Annual wellness clinic benefits school faculty

By Ingrid Chang

In order to save faculty and staff money and a trip to the doctor, Harvard-Westlake hosted its annual Wellness Clinics at both the Upper School and Middle School. The services, provided by Concentra, a national health care company that supplies comprehensive health services to employers, are part of the faculty and staff healthcare plan and are funded by the school’s medical budget.

“Employers don’t usually offer this much free service to everybody,” Concentra Regional Manager for On-Site Services Joanna Charman said.

“It just makes it very easy for everybody and makes sure they get everything done,” Director of Personnel Marty Greco said.

At the clinic at the Upper School Oct. 5 in Chalmers East and in Bing Auditorium at the Middle School on Oct. 6, staff from Concentra set up tables and booths to administer vaccinations and blood tests.

This is the second year Harvard-Westlake has worked with Concentra on the Wellness Clinic.

“About 80 percent of the staff and faculty take advantage of the blood screenings or some form of immunization at the health fairs,” Personnel Assistant Nicole Ryan said.

The services offered include the Tuberculosis test, flu vaccination, Hepatitis A and B vaccination, Shingles vaccination, Tetanus and whooping cough vaccination, bone density screening, carotid artery ultrasound, colo-rectal cancer home test and vision test.

None of the vaccinations or tests were required except the Tuberculosis test, which is required by law for school teachers.

Faculty and staff chose which services they wanted. Flu and whooping cough vaccinations and the blood tests were most popular. Of the 316 Upper School and Middle School faculty and staff eligible to receive treatments, 160 received the flu vaccination, 151 received the whooping cough vaccination and 156 had blood drawn.

This year, the combined Tetanus and whooping cough vaccination was added to the list of vaccinations offered, since the Department of Public Health has recommended that all Californians get it due to the whooping cough epidemic.

“The whooping cough vaccine is a good thing to get but it’s not necessarily something that I would have gotten if it weren’t here,” Latin teacher Derek Wilairat said.

The clinic is helpful to faculty and staff because it saves them both money and time, and provides vaccinations that some would not get on their own.

“They don’t have to take time off of work to do it. If we didn’t offer these things here, a lot of them wouldn’t get it,” Ryan said.

“It’s really nice that they do this for us because otherwise you have to go to the doctor to get a blood panel done, which is really expensive; it’s about $500,” Visual Arts teacher Nancy Popp said.

A benefit of the clinic from the administration’s point of view is that they are keeping their staff and faculty healthy. The convenience of the clinic allows them to be sure that everyone gets their tests and vaccinations done, and they can do it all at one time.

“Also, if somebody has a problem, they can find out and go to the doctor, whereas if they are not sure they may just put it off and not take care of it,” Greco said.

“It’s great for one, you don’t have to go make a doctor’s appointment, and two, it’s free,” said English teacher Geri Harding.

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