Walgreens has opened up the first in-store primary care clinic with VillageMD, a primary care company based in Chicago that operates nationally. The clinic, based in Houston, is one of five planned sites of care in the city.
The opening, which was announced via Twitter Nov. 20, is notable because Walgreens recently announced it was changing its in-store clinic strategy by closing its 160 owned and operated clinics and keeping open its 217 that operated by other healthcare providers. Its wholly owned in-store clinics operated at a loss to the company.
Walgreens had a network of 15 partners for in-store clinics, Alex Gourlay, co-chief operating officer, said during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call. The company also recently signed an agreement with TriHealth, a health system based in Cincinnati, to add 7 clinics.
Its partnership with VillageMD was announced in April 2019. The primary care clinics, which were described as state-of-the-art, are intended to operate next to five Walgreens stores within 2,5000 square feet, branded as Village Medical at Walgreens. The April announcement also teased potential for expansion in Houston and other markets.
“By adding primary care services to Walgreens, we are offering more options to give our customers a healthier and happier life,” Stephen Johnson, regional vice president of Walgreens, said during the ribbon cutting ceremony of the clinic on Nov. 20.