Imagine that your business model involves visiting your clients’ employees in their workplaces. Then, suddenly, those workplaces are strictly off-limits to your team.

Many companies were faced with existential moments at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but as an onsite provider of health and wellness services, Ramp Health, then known as Wellness Coaches, faced a unique challenge. Unlike many other companies, they couldn’t just send their employees home with a laptop. 

What happened next embodied the innovation that occurs every day in Greater Philadelphia’s business community – companies that face new and often complex challenges and evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of customers using a highly trained, skilled, and local workforce.

“It was a shock to the system. One day, we are delivering our health and safety services to employees onsite, and the next day, all those people were sitting at home,” Ramp Health CEO Rob Putnam recently recalled. “We had to respond quickly. They say every crisis creates opportunity.  We asked ourselves, ‘How can we help with the pandemic, and what’s the path with the least friction using the assets we had?’ At that moment, it was COVID testing.  So, we simply pivoted the organization to capitalize on it.”

First, FEMA awarded the company its largest point-of-care mobile COVID-19 testing contract. Soon, the company was doing testing for FEMA at its headquarters and disaster recovery centers in a dozen states. This would soon expand to testing for other government agencies and private employers nationally.

But Putnam knew that the company needed to prepare for the end of the pandemic. The company had long focused on health, safety, and injury prevention with the goal of both helping employees live healthier lives and helping employers reduce workers compensation and healthcare costs. With a national network of 25,000 healthcare professionals, Putnam and the leadership team sought to enhance its digital health capabilities and expand into a more comprehensive array of healthcare services, remaking the company in the process.

“The question became, ‘How do we get there quickly?’” he said. “So, we made key acquisitions. We completed the build out of our technology stack and launched a broad suite of clinical services. We got the operations in place to scale. And then we just got after it.”

Now, Ramp Health, a member of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia since 2017, has evolved into a healthcare provider of products and services that span the entire continuum of care. These include health coaching, pre-chronic and chronic condition management, safety and injury prevention, a full range of immunizations, biometric and other diagnostic testing, onsite clinics, and mental health services. 

“Our clients might want basic clinical care, dietician services, biometric testing, flu shots, improvement to safety and injury prevention, health coaching, or onsite nurses and EMTs,” Putnam said. “We have become a one-stop shop for employers looking to fill gaps or for those who want comprehensive, integrated care from a sole source provider.”

The company has also developed a patented and proprietary digital health platform that delivers personalized health and wellbeing solutions through customized content, challenges, device syncing, data and claims integrations, incentive management, and access to their healthcare providers at the touch of a button.

About half of Ramp Health’s clients are in manufacturing and other blue-collar industries. The company is seeing significant growth from its flu shot, biometric testing, and onsite clinic solutions. Ramp Health also will be launching onsite mental health services in Q4 of this year. Currently, all of Ramp Health’s healthcare staff are Mental Health First Aid certified and are able to address about 60% of employee mental health issues before they get worse and require a higher level of care.

“What we’re in the process of doing is further closing the loop by providing another level of mental health services that is more accessible and convenient for employees. There is no question employers will benefit greatly by adding our mental health counselors onsite to complete the continuum.”

The company started in 2002 in Blue Bell, a Philadelphia suburb, “with a single spark of creativity,” said Putnam, one of the founders. “Our gut told us there was a better way to improve employee health and reduce injuries in the workplace.”

The mission of making healthcare more accessible, affordable, and equitable continues today, he said, as the company has grown from four clients to more than 500 in 38 states.  Ramp Health has also gone from just a handful of employees in 2002 to over 200 full-time and 800 part-time employees in 2022.

He said the key to this is the simple art of listening to what employees need – and then turning that into an actionable and personalized set of solutions to help them solve their problems.

“Everyone is different,” he said. “Their triggers are unique. You have to help each person see the benefits, develop a personalized plan to accomplish their goals, and most importantly, provide ongoing support to help them get there.” 

The team uses data to identify and manage risks and to report aggregate information back to employers to measure progress and population outcomes.

With its post-COVID expansion in full gear, the company rebranded itself in May 2023 and took the name Ramp Health.

“We wanted a name that was not only a reflection of the growth of the business but why employers choose us,” he said. “They want to take their wellbeing, health, and safety outcomes to the next level.”

Despite the national footprint, Ramp Health remains at home in Greater Philadelphia. Putnam played baseball at Drexel University and met his wife, a North Penn High School graduate, at the Jersey Shore.

“The Philadelphia area offers immense growth opportunity for our business,” he said. “We not only have marquee clients in the area but there is a great supply of talented workers. We have been rooted in this region since our founding and feel we have a responsibility to build a great business while supporting the local community to get healthier along the way. We refer to it as the ‘make money by doing good’ principle.”

For more stories about companies that are thriving in the Greater Philadelphia region or for more information about locating or expanding here, visit the Select Greater Philadelphia website.