GAUTIER, Mississippi — The interviews were over. The tape recorders were off, notepads put away and cameras gone when Ingalls engineer Charlie Reichel turned to Ingalls public affairs officer Bill Glenn.
“I absolutely love this facility,” Reichel said, “and I thank the company for working it out.”
Reichel was on hand for the one-year anniversary of the Ingalls Family Medical Center, which opened July 1, 2015 on Old Spanish Trail in Gautier.
In the year since, the center has treated some 4,600 Ingalls employees and their families. Reichel was one of the first.
Reichel, a 25-year Ingalls employee, was diagnosed as pre-diabetic about three years ago. He promised himself he would make the necessary lifestyle changes, but like so many, didn’t follow through on those promises.
When he came to the Ingalls clinic for the first time and had lab work done, he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, along with chronically high cholesterol.
“I felt like I had stolen two years from the good Lord,” he said. “I knew at that point I had to get serious.”
The clinic set Reichel up with a wellness coach, a diabetes specialist and a nutritionist and together they went to work, instructing Reichel on how to eat healthier and setting exercise and weight loss goals.
“I hung on every word they said,” he said. “I totally bought in.”
Last November, when his lab work came back, Reichel’s blood sugar numbers had come down to the point his daily 2,000mg doses of Metformin were cut in half. Now he harbors hopes of having his diabetes go into remission.
“Did they save my life? They definitely helped save my life,” he says of the center’s staff.
When the Ingalls clinic opened, it was the first of its kind for the Huntington-Ingalls company. A second clinic has since opened at the company’s Newport News, Va., facility.
Wayde Zimmerman is another Ingalls employee who has benefitted from the center’s efforts. A painter/sandblaster for the company, Zimmerman transferred to Ingalls at about the same time the health center opened.
He suffers from neuropathy, a condition which leads to permanent nerve damage. Zimmerman said he has no feeling in his feet or legs from the knees down.
“When I transferred here, they treated me like a person,” he said. “They listened to everything I knew from other doctors and then ran a complete workup on me — blood work, everything. They were so professional. They got my medication on track and helped insure (the neuropathy) wasn’t progressing.”
Stories like Reichel’s and Zimmerman’s are exactly what was intended when the health center opened, according to Edmond Hughes, Ingalls Vice President for Human Resources & Administration.
“It has provided our employees with available, easy access to quality health care,” Hughes said. “The best part is it allows them to have that personal, in-depth relationship with the medical providers, to address those issues which are key to long-term health. The results so far have been great.”
Hughes also said the pharmacy has performed beyond expectations, filling about 150 prescriptions per day.
“That’s one of the biggest surprises during this first year,” he said. “The pharmacy has really knocked it out of the park.”
The center is open to all Ingalls employees and their families. A visit to the center is $15 and all preventive care visits are free. Employees also have access to the on-site pharmacy, where they can receive generic 30-day prescriptions for $3 or a 90-day supply for $6. The clinic operates from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
Link original: http://blog.gulflive.com/mississippi-press-news/2016/07/ingalls_family_health_center_m.html