The food and drug retailer said late Thursday that Agostino will start in the newly created position in the coming weeks. In that role, he will work with Hy-Vee’s health and wellness teams to research, develop and launch programs and initiatives to grow Hy-Vee’s health brand. He also will continue his involvement in industry and government relations for Hy-Vee.
“I spend 40% of my time on pharmacy issues because health care has become such an important piece of our business,” Hy-Vee chairman, president and chief executive officer Randy Edeker said in a statement. Edeker also serves as chairman of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. “I’ve asked Mike to come to our team to develop future innovation that will strengthen our pharmacy business in this ever-changing environment. He has a wealth of skills and experience, and that’s why I’m excited for the new ideas he’ll bring.”
With Agostino moving to a new role, Aaron Wiese has been appointed as president of Amber Pharmacy. Wiese currently is assistant vice president at Hy-Vee and chief operating officer of Amber, which is based in Omaha, Neb., and has pharmacies in Chicago, Dallas and Philadelphia. Hy-Vee acquired the specialty pharmacy in 2014 after the two companies had worked together over several years to form Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions.
“Aaron has a keen understanding of our health care system and both specialty and traditional pharmacy,” Edeker stated. “His leadership skills combined with his ability to organize and communicate effectively gave him the expertise to lead this very important subsidiary. He will help us deliver absolutely incredible care to our patients and position us for the future.”
Agostino joined Amber Pharmacy in 2008 after previously working as a vice president of managed care sales for Walgreens, where his duties included operations, sales, business development, small-business solutions, contracting and client services. Hy-Vee noted that Agostino is extremely active in the pharmacy community. He serves on the board for the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy and is a member of its executive committee, membership committee and government affairs committee. He also is an instructor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s pharmacy program.
“I am pleased and feel very comfortable leaving Amber Pharmacy and Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions in such capable and talented hands,” Agostino commented. “I look forward to the opportunity to serve in a key role that will add value and make a difference in the rapidly changing and evolving health care market.”
Along with the new roles for Agostino and Wiese, Hy-Vee announced promotions of other executives at Amber Pharmacy/Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions: Julie Zatizabal to senior vice president of trade relations, Micaila Ruiz to chief pharmacy officer, Jo Ann Hyres to senior vice president of sales and marketing, and Peggy Tomes to senior vice president of reimbursement and billing.
Overall, Hy-Vee operates 240 retail stores, virtually all with pharmacies, across eight Midwestern states.