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      New employee wellness clinic to lower costs, reduce sick days

      If you have your health, you have everything. But what if you don't have time to maintain your health?

      Sometimes folks don't take their healthcare as their primary focus. They have families, usually the recession is hard on everybody and ultimately the things they put off end up costing themselves their health and it costs the city a lot of money and it costs them a lot of money, says Public Works Director Phil Roberson.

      The wellness clinic was the brainchild of Mayor Willie Adams, a physician by trade, to help lower healthcare costs. The city is self-insured and pays about a million a month in claims. With this clinic, the city hopes to see those costs reduced by nearly a million dollars. The clinic also helps keep employees healthy and on the job.

      Because what could start off as an upper respiratory infection, we don't want them to end up in the hospital with pneumonia, if they'd gone to the doctor several days earlier, says Human Resources Director Henry Cohen.

      And the best part--no co pays and no waiting.

      Everybody that makes an appointment will be seen at that time. If you have an 8:00 appointment, you'll be seen at 8:00, says Cohen.

      Albany is actually on the cutting edge here, only 1/3 of municipalities have such a clinic.

      They can go to the wellness center on the clock for the aches and pains and any generic medications that are prescribed, they can get those, adds Cohen.

      The wellness clinic hopes to open its doors by mid November.