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Senate confirms Marilyn Tavenner as CMS administrator

BY Alaric DeArment

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Senate voted overwhelmingly to confirm a former Virginia Health and Human Services secretary as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Members of the Senate voted 91-7 in favor of confirming Marilyn Tavenner to lead CMS, drawing praise from a retail pharmacy trade group.

"Often, much is said about a nominee’s qualifications for a leadership position such as the administrator of CMS," National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson said. "And I go further to say that her life story is a testament to the genuine care and dedication to patients that must drive the improvement of healthcare delivery in the United States."

Tavenner, who began her career as a nurse, was previously acting administrator of CMS.


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Walmart goes to college

BY Alaric DeArment

TEMPE, Ariz. — Walmart opened a new small-format store on the campus of Arizona State University as part of a pilot program, the mass merchandise retailer said.

The company opened the 5,000-sq. ft. store in the Vista del Sol plaza at the university. The store includes health and wellness services, a pharmacy, convenient shopping services, convenience items and merchandise tailored to the campus. The Walmart on Campus store is the second in the country, the first having opened at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville in January 2011.

"The new Walmart on Campus is going to be a wonderful amenity for the students of ASU," Tempe Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Mary Ann Miller said. "To be able to get off your elevator or get on your bike and be able to pick up a prescription or just basic necessities will add to the convenience of living on or next to campus."

The store employs about 10 people, and the opening included a presentation of $2,500 in grants from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation to local community groups.

"With our smaller format and being located right on campus, our store is perfect for those who need to pick up a prescription or something for a quick meal," store manager Mario Espino said. "Our customers will be able to find what they need quickly and easily and then head on back to class."


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Revamped Food Lion stores to include cheaper private labels, fresher produce

BY Alaric DeArment

SALISBURY, N.C. — Food Lion has revamped 178 of its stores and hired 800 new employees, the Delhaize Group-owned supermarket chain said.

The company said the stores would offer an improved shopping experience — such as faster checkout service — fresher produce through the "Fresh from the Field" initiative and cheaper private label products. The changes were made to stores in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

Re-opening celebrations will take place at the stores, with free bags of groceries provided to the first 50 customers at each store.


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