CINCINNATI — As president of Kroger Health, one of Colleen Lindholz’s top priorities is to continually grow and develop how the retail health company delivers high-quality care and lowers overall health care costs for customers.
Kroger is leading the way in the delivery of quality care by offering expert, credible and convenient services in-store every day.
“By combining wellness and nutrition solutions in a neighborhood retailer, Kroger Health is meeting people where they are and creating more accessible health services for customers,” Lindholz says.
The company understands that the lack of an accessible source of care, overall costs, and whether a person feels comfortable with a health care provider factor into the decision to rely on retail clinics for care. Studies have shown pharmacists and nurses are among the most trusted professionals in the medical field, and research proves that applying a holistic approach to chronic disease management significantly improves patient outcomes.
Pharmacists led the way in the response to COVID-19 — administering more than 270 million vaccine doses, preventing an estimated 8 million hospitalizations and over 1 million deaths. Kroger’s Little Clinic locations and pharmacies administered more than 12.5 million vaccines, along with offering transportation services.
“Through thoughtful connections and deepened community support, customers became familiar with our company’s health care services,” says Lindholz. “Because we put patients first, many have returned for everything from diabetes management to anxiety. I’m incredibly impressed by what our pharmacists and nurse practitioners were able to accomplish during this emergency response.”
This past year has been filled with numerous accomplishments for the Kroger Health team. Last September, it facilitated the Kroger Wellness Festival. More than 125,000 people attended the two-day event in Cincinnati that provided more than 60 panel discussions, interactive activities, and concerts with several celebrity guests, and more than 300 vendors who gave out free items. The family-friendly event focused on all aspects of health and wellness, including the importance of nutrition, physical activity and taking care of one’s mental health.
Recent months also saw the launch of the brand campaign A World of Care is In-Store, highlighting Kroger Health’s expert, credible and convenient care offerings.
Last fall, Kroger was honored with the invitation to participate in the White House Conference for Hunger, Nutrition and Health. During this event, the Kroger Health team brought together a coalition of industry leaders to discuss measures to improve population health through food and nutrition. Among ongoing activities, the company is leading an initiative that involves Kroger, the Rockefeller Foundation and the American Heart Association to mobilize $250 million to build a national Food as Medicine research initiative.
The pandemic brought attention to issues that have been impacting communities for years, including the urgent need to improve access to nutritious foods and provide care to various populations and communities. Kroger Health is positioned to combine nutrition and health care, and one of the initiatives Lindholz is very passionate about is Food as Medicine. This initiative aims to deliver a “dedicated, educated and personalized approach” to eating and enjoying nutritious food to help people live healthier lives and prevent chronic illness.
“At Kroger, communities have access to healthy foods, and through Kroger Health’s services people have access to health resources,” Lindholz says. “We have an important role to play in the delivery of affordable and accessible health care to communities around the country, and Kroger Health is already delivering on this potential. I am very excited for what the future holds.”