More and more companies are doing it even though they don’t have to,” said Nancy Sucharski. “There are not many companies in this area that do not require pre-employment drug testing.” Sucharski saw the need eleven years ago when she founded Industrial Med Testing with business partner Howard Ritz, P.A.
“I was an x-ray technician working in an urgent care facility and recognized the need of local employers for medical testing. They needed quick results to get and keep their employees working,” said Sucharski who has been in the medical field her entire adult life. In 2004, Industrial Med Testing (IMT) was established to serve this specific need of area businesses.
With Sucharski as a hands-on manager and Ritz more of a silent partner now, Industrial Med Testing handles drug and alcohol testing, physical exams and immunizations. It is not a treatment facility, and they do not bill insurance. Their primary focus is employee testing. IMT collects the samples, manages the chain of custody and sends them out to a certified lab. Employers generally have their test results in two or three days; physical exam reports are generated in one day.
“We started out doing physicals one day a week, moved to two days and have recently added a third day,” said Sucharski who explained that cluster booking helps save money for her clients. For larger clients, IMT does physicals on-site to cut down on employees’ down-time. “I go in and get all the vitals first, then I bring in a physician assistant to do the actual exams.”
Despite almost 30 years in the field, and a marked increase in business in the last four years, Sucharski is in the trenches with her staff every day, doing on-site clinics and taking samples in the office. “I wouldn’t ask any member of the staff to do something I don’t do,” assured Sucharski. IMT currently operates with a staff of eight including Sucharski, a medical director, a nurse practitioner, four medical assistants, and a receptionist.
As a Department of Transportation (DOT) qualified sample collector for the last eleven years, Sucharski trains and certifies each new employee herself. In addition to the technical on-the-job training, she works with her staff to develop a certain demeanor. “I tell them to be friendly, make small talk, get to know the donors [people providing urine samples], and put them at ease,” said Sucharski. No matter what the circumstances of the testing, donors should feel comfortable with the process.
In addition to providing a needed medical testing service, Sucharski serves employers by promoting good health, something that ultimately saves time and money. “Education is a big part of what we do,” she said. Although the facility does not provide any medical treatment, she encourages good health by counseling clients about their exam results. “When exam results show cause for concern we recommend they follow up with a treating physician. I even tell people I will help them find a primary care physician, if they don’t have one,” explained Sucharski.
“People have to work, so they are desperate to get their tests completed. We help them get those results as quickly as possible, but we also want people to be healthy.” IMT participates in community and employer health events providing disease screenings, flu shots and health information.
Flu shots and other immunizations are available at IMT on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Sucharski counsels travelers about health concerns and provides recommended immunizations. “It’s amazing how many people travel frequently,” said Sucharski. “Many of the travel immunizations are recommended and not mandatory. But depending on your destination and means of travel, there are lots of health considerations.”
In the last four years, business has been especially good for IMT. “We have been fortunate to find this niche,” Sucharski confided. As they stay focused primarily on employer testing, the need continues to increase. In 2014, the Department of Transportation (DOT) added a certification for providing physical exams. IMT is now one of only a handful of facilities locally with this new certification.
Sucharski believes in doing one or two things and doing them well. When she established IMT, her goal was to serve the business community with occupational medical services. Eleven years later, her focus continues to be on employers and meeting their growing medical testing needs.
“A colleague once told me that in business, bigger is better. I disagree. It’s important to me to specialize in just one or two areas, build rapport with clients and extend excellent customer service to everyone,” she explained. All indications are that her philosophy is working for IMT.
Industrial Med Testing
220 Tom Miller Rd, Plattsburgh, NY 12901