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Pioneering wellness

Dr. Linh Lee, director of pharmacy for Ralphs Pharmacy, is creating a holistic and nutritional framework combining pharmacy and nutrition.
Linh Lee

Dr. Linh Lee, director of pharmacy for Ralphs Pharmacy, caught up with Drug Store News to discuss a roadmap toward holistic health through a nutritional lens.

Drug Store News: How do you view the evolving role of pharmacies in promoting holistic wellness?
Dr. Linh Lee: Improving community health and wellness involves more than just relying on medications for disease prevention. A crucial aspect of long-term well-being is the adoption of a healthy lifestyle and a significant contributor to this is nutrition management. By focusing on healthier food choices and lifestyle changes, individuals can reduce the burden of medical conditions in the long run and take a preventative approach to their well-being.

One approach I take to promoting health within the communities is to leverage the expertise of the pharmacists in our grocery stores. These healthcare professionals are readily accessible to patients and can play an integral role in guiding individuals toward better health choices. In the context of food and nutrition, pharmacists can provide valuable recommendations for healthier food options, assisting customers in making informed decisions during their grocery shopping.

DSN: In what ways has your pharmacy embraced the concept of holistic wellness?
LL: Effectively managing both acute and chronic conditions involve a dual approach that includes the right medication and proper nutrition management. Pharmacists, as healthcare
professionals, play a crucial role in this comprehensive healthcare strategy.

Pharmacists are equipped with extensive knowledge not only on drug usage but also on various interactions that can impact an individual’s health. This includes expertise in understanding drug-drug interactions, drug-disease interactions, and equally important, drug-food interactions. Moreover, pharmacists are well-versed in recognizing interactions with dietary vitamins and supplements. As pharmacists, our broad understanding of these interactions allows us to educate patients, ensuring medication regimens align with nutritional needs.

DSN: Can you elaborate on programs or initiatives your pharmacy has implemented to educate about the connection between nutrition and wellness?
LL: Embracing the concept of “Food as Medicine,” Kroger and Ralphs Grocery Company have taken a personalized approach to transform the way people view and shop for food, ultimately contributing to healthier lives. The Kroger initiative recognizes the profound impact that dietary choices can have on overall well-being and seeks to empower individuals to make informed and personalized decisions about their food intake and enjoying food.

At the core of this approach is a commitment to understanding that food is not just sustenance but a powerful tool for promoting health. By integrating a personalized perspective into the shopping experience, Kroger aims to guide individuals toward food choices that align with their unique health needs and goals.

Dr. Linh Lee is the Director of Pharmacy for Ralphs Pharmacy, a division of The Kroger Company. Linh has been with Kroger for 22 years and has held a variety of roles within the company.

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