Commitment To Wellness
“Truck drivers are hard to find,” says Peterson.
He adds that Melton was losing senior truck drivers to heart attacks and other health problems. It was at the funeral for one of those senior drivers that Peterson was moved to act by the driver’s family.
“Every dime spent [on insurance] is our own money,” he says. “If you become insulin dependent, you can’t drive a truck, and that’s bad on all counts. Do we do nothing, or do we start to encourage wellness? We said, ‘Let’s try to do something and encourage people.’”
It was with this in mind that 10 years ago Melton Truck Lines undertook a wellness initiative to encourage employees to maintain good health. The goals of Peterson and of Melton were realized in the new facility. A 4,000-square-foot gym is stocked with cardio machines and weight equipment accessible to all staff, and there is a women’s-only gym. A cafeteria is operated by California-based Guckenheimer and serves low-calorie, low-sodium meals to employees. An onsite clinic is accessible by employees and their families, and a nurse on staff can see patients during work hours.
A wellness coordinator oversees the initiatives and programs in place to keep employees healthy. Through the program, employees are incentivized to undergo yearly biometric screenings. Information is handed out to employees regarding age appropriate screenings like mammograms and colonoscopies. A Catoosa dentist visits the facility regularly to offer dental procedures and consultations to employees.
“After starting our wellness program in 2006, our medical costs continued to increase, peaking in 2012, but we’ve now had two years of declining per-person medical costs,” Peterson says. “I believe our efforts are finally starting to pay off. Our population’s health is improving. We’re getting more people to meet with a primary care provider. If they can’t get to their own doctor, busy parents can bring in their children and receive immediate primary care in our clinic, not spend a dime and hardly miss any work – a win for all of us.”
Melton’s achievements in keeping its workforce healthy have been noticed. In 2014, Peterson received the Healthy Executive award at the Oklahoma Food Security Summit.
“We’ve tried hard in the building design to create a comfortable yet stimulating environment for our folks to work in,” he says. “A beautiful campus, healthy and delicious food in our cafeteria, open spaces for collaborative conversation and listening and a modern gym to work out in. Healthy employees are happier and more productive.”