While the COVID-19 pandemic has meant we’ve taken extra measures to protect our employees to mitigate the spread of the virus, a culture of health and safety is something we’ve always been committed to.

About a year ago, Tyson Foods began working on a pilot program that would establish health clinics near company production facilities. Today, we are proud to announce a rollout of those clinics at seven of our locations.

These clinics, operated by Marathon Health, are an extension of We Care – the occupational health program that ensures our team members are healthy and safe at work. They will provide primary and preventative care for team members and their dependents, as well as health screenings, lifestyle coaching, health education and behavioral health counseling.

Rod Nagel, vice president of Human Resources, says we want team members to know “we care about more than just your health and safety at work. We care about the overall health and wellbeing of you, your dependents and spouses.”

Advancing a culture of health means we want employees to understand the healthcare system, take advantage of the options available to them through their healthcare plan, and seek continual treatment for ongoing health concerns.

“We know there’s a real need for education around what our healthcare system is,” Nagel said.

The goal is for the clinics to help eliminate any barriers to team members seeking the care they need. Not only will they be conveniently located, but there will also be no copay associated with a visit.

In addition, the clinics will help free up our staff nurses to focus solely on occupational health.

“While this wasn’t something that was initiated by the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve learned through the pandemic that people have more of an appetite to understand their health,” Nagel said. “And that puts us in a better spot to succeed.”

As the clinics are piloted, Nagel says the company is exploring other ways to help team members live a healthier lifestyle – like offering wearable activity trackers in the future and aligning with the Whole Health Institute on initiatives in the Northwest Arkansas region. 

At the same time, we are continuing into our next phase of COVID-19 monitoring, which involves: using an algorithm-based selection process to test team members who may not have symptoms, conducting daily health screenings at our facilities, and testing close contacts of those who have symptoms or have tested positive for the virus.

We believe all aspects of this strategy, including the testing of those who may not have symptoms, to be crucial in providing information to help us fight the virus and gather data to slow its spread.

“Tyson is really at the front end of this type of data-driven approach,” said Dr. Daniel Castillo, chief medical officer for Matrix Medical.

As a part of this plan, we’ll be onboarding nearly 200 nurses and administrative support personnel as well as hiring a chief medical officer.

Tyson Foods team members are giving their best, and they deserve our best in return. That starts with a workplace that not only protects them but also promotes a culture of health.