Walmart Leads on Another Health Crisis
Walmart is taking a lead on the next health care crisis to hit the U.S.: people avoiding routine medical care due to coronavirus fears.
As social distancing measures keep more Americans home, the retailer is making health care resources accessible for all with Walmart Wellness Live, a free online wellness event. This marks the first time Walmart is hosting a health care forum online, as Walmart Wellness Days and other in-store activities are limited during the pandemic.
“We are worried about a secondary health crisis, as many people put off routine medical care while they social distance during the pandemic. But there are simple, preventive measures that can help manage many of these health issues,” said Dr. Tom Van Gilder, chief medical officer, Walmart. “Our goal is to empower every American to take small steps to maximize their health from home, whether it’s a simple ingredient swap, new exercise or tools to understand how to focus on health as a family.”
Walmart Wellness Live will take place Friday, Aug. 28 through Sunday, Aug. 30 and consist of three days of health care counseling sessions such as:
- Friday, August 28 – Nutritional Health: This session features singer Patti LaBelle, as she shares her personal journey with diabetes, with an emphasis on how to manage symptoms through diet and exercise. This session will help customers understand diabetes issues, whether they are at risk or living with type 2 diabetes.
- Saturday, August 29 – Heart Health: Customers will hear from cardiologist and Univision Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Juan Rivera as he shares resources on heart health, such as how customers can move and eat their way to lower blood pressure. Dr. Rivera’s session will demonstrate how simple it can be to make meaningful health changes through diet and exercise.
- Sunday, August 30 – Mental Health: The final day of Walmart Wellness Live features Dr. Christine Crawford, assistant professor of psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine, as she discusses how to talk to family members about mental health needs. Dr. Crawford will also share why it’s important for customers to be transparent and ask for help when needed, as well as an overview of how to understand, manage and treat anxiety.
The online health conference is just the latest move from Walmart on the health care front. In July Walmart revealed that its Walmart Health concept will expand to Florida next year. The centers offer key health care services at low, transparent services, regardless of whether patients are insured. Walmart has four of the health care centers opened so far.
“The combined crises of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic recession and subsequent loss of health insurance for millions of Americans have reinforced the vulnerabilities of our health care system,” noted Sean Slovenski, SVP and president, health and wellness, Walmart U.S., in a blog post. “At Walmart, we understand that this means our customers need us now, more than ever. We don’t take this responsibility lightly and are committed to helping our customers save money while living better – and healthier.
Walmart operates more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide.