One of Jefferson County's largest employers plans to offer low- to no-cost healthcare services to its workers and their families through a new corporate clinic.

Starting today, Grote Industries employees who are enrolled in the company's Humana Medical Plan will have the option of participating in the new Grote Family Care clinic.

Josh Wilber, Grote's director of human resources, said several companies nationwide have implemented on-site clinics, but Grote Industries chose to partner with Dr. Kevin Britt and open a corporate clinic in his office building at 1801 Clifty Drive.

Grote's new family clinic has the potential to be used by 1,200 employees and their dependents on the company's healthcare plan, Wilber said. Clinic services will include preventative care, care of chronic illnesses, acute infections, suturing, routine lab work and annual influenza vaccinations.

The company began discussing offering a clinic last year, and plans came together a few months ago. While the company considered an on-site location, Grote officials decided the ease of access for families and comfort would be best at an off-site location.

For now, the clinic will operate under the same hours as Britt Family Medicine. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments for Grote employees and dependents are preferred at the clinic, but walk-in appointments also will be available.

Clinic hours could be expanded after a new physician assistant who will manage the corporate clinic comes on board later this year, Wilber said. The goal of extended hours would be to decrease emergency room visits with preventative medicine and disease management at the clinic.

"If we can avoid that, we can save ourselves a large amount of money," he said of emergency healthcare.

The clinic program - though not yet implemented - has already caused quite a lot of discussion at Grote Industries in the weeks leading up to its opening.

"It's created a lot of good buzz around the facility," Wilber said.