The Doctor Is in the House

Dr. Brian Adkinson examines Mark Van Horn, a dispatcher, at Concentra Medical Center’s clinic in Prime Inc.’s Millennium Building.

When Prime drivers stop by the company’s new 59,500 square-foot Millennium Building in Springfield, Mo., they can give their truck a checkup while they get one, too.
The company offers a number of services including Dr. Brian W. Adkison, D.O.

Adkison’s clinic treats everything from the sniffles to more serious ailments like sleep apnea for Prime employees and their families.

“He works really good with truck drivers,” says Jim Bob Lee, a three-year driver for Prime. “He’s easy to go see, easy to talk to and easy to communicate with.”

“Since I have been seeing him, I’ve lost 146 pounds, and my blood sugar and blood pressure have gone down,” Lee says. Lee also has sleep apnea that Adkison identified and helps him monitor.

“I was 460 pounds. I had hit the bottom. I had to do something. I could hardly breathe, hardly walk,” Lee says. Adkison is helping Lee get into better health and become a better driver in the process.

“I’ve done better in 2003 than in a long time. My bosses, customers and the fleet managers at Prime have all noticed,” Lee says.

Adkison stays current with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Department of Transportation’s regulations for drivers to ensure that Prime employees are up-to-date and are in the best possible physical condition.

Regular physicians may easily overlook these requirements so specific to truckers, says Don Lacy, safety director for Prime.

Adkison also performs physical exams on drivers before Prime hires them. “We are rejecting people who shouldn’t be driving a truck,” Lacy says.

Lee isn’t the only driver that Adkison has helped. Team drivers Steve and Laura Drewel also visit Adkison as their primary physician.

“He’s quick to pick up on things,” Laura says. “I had high cholesterol, and he found it with blood work. He’s now lowered it with the right medications.”

Steve Drewel even calls Adkison while he’s on the road to get quick medical advice. And when Lee got food poisoning in November he turned to Adkison, who called the hospital, and they worked together to solve Lee’s problem.

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Adkison is available for anyone at Prime who wants to utilize his services, not just drivers.
“Fifty percent of my clients are in-house employees,” Adkison says.

Most of these patients find it convenient to have a physician right in their place of work. They don’t have to take extended time off work for a doctor’s visit if they can walk there from their office or truck. Lacy and Robert Low, president and founder of Prime, are also two of Adkison’s satisfied patients.

This service is offered but not required for all Prime employees and their families that are close enough to have Adkison as their family physician. For those who are not located near Springfield or do not run through there often enough, Adkison would recommend them staying with their own family doctor.

“We can tag team. I can share a patient with someone across the country,” says Adkison. He offers this solution if a driver does not stay in one place long enough to have only one physician.

Prime started the service as a part-time on-site clinic in October 2000. By November 2001, the clinic was open on a full-time basis. The company contracts the service out through Concentra Medical Centers, who actually employee Adkison.

Adkison works with two full-time medical assistants and has back-up doctors to work in his absence.

The clinic has expanded once and is again running out of room.

“We have to turn patients away,” Adkison says.