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Walgreens CMO talks to state legislatures about expanding healthcare access

BY Michael Johnsen

TAMPA, Fla. — Walgreens’ chief medical officer Cheryl Pegus delivered a keynote session Tuesday at the National Conference of State Legislatures Fall Forum here. The presentation, titled “Expanding Access to Care for Women and Exploring Health Delivery Models,” outlined the innovative approaches in health care today, and shared how Walgreens complements these new models.

“Women are often the gate-keepers of their family’s health — responsible for the wellbeing of their families but also themselves,” Pegus said. “With today’s busy lifestyles and rising healthcare costs, individuals, employers and payers are looking for innovative solutions to improve access and outcomes while managing costs.”

Pegus highlighted new approaches that are helping to fill the gaps of primary care, contribute to quality chronic disease management and increase access for traditional underserved populations. These included the expanded roles of nurse practitioners and community pharmacists and the increasing access to retail clinics as an affordable and convenient option.

Pegus was named Walgreens CMO in May 2010 and has more than 18 years of clinical practice and industry experience.  Previously, she was general manager and chief medical officer for SymCare Personalized Health Solutions.  Prior to joining SymCare in 2007, she held a number of positions at Aetna, eventually becoming head of clinical products for the company’s Medical Products business unit.  She was also medical director for the cardiovascular risk factors group at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. Pegus is a board-certified physician with subspecialty training in cardiology.

The National Conference of State Legislatures is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation’s 50 states, its commonwealths and territories. NCSL provides research, technical assistance to policymakers. The leadership of NCSL is composed of legislators and staff from across the country.


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Save-A-Lot’s new distribution center supports company’s expansion plans

BY Allison Cerra

ST. LOUIS — Supervalu banner Save-A-Lot will open a new 330,000-sq.-ft. food distribution center in Lexington, N.C., on Wednesday.

The distribution center initially will service more than 70 stores within a 150-mile radius, Save-A-Lot noted.

The distribution center, which will employ 35 employees, is part of the company’s commitment to expand in the region. Currently, there are nearly 30 Save-A-Lot stores in North Carolina, including one in Lexington; the company plans to open an additional three stores in the state by March 2012.

“This project represents an investment of more than $24 million in North Carolina,” Save-A-Lot VP distribution John Gerber said. “We are committed to growth in the region. We completed construction ahead of schedule and are thrilled to now be able to begin serving our Save-A-Lot stores throughout the area.”

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Meijer founder passes away at 91

BY Allison Cerra

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Frederik Meijer, the founder of the supercenter retail chain of the same name, died Nov. 25. He was 91.

A Michigan native, Meijer first entered the grocery business as a bagger in his father’s store. By 1962, Meijer opened its first “Thrifty Acres” supercenter in Grand Rapids, a food and general merchandise store that touted one-stop shopping for customers. The chain now operates 197 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. The company also celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2009.

Meijer is survived by his survived by his wife Lena, three sons, Hank (Liesel) Meijer, Doug (Starr) Meijer and Mark (Mary Beth) Meijer, and seven grandchildren.

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