All Health Considered

NPR’s new building features the future of wellness services


NPR’s wellness clinic is staffed by a nurse practitioner and a medical assistant.

When NPR staffers moved into their new NoMa headquarters a few weeks ago, they noticed something missing: candy bars. The vending machines have gone on a diet as part of a widespread effort to boost the health of employees.

While there’s no more easy access to chocolate, there’s a locally sourced cafeteria that dishes up daily vegetarian options. There’s a fitness center with towel service and a busy schedule of classes. And there’s a wellness center that’s designed to make health care just an elevator ride away, says NPR Chief People Officer Jeff Perkins.

Staffed by a nurse who can perform physical exams, administer shots and handle other services, the free clinic will ensure that employees are never too busy to take care of themselves, says Perkins, who ended up as its second patient when he had an allergic reaction. (NPR chief executive Gary Knell was next, thanks to a bout of laryngitis.)

Employees still have to pay for prescription medications, but they can take advantage of the clinic’s no-cost pill concierge service that offers same-day drug delivery.

Cigna, which operates NPR’s clinic and 29 similar centers, touts the benefit of having someone in the building who knows what’s happening.

At NPR’s new HQ, that was an underground candy market. After the sugar sneaks were found out, Perkins allowed some slightly junky food in the vending machines.

“Not everything is perfectly healthy,” he says. But it’s pretty close.

Vicky Hallett is a MisFit columnists and the fit editor for Express.
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