Midwestern chicken producer GNP Company opened its first on-site health and wellness center for employees near its processing facility in Arcadia, Wis.

The clinic is expected to be open 20 hours per week and offer a limited number of company-paid services and tests at no charge. GNP Company's goal is to encourage health, wellness and early detection for its team members, before illnesses escalate to become emergencies.

"Our people are our greatest asset," said Mike Helgeson, chief executive officer of GNP Company. "We've made significant improvements to our wellness program over the past 15 years and wanted to do more. This center shows our commitment to the health and well-being of our team members and puts action behind the words of our company's mission statement, 'dedicated to healthy food, families and farms,'" added Helgeson.  

Some improvements include company-paid smoking cessation programs, flu shots and biometric screenings in addition to opportunities like weight loss and exercise challenges, as well as health fairs. "We realize that with busy lives and families, team members don't always put themselves first. While it's taken an investment of time, money and resources to make this happen, we are confident that the investment will pay for itself through improved, overall wellness, early detection and team member satisfaction," said Helgeson.

The center is intended as a supplement to primary healthcare and not a replacement. It will be staffed by a medical assistant and nurse practitioner who are qualified to administer basic tests, provide diagnoses and write prescriptions. In the future, the company also hopes to offer more broad-based wellness education. The center brings it one step closer to doing that.