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    Kroger Atlanta to Open SmartCare Centers in Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee

    CINCINNATI -- The Atlanta division of The Kroger Co., based here, will open SmartCare Centers inside its stores in Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee. SmartCare Centers will initially open centers in the Atlanta metro area in the fall of 2006.

    CINCINNATI -- The Atlanta division of The Kroger Co., based here, will open SmartCare Centers inside its stores in Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee. SmartCare Centers will initially open centers in the Atlanta metro area in the fall of 2006.

    "As a dedicated provider of superior health and pharmacy services, we take pride in being the first grocery retailer in the region to deliver SmartCare's convenient access to basic and preventive healthcare to our communities," said Glynn Jenkins, director of communications and public relations for Kroger's Atlanta division. "This partnership reflects Kroger's commitment to delivering outstanding service, product selection and value to our customers."

    "SmartCare Centers offer consumers minor acute healthcare services with no appointment necessary, during extended day and weekend hours, that are a convenient complement to their existing physician/patient relationships," said Lawrence W. Hay, SmartCare's c.e.o.

    As announced earlier this week, SmartCare -- which offers care for common ailments such as sore throats, ear infections and seasonal allergies, as well as basic health services including flu shots and other vaccines, school and employment physicals and cholesterol screenings -- is also partnering with Kroger's Portland, Ore.-based Fred Meyer division.

    Each SmartCare Center is staffed by nurse practitioners and certified medical assistants, with a physician on call at all times.

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