(West Point, GA.) Nov. 19, 2012 – Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG) has selected West Georgia Health (WGH, LaGrange, Ga.) and WeCare TLC (WeCare, Longwood, Fla.) to manage occupational health services at its West Point facility. WGH and WeCare assumed responsibility for the occupational health of KMMG’s more than 3,000 team members effective Nov. 17, 2012.
WeCare TLC may provide first line care for work-related conditions at KMMG’s onsite occupational health center. WeCare will staff the clinic but WGH will provide physicians – including Nick Vlachos, MD, who will serve as medical director – and other clinicians.
Gary Langswager, KMMG’s senior manager of safety and medical, said, “We’re pleased by the synergies between the firms’ approaches to occupational health. West Georgia Health has established a track record for being on the leading edge of quality nationally. WeCare’s management of high quality care fits closely with Kia’s emphasis on continuous improvement and working together as one system, one team to make today better than yesterday. We expect it to be a powerful combination.”
WGH’s Chief Executive Officer Jerry Fulks acknowledged that “KMMG has become a leading employer in our community, not only economically but by challenging other firms to be excellent as well. We’re delighted to partner with both Kia and WeCare in this arrangement.”
Lynn Jennings, WeCare’s CEO, agrees. “Kia and WGH are both pursuing advanced business practices. These relationships and this project validate our focus on driving health care appropriateness.”
This award comes as health care costs have continued to push upward, and as some employers have become more aware that better quality and lower costs are achievable. WeCare TLC, which has developed a national reputation for improving employer health plan performance, established its first near-site clinic in west Georgia last year for the employees of Troup County and LaGrange College. The broker in that deal and this one, Edward Smith, a principal of Hutchinson Traylor, observed, “This is a new way to think about and manage care that is better for patients, employers and communities, and will help our region prosper.”
About Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia
Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG) is the first manufacturing site in North America for Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, Korea. KMMG is located on 2,200 acres in West Point, Georgia, and began mass production on Nov. 16, 2009. KMMG is home to the 2013 Sorento CUV and the 2013 Optima mid-size sedan, two of the brand’s top selling models. Beginning in 2012, the plant has the ability to build 360,000 vehicles annually from U.S. and globally-sourced parts.