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NACDS’ health, wellness initiatives take center stage at 2023 Milken Institute Future of Health Summit

NACDS’ initiatives regarding health and wellness were on display at the 2023 Milken Institute Future of Health Summit.
Sandra Levy
Senior Editor

The Future of Health Summit brought together more than 200 speakers to foster innovative solutions to some of the most pressing healthcare issues facing the nation — such as chronic disease, food access and sustainability, health equity and mental health. 

NACDS, who served as a sponsor of the three-day event, participated in a panel discussion at the Future of Health Summit titled, “FoodRx Innovations: Financing, Technology, and Stakeholder Relationships.”

During the discussion, NACDS board member and past chair Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health, The Kroger Co., and Sara Roszak, NACDS’ senior vice president of health and wellness strategy and policy, explored the role of the pharmacy in implementing “food is medicine” interventions, such as food prescriptions, and emphasized NACDS’ commitment to health and wellness innovation through the “NACDS 2023” Initiative. The “NACDS 2023” Initiative brings a “Pharmacy Plus” approach that leverages the total store for the total person.

[Watch DSN: Kroger Health’s Lindholz highlights importance of Food as Medicine platform]

As part of “NACDS 2023,” NACDS is partnering with the prestigious Milken Institute to make food prescriptions a reality for patients in the pharmacy and at retail. This collaboration evolved out of the Association’s participation in the September 2022 White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health.

Roszak also described “Nourish My Health,” a national public health education campaign that was launched by NACDS on the one-year anniversary of the White House Conference on Sept. 28 alongside the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association and the Food is Medicine Institute at Tufts University.

“We have this opportunity to build relationships with customers inside of our stores. That’s where the patient journey comes into play and that’s where we believe in an interdisciplinary team approach to taking care of people … The [patient journey is all about] getting the patient to the right person at the right time,” Lindholz said.

“Pharmacists have a huge role to play in the [patient journey] … Thirty-seven million Americans have diabetes, but close to 100 million are living with pre-diabetes and may not know that. The pharmacy is a great place for someone to identify that they have an issue, and then the pharmacist is right there to support them,” Roszak said.

Watch the full panel discussion here.

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