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Alberstons, Wakefern Officials Join NACDS Board

Annual meeting reveals new elects, highlights 'proactive approach to change'

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) highlighted its "proactive approach to change" and revealed newly elected officers and board members at its Annual Meeting. 

Among the new opfficials are Mark Panzer, SVP of pharmacy, health and wellness for Albertsons Cos., who will serve as chairman of the NACDS board of directors. He succeeds Alex Gourlay, co-CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance and president of Walgreen Co., who completed his term.

NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson lauded Panzer for being "highly regarded for his experience and results throughout all facets of pharmacy and retail, including outstanding partnerships with suppliers."

"He is quick to thank those from whom he has learned over the course of his amazing career, and he is quick to give back and to foster the spirit of collaboration for which NACDS is known," Anderson said. "We look forward to his continued leadership.”

Additionally, Chris Lane, EVP of Wakefern Food Corp. was elected NACDS vice chairman; and Richard Ashworth, president of operations at Walgreen Co., was elected NACDS treasurer. Each officer will serve a one-year term. 

Two new board of directors members were also elected to serve three-year terms: Nick Loporcaro, president of US pharma and specialty health for Health Mart, and Kevin Hourican, EVP of CVS Health and president of CVS Pharmacy. Lane, Ashworth and Hourican were elected to the NACDS Executive Committee.

Kermit Crawford, president and COO of Rite Aid Corporation, and Marybeth Hays, EVP of consumables, health and wellness for Walmart—who were appointed as board of directors members in December—were among the board members who were re-elected to three-year terms during the NACDS Annual Meeting.

In addition to the new elects, the NACDS Annual Meeting's highlights included Gourlay's review of “a year of progress for customers and communities” in a “massively changing and challenging world.”

“Change has accelerated from when we spoke last year,” he said. “In healthcare, it has been about restructuring our industry to become more efficient in the marketplace, and in retail it really is about empowering the consumer—to see the choices and products available to them.”

Throughout the year, Gourlay has urged the importance of putting customers first by way of bringing new approaches to three key areas: healthcare affordability and price transparency; fostering convenience, efficiency and experience; and building trust by emphasizing community engagement and corporate social responsibility.

“Redefining convenience has always been at the heart of the pharmacy model,” Gourlay said. “It’s about the marketplace that you create that brings it all together. As a pharmacist, I believe in the commitment to what we do.”

In order to ensure this mission is being upheld, Gourlay established the NACDS’ 2017 Chain Pharmacy Community Engagement Report. According to the report, NACDS chain members contributed an aggregated $630 million and 1.5 million volunteer hours to assist a variety of causes last year. The report also described the three most highly ranked areas of focus for NACDS members in 2017: access to affordable medicines and vaccines, preventing diabetes and promoting healthy meals, and preventing opioid abuse.

“The NACDS membership has been fantastic," Gourlay said. "Pharmacy is partnering and leading the way in creating concrete solutions in the moment. These include the new public policies that NACDS is advocating for: policies at the heart of supporting communities and patients.” 

Anderson described NACDS’ Future Value Targeting initiative as a “simple concept, yet a bold promise” that NACDS is “committed to returning value to chains and suppliers now and in the future—with all of the rapid change around us."

Looking forward, Anderson emphasized a course of action for NACDS that involves "thought leadership on innovative policy positions; contributing NACDS’ voice to front-end issues; helping to recruit emerging leaders into the industry—and advancing other programs of the Retail Advisory Board; engaging aggressively in forums like the World Health Care Congress, at which NACDS will participate later this month; and continued proactive involvement on the pressing public health issues of the day."

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