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Dollar General makes push into health care

Dollar General storefront

Dollar General Corp. is looking to become a health care destination for its customers.

The discounter has hired its first chief medical officer and is expanding its assortment of cough and cold, dental, nutritional, medical, health aids and feminine hygiene products across many of its  stores. Dollar General said the effort marks the first major step in its “strategic journey”  toward increasing access to health care offerings.

Dollar General noted that 75% of the population live within approximately five miles of one of its 17,426 stores. Many of its locations are in rural areas that are often  underserved by other retailers as well as the existing healthcare ecosystem.

“At Dollar General, we are always looking for new ways to serve, and our customers have told us that they would like to see increased access to affordable healthcare products and services in their communities,” said Todd Vasos, CEO, Dollar General’s. “Our goal is to build and enhance affordable healthcare offerings for our customers, especially in the rural communities we serve.”

Dollar General appointed Albert Wu, M.D. to the newly created position of VP, chief medical officer. The company said that Dr. Wu will help to develop its new health care services efforts by establishing and strengthening relationships with current and prospective healthcare product and service providers to build a comprehensive network of affordable services for Dollar General customers.

Dr. Wu joins Dollar General from McKinsey & Company, where he led a team to create a total cost of care model for 250,000 rural healthcare patients, oversaw multiple hospital provider turnarounds totaling $2 to 5 billion in revenue and designed a digitally-driven healthcare insurance product offering.

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