Baptist Health to partner with Walgreens

Baptist Health to partner with Walgreens
Katie Lestan, divisional vice president for Walgreen’s Health Systems, shakes hands with Baptist Health President and Chief Executive Officer Hugh Greene during a press conference announcing the partnership between the two entities Nov. 16.

Baptist Health made another contribution to its “mission to change healthcare for good” for the residents in the northeast Florida region when it announced a new special partnership with pharmaceutical giant Walgreens during a press conference at its hospital on the Southbank Nov. 16.

As part of the agreement, Baptist’s retail pharmacy operations will open under Walgreen’s ownership at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville in January 2017, while pharmacies at the health system’s six other locations are planned to close. Continuity will be provided through access to any of the 55 Walgreen’s locations in the greater Jacksonville area.

However, Baptist Health’s inpatient pharmacies and infusion therapy pharmacy will remain owned and operated by Baptist.

“This is a strategic relationship between the most comprehensive health care system in the region and a long-standing, trusted provider of pharmacy services throughout the community,” said Baptist Health President and Chief Executive Officer Hugh Greene. “Together with Walgreens, we are eager to provide value while improving the overall health of the communities in northeast Florida.”

In addition to the retail pharmacy component, the partnership with Walgreens also spans four other areas – retail health clinics, care coordination, digital apps and social responsibility, Greene said during the press conference.

Baptist Health will take over and own the clinical practice and operations management of retail health clinics within three Walgreens stores in Jacksonville and northeast Florida. The locations will be in Ponte Vedra, Mandarin and Fleming Island and the transition from Walgreens to Baptist Health is expected to begin in May 2017. Once the transfer is made, the clinics will operate under the name Baptist Health Clinic at Walgreens and will be considered an extension of Baptist Health.

The retail clinics will complement Baptist’s extensive primary care network and urgent care partnership with CareSpot, and give consumers improved access to compassionate, affordable, high-quality care due to extended walk-in hours, convenient online scheduling and the option to access a variety of health care services without and appointment.

Baptist Health also plans to take advantage of Walgreen’s highly successful digital tools and incentives to help people manage their health. The Walgreen’s mobile app is one of the most downloaded retail apps in the country, said Greene, and offers a variety of tools and programs including Balance Rewards, a customer loyalty program that allows consumers to earn points for health-related activities such as walking and running, logging weight, checking blood pressure and receiving vaccinations.

“We believe at Baptist we are going to learn from Walgreens in terms of being more consumer responsive in an era of which that’s increasingly important, but also it allows us to do some unique things in interfacing with their tools in the local community,” Greene said.

In addition, the two organizations are planning several future community initiatives, he said.

“This is a very good cultural fit,” said Greene. “I’ve been very impressed with the spirit of collaboration that exists from Walgreens’ leadership whether it’s in Chicago or locally. A true collaborative requires a relationship characterized by commitment, trust and communication. We believe that exists in our relationship with Walgreens and that Walgreens will be an ideal partner to embark on a strategic relationship for the future.”

By Marcia Hodgson
Resident Community News

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