WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — Walmart’s hiring of Dijuana Lewis is yet another sign the company no longer is content being a fast-follower when it comes to its pharmacy and healthcare businesses, whereas a decade ago, Walmart’s emphasis was on simply operating pharmacies, filling as many prescriptions as possible and keeping up with chain drug leaders who were setting the pace in terms of innovative programs.
(THE NEWS: Healthcare exec joins Walmart. For the full story, click here.)
These days, it's more about developing innovative programs and finding new ways to extend its reach into pharmacy and health services that align with the company’s value proposition of helping people save money so they can live better.
Lewis’ background and accomplishments at Wellpoint suggest she is ideally suited for Walmart. The Indiana native spent 16 years at the healthcare company holding a variety of roles, but what stands out is the fact that many of those roles were focused on improving efficiency, reducing costs and delivering an improved experience for customers. Sounds like an ideal fit for Walmart, as the company looks to play a bigger role in influencing the nation’s healthcare delivery system and then profiting from those changes.