DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens last month announced its offer of free blood-pressure checks, along with complementary healthcare professional consultations, as its contribution to the Million Hearts campaign, sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“Participation in this campaign is another example of the opportunity our pharmacists and Take Care Health [System] providers have to drive positive health outcomes through their face-to-face interactions with patients,” suggested Kermit Crawford, president of pharmacy, health and wellness at Walgreens.
And Crawford should know — Walgreens has been providing free screenings for some time now. The chain in February announced its Walgreens Way to Well Commitment, promising more than $100 million in preventive healthcare resources, health testing services and charitable programs over the next four years.
And the pharmacy’s AARP/Walgreens Wellness Tour has been traveling around the country, providing an expected $14 million worth of free health tests, including total cholesterol levels, blood pressure, bone density, glucose levels, waist circumference and body mass index.
Walgreens already has realized the kind of impact complementary testing can have — between November 2009 and November 2010, Walgreens administered nearly 300,000 blood glucose and A1C tests with more than 25% of patients testing “at risk.”