July 13, 2006
Lori Willis, Director of Communications Patricia Sohn, President
Schnuck Markets instaClinic
SCHNUCKS ANNOUNCES FIRST LOCALLY-BASED PARTNERSHIP FOR RETAIL-HOSTED HEALTH CLINICS AT SELECT LOCATIONS
ST. LOUIS - Today, Schnuck Markets, Inc. announced that instaClinic LLC, a local medical services organization will begin operating healthcare clinics in selected metro area Schnucks stores this fall. Thanks to the unique partnership between these St. Louis based, family-owned companies, grocery customers will soon have easy access to care and treatment for common illnesses or minor conditions with no appointment.
Construction has started on the first four clinics to be located in the Butler Hill, Lindell, Mid Rivers and Alton Schnucks stores. Schnucks leaders believe that the presence of these clinics, located near the in-store pharmacies, will provide a valuable community service. According to Scott Schnuck, president and CEO of Schnucks, the first four clinics are being built in communities that will benefit from the additional services.
"Everyone deserves access to quality healthcare," said Schnuck. "The medical professionals behind instaClinic have provided a concept that will help Schnucks make that happen for more members of our community. Our new partnership will compliment health counseling and education services currently offered to Schnucks Pharmacy customers through our own `Healthy Living' initiative and will further enhance our ability to help customers and associates improve the quality of their lives."
According to Patricia Sohn, president/founder of instaClinic, "Our mission is to improve accessibility to high-quality healthcare - complimenting the local medical community by offering convenient points of entry into our healthcare system for those seeking episodic or preventative care. Ownership by St. Louis medical professionals means that our team of physicians and nurse practitioners is uniquely dedicated to working closely with area providers, assuring continuity of care for individuals and families."
Dr. Lawrence Kriegshauser, a local surgeon and member of the instaClinic Medical Advisory Council, has high praise for the local initiative. "InstaClinic is special in that it is operated by experienced healthcare professionals with strong ties to the St. Louis community, while most other retail-based clinics are operated by large chains and out-of-state corporations with no healthcare experience. This local flavor and expertise qualifies instaClinic to better understand how to work with our physicians to serve this community's healthcare needs."
According to Sohn, collaborating physicians affiliated with hospitals near the clinics will help assure that care complies with guidelines for retail clinics established by the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians. "Patients will receive information about physicians and hospitals close to their own neighborhoods for ongoing care or follow-up visits. Those who have a primary care physician will be referred back to that physician for any additional care," Sohn said.
At instaClinic locations, care will be offered during extended hours, seven days a week by nurse practitioners who will provide treatment for common illnesses such as allergies, colds and sprains, in addition to offering convenient access to health counseling, screenings and immunizations. Visits to the clinics are without appointment and the typical cost is less than $50. The latest electronic medical record technologies will ensure confidentiality and promote accurate, comprehensive documentation. This will help to maximize continuity of care and facilitate a smooth referral process.
All four Schnucks clinics are scheduled for completion before the start of flu season this fall. Plans call for continued development of more in-store clinics in St. Louis and surrounding areas. Sohn, a summa cum laude graduate of the Barnes-Jewish College of Nursing, also plans to include an endowment benefiting local nursing education in the instaClinic business model.
Belinda Heimerick, executive director of the Missouri Nurses Association, said retail-based nurse practitioner clinics fall in line with the American Nurses Association's goals of improving healthcare accessibility. "Because food and pharmaceuticals are necessities, the grocery store, particularly when there is a pharmacy connection and extended hours of operation, provides an exceptional opportunity to take healthcare directly to the people."
The Nurse Practitioner Profession: Nurse practitioners hold a master's degree in advanced practice nursing which enables them to provide care for a wide range of healthcare problems. They must first gain extensive clinic experience as registered nurses before proceeding with additional education (six or more years of higher education). Nurse practitioners focus on wellness promotion and disease prevention. They work as a team with physicians in a collaborative practice relationship to provide the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, order tests and procedures, and prescribe medications.
Retail-Based Nurse Practitioner Clinics: The retail-based nurse practitioner clinic model was first established approximately five years ago in Minnesota. The medical community initially expressed considerable apprehension toward the idea, concerned about the quality of care delivered and the economic impact on physician practices. instaClinic's Medical Director, Dr. Daniel Sohn, consulted with David Renner, director of the Department of State and Federal Legislation from the Minnesota Medical Association. Renner stated that a recent follow-up survey of the Minnesota physicians revealed that doctors reported nurse practitioner clinics delivered high quality care and have integrated well with the medical community. They also reported no negative financial affect on their practices. The concept is expanding rapidly across the country, primarily in response to the rising costs of healthcare and the demand for more convenient and affordable access to care, including extended hours.
Schnucks: Founded in St. Louis in 1939, Schnuck Markets, Inc. currently operates 102 stores (including five Logli stores) and 99 pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Mississippi and Iowa. The first four instaClinic locations (www.instaclinic.com) are slated for the following Schnucks stores: Alton, 2811 Homer Adams Parkway, Alton, Ill., 62002; Butler Hill, 4333 Butler Hill Road, Mo., 63128; Lindell, 4171 Lindell Blvd., Mo., 63108; Mid Rivers, 577 Mid Rivers Mall, St. Peters, Mo., 63376.
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