Walgreens recognized for HIV Centers of Excellence program

MINNETONKA, Minn.  — Walgreens on Monday received the third annual UnitedHealthcare “Shining Light: Leadership in Corporate Social Responsibility” award for excellence in social responsibility.

Walgreens was recognized for its HIV Centers of Excellence program, which provides community-based support to people living with HIV/AIDS by creating more than 700 HIV-specialized pharmacies that create vital links among patients, care providers, communities and health departments across the United States and Puerto Rico. 

“We were looking at ways to address the needs of patients specifically related to HIV, above and beyond a typical retail pharmacy,” stated Glen Pietrandoni, senior manager for HIV/AIDS and hepatitis pharmacy services at Walgreens. 

The HIV Centers of Excellence program began with 10 markets in 22 stores in 2010 and has been operating and growing since its inception. Today, more than 700 of these specialized Walgreens locations reach nearly 90% of the HIV population in the United States, the retailer noted.   

The award was announced at UnitedHealthcare’s 2013 Annual Accounts National Customer Forum. Kate Rubin, UnitedHealth Group’s VP social responsibility, presented the award and a check for $25,000 to Walgreens’ charity of choice, AIDS United.

“We applaud Walgreens for its commitment to improving care and outcomes for people living with HIV and AIDS,” Rubin said. “The company is having a real impact on public health, and its pursuit of better health for individuals and communities sets a standard of excellence, showing the impact large organizations can have when focused on an important issue.”

In support of National HIV Testing Day on June 27, Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS, a coalition of public and private sector partners united in response to the domestic AIDS epidemic, teamed up with health departments and local AIDS organizations across the country to provide free HIV testing from June 27-29 at select Walgreens stores across the country.