Coleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health and NACDS chair acknowledged that there are challenges ahead, but emphasized the extent to which pharmacies have become the nation’s go-to health destinations.
“NACDS members’ stores are the front doors of healthcare in this country [and] NACDS supplier members are key partners in that role,” Lindholz said. “I cannot think of much that is more exciting than working together on one of the greatest health and wellness transformations of our time. Together, we are bringing healthcare to the people, rather than forcing people to go to healthcare.”
Noting that Kroger's aspiration is, 'changing the way health care is delivered in the U.S.,' Lindholz said this new era is one that features an interdisciplinary team approach to health and wellness.
[Read more: NACDS, community leaders look to increase COVID vaccination rates]
“There’s a need for opportunity and movement for healthcare providers to work collaboratively,” she said. ”It’s pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and dietitians; it’s about empowering patients to access the right healthcare professional at the right time on their healthcare journey."
She added, “NACDS members are playing a tremendous role in this — and this is the reason for genuine enthusiasm about where we are going as an industry.”
Lindholz asked members to consider their role in the overall industry ecosystem.
“Whether you are involved in the supply chain, technology, planning stores of the future, over-the-counter medications, beauty, food – what is your role in the revolution?” she said. “What is your role in a world where NACDS chain members are recognized even more extensively as health and wellness destinations – as the face of neighborhood healthcare? What is your role as an employer? How can we collaborate? It’s going to take all of us.”
[Watch DSN: Colleen Lindholz discusses Kroger Health’s strategy to simplify health care]
As a result of the pandemic, Lindholz said we’ve also seen the importance of meeting consumers where they are on their health care journey.
"What does vaccine hesitancy tell us? As an industry, we’ve been focused on medication nonadherence for many years. These are complex issues, and one common factor is a personal approach. Connecting with patients is the key.”
NACDS noted that the Business Program was supported by Scott Emerson and the Emerson Group.
Tuesday's Business Program will feature Wendy Liebmann, CEO and Chief Shopper, WSL Strategic Retail; Doug Long, Vice President, Industry Relations, IQVIA; and Scott Biggs, Director, Supplier Services, IQVIA.
The organization this year is rolling out the NACDS Market Exchange, a retailer-friendly platform that allows suppliers to keep retailers informed about new trends and innovations in the industry. The new digital tool launched in June and opened to retailers in July.