Take Care Health Systems' new chief medical officer marks further evolution of U.S. health care

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — The news that Walgreens has appointed Alan London as chief medical officer of Take Care Health Systems Consumer Solutions Group is important especially since he is a family physician who has more than three decades of experience in patient care delivery, healthcare strategy and business development, and spent 12 years at Cleveland Clinic.

(THE NEWS: Walgreens appoints chief medical officer of Take Care Health Systems Consumer Solutions Group. For the full story, click here)

There were plenty of squeaky wheels with little blogs that questioned the integrity of Dr. Cristine Cassel for her JAMA article, which shed a highly positive light on the convenient care industry, and outlined significant ways in which retail-based clinics are playing an important role in today’s U.S. healthcare system by improving access, cost and coordination of care for patients. But the fact that JAMA published the article, and the fact that guys like London and Andy Sussman, who serves as president of MinuteClinic and SVP and associate chief medical officer of CVS Caremark, are serving in such roles are more evidence that physicians who matter are behind the retail clinic model.

Prior to joining CVS Caremark in 2009, Sussman served as EVP and chief operating officer of UMass Memorial Medical Center, the major teaching affiliate of UMass Medical School, and also served as an associate professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

You know what happens with squeaky wheels? Eventually you get tired of giving them grease and you just get a new wheel. That's what the American health care needs. Like the wheel, its design needs to evolve — because everyone knows the round wheel worked better than the square wheel.

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