United Puts In Clinics With a Local Flair

United Supermarkets is taking a homegrown approach to a national trend, in-store clinics. Last week the company said it found a partner in University Medical Center Health System, the teaching hospital for Texas Tech. It makes sense to partner with a local entity with the reputation and financial stability of UMC Health System, United spokesman Eddie Owens told SN. Two

LUBBOCK, Texas — United Supermarkets is taking a homegrown approach to a national trend, in-store clinics.

Last week the company, based here, said it found a partner in University Medical Center Health System, the teaching hospital for Texas Tech.

“It makes sense to partner with a local entity with the reputation and financial stability of UMC Health System,” United spokesman Eddie Owens told SN.

Two clinics, called Living Well ExpressCare, will open in United stores in Lubbock this fall. They will be the first in-store clinics in Lubbock and are believed to be the first in West Texas, United said in a statement.

UMC Health Center is considered a health care hub in Lubbock, Owens said. It will be leasing the space from United under a five-year agreement and essentially will be running the clinics on its own.

The two companies will also split marketing expenses.

National clinic providers are a viable option, said Randy Heiser, vice president of pharmacy for Giant Eagle, Pittsburgh, during a session at the FMI Show in Chicago this month.

“But a lot of retailers are strong on a regional basis, and a lot of health care is also regionally based,” he said. Although many local health care centers lack the resources for partnership, when possible, “it's the ideal way to go,” he added.
Additional reporting: Dan Alaimo