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The Exchange rolls out retail management program for vets

BY Michael Johnsen

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is helping veterans in the workforce reconnect with their military family through a special retail management training program, reaffirming the Department of Defense retailer’s commitment to hiring those who served.

The Veterans Retail Management Training program introduces Veterans to the business that drives the 122-year-old Exchange benefit. Participants in the immersive program receive two weeks of classroom training at the Exchange’s Dallas headquarters, learning about the organization’s enduring mission to take care of soldiers, airmen and their families.

From Dallas, Veterans are assigned to Exchanges across the United States for on-the-job training in main stores, Expresses, troop stores and Military Clothing stores, working alongside mentors in the field. Trainees who successfully complete the program are offered permanent positions.

The Exchange has offered retail management training for years but only recently developed a program focused solely on recruiting and retaining Veterans — a priority for the organization. Currently, eight Veterans are participating in the program, the second time it has been offered. A third class is planned for June.

“The Exchange is committed to extending career opportunities to our Veterans,” Tom Shull, Exchange director and CEO, said. “We are leaning forward to continue the tradition of welcoming home veterans to our ranks. They are a force multiplier to our efforts to deliver a customer experience authorized shoppers will find nowhere but their Exchange.”

Denise Evans, who served in the Army from 1981 to 1991, is looking forward reconnecting with the military by working at the Exchange. “I wanted to be somewhere I belong, where I can finish out my career,” said Evans, a program participant who is finishing her management training at Fort Belvoir. “The leadership here sees that I still have something to offer.”

Patrick Fatuesi, assistant store manager at the Sheppard Air Force Base Exchange, completed the management program in the fall. He spent 32 years in the Army, retiring as a sergeant major. His Army career, he says, prepared him well for leadership roles. “At the Exchange, you’re going to learn from the ground up — just like the military,” Fatuesi said. “This organization is giving us — veterans — a chance. It’s absolutely phenomenal.”

In 2017, the Exchange hired more than 1,200 veterans worldwide, and 11.5% of the Exchange’s workforce are veterans. In 2018, for the fifth consecutive year, the Exchange was named a Military Friendly Employer by Victory Media.

“The Exchange puts a lot of stock in hiring veterans,” Shull said. “Veterans understand what the Exchange means and what we do for those who serve.”

Hiring veterans and military spouses is one way the Exchange gives back to the military community. The Exchange has hired 1,000 Wounded Warriors since 2010 — second only to the Army.

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Albertsons gains URAC accreditation for Specialty Pharmacy

BY Michael Johnsen

Albertsons on Thursday announced that it has earned URAC accreditation in Specialty Pharmacy. By achieving this status, Albertsons has demonstrated a comprehensive commitment to quality care, improved processes and better patient outcomes.

“Receiving full accreditation from URAC for specialty pharmacy demonstrates our resolve to provide high-quality patient care each and every day,” Mark Panzer, Albertsons senior vice president pharmacy, health and wellness, said. “We offer comprehensive education to help patients safely manage complex and chronic conditions. Our commitment to these high standards helps improve patients’ lives and drive positive outcomes.”

“It’s necessary for specialty pharmacies to provide a higher level of treatment for patients so desired outcomes are achieved. Albertsons shows a dedication to patient education and safety through the recognition of quality it received with URAC’s independent accreditation,” Kylanne Green, URAC president and CEO, said. “With URAC accreditation, people know that Albertsons Companies strives to adhere to industry best practices.”

Albertsons operates more than 1,700 in-store pharmacies, serving approximately 5.5 million patients across the 35 states and the District of Columbia. Albertsons Specialty Care provides a multitude of services including prior authorization assistance, patient assistant program coordination, comprehensive care plans and medication adherence support.

Should Albertsons’ recently announced merger agreement with Rite Aid prove successful, the integrated company will operate approximately 4,900 locations, 4,350 pharmacy counters and 320 clinics across 38 states and Washington, D.C., serving more than 40 million customers per week.

EnvisionPharmacies, a division of the Rite Aid subsidiary EnvisionRxOptions, recently announced that its compounding pharmacy received accreditation from the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board, a service of Accreditation Commission for Health Care. EnvisionPharmacies also holds accreditation for both Mail and Specialty Pharmacy from URAC.

URAC is a nonprofit organization developing evidence-based measures and standards through inclusive engagement with a range of stakeholders committed to improving the quality of healthcare. URAC accreditation is a symbol of excellence for organizations to showcase their validated commitment to quality and accountability.

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Publix reveals next GreenWise Market location

BY Marianne Wilson

Publix announced a third location for its revamped organic and natural foods store concept.

The supermarket retailer said it will open a 25,000-sq.-ft. GreenWise Market in Lakeland, Florida, which is the home of Publix’s corporate offices. A projected opening date has yet to be determined.

“Our new GreenWise Market concept celebrates specialty, natural and organic foods, and we think foodies and health-conscious customers alike will love what the store will offer,” said Kevin Murphy, Publix senior VP of retail operations. “We’re especially excited to announce a location in our hometown.”

Publix in 2017 announced plans to reignite its natural foods store concept, with the first location due to open in Tallahassee, Florida, in late September 2018. The store is currently under construction.

The second location of the natural foods concept is under construction in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, with an expected opening in early 2019. Publix continues to look for additional GreenWise Market locations throughout its operating area.

Publix launched the GreenWise format in 2007, and currently operates three stores under the banner. But it has not opened a new GreenWise location since 2008.

Publix has 1,171 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

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