Dollar General Corp. (DG) has appointed Albert Wu, M.D. to the newly created role of VP, chief medical officer. In this position, Wu will help to develop DG’s health care services efforts by establishing and strengthening relationships with current and prospective health care product and service providers to build a comprehensive network of affordable services for the retailer’s customers.
“We’re excited to welcome Albert to our team and to put a greater emphasis on wellness in the communities we serve,” said Dollar General CEO Todd Vasos. “His impressive experience brings a unique perspective to our operations and will be critical as we look to develop our health care services offering.”
Wu joins Dollar General from New York-based McKinsey & Co., where he has worked since 2016. During his time there, he led a team to create a total cost-of-care model for 250,000 rural health care patients, oversaw various hospital provider turnarounds totaling $2-5 billion in revenue, designed a digitally driven health care insurance product offering, and provided guidance to analysts modeling ventilation and pharmaceutical needs to support pandemic relief efforts. Before that, Wu was an anesthesiology resident, delivering direct care to patients in a variety of care settings. Having joined the company on July 6, he reports to Dollar General COO Jeff Owen.
Wu’s appointment came as DG revealed the planned expansion of its health care offering, particularly in rural areas. This expansion will include a greater assortment of cough and cold, dental, nutritional, medical, health and feminine hygiene products at many Dollar General stores. The effort marks the first major step in the company’s strategic journey to boost access to health care offerings.
With 75% of the U.S. population living within approximately 5 miles of one of DG’s 17,000-plus locations, the company is well placed to reach rural communities often underserved by other retailers as well as the existing health care ecosystem. DG’s ability to grow its health offerings is backed by its existing infrastructure, robust supply chain, and current complementary health and nutrition assortment.
“At Dollar General, we are always looking for new ways to serve, and our customers have told us that they would like to see increased access to affordable health care products and services in their communities,” noted Vasos. “Our goal is to build and enhance affordable health care offerings for our customers, especially in the rural communities we serve.”
Just recently, the company said that it expects to offer produce in up to 10,000 of its stores over the next several years, up from 1,300 stores currently, as it moves closer to functioning as a grocer in more of the communities where it operates. Regularly consuming produce has been linked to better health in children and adults.
Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based DG operates 17,426 stores in 46 states, employing about 140,000 associates. The company is No. 15 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.