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MinuteClinic appoints new chief nurse practitioner

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. —Underscoring the value of the nurse practitioner in the convenient care industry, CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic has named Vermont state commissioner Paulette Thabault as its new chief nurse practitioner officer.

In this role, which is a new position at MinuteClinic, Thabault will provide leadership to clinicians who staff MinuteClinic health centers and will help lead MinuteClinic’s clinical service excellence.

Thabault, who will begin her new role in July, has a career spanning more than 30 years. Most recently, she served as the State of Vermont Commissioner of Banking, Insurance Securities and Health Care Administration, overseeing Vermont’s hospitals and establishing requirements for transparency in healthcare quality and pricing. Before that, she was Vermont deputy commissioner of Health Care Administration and served as VP clinical and legal services for The Vermont Health Plan. Thabault also has a clinical career as a nurse practitioner at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Community Health Plan.

It is clear that the clinical expertise of nurse practitioners has not gone unnoticed. Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens, was the first in the industry to establish the chief nurse practitioner role, which has allowed Take Care Health Systems to leverage the skill set and patient-centric knowledge of the nurse practitioner community.

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NACDS puts a new spin on Meet the Market

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN DIEGO This year the National Association of Chain Drug Stores introduced two new features to its Meet the Market format. First, NACDS hosted a Meet the Market Presentation Template webinar twice prior to Meet the Market, in which NACDS introduced a meeting template that succinctly captured all of the information retailers typically use to evaluate a new product or company.

Also new to Meet the Market were the booths of 10 service companies — trade media and professional education, merchandising consultants and marketing/media information companies — which afforded an opportunity for new and smaller suppliers to meet with these organizations.

“New companies have a need not only to meet with retailers, obviously, they have a need for their business,” noted Jim Whitman, NACDS SVP meetings and conferences. Another ongoing improvement is the productivity within each meeting, Whitman added. “We keep refining the match, the appointments,” he said.

This year, the Meet the Market format — in which smaller and new suppliers have 10-minute meetings with their category buyers — represented more than 8,000 face-to-face pre-arranged appointments.

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Retail clinic growth slowing down? Not a chance

BY Antoinette Alexander

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT The news that Target is looking to expand its retail-based clinic business this year is yet one more indicator that reports of the demise of retail clinic growth have been greatly exaggerated.

(THE NEWS: Target to expand its retail clinic presence. For the full story, click here)

As the article states, Target, which opened its first clinic in 2006, is looking to open up eight new locations this September. It already operates 28 locations in Minnesota and Maryland.

It wasn’t so long ago — April to be exact — that CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic indicated that it could double its current number of clinics in five years.

Why the growth? Well, aside from the aging population and a shortage of primary care physicians, a major catalyst is healthcare reform, which will mean that 32 million people who currently are uninsured will have healthcare coverage. With emergency rooms already overflowing, and primary care physicians already over-extended, having a retail clinic nearby where patients can receive convenient, quality and affordable health care will only become increasingly important.

Meanwhile, RediClinic, which has 22 clinics in H-E-B stores in Houston and Austin, Texas, is cranking up its marketing efforts and has tapped former Duane Reade executive Jeff Thompson as VP marketing. Thompson will be responsible for RediClinic’s consumer and partner marketing activities, including developing and implementing strategic customer acquisition/retention programs, new product delivery and brand strategy.

Thompson most recently served as VP marketing for Duane Reade.

Clearly, there continues to be significant growth opportunities for clinics — both in terms of the number of clinic locations and the scope of services offered within the clinics. As mentioned earlier, there are 32 million reasons why the growth will be quite dramatic.

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