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CVS Health Foundation gives $1M in grants to 49 clinics

BY David Salazar

The CVS Health Foundation will be giving out $1 million across 49 free and charitable health clinics throughout the country. The Woonsocket, R.I.-based charitable organization created by CVS Health on Thursday announced the grants as part of an extended commitment to the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics. The grants are aimed at improving the health of patients with such chronic conditions as diabetes and hypertension, the organization said.

“The rising cost of health care can make finding quality and affordable care harder to come by for many Americans,” said Eileen Howard Boone, president of the CVS Health Foundation. “Through our support of the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, we’re able to increase access to quality care, improve chronic disease management and care coordination to help improve health outcomes for the most vulnerable patients and reduce health care costs in the communities we serve.”

The new contributions bring the foundation’s total contribution to NAFC to more than $4.5 million since 2015. Clinics in 24 states will be receiving grants ranging from $10,000 to $20,000.

“The NAFC and our network of charitable health care providers are beyond grateful for the continued support and unwavering commitment we receive from the CVS Health Foundation,” NAFC CEO Nicole Lamoureux said. “Diabetes and hypertension are the top two diagnoses found among our patient population. This year’s funding will allow our Free and Charitable Clinics to focus on improving their patients’ health outcomes for these chronic conditions, and in turn improving the health of communities across the country.”

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Report: Kroger joins retailers in upping age restriction on gun sales

BY DSN STAFF

Kroger has joined Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods in increasing its age restriction on the purchase of firearms sold through its Fred Meyer locations in response to the recent school shooting in Parkland, Fla. The supermarket chain will no longer sell guns to customers under the age of 21.

“Recent events demonstrate the need for additional action on the part of responsible gun retailers,” Jessica Adelman, a spokeswoman for the Cincinnati-based chain, shared with The Wall Street Journal. “In response to the tragic events in Parkland and elsewhere, we’ve taken a hard look at our policies and procedures for firearm sales.

According to the report, Kroger already had stopped selling assult-style semiautomatic rifles in Oregon, Washington and Idaho locations several years ago.

Fred Meyer, which sells shotguns, .22 caliber rifles and bolt action hunting rifles, will be reducing the merchandising footprint dedicated to the set, as well. Though that has less to do with the school shootings, but rather to “softer demand and changing customer preferences,” Adelman told WSJ.

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Walmart opens tech incubator in Austin

BY David Salazar

Walmart is taking another step to gain a competitive advantage in the adoption — and development — of emerging predictive technologies.

The discount giant opened the doors to its first technology incubator, in the tech hotbed of Austin, Texas. Located in a renovated warehouse, the lab is focused on such emerging technologies as machine learning, artificial intelligence and natural language processing, the chain said in a blog post on its website.

Internally, the lab features a startup-like atmosphere to encourage collaboration and innovative thinking. However, the Austin team will also be brainstorming with Walmart’s technology teams in Bentonville, Arkansas, at the Jet headquarters in Hoboken, New Jersey, and at Walmart.com headquarters in San Bruno, California. All data scientists are focused on developing solutions that will empower employees, and make the company more efficient, the blog said.

“Effective use of technology is an absolute competitive necessity today, but even the most sophisticated technology can end up being a hindrance when built without first considering the users,” said Rachel Brynsvold, a data scientist at the lab. “We must develop best-in-class technology, and deliver it with a focus on what the business and the users need.”

To get a glimpse into Walmart’s new tech incubator, click here.

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