More than 1,400 city employees and their families will have the option to use a free health clinic when Augusta Health and Wellness Center opens Monday.
The clinic, in a city building at 711 Fourth St. behind the Richmond County jail, provides employees and dependents 14 and older a place to go for health screenings, physicals and urgent care, all while employees are on the clock, said Monica Edenfield, a family nurse practitioner who runs the center.
The Augusta Commission voted last year at the urging of its health insurance consultant to set up an on-site clinic at a cost of $550,000 as a way to save up to $1 million annually in insurance claims.
The clinic saves the city by ensuring that employees are referred to the appropriate medical specialists and by screening them for risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Edenfield said all employees who visit the clinic will be given a health assessment and score, based on risk factors. Those with higher scores will be expected to return more frequently.
Edenfield, a Miami native, came to Augusta by way of graduate school at Georgia Southern University and Metter, Ga., and said she was excited to reunite permanently with her husband, a Department of Defense employee at Fort Gordon.
“I love wellness and prevention,” she said, adding that employees can look forward to the city’s version of The Biggest Loser.