RETAIL NEWS

Weis Markets bets on chronic care

BY Michael Johnsen

Last spring, as part of the grand opening of a new flagship location, Weis Markets placed an in-store dietitian’s office adjacent to the pharmacy, with only a mutual private consultation room separating the two.

That not only enabled shoppers at that Enola, Pa.-based store to schedule a consultation with the in-store dietitian, but also helped pharmacy patients make a profound connection. Not only can they pick up their prescriptions here, they can discuss ways to improve their health through better food choices, too.

Weis Markets planned to hire more full-time dietitians to serve across its 206-store footprint in the past year. Working together, the company’s dietitians and pharmacists may one day represent a critical pairing in helping to boost metrics across the Five-Star Quality Rating System created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Toward that end, Weis Markets’ dietitian in the Lewisburg, Pa., area began working with local healthcare providers on diabetic workshops last year, said Rick Seep, vice president of pharmacy at Weis Markets, during an early-morning tour of the store with Drug Store News at the time of its opening.

The new store featured the latest shelf labels, featuring Weis Markets’ “NutriFacts” program, which represents a guide to healthier eating with labels that call out heart-healthy foods or gluten-free options to shoppers perusing the aisles. The store also featured Weis Markets’ “Nourish Your Gut” program, which identifies such foods that can boost gut health as whole wheat breads or other sources of probiotics.

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