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    Winn-Dixie to Open Wellspot Medical Clinics in Multiple Stores

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. is the latest retailer to test in-store medical clinics. The company said yesterday it is joining forces with Birmingham, Ala.-based Wellspot Medical Clinics, Inc., the same company working with Bi-Lo and Bruno's north of Winn-Dixie's territory, to open free-standing walk-in medical clinics in three Jacksonville-area Winn-Dixie stores in mid-November.

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. is the latest retailer to test in-store medical clinics. The company said yesterday it is joining forces with Birmingham, Ala.-based Wellspot Medical Clinics, Inc., the same company working with Bi-Lo and Bruno's north of Winn-Dixie's territory, to open free-standing walk-in medical clinics in three Jacksonville-area Winn-Dixie stores in mid-November.

    Current plans call for additional Winn-Dixie/Wellspot walk-in clinics in the Jacksonville area early next year, with the partnership expanding into other Winn-Dixie stores with in-store pharmacies in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana through the end of 2007, Winn-Dixie said.

    "This business partnership benefits our customers by providing them with quality medical care in a location they already know and trust for their food and pharmacy needs," said Peter Lynch, president and c.e.o. of Winn-Dixie, in a statement. "Establishing Wellspot clinics inside Winn-Dixie stores extends our commitment to getting better all the time and serving the needs of our customers by making economical health care more accessible to the neighborhoods and communities we serve."

    In further explaining its decision to roll out the clinics, Winn-Dixie cited studies that show nearly a third of the U.S. population does not have a family physician.

    Most patient visits to Wellspot clinics normally take less than 20 minutes and can include immunizations, prescription services, and a variety of diagnostic tests, according to Wellspot's c.e.o., James B. Laughlin, III.

    Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNP) -- all of whom have earned master's degrees -- will staff Winn-Dixie/ Wellspot walk-in clinics. Nurse practitioners are nationally certified and licensed by the state to diagnose patients and prescribe necessary medication while working in collaboration with a local physician.

    Wellspot said its cost for basic medical services is generally less than $50 with lab tests costing $10 to $60, depending on the test performed. In addition to routine health care treatment, wellness programs such as weight loss and smoking cessation also are available.

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