--Convenient care clinic manager to open in nine new markets; up to 100 more centers planned by the end of calendar 2007 in new and existing markets
--Company brings on key health care executives and opens operations center as extension of headquarters operations to fuel growth
CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. â€“ October 2, 2007 â€“ Take Care Health Systems, one of the largest managers of convenient care clinics and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walgreens (NYSE, NASDAQ: WAG), is opening clinics in nine new markets this fall, including Cincinnati, Cleveland, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, Nashville, Tenn., Orlando, Fla., Tampa, Fla. and Tucson, Ariz. Combined with expansion in its existing markets of Chicago, Kansas City, Milwaukee and St. Louis, up to 100 new Take Care Health Clinics are planned to open by the end of calendar 2007. This announcement marks the first expansion of the Take Care Health Systems business since Walgreens acquired the company in May 2007.
Take Care Health Systems has appointed new senior executives and opened an operations center in Fargo, N.D., as an extension of the companyâ€™s headquarter operations to support the companyâ€™s growth strategy.
â€œOur significant expansion plans underscore Take Care Health Systemsâ€™ vision to create a national footprint of clinics delivering access to high-quality, convenient and affordable health care to patients on their terms,â€ said Hal Rosenbluth, Chairman of Take Care Health Systems and senior strategy consultant for Walgreens. â€œWe are supporting this aggressive growth strategy by bringing on instrumental health care executives and by opening an operations center in Fargo, which adds 43 colleagues to support four key business areas, including recruiting, billing, customer service and credentialing.â€
â€œWe are on track to open 400 clinics by the end of next year,â€ said Rosenbluth.
Take Care Health Clinics are professional health care centers, staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants who treat patients 18 months and older for common illnesses such as strep throat, ear and sinus infections, pink eye and poison ivy, provide diagnostic testing and vaccinations, and are able to prescribe for the ailments they treat. Clinics are open seven days a week, with no appointments necessary. The average fee for services ranges from $59 to $74. Most major insurance plans including Medicare and Medicaid are accepted, and if insured by a plan that covers the cost of a visit to the clinic, patients pay their insurance co-pay.
â€œSince November 2005, Take Care Health Providers have treated more than 200,000 patients who have embraced our model of health care, as indicated by exceedingly high, best-in-class patient satisfaction scores,â€ said Peter Miller, President and CEO of Take Care Health Systems. â€œWithin a broken health care system, Take Care Health Clinics redefine the health care experience for patients, serving as a critical access point for those who cannot get in to see their provider, those without insurance or a regular provider, or those who need help navigating the often complicated health care system. Take Care Health Providers offer solutions to meet the needs of these patients by advocating for them and referring them to the appropriate level of care as part of our integrated approach with the medical community.â€
Key additions to the Take Care Health Systems executive team further support the companyâ€™s growth strategy and demonstrate commitment to the companyâ€™s core focus of revolutionizing the service of health care delivery.
Heather Helle has joined Take Care Health Systems as the chief operating officer, reporting directly to Miller and leading multiple organizations within the company, enabling successful, swift and coordinated growth. A former executive with McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Inc, a division of Johnson & Johnson, Helle effectively led her team across three locations and directed P&L and innovation efforts across a $745 million, 11 brand, Johnson & Johnson business. Helle was responsible for integrating multiple legacy-Pfizer businesses and personnel into McNeil and devised the new vision and mission while building organizational alignment. In her role, she led a team comprised of marketing, sales, operations, and commercialization and gained valuable experience coordinating activities across multiple functional areas. Helle will lead and direct the operations, human resources, marketing, medical and nursing business lines within Take Care Health Systems.
Additionally, Kim Rhodes joins the company as chief strategist, a dual role working with Rosenbluth on Walgreens strategic initiatives while concurrently leading strategic direction for Take Care Health Systems. Previously senior vice president and general counsel for Ecount, a Citi Company, Rhodes was responsible for the marketing of the business and concluding a merger transaction resulting in the acquisition of Ecount for the highest valuation to date for a financial services business in this market space.
The companyâ€™s new senior director of marketing and strategy is Dell Williams, reporting to Helle. Williams was previously the vice president of health care industry relations for ARAMARK Healthcare, a $1.3 billion health care company, where she led industry relations and business intelligence activities. Williams will enhance Take Care Health Systemsâ€™ thought leadership by expanding industry partnerships and monitoring key industry trends. Additionally, she will assist in identifying and developing new business opportunities and strengthening the companyâ€™s value proposition through research, metrics and consumer insights.
Rounding out the strategic new hires for Take Care Health Systems is Iris Melendez, senior director of education and development. In this role, Melendez is responsible for the companyâ€™s learning strategy, providing leadership and direction for clinical education to promote colleague growth, development and world class training opportunities. Melendez will enhance the companyâ€™s talent pipeline to support aggressive growth plans. Melendez joins Take Care Health Systems from Johnson & Johnson, where she served as the global lead for a HR transformation initiative. In a separate role, she created an organizational development function for a leading Johnson & Johnson business line.
Melendez reports to Margery Geers, Take Care Health Systemsâ€™ chief people officer who joined the company earlier this year. Geers was the former senior vice president of human resources for Healthcare Management Services within ARAMARK, bringing more than 16 years of global human resource management experience across various industries and expertise in managing multiple accounts and employees throughout a nationally distributed environment. At Take Care Health Systems, Geers plays an instrumental role in supporting the organization in maintaining its reputation as employer of choice for all colleagues.
Take Care Health Systems also recently added support to its operations by opening an operations center in Fargo, on Sept. 24. The operations center brings 43 new positions to the company in the areas of recruiting, billing, customer service and credentialing and serves as the cornerstone to the companyâ€™s expanded national growth over the next 12 months.
â€œThe companyâ€™s organizational additions will enable strong, coordinated operational execution to expand to up to 100 clinics by the end of calendar 2007 across nine new markets,â€ said Miller. â€œThe collective health care expertise and strategy these new colleagues bring will undoubtedly enable Take Care Health Systems to maintain thought leadership in the convenient care industry.â€
Take Care Health Systemsâ€™ vision is to provide high-quality, convenient, affordable and accessible health care to all individuals, while integrating with the traditional medical community and focusing on a patient-first philosophy. The company distinguishes itself from other convenient care clinic managers by providing an integrated approach to the patientâ€™s long-term well-being, rather than concentrating solely on quick treatment. Take Care Health Systems uses nationally recognized, evidence-based clinical guidelines for treatment and electronic medical record technology allowing patients to take visit records to their other providers, ensuring continuity of care. Take Care Health Providers follow quality and safety standards as outlined by the Convenient Care Association, the industryâ€™s trade association, and are aligned with guidelines for retail clinics set by the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Medical Association.
Take Care Health Providers collaborate with the traditional medical community toward a shared goal of providing patient-focused care with each encounter. Providers encourage all patients to have a â€œhealth care home,â€ a medical provider they see routinely for on-going medical needs and routine exams. If a patientâ€™s condition falls outside of the scope of practice at the clinic, the patient is referred back to his/her primary care provider for follow-on care. If a patient does not have a primary care physician, providers will offer a list of physicians in the area accepting new patients. Take Care Health Providers collaborate with local physicians who are available for consultation at all times the practitioner is treating a patient.
Take Care Health Systems currently manages 63 Take Care Health Clinics in Chicago, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and St. Louis. Take Care Health Systems plans to open more than 400 clinics at Walgreens drugstores by the end of 2008.
About Take Care Health Systems
Take Care Health Systems (www.takecarehealth.com), one of the largest managers of convenient care clinics, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walgreens. Convenient care clinics managed by Take Care Health Systems combine best practices in medicine and the expertise and personal care of Take Care Health Providers in providing high-quality, accessible and affordable health care to all individuals. The company manages 63 health care clinics in Chicago, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and St. Louis. Take Care Health Systems uses nationally recognized clinical guidelines, industry standards set forth by the Convenient Care Association (www.convenientcareassociation.org) and an electronic medical record system to ensure the highest quality care. The company maintains a detailed quality assurance program including collaborating physician review to ensure quality care, patient safety and state scope of practice compliance. Patient care is provided by Take Care Health Services, an independently owned state professional corporation established in each market.
Walgreen Co. (NYSE, NASDAQ: WAG) is the nationâ€™s largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2007 sales of $53.8 billion. The company operates 6,014 stores in 48 states and Puerto Rico, including 77 Happy Harryâ€™s stores in Delaware and surrounding states. Walgreens is expanding its patient-first health care services beyond traditional pharmacy through Walgreens Health Services, its managed care division, and Take Care Health Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary that manages convenient care clinics at drugstores. Walgreens Health Services assists pharmacy patients and prescription drug and medical plans through Walgreens Health Initiatives Inc. (a pharmacy benefit manager), Walgreens Mail Service Inc., Walgreens Home Care Inc. and Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy Inc.