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Friday, May 6, 2016

Area woman sets up business in Bloomfield

Monday, December 10, 2007

BLOOMFIELD -- Are you a concerned parent wanting to know if your child is involved in drug or alcohol activities?

Are you an employer needing to find a local location to have your employees drug or alcohol tested without having to schedule costly, outside-the-area appointments?

Do you have paternity issues that need settled in an unbiased manner?

A newly established business in Bloomfield offers a convenient, confidential and unique testing/collection service to Greene County commercial and private customers.

Right Choice DAT conducts drug and alcohol testing as well as complete DNA testing services from its office located in the South Plaza Shopping Center on U.S. 231 South.

Owner and Brazil resident Bettina Whittington calls the business a "sign of the times."

"It's pretty sad these days that we need a facility like me," Whittington said with a smile. "Everyone has to have a drug screen anymore."

She opened her Bloomfield satellite office in September.

"I cater to the labor union people because the guys have to take time off work to get their required drug testing before their jobs so I am here as a convenience to them so they can be in and out of here in a few minutes. I've found that the majority of businesses today do drug testing as part of the background checks and that's what I'm here for -- the occupational testing that does not require a doctor's exam," she explained.

Whittington, who has operated a similar office in Terre Haute for 3 1/2 years, said her testing service has nothing to do with drug or alcohol courts and probation orders. Her service caters to employers, daycare providers and private individuals.

Her biggest customers in Terre Haute are pre-employment screens for Wal-Mart and Sam's Club.

"If they are a door greeter, they've had a drug screen," she pointed out.

The service is also catching on with some parents who want to feel assured that their children are drug and alcohol-free.

"Parents who might suspect their children are on drugs are some of our clients. The parents are just concerned. I have had people who come in when their kids are ready to go get their driver's license and the parents use that as an excuse to have them drug tested," she said.

"I'm a neutral party. I don't care what the result is. My job is to get an accurate result."

About a year ago, Right Choice started DNA testing that is frequently used in paternity cases that are involved in litigation.

Whittington, who lives in Brazil, came into the business after working 20 years as an occupational medical assistant.

"I just saw the need. I saw a lot of people in our waiting room that spent hours just to do their drug screens. I talked to the doctor I was working for and said we ought to have a place just to do occupation screening. He wasn't really excited about that so on my 20th anniversary I left and I opened up my own business," she explained. "I called the labor unions and asked them if they would use me if I opened up a business to cater to you at your hours so your guys don't have to take off work."

The venture turned out to be a good one.

Her Terre Haute office, located at 3189 South 3rd Place -- north of U.S. 41 near Indiana Business College, sees between 200 and 250 clients a week.

The opening of the Bloomfield office on Sept. 1 came after one of her clients suggested she bring her service to the Greene County area. She and her husband, Terry, who works as an independent building contractor, found the location while on a weekend afternoon motorcycle ride and worked a lease deal with developer Lavern Rollison for the 400-square-foot office.

Right Choice has three employees -- two at the Terre Haute office and she is currently manning the Bloomfield office. Whittington has plans to hire someone to work in her Bloomfield office in early January.

She is developing a local list of clients including Baggett Transportation Company, members of the Plumbers and Steamfitter's Union, Tri-State Trucking, R & R Trucking, Boyle Transportation, and SAIC employees.

Whittington is hopeful to get several other NSA Crane contractors and WestGate Tech Park clients on board for her services.

"It's just a matter of getting the word out about what I do," she said.

Drug and alcohol test range in fees from $20- $38.

Whittington explained that her office is strictly a collection site and the actual testing is done at a lab in Indianapolis operated by Midwest Toxicology.

Collections are done by urine, oral fluids or hair testing.

She has a medical review officer that also looks over all of the results.

"I'm just the middleman. I'm just the convenience factor so you don't have to make an appointment at a doctor's office," Whittington said. "I'm very affordable because I don't have the overhead that a doctor's office has."

The results are faxed to her office and she then contacts the employer or the client.

Results can usually be obtained in 24- 72 business hours, depending on what kind of testing is done.

"I have lab couriers that come by everyday to pick up my samples and take them to the lab," she said.

Whittington is a Fort Wayne native who has lived in the Brazil area since 1987.

She's been doing drug testing since 1988. She worked as a medical assistant for an urgent care facility for about 20 years and opened her Terre Haute office in 2004.

She and her husband have three children -- 15-year-old Joel, who is a student at Northview High School; 21-year-old Devin, a junior at Indiana State University at Terre Haute and 23-year-old Denae, an X-ray technician at West Central Hospital in Clinton.

Right Choice started DNA testing about a year ago and that business is also expanding.

The fee is $400 for a "baby and alleged father," she says.

That's a fraction of what a regular DNA test would cost at other commercial locations.

"We're just like CSI, it's a Q-tip in the cheek," she said.

The Bloomfield office is open four days a week -- 10 a.m-6 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and 9 a.m.-noon on Saturdays. Appointments can be made, but walk-ins are accepted. For more information call 384-4133 or e-mail to bwrightchoice@att.net.

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