DILLON, SC (WMBF) – Perdue Farms held a grand opening ceremony of their Wellness Center in Dillon Tuesday, with several special guests in attendance, including Governor Nikki Haley.
The Wellness Center is attached to the Perdue Farms plant, and cost around $700,000 to build. It is fully staffed with health care members of the community.
"If you invest on the front end into the employees and the families, then you really save on the back end," Governor Haley said. "The Pee Dee is going through some challenges right now. When we see unemployment and we're seeing families struggle, it's all the more reason why you're going to see us have a stronger presence here."
Services provided at the center include a trauma unit, pediatric room and screenings for diabetes, high blood pressure, women's care and high cholesterol. Employees can work with coaches through the Health Improvement Program (HIP), to measure and improve blood sugars and pressure.
"When we bring doctors right here to the work place, we're able to take care of those diseases that are so devastating, especially here in the Pee Dee." Dr. Roger Merrill said. He is Perdue's Chief Medical Officer and says high-blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes are among those illnesses that plague the Pee Dee.
All Perdue employees are able to utilize the Wellness Center after 90 days of employment. They are charged a flat rate of $15 for services. This charge can also be taken from their paycheck, rather than forcing them to pay out of pocket up front.
Perdue employees will not have to clock out while receiving treatment at the center. They will be able to make appointments during their shifts.
"Now, I don't have to get off of work," Renea Purefoy said, who is especially pleased that the center also treats the family members of employees under the company health plan. "I can bring [my kids] here and they can be treated by good doctors and be in the best of care."