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Delhaize Europe CEO Stefan Descheemaeker resigns

BY Alaric DeArment

BRUSSELS — The CEO of Delhaize Group’s European division has resigned, effective Oct. 31, the Belgian supermarket operator said.

Delhaize said Stefan Descheemaeker had decided to resign as CEO of Delhaize Europe, though the company did not give a reason. Delhaize said that as a result of Descheemaeker’s departure, Delhaize Group EVP and Delhaize Group Southeast Europe and Asia CEO Kostas Macheras would report directly to group CEO Pierre-Olivier Beckers, as would Delhaize Belgium CEO Dirk Van den Berghe, effective Nov. 1.

"I want to thank Stefan for his significant contribution to the success of Delhaize Europe and Delhaize Group," Beckers said. "In both his former capacity as CFO and then as CEO of Delhaize Europe, Stefan has been an energetic leader who raises the organization’s focus on cash-flow generation and brought the company to a higher level of performance while steadfastly promoting the company values."

Incoming group CEO Frans Muller said he looked forward to working with Macheras and Van den Berghe in developing the company’s European business.

"Equally, I look forward to partnering with our group CFO, Pierre Bouchut, so that we can continue improving the focus and performance of the overall group," Muller said. "This will be amongst my key priorities in addition to working directly with the Delhaize America team while I evaluate and search for the best candidate to fill the Delhaize America CEO role."

 

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Walmart, Lowe’s join Pacific Business Group on Health to launch Employers Centers of Excellence Network

BY Mike Troy

SAN FRANCISCO — With the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act mired in controversy, two of the nation’s largest retailers are backing an innovative Employers Centers of Excellence Network that will offer no-cost knee and hip-replacement surgeries at four highly regarded hospitals.

Walmart and Lowe’s issued a joint statement that they and other large employers had joined the Pacific Business Group on Health Negotiating Alliance (PBGH-NA) to launch the national Employer’s Centers of Excellence Network.

“These companies are working to help make sure that their employees get higher quality care and incur lower costs,” said David Lansky, president and CEO of PBGH. “The Employers Centers of Excellence Network is designed to serve as a model for delivering high quality health care with transparent and predictable costs.”

PBGH and healthcare management company Health Design Plus will oversee the program, which includes treatment for knee and hip replacement surgeries for the more than 1.5 million employees and their dependents enrolled in the Walmart, Lowe’s and other employers’ medical plans. The only catch for employees is that they required to obtain care at 1-of-4 designated center of excellence healthcare organizations that include Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, Md.; Kaiser Permanente Orange County Irvine Medical Center in Irvine, Calif.; Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Mo.; and Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, Wash. 

Employees will receive consultations and care covered at 100% without deductible or coinsurance, plus travel, lodging and living expenses for the patient and a caregiver. Patients must be healthy enough to travel for the surgeries. The program is voluntary and employees or their covered dependents can still choose to receive care from local providers and incur routine costs, according to program rules.
 
“This national program is about providing our associates with exceptional care and reducing their medical costs so that they pay nothing out of pocket when they use one of the designated facilities,” said Sally Welborn, SVP global benefits at Walmart. ”Each of these providers has a proven record of practicing evidence-based medicine with above average positive patient outcomes in knee and hip replacement procedures.”

According to Lowe’s VP international human resources Randy Moon, “Under this program, employees and their dependents covered under Lowe’s medical plan have access to medical care at renowned medical facilities at no cost. This is especially important for our employees who live in areas underserved by high quality health care providers. The four healthcare centers are located throughout the United States, making it easier for employees who wish to use this benefit to travel.”
 
The national Employers Centers of Excellence Network complements Centers of Excellence programs that Walmart and Lowe’s have and will continue to offer separately from the alliance with PBGH-NA.  
 
In 2013, Walmart expanded its long-standing program covering transplants at the Mayo Clinic to also include treatment for certain heart and spine surgeries at five leading hospital and health systems in the United States, including ECEN providers Virginia Mason and Mercy Springfield, for associates and their covered dependents enrolled in medical plans.
 
In 2010, Lowe’s began an alliance with Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, to provide its full-time employees and their covered dependents enrolled in the company’s self-funded medical plans enhanced benefits coverage for qualifying heart surgery procedures.

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Giant-Landover receives top award from D.C. USO

BY Alaric DeArment

LANDOVER, Md. — USO’s division for the nation’s capital has named supermarket chain Giant Food of Landover, Md., to its USO-Metro 2013 Circle of the Stars for an annual networking event, the chain said.

Giant-Landover said it received the honor during the non-profit group’s 10th annual Stars and Stripes Night at the Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington, Va. Giant said the Circle of the Stars is an elite award given to top-level corporate donors that provide funding to support USO-Metro’s mission to lift the spirits of military service members and their families. Giant was named at the Four-Star level, the highest.

"We are so honored and humbled that giant is an active and generous supporter of USO-Metro," USO of Metropolitan Washington president and CEO Elaine Rogers said. "This past year, USO-Metro touched the lives of thousands of local and traveling military members and their families. We couldn’t provide the broad range of programs we deliver without the generous and incredible support of Giant and its amazing associates."

 

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