Employer Health and Wellness Centers set the stage for competitive communities and cost savings. Within the first year of operations…. o City Savings $210,700 o Employee Savings $177,294 o Occ Med Savings $16,000+ (6 months)
  • From a health-related perspective, this center model has been able to serve employees who had not previously seen a physician in a long period of time. Chronic conditions have been identified and are now being treated that could have led to unknown or unforeseen major high cost situations such as a heart attack, stroke, etc. Employees who feel better are much more likely to perform at a higher level. This impacts our communities because we are able to obtain greater productivity from the very lean staff we all have.
  • From a morale standpoint, this has positively impacted our communities because employees receiving these services are able to do so at no cost. Staff is thankful for this option because the implementation of this model has afforded some of our communities the ability to hold off on requiring greater employee contributions for health care, or cuts in the benefits currently offered.
  • From a labor relations standpoint, the center has also improved relationships with our unions, which further impacts our community as each municipality faces labor costs due to employee-related issues.

Back to Main Entry Page>


Share this page!



Project Multimedia:

Project PowerPoint - Public Employer Sponsored Health & Wellness Centers



exam room 2b (2)

lobby 4

dispensary 2 (2)

Battle Creek Ribbon Cutting