AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – In 2008, Tom and Stefanie Ivany saw a need for a reliable, efficient way to provide drug-screening services to those companies striving for safety in the workplace – especially in industries where one simple mistake could cost a person his life.
So, the couple began going door-to-door to promote their business, On Demand Drug Testing, to local companies looking to create a safer working environment for their employees.
“I was the first test collector,” recalls Stefanie Ivany, as she sits in the administrative offices of On Demand’s new building it renovated and moved in to just over a year ago. Since the company was established, it’s combined its drug-testing division into a larger, more comprehensive venture: On Demand Occupational Medicine, a company that provides drug screening, physicals, training, occupational testing and immediate care services to corporate clients and the public.
“We’ve done a good job of listening to customers about what they need,” Ivany says.
Her husband, Tom, says the initial idea was to create a simple model to help companies with pre-employment and post-accident drug tests. “The company just evolved and grew,” he says. “Adding the immediate care model provided a more complete product for all of our clients.”
The addition of immediate care services is the most ambitious expansion to date for the company, says managing director Ruth Bowdish. To accomplish this, the company renovated a 30,000 square-foot building that once housed a Sears’ equipment and parts operation at 5760 Patriot Blvd. in Austintown. The company relocated there from its former offices on Westchester Drive and opened its immediate care just over a year ago.
“It’s not an emergency room,” Bowdish emphasizes. “We can handle illnesses, small cuts and sutures,” and other non-life-threatening injuries. More severe cases would be referred to a hospital or its ER. The new immediate care operation is fully staffed, has patient rooms, an X-ray unit to detect broken bones or fractures and provides COVID-19 testing, she says.
Creating a safe work environment is the ultimate objective, Bowdish says. As client needs changed, so too did the nature of the company and its services. “We don’t want anyone to get hurt,” she says. “That’s been the premise of On Demand: safety.”
It wasn’t long after the company opened its drug testing services that customers inquired about providing physicals, regulatory training and occupational testing for prospective employees, she says.
Occupational tests zero in on whether a prospective employee can perform the tasks related to a specific job, such as lifting, climbing up and down ladders, or navigating the steps of a bus, Bowdish says. “We work alongside physicians and go to the companies to observe the job functions,” she says. “Then, we can go back to our offices and simulate those functions.”
The company provides hearing exams, respirator fit testing, education and wellness programs – even a K-9 drug sniffing service to clients in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Among the company’s first customers was the Builders Association of Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, which has used the drug screening services since 2008, says its executive director, Kevin Reilly. Its sheet-metal contractors, for example, mandate pre-employment, post-accident and random drug testing as part of their collective bargaining agreements with trade unions, Reilly says. “We’ve used them for almost 13 years,” he says. “They’ve done a good job.”
Other union contractors who are members of The Builders also use On Demand for employee safety, Reilly says. “It’s what separates our contractors and our workforce from non-union companies,” he says. “It does make a big difference.”
Bowdish says drug abuse is a fundamental problem that employers and employees deal with regularly. “Alcohol or drug use is a contributing factor to 35% of all industrial accidents and fatalities,” she says.
On Demand employs 20 who manage programs for more than 1,000 companies across the country, Bowdish says. It provides services to businesses, schools and government agencies, while its immediate care is available for walk-in treatment.
“We’re working with at least 12 different school districts,” adds Megan Wine, director of sales.
Recent tests have shown a rise in marijuana use among employees. This, Bowdish suspects, is the result of states legalizing medical and recreational use of the drug. “Just because doctors say it’s OK doesn’t mean they’re allowed to have it in their system at work,” she says. Per Ohio law, employers can terminate employees for violating company drug policies, regardless of medically approved marijuana.
However, Bowdish encourages employers not to pursue a zero tolerance policy, especially among first offenders. Often, there could be underlying issues that could be helped through counseling and treatment, which was evident during the opioid epidemic several years ago. “Right now, because of coronavirus, one of the byproducts has been higher drug use.”
On Demand has also established a counseling company separate from its occupational and medical services at the Austintown location.
Nothing, however, is foolproof. Regardless of training and the number of proactive measures a company implements, Bowdish cautions, accidents are bound to occur. “At the end of the day, accidents still happen,” she says. “We can mitigate those risks.”
Pictured: Tom and Stefanie Ivany, co-owners of On Demand, have seen their business grow from drug screening into a multifaceted medical and occupational company.