LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 11, 2012) — Mayor Jim Gray today cut the ribbon to open the Dr. Samuel Brown Center for Lexington City Employees and Retirees, and then became the clinic’s first patient, getting a blood test and blood pressure check.
“Our goal is for employees to find excellent primary care here,” Gray said. “This innovative clinic is good for employees because it will save them money, and it’s good for the taxpayers because it will save public dollars.”
Dr. David R. French, who has been hired as the wellness center’s medical director and primary physician, said, “We are advocates for the employees, their families and retirees with the only goal of helping them live longer, happier and more fulfilling lives.” The city has contracted with Marathon Health to run the facility. Marathon runs similar facilities in various locations across the country, including one for the city of Chattanooga that has served as a model for the local facility.
French comes to the wellness center from Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, where he was the director of primary care at Take Care Health First, an on-site health clinic for employees at the plant. Previously, French was chief of staff at Harrison Memorial Hospital. The clinic will also be staffed by two physicians assistants, a registered nurse, two medical assistants and a receptionist.
At the wellness center there will be no charge for office visits or physician services, a savings for employees. The center will also encourage wellness through improved disease management and education opportunities. The wellness center will be open to all city employees; and to family members and retirees covered through city insurance.
Gray said a pharmacy for employees will open in the clinic in the near future offering below-retail prices for many prescriptions, again a savings for employees and the city budget.
The wellness center will be named for Dr. Samuel Brown (1769-1830), who founded the Lexington Medical Society in 1799, the second oldest in the United States. Dr. Brown also established the first national medical society and a related medical journal, The North American Medical and Surgical Journal. He was a pioneer in developing a smallpox vaccine and was the first member of the Transylvania University medical school faculty. A historic marker in Gratz Park today recognizes the house where his practice was located.