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April 30, 2008

Cars, Health Care and the 50,000 Mile Check-Up

Our friend’s frustration was obvious. Her husband, who’d been seriously ill and was once again experiencing scary symptoms, had neglected to notify his doctor. He’d been busy, he said, when she asked. You can imagine his wife’s response!

Turns out her story is not unique. Telling it prompted similar examples from other women around the table at that breakfast meeting.

Perhaps not surprisingly, my mind began wondering if all these stories add up to a missing market segment for health and wellness programs. I began to speculate aloud that perhaps the best solution would be co-locating health care clinics inside auto care centers.

Now, if you know a guy who takes better care of his car than himself, you will immediately understand the value of this. No more would the oil tank be clean while the arteries are clogged. Like cars, humans would probably benefit from a professional check-up every 10,000 miles. Drop off your car for an oil change and get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked.

Laughter erupted when I suggested this idea to the group. But, this just might be one of those punch lines with merit.

After all, my dad has a t-shirt that says, “If you can’t get it at Fleet Farm, you don’t need it.”

With an attitude like that, I can see how an annual physical could get back-burnered. Of course, he’ll have no excuse the next time he finds himself in Fleet Farm somewhere between tillers and tires, facing a dentist who wants check his teeth!

(For those who might be wondering, Fleet Farm is a Wisconsin-based retailer that specializes in farm, home and garden supplies. Each location has its own tire and auto service center.)