As an 18-year team member for Walgreens, I am no stranger to advocating for our customers’ and patients’ health and wellness as part of my everyday routine. We know that customers have many choices for their needs in this space and Walgreens strives to differentiate itself from those other choices by way of extraordinary service you cannot find anywhere else.

When I was presented the opportunity to join a collaboration of retailers, manufacturers, and vendors within the town of Hagerstown, Maryland, I was taken aback by the concept of working with the competition instead of against them. That shock quickly dissipated as I got to know this community in western Maryland and its needs, particularly around diabetes care and prevention. Never before had I been part of something this special in which so many entities came together to work as one in an effort to drive healthier baskets.

As a Walgreens operator, I am very accustomed to having a merchandising and initiative plan that fits the needs of all 8000+ stores very effectively and am able to focus my efforts on customer service and talent development. In the ‘One for Good’ initiative, developed by members of  The Consumer Goods Forum, the entire business community was focused on one thing – healthier baskets leading to healthier lives. And there was no playbook.

Soon I was on calls with vendors obtaining coupons to drive interest in the latest healthy product launch, contacting the competition to find out how they planned to activate new initiatives in 2018, and creating our own plan to drive interest in our healthy offerings via wellness fairs and team member advocacy. Within several weeks, our team members had taken the plan to another level by getting involved with local events, like the 100 Hub City Miler – in which you commit to walking 100 miles over 100 days.

Additionally they had tried many of the healthy offerings we had contracted to obtain from our vendors and were now sharing their experiences with their regular customers. They say the pharmacist is one of the most trusted members of the community. And trust is at the heart of the Walgreens brand: Trusted since 1901. My hope is that we can leverage this trust in partnership with the business community in Hagerstown to make a difference, one small step at a time.

Andy Militello
Director of Pharmacy and Retail Operations