Amazon, the largest US-based E-commerce giant, is launching neighborhood health clinics for warehouse workers and their families as per an announcement made on Tuesday. Initially, the program is for a handful of cities.
The first of the kind clinics as per a pilot program will be located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Phoenix, Detroit, San Bernardino, California, and Louisville. Furthermore, it is expected that Amazon will open 20 health centers across those five cities and, if the pilot is successful, it will further establish centers in other cities and states in 2021, as per a company statement.
The clinics will be operated and staffed by Crossover Health and serve Amazon’s employees. Crossover is a start-up that works with self-insured employers to provide health-care services. The health centers will be located near Amazon’s fulfillment centers, sort centers, and delivery stations.
The centers will also have extended hours to “accommodate various employee work schedules”, as Amazon’s centers are open both day and night.
Darcie Henry, Amazon’s vice president of human resources, commented that the clinics are designed to provide a range of preventative care resources for warehouse workers, in the place of emergency or urgent care options, which are not only more expensive for patients but also limited in the types of care they can provide. In a comment, he said, “We want to solve that for our employees, and the launch of these new neighborhood health centers will provide a range of quality primary care services for employees across the country.”
The clinics will offer acute, chronic, and preventative primary care, prescription medications, vaccinations, behavioral health services, physical therapy, and chiropractic care, among other services.
The clinic launch comes at trying times as the COVID pandemic continues to escalate around the country. Warehouse employees have pushed Amazon to better protect them from the virus while they’re on the job. Amazon facilities across the U.S. continue to report fresh cases and at least nine workers have succumbed to the deadly virus to date.
Amazon has added to its employee protection program a stinge of benefits for warehouse employees in recent months. In June, Amazon announced that would provide 10 days of a subsidized emergency backup child or adult care for all of its U.S. employees till Oct. 2.
Last September, Amazon came out with a virtual health clinic with in-home follow-ups for corporate employees in the Seattle area, referred to as Amazon Care. In May, Amazon extended this service to include warehouse workers near the company’s headquarters. With the help of an app, employees can connect with medical professionals for video consultation and then follow up with an in-home visit if necessary.