Allegacy Federal Credit Union in Winston-Salem, N.C., has entered into a partnership—believed to be the first of its kind in the country—to improve both the physical and financial well-being of its community.
The partnership with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has resulted in the creation of WellQ, a membership-based service that provides access to convenient, high-quality health care for everyday illnesses and wellness needs, along with financial coaching and education.
“There is a strong correlation between people’s physical and financial well-being because financial stress can negatively impact their physical health and vice versa,” says Cathy J. Pace, president/CEO of the $1.3 billion asset credit union.
“Health care expenses can be one of the top costs for families,” she says. “A WellQ membership can be a vital part of financial planning for those who need an affordable, convenient place to go for minor illnesses, as well as valuable financial education and planning assistance.”
Insurance isn’t accepted for clinic appointments or visit-related prescriptions at the onsite pharmacy. Appointments are made online or through a smartphone app. Payments are made by credit or debit cards—including those attached to health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts.
“The clinic at WellQ is not designed to be a substitute for a primary care provider, but rather as a convenience that complements a person’s existing primary care provider and supports the physical and financial well-being of members,” says Dr. Julie Ann Freischlag, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center CEO and interim dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine. “The Allegacy-Wake Forest Baptist partnership is about becoming champions for improving the overall health and well-being of the folks who live and work in our community.”
Wellness is in Allegacy Federal’s DNA, as Pace likes to say. The credit union was named one of the 2017 Healthiest Workplaces in America by Healthiest Employers LLC, an organization that evaluates employers’ corporate health.
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is a longtime Allegacy Federal select employee group, and it co-sponsors the annual Susan G. Komen Northwest NC Race for the Cure with the credit union.
“Together we found something that truly differentiates us,” Pace says. “Today everyone wants to be a disruptor, and I think we’ve truly achieved that. At the same time, we’ve found a way to be good partners in the community. That’s what makes this so exciting.”