On-Site Clinic Provider IMWell Grows Client Base in Region

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Apr. 9, 2012 12:00 am  

Jeff Fields credits IMWell Health LLC with saving his life.

It was a standard visit two years ago, he said, just a checkup on a sinus infection. But the nurse practitioner suggested he check his PSA level.

"I initially balked at the notion," he said. "I felt fine. The practitioner urged I get the test done, so I gave in."

The test showed elevated PSA, which led to a prostate exam, which showed the presence of prostate cancer. Fields had the cancer removed and has since fully recovered - all because an IMWell nurse knew Fields' age - 56 at the time - and health records.

Later, a doctor told Fields that he might have died within a year if he hadn't had the cancer removed.

Like other patients at IMWell clinics, Fields works for a big, self-insured employer that contracts with the Fort Smith company to provide routine medical services for employees. Fields is a public information assistant for the city of Hot Springs.

Since its genesis eight years ago, IMWell has opened five clinics in Fort Smith and others in Hot Springs, Little Rock, Fayetteville and Tulsa. CEO Dan Parker said the company's 11th clinic will open in Oklahoma City this summer.

Patients for the 11 clinics come from about 30 client companies ranging from big manufacturers like Baldor Electric Co., O.K. Industries Inc. and Whirlpool Corp. to the local governments of Hot Springs, Fort Smith and Washington County.

IMWell also has four major clients in Tulsa: the River Spirit Casino, Melton Truck Lines Inc., Ameristar Fence Products Inc. and Tulsa's Fraternal Order of Police. Most recently, the company signed on the government of Oklahoma County, the county that includes Oklahoma City.

Each clinic has a doctor or an advanced-practice nurse. IMWell employs 50 workers total, including 45 full time and five part time.

The company started in 2004 with Dr. Catherine Womack, an internal medicine physician with an active practice in Fort Smith. Parker said some larger employers took notice of Womack's ability to manage people with chronic diseases.

"They encouraged her to go into a private business to serve employees of these large companies," Parker said. So she did.



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