The facility is designed to save the city money by offering a no-cost solution for basic care to insurance holders – while also potentially preventing future large insurance claims because insurance holders are more likely to seek preventative care.
Human Resources Director Fred Fosson said, “The Health and Wellness Center will provide members of the City’s health insurance program primary care medical services at little or no cost and is projected to save the City $559,000 in traditional health insurance costs over the next three years.”
Employees’ insurance plans do not change with the addition of the wellness center. The center simply provides those a free option who may not be able to afford or do not want to pay the $25 co-pay for their regular doctor. No employee is obligated to use the wellness center.
The center represents a public-private partnership between the city and CareHere Crowne, a company that operates wellness centers for more than 20 municipalities within the State of Florida.
Sanford’s Health and Wellness Center hours will be Mondays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. As need increases, so will the hours. The Center’s Doctor is Board Certified, a member of the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Florida Medical Association.
The Center is conveniently located near Sanford’s City Hall, at 1403 Medical Plaza Drive, Suite 205. The public is invited to attend the ribbon-cutting and to take a tour of the facility Monday at 10 a.m.
Sanford will partner with other municipalities in Seminole, Orange and Volusia Counties by using the CareHere Crowne system of Health and Wellness Centers.
The plan is to have an open system of reciprocating services so Sanford and other city’s staff have the option and convenience to visit other locations. The city will notify employees, retirees and their dependents when these collaborative partnerships are ready to begin, just a couple of months from now.
Commissioners were first approached about opening a wellness center in August 2009, however, at that time commissioners were interested in seeking another municipality to partner on the idea.
In February of this year, commissioners approved the purchase of the property at Medical Plaza Drive for $95,000. Start-up costs for the wellness center were around $25,000 and CareHere estimates that annual operation costs for the facility will be around $210,000.
These annual costs pay for a physician, nurse and medical assistant, prescriptions for the center’s dispensary and administration costs.