Walmart has appointed a new head for its health and wellness unit in the U.S., naming Sean Slovenski as senior vice president.
Citing a company memo from Greg Foran, chief executive of Walmart U.S., Chain Store Age reports Slovenski will start his role August 1 and will work to implement Walmart’s plan to focus more on the health and wellness unit with the aim of making healthcare cheaper and more easily accessible. Slovenski was formerly president of Healthways' population health division, noted the report. “Sean is a proven leader and entrepreneur with an established track record in defining and building businesses within the healthcare industry,” Foran said in the memo, according to Chain Store Age. “I am delighted to bring such an experienced executive on board to lead a critical area of our business.”
The appointment of Slovenski by Walmart comes just days after reports surfaced that rival Amazon is in talks with Xealth, and potentially two more hospital networks, to take part in a test project that would enable doctors to recommend bundles of medical products to patients while they are still in the hospital. CNBC reported the products would be delivered to the patients' homes once they are released from the hospital. The pilot could start in the next few months with the goal of giving patients discounted access to medical supplies via Amazon Prime. Patients who don’t have a Prime membership or don’t want to use Amazon’s eCommerce platform can still be part of the test with other eCommerce companies, reported CNBC. People familiar with the matter told CNBC that Xealth is leading the project while Amazon is mainly providing guidance on how the bundles should be set up on reseller accounts. This past spring, Amazon, in its efforts to disrupt the healthcare market, built a team to focus on making Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant more useful in the healthcare field. According to an internal document obtained by CNBC, the division is called “health & wellness,” includes more than a dozen people and is being led by Rachel Jiang, who has spent the last five years at Amazon in various roles, including advertising and video.