Hy-Vee: Expanding its health efforts


Hy-Vee is well-known for its health-and-wellness commitment, and the supermarket chain has been taking efforts up a few notches recently with new and expanded programs.

The Iowa-based company, which operates food stores in eight Midwestern states, has been growing programs for immunizations and in-store health clinics, while promoting in-store healthy foods’ departments and dietitians to support customer needs.

“The company prides itself on its dedication to health and wellness,” Kristin Williams, SVP and chief health officer, told DSN.

She said the retailer “offers customers the convenience of easily seeking healthcare services for a variety of medical conditions or guidance for how to achieve their personal health goals in our very own stores.”

The company has been partnering with local healthcare providers to open in-store retail health clinics. In the most recent fiscal year, Hy-Vee worked with local healthcare providers to open 29 new clinics. As of March, Hy-Vee operated 55 clinics across its market areas, and more are slated to open in 2017 and beyond.

“It’s a natural fit for local healthcare providers and Hy-Vee employees to work together,” Williams said. “From the provider’s nurse practitioners and doctors to Hy-Vee’s in-store dietitians, chefs, health concierges and pharmacists, our overall goal is to help our customers get and stay healthy.”

Hy-Vee operates 250 pharmacies, which include Hy-Vee Drugstores and satellite locations. Amber Pharmacy, Hy-Vee’s specialty pharmacy, operates in seven locations.

Hy-Vee recently expanded the range of vaccines it provides at its retail pharmacies. That move followed recognition that a growing number of customers were getting flu shots at the retailer’s pharmacies.

The company drew recent recognition on its specialty pharmacy side. Two recent quarterly surveys by Zitter Health Insights revealed that Hy-Vee’s Amber Pharmacy drew the highest ratings for patient satisfaction for its pharmacists, technicians, nurses and customer service representatives, as well as the highest patient loyalty score of all specialty pharmacies surveyed in the United States.

Hy-Vee has been just as active on the food side of its operation, where more than 200 dietitians play leading roles.

“Hy-Vee dietitians help customers focus on health and wellness by providing biometric screenings, one-on-one counseling, cooking classes, grocery store tours, culinary demonstrations and nutrition programs,” Williams said.

These dietitians offer a wide range of classes to customers, including the company’s Begin program, which focuses on managing weight loss, and the new Simple Fix program that enables shoppers to prepare healthy, convenient meals they can take home and easily serve.

Hy-Vee also is launching two new programs: Begin 4 Kids and Begin for Diabetes. The kids’ program is a four-week effort that emphasizes food groups, activity and healthy eating, while the diabetes initiative is a 10-week healthy lifestyle and weight management program for people with diabetes. In the near future, the chain’s dietitians will unveil a new program to help prediabetic individuals lead healthier lives, Williams said. Recently Hy-Vee announced an exclusive arrangement to carry actor and producer Mark Wahlberg’s new sports nutrition line, called Performance Inspired.

Also on the food side, Hy-Vee now operates 179 HealthMarket departments, which cater to customers seeking organic, natural, gluten-free and allergy-friendly foods.

Hy-Vee also launched a new in-store magazine, Hy-Vee Balance, focusing on health, personal care, fitness, food and cooking.

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