Companies large and small are bolstering benefits packages in the hopes of maintaining and recruiting top talent within their ranks, and healthcare is a major component of those incentives. Fewer and fewer industry leaders are putting the onus on their employees to navigate insurance requirements like physical exams, vaccinations and drug tests alone, which is how Occupational Health Center has enjoyed sustained success for more than a decade.
The Brookley Aeroplex-based company is the Mobile Chamber’s Small Business of the Month. The company has always operated under the “glad you asked” philosophy, according to one of its founders, Dr. Terry Taylor, who serves as OHC’s medical director.
“We like to say, ‘We’re glad you asked, so how can we help you?’” he said.
Taylor is one of several providers working at OHC, which approaches patient care in a number of ways. The company operates healthcare centers in Mount Vernon, Alabama, and Pascagoula, Mississippi, in addition to its headquarters on Michigan Avenue across from the entrance to Brookley. Patients can access healthcare in these traditional medical centers, but OHC also operates on-site clinics with its industrial clients, so employee services are available at the workplace. And the company also has a mobile unit that can be scheduled to reach sites when physical exams and hearing tests are needed.
“What we want to do is offer quality services in a timely manner and focus on excellent communication with the employers,” Taylor said.
In 2009, he and one of his co-founders were working in occupational health for a local hospital system when they decided they wanted to strike out on their own, organizing a board of directors including five physicians to help guide the company. Its services were loosely based on others Taylor and his partners saw in operation elsewhere in the marketplace, but OHC quickly became a unique, full-service organization no matter where its client base might be located.
The business model focuses on convenience in providing employee evaluation and care, Taylor said, which is why there are larger health centers near the industrial complexes in north Mobile County as well as the aerospace and shipping hubs in south Mississippi and downtown Mobile.
“The safety program for an employer starts with the hiring process,” Taylor said. “So using a facility that has skilled occupational medicine providers helps them make sure it’s a good fit for the worker for the job they want to do.”
That long-term relationship with the employee could begin as early as a pre-employment drug screening and continue through such unforeseen issues as workplace injuries.
Part of OHC’s success has been achieved due to its proximity to emerging industries, such as Airbus and Austal, both of which are clients. When Taylor and his partners saw that Brookley was expanding, they planned accordingly. He and Dr. Alexander Minney became certified by the Federal Aviation Administration to provide physicals to pilots.
Because of its status within various industries, Taylor said the Mobile County Health Department reached out to OHC during the recent coronavirus pandemic to help administer free vaccines throughout the
community. The company continues to offer vaccinations and booster shots each Thursday without need of appointment. OHC also supports initiatives such as Breast Cancer Awareness and the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which supports military veterans and first responders nationwide.
This story originally appeared in the August 2022 issue of the Mobile Chamber Business View. Read the original story here.