This case study examines Five Point Holistic Health, the Chicago health center organized as a worker cooperative. The center offers acupuncture, psychotherapy, and bodywork treatments and services.
From its earliest days, the worker-owners of Five Point have prioritized making its services affordable and accessible to the community. After years of hard work, they have achieved a degree of financial stability thanks in part to Blue Cross Blue Shield’s expanding insurance coverage of acupuncture in the Chicago region.
Today, with a planned relocation and major staff expansion, Five Point is rapidly morphing into a larger more multifaceted health center capable of reaching more patients with its holistic health offerings. Its rapid growth has begun to raise questions for the future, however, about how the organization defines cooperative membership.
This case study illustrates the evolution of a worker cooperative from start-up to stability and its efforts to balance a commitment to community accessibility with a desire to provide good jobs with benefits to all staff and compensate worker-owners sufficiently.