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CoxHealth temporarily closing Meyer Center to launch new school care program

Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 3:43 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -

CoxHealth is turning the Meyer Center in Springfield into a school care program.

The program serve employees of children when traditional seated classes are not an option. Registration for the program is open, and runs until Tuesday, August 11.

“We realize that this is a significant matter for employees, many of whom have school-age children,” says Andy Hedgpeth, vice president of Human Resources at CoxHealth. “We greatly appreciate our staff’s dedication and hard work for our patients, so we want to do everything we can to support them during this time and help them stay at work. We’ve already seen efforts by leaders and fellow staff to innovate with creative scheduling and work arrangements to help parents impacted by reduced school schedules. We appreciate their flexibility as we all pitch in and find ways to support one another. We also amended our remote work policy to allow employees in certain roles to work remotely when faced with child care restrictions due to COVID-19.”

In line with this program, The Meyer Center will temporarily close as a fitness center and instead will be utilized to house students over the next few months.

While detailed frameworks of this program are still being defined, it will feature a structured environment where students can attend classes virtually, complete their assignments, and be supervised by individuals who can assist with questions and offer support. CoxHealth leaders are in discussion with OTC, Drury and Evangel to provide tutoring support for students in the program. CoxHealth will accommodate as many of employees’ school-age kids as necessary, and may continue to evaluate additional venues as the program grows. The program is primarily geared towards students who are faced with virtual learning options through their school districts, but parents who do not feel comfortable sending their children to seated classes may also register for placement.

The program will run from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Friday, open from grades K-6th. Daily fees will be based on their parent’s hourly wage, and will include meals for participating children. Drop-in care will be available for employees who are asked to work flexible schedules, including covering for colleagues who are unable to work their regular shifts. While parents are asked to preregister their children by August 11, students may join the program later in the semester if circumstances change.

After registering, a CoxHealth Learning Center representative will contact parents to gather additional state-required documents to finalize placement.

The Meyer Center to temporarily close; space to be utilized for students

Unprecedented times call for unprecedented actions. In line with this reality, The Meyer Center, part of CoxHealth Fitness Centers, will temporarily close after business on Wednesday, Aug. 12, so the facility may be repurposed as an educational center for employees’ children. Memberships and operations at other CoxHealth Fitness Centers remain unchanged at this time.

Given that it is unknown when the center will reopen as a fitness facility, all memberships will be automatically canceled effective the closing date, and balances will be refunded in the next six to eight weeks, or another fitness alternative site will be identified that members may utilize. More information will be communicated to members in the coming days.

If Meyer members are using CoxHealth’s locations at Cox North or in Republic, they may send an email to coxfitnesscenters@coxhealth.com to transfer their membership to that location as these centers will remain open at this time. Members seeking additional information about the fitness center’s closing are also encouraged to send questions to coxfitnesscenters@coxhealth.com.

Springfield Mercy Hospital released the following statement:

Caring for our co-workers so they can care for their families and our community is of utmost importance at Mercy. With many varied back-to-school plans across Mercy Springfield Communities, we know our co-workers are making some difficult decisions about what’s best for their children.

Since the pandemic began, Mercy has transitioned more than 900 co-workers in our area to a program called Mercy Works Remote, in part to enable them to work from home and meet their childcare needs. Other measures we put in place months ago remain, including a Facebook page where co-workers can post childcare needs and offers of help. Our leaders are talking with individual co-workers to understand their needs and working through plans to allow for maximum flexibility, while also providing exceptional care for our patients.

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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