Expanding West Side wellness opportunities
by Brooke Borba | Patterson Irrigator
Jul 30, 2013 | 1695 views | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A Rite Aid branch in Newman celebrated their grand re-opening with a wellness event Saturday, July 27 from noon to 4 p.m.
A Rite Aid branch in Newman celebrated their grand re-opening with a wellness event Saturday, July 27 from noon to 4 p.m.
A newly remodeled Rite Aid Pharmacy celebrated their grand re-opening by hosting a wellness event Saturday, July 27 from noon to 4 p.m. amid dozens of customers in Newman. The goal of the re-opening was to provide a greater selection of wellness opportunities for otherwise rural clients in Stanislaus County’s West Side.

“We are offering new health and wellness products and new organic and gluten sets,” said Jackie Napier, assistant manager at the Newman branch. “We are starting to emphasize a lot of customer services and we are making sure everyone’s needs are met. It’s important because not every Rite Aid is going to have it. We have additional sets for fitness and workout equipment, too.”

Newer products also include all-natural personal and home care products, products not often found outside medical supply stores and an expanded collection of wellness books and magazines.

Living in a rural area generally ensures that most residents have less access to wellness amenities. In order to find specific health services, most West Side residents were forced to drive to Modesto, Turlock or Tracy, a near 18 to 40 mile drive depending where one may reside before the re-opening.

Saturday’s re-opening also offered free health screenings and product samples. Nurses and Rite Aid pharmacists were also on hand to provide free services to the community, including total cholesterol testing, blood pressure readings, memory impairment screenings, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease screenings and blood glucose testing.

“People don’t have access to this. We are the only main store around the area, and it’s important for us to demonstrate our commitment to their wellbeing,” said Napier. “I think the wellness event was a great opportunity to engage with our customers and recognizing that their health is important to us. We had a lot of people show up, and a lot of people involved.”

Napier added that living in a small town increases the number of times you may see a certain group of customers, which builds a more meaningful relationship with clients.

The event also promoted wellness+, a new and easy sign-up program which allows customers the chance to earn members-only rewards, many of which encompass additional screenings, fitness memberships, subscriptions and gift certificates for restaurants.

Wellness+ members can also earn points equal to co-pay on government funded prescriptions.

Rite Aid is also offering a free wellness+ program created just for seniors known as wellness65+.

The first Wednesday of every month, seniors will be granted in-store events and 20 percent savings off non-prescription purchases, as well as special monthly activities with various health topics.

Wellness members can also receive free consultations with their pharmacists, which include a review of medications, immunization needs, free services, screening and answers to Medicare part D questions.

Rite Aid will also provide a wellness ambassador in the near future to help customers’ access quality information and facilitate access to the clinical advice and services of the pharmacists. Wellness ambassadors are trained to work closely with pharmacists and are train to offer customers access to store-issued iPads with information pertaining to over-the-counter medications and supplements.

“Our pharmacists are always our star, and many of our customers would like to further that relationship,” said Eric Harkreader, a Rite Aid public relations specialist. “Sometimes our customers felt the pharmacists were too busy, and it was important for us to further promote our partnership with the customer,” said Harkreader of the ambassador’s role. “We look forward to offering wellness ambassadors to the Newman community soon.”

Newman’s branch also received a delightful facelift, complete with newer and brighter lighting fixtures, hardwood floors, signs, widened aisles and adequate shelving to prevent confusion.

“It’s really pretty,” said Newman resident Lauren Silva. “It’s so bright in here. I actually started gravitating towards sections that I generally stayed away from because everything looks neat and inviting.”

Contact Brooke Borba at 892-6187, ext. 24 or brooke@pattersonirrigator.com
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