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Community Healthcare Center captures Kerr’s vision for Rx

BY Rob Eder

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. —They named it the “Research Triangle” for a reason, and last month Kerr Drug executives and the company’s partners at the nearby University of North Carolina’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy reminded attendees—not to mention a sea of customers—why that is, at a special ceremony here to celebrate the grand opening of the regional drug store powerhouse’s newest Community Healthcare Center store.

The revolutionary format, a blend of leading-edge, pharmacy-based clinical-care concepts with a full-scale drug store, marks the third such location for Kerr, and continues the evolution of the concept, marrying some of the best new thinking in pharmacy care.

Two noticeable new wrinkles in Kerr’s newest Community Healthcare Center include lower-profile gondolas and a main drag that leads directly from the front door to the pharmacy counter. The new, wide-open store design makes an immediate impression on customers, communicating instantly the full-range of healthcare services that are available. And in case they need help navigating the myriad offerings available at the store—from immunizations to disease management, MTM, hearing services, nutritional counseling and a host of other services—a dedicated Health Resource Coordinator is stationed at the center of the store.

Central to Kerr’s clinical care mission are the five private exam rooms that line the back wall of the store. Room 1, a dedicated immunization room, was buzzing with activity the day of the grand opening, as patients lined up for flu shots. Rooms 2 and 3 are reserved for more in-depth patient counseling, generally diabetes or other disease management, or MTM counseling. Room 4, a much larger room, is used for community health-and-wellness programs, patient education and regular clinical staff meetings.

And then there is Room 5, where Kerr Drug, in partnership with UNC’s pharmacy school, is piloting a new pharmacogenomics program that, in its simplest terms, will use DNA testing to optimize the therapeutic effect of the medications patients take. The revolutionary program, which marks an important first step for personalized pharmacy care, will target Plavix patients initially, Lisa Adams Padgett, a clinical coordinator in the new Kerr Community Healthcare Center, told Drug Store News during a personal tour of the store.

The 13,500-sq.-ft. store also packs the punch of a traditional drug store location, with an extensive presence in beauty and other key drug store categories. Not to be lost amid the in-store events staged for the grand opening, which included free glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol and bone density screenings, were special cosmetic makeovers and beauty consultations from such vendors as CoverGirl, Wet N’ Wild and celebrity hair stylist David Babaii.

One other unique front-end offering is an interactive, customized orthotic ordering kiosk. The kiosk, supplied by Orthera, uses a special scanning technology and a basic patient assessment to design a custom-fit orthotic device. The $99 orthotics are manufactured at the company’s California facility and mailed back to the store for pickup about a week later. So far, Kerr is the company’s first foray into retail pharmacy.

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Hy-Vee names new president

BY Alaric DeArment

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa A 28-year employee of Hy-Vee has become its new president, according to published reports.

The company appointed Randall Edeker as president of the supermarket chain Thursday at the company’s annual meeting, succeeding Ric Jurgens, who had served as president since 2001 and will maintain his position as chairman and CEO.

Edeker had previously served as EVP and COO.

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Tricare expands vaccination coverage to pharmacies, clinics

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK Convenience and value. That’s what community pharmacy and their retail clinic partners deliver to their patients. And that’s what the Department of Defense is counting on in covering immunizations at local pharmacies and identifying convenient care clinics as network providers — two separate pieces of news issued within the past month that really underscore the importance of pharmacies and retail clinics in the delivery of health care today.

Prior to these announcements, military personnel interested in getting their flu shots had to schedule an appointment with their doctor, as Tricare only covered the cost of shots delivered in a doctor’s office.

“As a convenient and accessible healthcare provider, pharmacy is uniquely positioned to offer services for patients, such as vaccinations,” stated Steve Anderson, president and CEO for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. Anderson noted that as of earlier this year, pharmacists have the ability to immunize patients in all 50 states. “[This] presents an important opportunity for pharmacists to counsel patients during their visit, and an additional healthcare provider from which to obtain these vaccinations.”

It’s also quite a bit of opportunity for pharmacy — Tricare provides healthcare coverage for 9.5 million eligible beneficiaries. Those beneficiaries pick up almost 2.3 million prescriptions every week, and 1.2 million of those at retail pharmacies, according to Tricare .

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