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Walgreens recognized as innovative health care company

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DEERFIELD, Ill. — Fast Company magazine has named Walgreen Co. as one of the health care industry’s most innovative companies.

The drug store chain said Thursday that the business publication, as part of its "Fast 50" issue spotlighting the world’s most innovative firms, recognized Walgreens for its leadership in health care services, ranging from its national network of Take Care health clinics to its efforts in health and wellness services and chronic care management, including the recently unveiled Walgreens Optimal Wellness initiative.

"We are thrilled to be named in the pages of Fast Company among the world’s most innovative organizations," Colin Watts, Walgreens’ chief innovation officer, said in a statement. "To be recognized for our innovation in health care is especially gratifying, as it validates the significant investment and progress we are making toward our goal of truly becoming a trusted community health provider and in making a measurable and important difference in our customers’ and patients’ lives."

Hal Rosenbluth, senior vice president and president of the Health and Wellness division at Walgreens, commented, "Whether through our in-store health clinics or by revolutionizing employer health care offerings, Walgreens has big ideas about the state of health care in America, as well as the commitment, people and presence to deliver on the promise of more convenient, affordable care to both patients and corporations across the country."

In the issue, Walgreens was highlighted with other health care innovators, such as health system Kaiser Permanente, patient-community network Patients Like Me, robotic surgery leader Intuitive Surgical and technology providers General Electric and Cisco Systems.

Other health services initiatives by Walgreens include Pharmacy Management Excellence, a direct-to-employer prescription drug program; disease prevention and health education, including a recently announced limited-time offer for free blood glucose testing; and the 90-day at retail program, which encourages the delivery of maintenance and chronic care medication through its pharmacies.

"We are creating an environment in which our nearly 70,000-strong health care providers can deliver the full extent of care their training and capabilities allow," stated Kermit Crawford, Walgreens’ executive vice president of pharmacy. "In doing so, we are truly transforming Walgreens into a trusted health care provider to our customers and patients. Within pharmacy, this includes pharmacists interacting and counseling patients in new ways. Whether taking an active role in diabetes care or other chronic conditions, Walgreens will continue to lead the way in introducing new programs to care for customers and patients."

The drug chain added that Fast Company chronicled some of its health care ambitions in July 2009 in the article, "Why Walgreens Is Building Its Own Universal Health-Care System."


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