City of Sarasota employees rave about their experiences with their onsite health center, which boasts a 95 NPS score. 99% of employees report being satisfied or very satisfied with the care they receive.

“Everyone just adores Dr. Lyon,” says Kayla Nelson, Benefits Coordinator for the City. “People are hesitant to leave knowing he would no longer be their primary care provider, so it helps us keep our talent too.”

The member satisfaction comes down to a number of factors, including:

  • Happy providers: Empowering care teams is a core focus for Marathon Health, which prides itself on its 93% provider retention.
  • Longer appointment times: City of Sarasota health center appointments last 45 minutes on average, compared to 18 minutes in a traditional setting.
  • Value-based care: Providers rewarded based on outcomes versus a fee-for-service model.

As a result, the City realizes cost savings and a happier, healthier workforce.

The onsite health center, which offers preventive and acute care, health coaching, occupational health services, and prescription dispensing, is available at no cost to employees, their families, and City retirees. The City provides wellness incentives, which contributes to the health center’s 85% employee engagement rate.

Investing in wellness

Depending on their plan, employees can earn up to $700 in their HSA or HRA for completing a wellness visit.

“This is just for meeting with the provider and going over blood pressure, cholesterol, and other vitals,” says Dominique Anderson, City of Sarasota Human Resources General Manager. “It’s about a half-hour visit and lets them know where they stand.”

And to meet employees where they are, health center staff visits different City departments, such as public works, utilities, and city hall, to run on-site wellness clinics.

“While they’re doing these appointments, clinic staff have an opportunity to talk to these employees about their health and areas they should work on,” Nelson says. “It lets the employees dip their toes into meeting with a doctor when they otherwise might not make time to do so. And it shows our clinic staff’s dedication that they’re willing to set aside a day to do this.”

Employees can earn extra PTO for participating in the company’s biannual run, walk, swim events, which require a health center visit and doctor sign-off.

“The health center staff shows up at the race to support the employees,” Anderson says.

The company also hosts quarterly wellness challenges, in which employees can earn an additional $400 in their wellness accounts.

Wellness challenges

“It helps reduce the overall cost burden of health care,” Anderson says. “We want to make it more accessible for employees and their families to get the care that they need. We never want someone delaying care due to cost.”

Personalizing care

Incentives drive employees to the wellness center, but it’s the meaningful provider approach that keeps them coming back.

“We review the surveys our employees complete after appointments,” Anderson says. “They always mention how much they appreciate the time the staff spends with them.”

The health center also fits employees in for sick visits as needed.

“The time to get an appointment at our clinic is much quicker than going to a traditional primary care doctor,” Anderson says.”Rather than waiting a few weeks to be seen, our clinic will do everything they can to either fit someone in that day or schedule a telehealth call to get them the care they need.”

Surveys show 90% of members report the health center offering better quality of care than other entities. One reviewer even said, “We’ve quit going to our PCP unless absolutely necessary, as we would rather see Dr. Lyon.”

Providing outcomes and savings

In addition to preventive and acute care for employees and their families, the City utilizes the health center for pre-employment physicals, police officer physicals, Department of Transportation drug testing, workers’ compensation reporting, and more.

“We definitely run a lot through our Marathon clinic, which is a huge cost-saver for us,” Anderson says. “And our employee feedback always mentions their time and cost savings, too.”

Engaged members cost 20% less in claims than non-engaged members. In addition, 98% of members report being able to schedule an appointment at their preferred time, and 91% wait just 5 minutes or less on their provider.

“Along with mitigating the cost for the employee, it also prevents conditions from getting worse,” Nelson says. “If we didn’t have the health center, employees might not pursue care, and end up getting sicker.”

Choosing Marathon Health

Going into their seventh year with Marathon Health, the City of Sarasota has saved approximately $20 million in claims.

Rather than receiving itemized billing for their dedicated health services, the City appreciates a reliable monthly fee, no matter how many employees schedule an appointment.

When seeking out a new vendor, Anderson says Marathon Health was the most prepared.

“We needed someone who knew exactly what they were doing to provide the care our members needed,” she says. “Marathon was like a well-oiled machine.”

The low turnover has been a huge bonus.

“Marathon definitely takes care of their employees,” Anderson says. “A majority of our clinic staff has been there since day one, which is great for us.”


  • Stephanie Figy

    Stephanie is a Minnesota-based freelance writer for Marathon Health. As a content marketing journalist with more than 10 years of experience, she loves to explore healthy lifestyles with employers and members.

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