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NationsHealth call center now open in Yuma
A short two months after announcing it would open a call center in Yuma, NationsHealth is now open for business.
The center received its first phone call at 6 a.m. Monday, and the phones have been ringing since then, said Jeff Martin, operations director.
Meanwhile, the company confirmed Tuesday that a permanent site has been found for the call center, which is temporarily located at 3150 S. Winsor Ave.
The permanent location will be in the former Target building on 32nd Street, said Yvonne Daugherty, senior vice president of marketing for NationsHealth. The building has stood empty since Target moved to a new store at Yuma Palms Regional Center in the fall of 2005.
Daugherty explained that Yuma Regional Medical Center is in the process of purchasing the building, with plans to lease about half of it to NationsHealth. The hospital will use the other half for storage.
When asked about the Target building, YRMC spokeswoman Machele Headington responded: “We are currently exploring various options for meeting our expanded need for warehouse space. The full analysis will look at timing and cost savings of both new construction as well as the possibility of available vacant buildings. That analysis, which ties closely with our long-term space planning, is expected to be complete by the middle of October.”
NationsHealth call center in Yuma opened its doors with 115 employees, 62 of them licensed health insurance agents, Martin said.
The company is still hiring, hoping to reach 200 employees by the end of the year. Ultimately, the company intends to have 700 employees in Yuma. People can apply online at NationsHealth.com/careers or contact Yuma Private Industry Council at its one-stop center at 3834 W. 16th St. or call 329-0990.
A large part of the initial focus for the Yuma call center will be on assisting Medicare clients, helping them with enrollment and providing support and educational services. But call center representatives will be assisting customers of other health care insurers as well.
NationsHealth announced in early August that the company had selected Yuma for its newest call center, basing the decision on such factors as quality and availability of the local labor force.
Even without a permanent building identified at that time, “we were committed to being in Yuma,” said Jeff Bishop, chief operating officer.
Martin, who is originally from Lubbock, Texas, was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma for most of the seven years he was in the Marines. From 2007 to March 2012, he was the operations manager at the NCO call center in Yuma and then in Panama City and Guatemala City before moving to Douglas, Ariz.
As a measure of the fast track NationsHealth has been on, Martin read about the new call center on Sept. 11 and saw it as an opportunity to return to Yuma, where he has family.
The next day, he drove to Yuma and the following day applied for a job through YPIC. The next week he was interviewed and was offered a job on Sept. 20.
He completed a week of training and was on the job Monday when the phone calls started coming in.