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Bremen Castings setting the bar by putting employee health first

December 27, 2012

From left are Bremen Castings Inc. representatives: Fred Bachman, CFO; JB Brown, president, Maryln Brown, corporate secretary, and James E. Brown, CEO. during the ribbon cutting ceremony of the company’s wellness center.

BREMEN — Executives of Bremen Castings Inc. (BCI) have always looked out for their employees, offering them good benefits and a safe, family oriented atmosphere.
But in November they succeeded in distinguishing the company from its competitors by once again challenging the status quo.
Owners and company managers of the 73 year old foundry and machine shop lead by example expecting employees to commit to core family values, create and continue providing a safe working environment, and to be passionate about life and compassionate within their community — by helping one another. And with the latest expansion, a new 2,500-square-foot office complex and wellness center — they are helping everyone involved within the company.
The office complex (which will seat approximately 25) provides a duo spacious training area for employees and a conference room for customer visits. The modern area will provide the space and technological capabilities needed to continually reinforce the education and training requirements for the entire BCI team.
No more off-site training locations will be needed as it’s located directly across the street for the company’s main plant.
“The wellness center is just another ‘perk’ for our employees and it prevents them having to pay high healthcare costs for most of their needs,” BCI president J.B. Brown explained. “Some of us don’t take time to take care of ourselves, or our schedules don’t work with what the doctor has open. Here they can get good care and hopefully it will prevent missed wages from sick days.”
Open 40 hours a week, the wellness center is staffed with a nurse practitioner, and a medical assistant. Nurse practitioner Becky Castro works with the employees one-on-one with various wellness programs using a customized plan to aid in treating diabetes, cholesterol and other health-related issues.
She explained what employees will initially experience upon visiting the wellness center.
“They’ll take an online health risk assessment and then we’ll get their blood pressure, blood sugar, and a cholesterol reading (at the onsite lab),” she explained, “and we’ll get a health history and do a physical examination and then — together — we’ll determine each individual’s health goals. That may mean a special diet, exercise, maintenance medication or a combination of those.”
The new facility is not meant to take the place of emergency care and does not offer imaging or narcotic prescription drugs, but is intended to guide the lives of the (insured)
BCI employees and their families to better health.
BCI is known worldwide for its quality gray and ductile iron machined castings and has been featured in many publications including the websites http://wsj.com, http://InsideIndianaBusiness.com and http://foundrymag.com. Additionally, Inc. 5000 calls the business one of the “fastest growing private companies” in the country.
With the addition of the onsite wellness center BCI adds another trend-setting accomplishment to its collection by bringing its employees individualized, convenient, completely affordable healthcare.
“People don’t always go for regular health screenings or minor illnesses because of the cost of healthcare,” Brown said. “They aren’t taking care of themselves. Now they can and it doesn’t cost them anything.”
Providing the wellness center in the long run, will help with rising medical care and insurance costs, the company will not save any money in the short term but will see benefits from safe and healthy employees in the long term. To those in charge — it’s truly about the people. 
“If doing this prevents one of them from having a heart attack or helps them with their diabetes or prevents them from getting it, then the investment has paid for itself,” Brown said. “It just helps everyone here all around.”
The wellness center has already been open to the employees but Friday, Dec. 7 it had its official ribbon cutting and open house.
“We appreciate our employees and take their health and safety personally,” Brown said. “We have some people that have been here for 25 ... and 40 years. We are a family here and we want them to continue to be around. We can help make that happen by helping them take care of themselves.” 
To learn more about BCI, visit http://www.bremencastings.com online.

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