Walgreens and Johns Hopkins Medicine celebrate expansion - Part 2

BALTIMORE — Officials from Walgreens and Johns Hopkins Medicine on Friday celebrated the expansion of a unique collaboration between the two parties, with the grand opening of a new Walgreens store adjacent to the JHM campus. The store project is a joint effort to bring new health and wellness programs and other health care services to the surrounding community, furthering the partnership between Johns Hopkins and Walgreens to explore the development of new models for improving overall patient care.

"The store is really geared around innovation, to leverage the intellectual capital and many of the great ideas to come out of Hopkins and really bring them into the community here in the store," Harry Leider, Walgreens chief medical officer, told DSN. "[It's a] healthcare lab where we can try great ideas. It could be anything from different ways to use pharmacists and nurse practitioners to devices and remotely monitoring people's health status," he said. "So there's everything from different ways to deliver the care right here in the store to how can we use new technologies and devices to really improve healthcare."

"It is really our first collaboration, and to have a collaboration with a group like Johns Hopkins is certainly a great opportunity for us," added Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness. "We're going to work with the Johns Hopkins medical faculty on putting together programs within this community that help lower overall healthcare costs," he said. "The pill is no longer the [retail pharmacy] product. The product is the outcome. And in this environment, we will be able to create and to verify those outcomes from [both] a clinical and financial perspective."

The new Walgreens “Well Experience” store offers health services, as well as healthy food options and a full selection of other daily living products. In addition to its pharmacy, the store brings other health care resources to the community with a new Healthcare Clinic, staffed by board-certified nurse practitioners, marking the first Walgreens in-store retail clinic in the state of Maryland.

New services now available include: Student health services – clinical, pharmacy and retail products and services; Healthcare Clinic – with extended evening and weekend hours, providing assessment, treatment and management of certain chronic conditions, as well as care for minor illness and injuries, immunizations, preventive health screenings/counseling; and Chronic disease education and awareness programs.

Other programs and services planned to be offered soon include smoking cessation, HIV testing and travel immunizations.

“These programs will provide a novel approach to population health and medical services,” stated Patricia Brown, president of Johns Hopkins HealthCare. “They will benefit not only the surrounding community, but also form the level of health care collaboration that could serve as a national model.”

“We have been working with Walgreens for more than a year to develop collaborative approaches to population-based research which utilize the strengths of both organizations to improve health outcomes for patients,” commented Jeanne Clark, director of the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “The opening of the new Walgreens store increases our potential to advance population health in the community and across the country and is a mechanism to expand our relationship with Walgreens.”

As an extension of the collaboration with Johns Hopkins, Walgreens announced it will provide the initial funding for the new Brancati Center for the Advancement of Community Care. The center, part of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, will develop and test new models of collaborative care to improve the health of communities using the unique skills and perspectives of a diverse group of clinicians including pharmacists, nurse practitioners and others. The center is named in honor of the late Frederick L. Brancati, Johns Hopkins’ longtime professor of medicine and epidemiology and director of the Division of General Internal Medicine. Brancati was an internationally recognized expert on epidemiology and the prevention of Type 2 diabetes. Walgreens and Johns Hopkins will work together toward a goal of raising $10-$15 million in contributions over the next five years.

 For more pictures of the grand opening, click here.