Walgreens hires new chief medical officer

Walgreens has hired Kevin Ban, MD, as its new chief medical officer, the company announced Jan. 6. Ban comes to Walgreens from Athenahealth, where he served as CMO.

In his new role, Ban will lead the Walgreens clinical office, oversee the development of clinical programs and analytics and direct provision of care, clinical outcomes, patient safety and healthcare information systems across pharmacy and operations.

The new CMO addition comes at a time when Walgreens has made changes to its in-store clinic strategy, including closing all its owned and operated clinics while keeping those run by other health systems. Walgreens owned and operated roughly 160 walk-in clinics as of late 2019, with another 217 operated by local healthcare providers. Additionally, Walgreens was rumored to be in talks for a buyout deal that would take the company private by private equity group KKR.

Ban replaces former CMO Patrick Carroll, MD, who left his position with Walgreens in July to become CMO for Hims & Hers, a wellness company focused on telemedicine. Ban has more than 20 years of clinical experience and leadership of medical systems development and performance improvement.

“Kevin’s demonstrated experience and passion make him a great fit for Walgreens business and strategy moving forward,” Alex Gourlay, president of Walgreens and co-chief operating officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), said in a statement. “Dr. Ban shares Walgreens vision of creating improved health outcomes for the communities we serve through greater access to convenient healthcare services, products, technologies and medical expertise, and will play a critical role in helping us develop and execute strategy across these channels.”

As CMO, Ban will also engage with Walgreens’ network of health systems and health services providers and payers, collaborate with the health services team on strategic healthcare initiatives and work closely with the corporate development team.

He will report to Gourlay and be based at the company’s headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois. Ban will also work in partnership with teams as they develop new physical and digital healthcare services in-store and via digital channels.

“I’m proud to be joining Walgreens, a company that I’ve visited throughout my life and have seen grow and evolve its healthcare offerings,” Ban said in a statement. “I’m excited and looking forward to working with the dynamic team at Walgreens to ensure together we are bringing our patients continuous enhancements to our healthcare and pharmacy offerings.”