The drug and discount store chain said Wednesday that the campaigns brought screening and early detection tools to more than 98,000 people and, earlier this month, led Fred’s to make a nearly $40,000 donation to the American Heart Association (AHA).
Recognizing the importance of early detection, Fred’s provides free blood pressure checks daily and since February 2014 has partnered with the AHA for American Heart Month, donating $1 to the association for each BP screening given at its pharmacies during the month.
At the Fred’s Pharmacy location on Getwell Road next to the corporate office in Memphis, the retailer on May 3 presented the AHA with a check for $38,244, bringing the total donated over the last four years to $130,703.
More than 27 million Americans are diagnosed with heart disease annually, Fred’s noted. Another deadly disease, colorectal cancer, is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States among men and women.
For the fifth straight year, Fred’s recognized March as Colon Cancer Awareness Month by giving away free at-home EZ Detect screening kits that can detect signs of colon cancer and rectal cancer in the early stages, when they are most treatable. The retailer said it partnered with media outlets to get the word out about the free kits and, by the end of the one-month campaign, had distributed screening kits to 60,000 Fred’s customers.
“More than 11% of adults are diagnosed with heart disease every year,” Tim Leibmann, executive vice president and chief operating officer for health care at Fred’s Pharmacy, said in a statement. “When it comes to colon cancer, incidence and death rates are higher than the national average in many of our geographic markets. We’re proud to bring much needed awareness of these diseases to our local communities by providing information, free blood pressure screenings and free at-home colon cancer screening kits for our customers.”
Overall, Fred’s has 601 discount general merchandise stores, including approximately 360 in-store pharmacies, and three specialty pharmacy-only locations. The store base also include 14 franchised Fred’s Pharmacy locations.