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Walgreens featured on CNBC segment regarding benefits in hiring Americans with disabilities

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Walgreens CEO Greg Wasson was featured as a best-practice employer on a CNBC
segment Tuesday afternoon on the hiring of Americans with disabilities. Walgreens employs approximately 1,000 persons with disabilities throughout its supply chain, or 10% of its supply chain workforce. Wasson wants to hit that mark across its retail workforce as well, Wasson said.  

The Kessler Foundation, a national organization spearheading employment efforts among persons with disabilities, reported that as many as 70% of Americans with disabilities are not working. That translates into about 10 million potential taxpayers. "What we’ve been focused on at Kessler — how can we demonstrate to American corporations that hiring people with disabilities adds to their bottom line, potentially adds to their market share and does something great that helps an individual feel like they are contributing to society again," commented Rodger DeRose, Kessler Foundation CEO. 

 

Wasson testified to the many benefits that materialize out of a motivated workforce. "They absolutely can be qualified to work in a variety of positions in our supply chain and distribution centers and retail stores and really have a deep-down desire to do the best job they can," he said. "We started employing people with disabilities in the first distribution center in North Carolina [some] eight years ago. We have studies that show 20% fewer accidents in our distribution centers, we have 70% lower workers’ compensation costs, lower absenteeism and nearly twice the retention," he said. "This was not charity for us. This is about making sure we have the same standards for people with disabilities and typically abled people, and the entire work environment has improved."

The two distribution centers where nearly 40% of the workforce incorporate persons with disabilities are 20% more efficient than the company’s older generation DCs, Wasson added. 


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ScriptPro to use biometric authentication systems from Xelios

BY Alaric DeArment

MISSION, Kan. — The pharmacy automation and management systems made by ScriptPro will begin using biometric authentication technology from Xelios Biometrics, under a multi-year licensing agreement between the two companies.

The companies said such biometric identifiers as fingerprints would be more reliable in verifying identity than identification cards or personal identification numbers, which are currently used in ScriptPro’s systems. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We believe biometric authentication is the simplest and most powerful way to implement controls over pharmacy processes," ScriptPro president and CEO Mike Coughlin said. "We have tested a number of technologies in this area and feel that Xelios has taken this method to a new level of speed and accuracy."

ScriptPro will use Xelios’ system during the prescription-dispensing process to identify authorized pharmacy staff and track and store information about who handles a prescription.

 

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Giant-Carlisle introduces Levittown, Pa., retail clinic

BY Alaric DeArment

CARLISLE, Pa. — Giant Food Stores opened the doors to its new in-store health clinic at a store in Levittown, Pa., Tuesday, the supermarket chain said.

Carlisle, Pa.-based Giant, one of the supermarket banners owned by Ahold USA, said the clinic, operated under partnership with Aria Health FastCare, provides customers with convenient and affordable care for treating a variety of common illnesses, and offers preventive health care.

"Giant maintains a strong commitment to being a better place to shop by providing choices and products for our customers to achieve healthy lifestyles," Giant pharmacy director Leigh Shirley said. "For many years, our pharmacists have been strong health resources in our stores by providing information and offering flu clinics. This new partnership with Aria Health FastCare will expand the health and wellness resources we are able to offer to our customers and provide them with an alternative choice for those needing medical treatment."

Aria Health professionals provide treatments for flu, sore throat, allergies, ear infections and others, as well as sports physicals. The clinic is the fourth for Giant; clinics are also available at stores in Lancaster, Pa., and York, Pa.

 

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