The National Association of Chain Drug Stores reflected on the success it had telling pharmacy’s story and aligning NACDS 2023 with the recent White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health.
NACDS 2023 is the association’s commitment to sustain a pro-pharmacy, pro-patient focus while also advancing broad health-and-wellness solutions throughout the store via multidisciplinary care and community partnerships.
Steve Anderson, president and CEO, noted that NACDS engaged directly in the actual White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. “Member company representatives participated in person, and I had the opportunity to do so as well,” he said.
Anderson said that NACDS also extended the physical and virtual reach of the White House conference and of NACDS’ presence by hosting an in-person satellite event that was ideally positioned in the block between the White House and the conference’s actual location at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.
“We also conveyed — and continue to convey — vital messages through digital content and media interviews,” he said. “NACDS also engaged with patient groups, agency officials, members of Congress, the media and others to tell this industry’s story, and also to create new opportunities to advance health and wellness.“
Anderson pointed out that Arif Kamal, chief patient officer of the American Cancer Society, summed up the day as effectively as anyone. He said that Kamal spoke and discussed important issues with NACDS members at the NACDS satellite event. In a video that was recorded to help communicate the important messages of the White House conference and of NACDS’ satellite event, Kamal said:
“Well, pharmacies like the American Cancer Society are community-based organizations. Just like us, we’re in all the communities out there and so are you,” he said. “And we think there is great collaboration here at this place to get together, learn from each other, engage and really use the resources to improve nutrition, exercise, understanding of disease and eventually overall cancer outcomes.”
Anderson said that building relationships are vital for all of the priority issues that NACDS advances for the benefit of patients and to sustain the pharmacies that serve them. “Whether you attended this week’s events in person or whether you are amplifying our story on social media, including LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, thank you!“ he said.
Takeaways from White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health:
[Read more: NACDS receives ASAE's 2021 Power of A Gold Award]
- NACDS positioned its engagement this way: NACDS brings “Face of Neighborhood Healthcare” to White House conference with key message: “Pharmacies’ accessibility, trust and community connections that served well during the pandemic can help address broader health, wellness and equity ambitions;”
- NACDS member company representatives also engaged in the White House conference, including NACDS past chairman Randy Edeker of Hy-Vee, Rodney McMullen of Kroger, Irina Pelphrey of Albertsons (a member of the NACDS 2023 Advisory Group) and Charley John of Walgreens;
- NACDS chain member companies participating in the satellite event include Albertsons, CARE Pharmacies Cooperative, Good Neighbor Pharmacies, Health Mart, Hy-Vee, Kinney Drugs, Kroger, Medicine Shoppe International, Rite Aid, Walgreen and Walmart;
- NACDS packaged together its recommendations for and commitments to the White House conference;
- Commitments of NACDS members included Albertsons, Hy-Vee, Kroger, Meijer, Publix and Walgreens, and of NACDS specifically, were highlighted at the White House conference;
- The White House “National Strategy” reflects aspects of NACDS policy recommendations, including those regarding “SNAP” and “WIC” programs, scope of practice expansion for qualified health professionals, improved access to medical nutrition therapy and the need to incentivize payers to cover more services;
- NACDS policy recommendations flowed from listening sessions with NACDS chain and associate members this summer;
- Reflecting the work of members and its own seven-year relationship with the Arlington Food Assistance Center, NACDS staff this week bagged 5,000 lbs. of produce to help those in need. See video here; and
- NACDS emphasized that its engagement on social determinants of health and on health equity is not new — an example, NACDS’ engagement in the World Health Care Congress.
NACDS shared the following videos: