BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores here plans to open several health care clinics in partnership with one of the largest public health systems in the U.S.
North Broward Hospital District, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the country's fifth-largest health care system, has signed a letter of intent to open the walk-in, nurse-staffed health centers in leased space inside select Wal-Mart Supercenters.
“Leasing to medical clinics extends customers' access to convenient, affordable health care,” Kevin Gardner, spokesman for Wal-Mart Stores, told SN. He said that the total number of clinics to be opened in conjunction with North Broward Hospital District has yet to be announced.
Pending approval by the North Broward Hospital District's board of commissioners, the first of the clinics is scheduled to open in June 2007.
News of this clinic heralds an emerging trend: large hospital systems opening outpatient clinics in retail locations, as opposed to smaller entrepreneurial operations. “Hospital groups, rather than firms structured strictly to run in-store clinics, is one of the strong clinic models that have been developing,” said Jim Wisner, president, Wisner marketing Group, Libertyville, Ill.
Hy-Vee, West Des Moines, Iowa, is reportedly opening a clinic with a local hospital.
Wal-Mart said it has 40 clinics nationwide.