A non-profit office supply manufacturer called ibMilwaukee that employs blind and visually impaired people opened a $350,000, 1,600-square-foot primary care clinic for employees attached to its facility in West Allis on Friday.
The clinic was built over a period of 10 months.
“Last summer we had a board meeting and we had talked about what else could we be doing for our employees,” said ibMilwaukee president and CEO C.J. Lange. “So many of our employees find it hard to get around and medical appointments are really difficult for them. They generally have to take an entire day off. Instead of losing work time, we thought, well why don’t we just take some of our investments and (money) from the good years we’ve had in the past and invest it in a building for our people, who we insure anyway. The board was unanimously in favor.”
The company hired an independent physician to be on site for appointments with employees two full days and one half day each week. A medical assistant intern will also work out of the clinic, which includes space for physical therapy sessions.
“They don’t have to lose work time and if something happens right on the job we have a doctor right here,” Lange said. “We can provide a lot of primary care and even urgent care in a serious situation, which is something hopefully we won’t encounter.”
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony at IB Milwaukee’s plant on Friday. He praised the organization for giving blind and visually impaired employees the opportunity to “realize their full human potential” through hard work.
“When you give your heart and soul to an organization like this that is doing so much good for so many people the reward to you is immeasurable,” Johnson said.