Ryan picked to oversee Walmart Care Clinics

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BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart has hired veteran retail clinic executive Sandra Ryan to head its fledgling Care Clinic business, which was launched in April 2014 and now operates 17 clinics in three states.

Sandra Ryan

The appointment of Ryan to the new position of vice president of Walmart Care Clinics suggests that Walmart intends to aggressively roll out the concept, which the company contends differs from most other retail clinics.

“Walmart Care Clinic is a primary care clinic, which encompasses diagnosis and treatment of chronic and acute illnesses, as well as preventative services, such as immunizations, physicals and additional health screening,” the retailer’s website explains. “Our expanded scope of services enables us to be your primary medical ­provider.”

Like other retail clinics, Walmart Care Clinics are staffed by nurse practitioners. But besides being positioned as primary care providers, the clinics are differentiated by their low prices. For Walmart associates and family members on the health plan, the prices are particularly low, with a clinic visit costing just $4. For members of the general public, a walk-in visit costs $40. Separate charges apply for services beyond the office visit, such as vaccines and lab tests.

Walmart opened its first Care Clinic in Copperas Cove, Texas, in April 2014, and it now operates seven clinics in that state, as well as five clinics each in Georgia and South Carolina.

Ryan brings a wealth of relevant experience to her new position at Walmart. She joins the retail giant from CareCam Health Systems, where she spent two years as chief clinical officer. That company has an app for smartphones and tablets designed to help patients better proactively monitor their health.

Before that, Ryan was chief nurse practitioner officer at Walgreen Co. Ryan was one of six founding officers of Take Care Health Systems, a retail health clinic operator that was acquired by Walgreens in 2007.

At Take Care, Ryan was responsible for the clinical and business operations of more than 350 in-store clinics located in selected Walgreens stores across the nation, and provided leadership to over 1,300 nurse practitioners nationally.

Ryan was the first chief nurse practitioner officer in the convenient care industry, and she spent eight years as chair of the Convenient Care Association’s clinical advisory board and provider task force. In that role she is credited with developing and implementing CCA’s quality and safety standards and third-party certification process.

The American College of Nurse Practitioners awarded Ryan the 2007 Nancy Sharp Cutting Edge Award in recognition of her service to increase the visibility of nurse practitioners and to enhance the lives of patients, her Linked In page notes. Ryan was also the recipient of Retail Clinician Congress CARE Leadership Award in 2008, and was the first nurse practitioner to be inducted as a Fellow of the College of Physicians in Philadelphia in 2011.

She became a fellow to the American Academy of Nursing in 2013, and was recognized with the Loretta Ford Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.


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