Retail titan Wal-Mart Stores said it will provide about free health screenings for consumers during its “Walmart Wellness Day” slated Saturday (June 17). The health fairs will take place in more than 4.600 Wal-Mart locations across the country from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time. Wal-Mart said this year it’s teaming up with the American Diabetes Association in hopes of extending support for consumers who at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association said one in 11 Americans has diabetes and 86 million more — about one in three — are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. This year’s Wellness Day will offer free screenings that include blood glucose, vision (at select locations) blood pressure and body mass index tests. Product samples will also be available from vendors taking part in the event. Wal-Mart said its team of 10,000-plus pharmacists will also offer immunizations in stores at additional charges depending on insurance benefits — this is a service the pharmacies offer each day.
This year after the June 17 event, the ABA will follow up via email with interested customers whose blood pressure and blood glucose tests indicated they may be at a greater risk for diabetes, providing suggested next steps and resources.
“We’re more committed than ever to serving as an open door to affordable, accessible healthcare, and our Wellness Day program is a key piece of that,” said George Riedl, senior vice president and president, Walmart Health & Wellness. “We know that many of our customers have learned about an existing health problem for the first time at one our Wellness Day events, and that can be overwhelming. Wal-Mart is proud to be working with the American Diabetes Association to offer even more support to customers who may find themselves in this situation.”
Since Wal-Mart’s first Wellness Day event, the company has provided nearly 1.1 million free health screenings to people across the country. These events have helped individuals uncover existing health problems, including high blood pressure, signs of diabetes and other potential illness. Just this past January, free screenings topped 338,000, Wal-Mart said.
“An estimated 8 million people with diabetes are undiagnosed, and when left untreated, diabetes can lead to serious health complications including kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, blindness and amputations,” said Tamara Darsow, PhD, senior vice president, research and community programs for the ADA. “We are excited to work with Wal-Mart on this initiative and encourage as many Americans as possible to participate. Knowing your risk for diabetes is the first step to being able to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.”
Wal-Mart said future Wellness Day events with the ADA are also planned for September, again in January and the spring of next year.