Walmart is bringing a diverse new perspective to its efforts to transform health care with the appointment of a top executive from a regional nonprofit health plan provider based in Portland, Oregon. The appointment of Dr. Cheryl Pegus, president of consumer health solutions and chief medical officer at Cambia Health Solutions, as EVP of Health & Wellness reporting directly to Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner, comes as the retailer continues to pursue initiatives designed to improve health care access and affordability.
At Cambia, Dr. Pegus was responsible for clinical and consumer strategy to increase access to equitable care. She directed platform consumer solutions including Journi, clinical services, pharmacy, provider and medical management activities.
“I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Pegus to the Walmart family to advance our efforts to continue exploring health care solutions for customers and associates, and helping Americans live better — and healthier,” said Furner. “She is an exceptional leader who will help us deliver care of the highest quality that people can receive at the right time, regardless of insurance coverage. This has never been more important as it is now, while the pandemic continues to put a strain on our health care system.”
In August, Walmart announced that Sean Slovenski, SVP and president for Walmart U.S. Health and Wellness, was leaving after only two years with the company. No reason was given for his departure.
Before her time at Cambia, Dr. Pegus had worked in private practice for several years as a cardiologist. She also joined Pfizer where she focused on the development of clinical protocols and early disease management programs and served as the first chief medical officer at Walgreens.
Additionally, Dr. Pegus is co-founder of A New Beat, an organization dedicated to improving the cardiovascular health and careers of women and under-represented minorities. She sits on the board of the American Heart Association and is the immediate past board chair for the Association of Black Cardiologists.
Dr. Pegus will begin her new position as EVP, Health & Wellness, for Walmart on Dec. 21.
“I am humbled to be joining the Walmart organization and for the opportunity to partner internally and externally to build upon existing initiatives for accessible and affordable care for associates and the communities we serve,” Dr. Pegus said.
Walmart Health & Wellness consists of more than 4,700 pharmacies, more than 3,400 Vision Centers, Walmart Health centers, digital health capabilities and Walmart Insurance Services, LLC.
Walmart revealed details in October about Walmart Insurance Services LLC, a licensed insurance brokerage that assists people with enrolling in insurance plans. Walmart Insurance Services is currently selling Medicare insurance plans during this year’s Annual Enrollment Period through Dec. 7.
Meanwhile, the retailer continues to expand its Walmart Health centers with the recent opening of two new centers adjacent to two newly remodeled supercenters in Chicago. These Walmart Health locations are intended to provide affordable and accessible health care for members of the Chicago community so they can get the right care at the right time, right in their community.
Walmart Health partners with local, on-the-ground health providers to deliver primary care, labs, x-ray and diagnostics, counseling, dental and hearing services all in one facility at transparent pricing regardless of a patient’s insurance status.
As well as the two Chicago Walmart Health centers, the retailer already operates six centers in Georgia and Arkansas; plans to open seven in the Jacksonville, Florida, area next year; and has begun "conversations in the Orlando and Tampa markets," according to Lori Flees, SVP and COO, Walmart U.S. health and wellness, in a Sept. 17 blog post.
Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart operates more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.