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Walmart plans to open 28 more health centers

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BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal­mart plans to add 28 health centers in 2024, bringing the total number of locations to at least 75 by the end of the year.

The expansion will bring the Walmart Health format into two more states — Missouri and Arizona — while deepening its presence in Texas with additional outlets in the Dallas area and an entry into greater Houston.

“Since we opened our first Walmart Health center in 2019, our goal has been simple: serve our communities by providing accessible, convenient and affordable health care,” Walmart senior vice president of omnichannel care Dr. David Carmouche wrote in a blog post. “Our health care providers don’t just care for patients — they build relationships within their communities.” There are currently 32 centers.

The new state-of-the-art facilities will be approximately 5,750 square feet, located beside Walmart Supercenters, and feature the format’s full suite of health services to provide care to busy families. Services may vary by location, but include primary care, labs, X-rays, electrocardiograms (EKGs), behavioral health, dental care, hearing care, selected specialty services, community health and telehealth.

The first of the new centers will open in the first quarter of next year. All told they will include:

• 10 in greater Dallas.

• Eight in the Houston metro area.

• Six in greater Phoenix.

• Four in the Kansas City area.

“As we have from the beginning, we will continue to grow and adapt at a responsible pace to better serve the communities where we live and work,” Carmouche said. “With these new locations, we will bring to life some of the feedback we’ve heard from listening to our patients. For example, we are changing the physical footprint and layout of the center so patients spend less time in the waiting room and more time with their doctor.

“We’ve also integrated modern equipment and technology to enable our providers and patients alike to experience best-in-class health care technology. This includes integrating Epic’s electronic health record system across our Walmart Health locations. One important element that will remain the same is our commitment to addressing a patient’s whole health needs, and that’s why our centers will continue to be staffed with qualified doctors, dentists, behavioral health specialists, community health workers and more.”

Last year, a Fort Smith, Ark., center debuted with a staff possessing a combined 325 years of experience in health care, he noted.

“We know the cost and convenience of health care remains a barrier for many Americans, which is why we decided to bring our one-stop model of health care to these communities,” added Carmouche. “With 90% of the U.S. population located within 10 miles of a Walmart, Walmart Health is in a unique position to provide quality, affordable health and wellness services where our neighbors already live and shop.”

Patients come to the centers to receive high-quality care that works for their schedule — and their budget, he said. And Walmart Health hears from its providers “that they enjoy the team-based approach to care that values all clinicians and enables them to practice at the very top of their license.”

Last year, Walmart said it would add 16 health centers in Florida in the Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa areas by this fall.

The sites will meet the needs of a state population growing at more than double the rate of the country, Carmouche noted.