As Walmart moves deeper into primary care, the retail giant wants to ensure that it is a skilled health professional who will play critical roles in its 20 care clinics.
Earlier this month, the world's largest retailer unveiled its new clinic called Walmart Health in Dallas, Georgia, which provides patients with access to primary care at low cost including for mental health problems.
Walmart announced Tuesday that 1.5 million employees will be able to apply for one of seven bachelor's degrees and two career exams in health-related fields for $ 1 a day through Live Better U, Walmart's educational grant program.
The new degrees and certificate programs will give Walmart employees a path to more paid careers in the growing health care system, Walmart executives said. Adding health education to Live Better Us college offerings also fits the dealer's evolving health and wellness strategy, they said.
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The Health and Wellness Course includes Career Diploma Programs for Pharmaceutical Technicians and Opticians through Penn Foster and seven Bachelor's degrees in Health Sciences and wellness and healthcare management / administration offered through Purdue University Global, Southern New Hampshire University, Bellevue University and Wilmington University. [1
Healthcare jobs are estimated to grow 14% from 2018 to 2028, adding around 1.9 million new jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
"Our presence in thousands of communities gives us a unique opportunity to provide affordable healthcare to millions of people, and we need trained staff to do so," Thomas Van Gilder, Walmart's chief medical officer, told reporters during the a press interview Monday. "As our health and wellness strategy and offerings continue to evolve, Live Better U will play a critical role in preparing our colleagues across the country for future employment opportunities in the growing health care system."
Walmart currently operates 19 care clinics in Georgia, South Carolina and Texas that offer services such as primary care, illness and injury, chronic condition management, physical and wellness checks, and laboratory tests and immunizations. The new Walmart Health Station, which opened September 13, has expanded services such as counseling services, dental care, optometry and hearing. The reseller works with local Dallas suppliers to provide these services.
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Sean Slovenski, who moved to Walmart from Humana, the clinic effort leader, reported CNBC.
The focus on a health education educational program suggests that Walmart wants to push further into health care. Van Gilder said health care degrees and diplomas will help train staff to support Walmart's current clinical environments.
" We are gathering information and learning from our new site in Dallas, Georgia, and we are refining the offer as we go. We sees an expansion of opportunities there and elsewhere in primary care, as well as in the pharmacy, vision centers and hearing centers as Well, "Van Gilder said.
Currently, there are more than 13,500 Walmart employees enrolled in Live Better U, which offers 50 programs. The dealer's goal is to have 50,000 employees signed up over the next five years. Associates completed more than 36,000 credits worth a total of $ 17.5 million during the first year of the program, according to Walmart.
Walmart Senior Vice President of Associate Experience Drew Holler said that adding health services to the program's curriculum helps remove financial and access barriers to employee education while also aligning with the retailer's health and wellness business strategy.
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"If we want to improve the program, we think through what our colleagues are interested in and also Then we look at how we can combine these two to both provide opportunities and make sure our business is set up for the future and serve our customers, "he said.
Walmart plans to add behavioral health training to its program schedule over the next year, Holler said, noting that there is a high demand for employee health training.
“Walmart aims to be the market leader in providing retailers with a path to careers in growing fields such as health care. We do not know of any other retailer in America that has a program that allows its colleagues to achieve a degree in health care that can be translated into a higher paid job in the company or in the wider field, "said Holler.