United Supermarkets Launches In-store Clinic Partnership

LUBBOCK, Texas -- In the latest in-store health clinic deal, United Supermarkets here is joining forces with UMC Health System, a local health care company, to offer "Living Well ExpressCare" units in two United stores in Lubbock beginning this fall. They will be the first in-store health clinics in Lubbock.

The clinics will offer primary medical services to store guests at United's 82nd & Boston, and 50th & Ave. Q locations, as soon as construction of the clinics can be completed. They will be located behind the pharmacy in each store, allowing patients to get their prescriptions filled immediately at the same location.

Similar facilities also are planned for United's 45th & Bell location in Amarillo, as well as the new Market Street store currently under construction in Frisco, United said. UMC will assist United in securing a medical partner for those two locations.

There are an estimated 425 clinics in operation in the U.S. today, but only about 20 percent are located in supermarkets, according to figures cited by United.

"The need for accessible, affordable, high-quality health care in our country has never been greater, as studies indicate that nearly a third of the U.S. population does not have a family physician," said Dan Sanders, c.e.o. of United Supermarkets. "Not only does this partnership provide our store guests with convenient, quality health care, but we believe it also will allow us to focus attention on the wellness and nutrition products and services available in our stores."

The facility will be open seven days a week, maintaining operating hours similar to those of each store's pharmacy. It will be staffed by a nurse practitioner under the supervision of a licensed physician.

The clinic will offer "minor emergency" services, including treatment of sore throat, ear/sinus infections, bronchitis, urinary tract infections, skin irritations, and seasonal allergies. Other available services will include tuberculosis testing, pregnancy testing, and basic physicals. Flu and pneumonia vaccinations will be available at the pharmacy.

No appointment will be necessary, and most insurance will be accepted.

UMC Health System considers itself the leader in comprehensive health care delivery in west Texas and eastern New Mexico. The in-store clinic partnership between UMC Health System and United is the first such endeavor for both companies.

"We have an exclusive arrangement in the Lubbock market," United's director of corporate communications, Eddie Owens, told Progressive Grocer. "UMC does not have any exposure in our other trade areas, but they will be helping us identify medical partners in those other markets."
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