Amazon this morning announced a partnership with Crossover Health to build worker healthcare facilities near its fulfillment centers. The plan is still in a pilot phase, as the e-commerce giant employs the services of Crossover, which builds clinics for corporate clients. The startup has built such facilities for Apple and Facebook, and was even rumored to be a potential target for an Apple acquisition a few years back.
Amazon’s first such Neighborhood Health Center has opened in Texas’s Dallas-Fort Worth, potentially serving up to 20,000 employees, half of whom work for Amazon operations. The company says it plans to open 20 such centers in five cities for the initial phase, bringing the total potential coverage up to 115,000. The other cities are: Phoenix, Louisville, Detroit and California’s San Bernardino-Moreno Valley. If things go well, more locations will be added.
“Across the U.S., an increasing number of patients do not have easy access to a primary care physician and instead utilize emergency or urgent care options, which is not only more expensive for patients, but also overlooks important preventative care opportunities,” the company’s HR VP Darcie Henry said in a release, addressing some much larger systemic issues with healthcare in the United States.
Resources have, of course, been even more strained across the country of late as the COVID-19 pandemic shows no sign of stopping more than four months in. As designated essential workers, Amazon warehouse employees have been particularly at risk. And while the company has taken great pains to discuss its response to the virus, it has come under fire from workers, political office holders and members of the media for its handling of COVID-19.