Here is my first article in a series on “Healthy and Vitality” for “Trends in Social Innovation.”
Jane Werner was having heart trouble. She had no energy and felt like sleeping all the time. Her doctor told her to exercise and lose weight. She tried that. Then she tried vitamins. Nothing was working.
“You exercise and you don’t feel any better and you wonder if there’s anything else out there,” she said. Just as she was about to start looking for a new doctor, she learned that a health center had just opened up at Hillenbrand, Inc., where her husband worked as an engineer. She thought she’d give that a try.
When she walked in the doors of the Health and Wellness Center—located on the grounds of Hillenbrand’s operation in Batesville, Indiana—she was amazed by the attention she received. Up until this point, Werner was used to quick in-and-out visits with a physician, lots of paperwork, and relatively impersonal interactions with the office administrators and nurses. But this time, she felt like she was really being cared for. The nurse practitioner gave her a full 20-minute appointment and took her concern seriously by referring her to a cardiologist who would investigate her heart issue more thoroughly and ultimately diagnose her with cardiac ejection fraction, a condition that would improve through therapy.
“I’ve never had such a caring experience in my life,” Werner expressed.
On top of that, Werner didn’t have to pay a cent for her visit to the center, not as a copay then or later.