Giant Eagle Gears Up for Ohio Walk-in Clinics

As the latest grocery retailer angling for a piece of the rapidly expanding retail clinic market, Giant Eagle has laid the groundwork to begin operating walk-in clinics within some of its supermarket locations in Ohio.

The Pittsburgh-based retailer recently signed on with Summa Health System to open in-store clinics in Wadsworth and Stow, Ohio, according to local press reports, while also inking a pact with University Hospitals Case Medical Center to staff retail clinics in its Cleveland, Ohio-area stores, according to a report in the Beacon Journal.

Giant Eagle spokesman Rob Borella was quoted in the report as saying that the high volume of the stores’ existing foot traffic bode well for customers seeking a “convenient place” to address minor ailments via a “quick checkup by a health care professional.''

Akron-based Summa Health System, which is one of the largest integrated delivery systems in Ohio, is hiring nurse practitioners to staff the Wadsworth clinic, which is expected to open sometime next year, while the Stow location is expected to open later in 2010.

Cleveland-based University Hospitals, meanwhile, is reportedly leasing space from Giant Eagle to run the in-store clinics, which will roll out in four supermarkets in eastern Cuyahoga and Geauga and Lake Counties. The first clinic is expected to open in early 2010.

The press report said Giant Eagle is working with national retailer FastCare to help set up the clinics and provide administrative help for the University Hospitals-run clinics that will be called University Hospitals FastCare.

Summa’s cross-town rival, Akron General Health System, has had a partnership with 16-store, Akron-based Acme Fresh Markets since 2008 for that grocer’s ExpressCare walk-in clinics in several stores, where customers are seen by nurse practitioners employed by Akron General.
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