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First-ever retail clinic congress highlights NP’s role

BY Antoinette Alexander

ORLANDO, Fla. Retail Clinician, a Drug Store News Group publication, in conjunction with the Convenient Care Association, underscored the importance of the retail clinic community and the vital role that nurse practitioners play in today’s overburdened healthcare system.—Vastly exceeding attendance projections, the first-ever Retail Clinician Education Congress, hosted last month by

“I’ve never before met a group of healthcare professionals that believes so deeply in the importance of what they are doing, namely, delivering high-quality care that is accessible, affordable and convenient. They truly are healthcare pioneers,” said John Kenlon, publisher of Retail Clinician. “Their influence over the products and services that patients consume will continue to grow as they use their healthcare knowledge and experience to provide patients with the right Rx or OTC product for their unique healthcare needs.”

Attendance for the event surpassed expectations, drawing more than 300 nurse practitioners from around the nation for the event held Aug. 11 to 13 at the Gaylord Palms Resort.

There are currently about 1,000 clinics in operation, and it is estimated that by the end of 2008, some 1,500 clinics will be in operation nationwide. while the growth of such clinics has been impressive given the model hit the radar screen just eight years ago, industry sources agreed that it isn’t about the numbers. These clinics—and the nurse practitioners who work in them—play a critical role in the U.S. healthcare system, a system taxed by rising healthcare costs, physician shortages and overflowing emergency rooms. There are currently about 6,000 nurse practitioners employed by retail clinics.

In addition to a robust lineup of speakers and education sessions, the event recognized several key players who are helping to shape the industry through the first-ever presentation of the Clinician Awards for Retail Excellence (C.A.R.E.), which honored in-store practitioners for amazing examples of patient care (See story page 16).

Sandy Ryan, chief nurse practitioner officer of Take Care Health Systems, received the C.A.R.E. Leadership Award for her trailblazing efforts in the convenient care industry.

Receiving the C.A.R.E. Lifetime Achievement Award was Loretta Ford, who helped revolutionize the nursing profession 40 years ago with her work in co-founding the nation’s first pediatric nurse practitioner program.

In addition, the Convenient Care Association honored Retail Clinician editor in chief Rob Eder for his support of the retail clinic movement.

“I am just a journalist who is lucky enough to be able to tell heroic stories of patient care, but make no mistake—you are the real heroes,” Eder, receiving the award, told RCEC attendees. “The rising cost of health care is one of the biggest challenges facing America, and you have emerged as a major part of the solution.”

The RCEC also included a presentation by Tine Hansen-Turton, executive director of the CCA, and Ryan, who provided attendees with an overview of the CCA and the opportunities and challenges facing the industry.

A key component of the Congress were one-on-one meetings that enabled vendors to meet with clinic operators to discuss business opportunities. Over the three days of meetings, nearly 170 one-on-one meetings took place.

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Winn-Dixie completes 100th store remodel

BY Michael Johnsen

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Less than 18 months after announcing a major remodel initiative for all of its 521 stores, Winn-Dixie Stores, on Thursday announced the completion of remodel No. 100.

The newest remodeled store, in the Miami suburb of Hialeah, is celebrating its grand opening today.

The Hialeah store showcases the company’s fresh and local strategic initiative—an updated storefront, combined with expanded produce and floral departments. The store’s deli and bakery were upgraded with a wood-burning rotisserie and bread warmer, a wing bar, an olive bar and a specialty dessert case. The store also features new energy-efficient refrigerators and frozen food cases as well as new wood flooring and a contemporary color palette.

“This is not only a milestone for our Company, but it also symbolizes the hard work and dedication of our associates and the loyalty of our customers,” stated Peter Lynch, Winn-Dixie’s chairman, chief executive officer and president. “It’s all about being fresh and local—from our decor to our merchandising and marketing initiatives, we are tailoring every detail of our remodeled stores to meet the needs of neighborhoods we serve. As the remodel program moves forward, we will have a significantly stronger store base from which to compete and leverage the strength of our brand. We plan to remodel half the chain by June 2010.”

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Longs to carry GE digital cameras

BY Michael Johnsen

TORRANCE, Calif. Already distributed through Walgreens, General Imaging, the worldwide exclusive licensee for GE digital cameras, may be getting a foot in the door with CVS with Thursday’s announcement that its retail camera line is to be picked up by Longs Drug beginning in October.

Under the agreement, Longs stores will stock three models—the A730 Black, the A835 Black and the A1030 Red.

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