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Healthy Communities: Walgreens Boots Alliance’s Mission to Improving Health Equity and Societal Well-Being

Healthy Communities: Walgreens Boots Alliance’s Mission to Improving Health Equity and Societal Well-Being

Published 02-23-24

Submitted by Walgreens Boots Alliance

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In fiscal 2023, Walgreens launched the Health Equity Champions Network. Health Equity Champions connect team members and customers to the work Walgreens does in health equity and serve as a point of contact for health equity work in their region. The work we have done to establish internal forums for improved awareness, transparency and knowledge sharing regarding health equity is demonstrative of our organizational focus on health equity and empowering each employee to be a health equity ambassador.

Health equity 
We strive to provide essential care to the communities in which we are embedded. As one of the world's largest providers of pharmacy and other healthcare services in local communities around the world, WBA understands the needs of the communities we serve. Walgreens Boots Alliance is uniquely positioned to make an impact on healthcare access and affordability. You can learn more about our endeavors to improve access to healthcare for millions of people in our 2023 Environmental, Social & Governance Report. These efforts are reflected throughout our business activities, advocacy work and ESG initiatives.

Championing health equity 
The COVID-19 pandemic taught us valuable lessons about the important role our stores, services and pharmacy team play in the health of our communities. We see our pharmacists as our frontline educators. They are not only accessible in the communities where they work but are also often active and trusted members of those communities. Walgreens and other pharmacies were able to make a huge impact throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Between February 2020 and September 2022, it is estimated that services provided by pharmacies such as administering vaccines and antiviral medications helped to save over 1 million lives and avoid over 8 million hospitalizations in the U.S. Through new policy changes coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, Walgreens will continue its work to increase access to vaccines and healthcare services and reach underserved communities.

The Company established three pillars by which we ensure our care remains accessible to communities:

  • Access: 78 percent of Americans live within 5 miles of a Walgreens or Duane Reade retail pharmacy. For those who do not, we continued the effort to go the extra mile to reach medically underserved communities with our mobile clinics. Our coach buses outfitted for health providers traveled coast to coast, meeting people where they were while distributing thousands of vaccines and other services.
  • Partnerships: We understand that to reach those who need the most help, we cannot work alone. In fiscal 2023 the Company hosted over 1,000 clinics to address vaccine hesitancy and provide vaccines — working with community organizers and faith-based organizations to major companies. These events and partnerships have been instrumental in breaking down barriers and providing the tools needed to engage communities and overcome obstacles to care. Additionally, these partnerships will be leveraged across other health services.
  • Education and information: We are committed to ensuring our communities have access to the information necessary to promote good health outcomes. Because our pharmacy team members live and participate in the communities they serve, they are seen as a credible source of information among their community members. Our pharmacy team members are actively combating misinformation and encouraging healthcare access.

For more information on WBA’s health equity initiatives please see the latest ESG Report.

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Walgreens Boots Alliance

Walgreens Boots Alliance

Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) is an integrated healthcare, pharmacy and retail leader serving millions of customers and patients every day, with a 170-year heritage of caring for communities.

A trusted, global innovator in retail pharmacy with approximately 13,000 locations across the U.S., Europe and Latin America, WBA plays a critical role in the healthcare ecosystem. The company is reimagining local healthcare and well-being for all as part of its purpose – to create more joyful lives through better health. Through dispensing medicines, improving access to a wide range of health services, providing high quality health and beauty products and offering anytime, anywhere convenience across its digital platforms, WBA is shaping the future of healthcare.

WBA employs more than 325,000 people and has a presence in nine countries through its portfolio of consumer brands: Walgreens, Boots, Duane Reade, the No7 Beauty Company, Benavides in Mexico and Ahumada in Chile. Additionally, WBA has a portfolio of healthcare-focused investments located in several countries, including China and the U.S.

The company is proud of its contributions to healthy communities, a healthy planet, an inclusive workplace and a sustainable marketplace. WBA has been recognized for its commitment to operating sustainably: the company is an index component of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) and was named to the 100 Best Corporate Citizens 2022.

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