Pharmacy Times

The Road to Wellness

Author: Jocelyn Zazyczny Konrad, RPh


A chain pharmacy implements an integrated care program featuring pharmacists and health care coaches who provide in-store counseling.

At Rite Aid, our focus on wellness isn’t something that just happened. It’s our long-term strategy—and it’s who we are as a company.

We believe we can be more than just a retail destination. At Rite Aid, we see ourselves as an important part of the overall health care delivery system. And it starts with the expanding role that our pharmacy teams play in helping their patients navigate today’s complex health care environment.

That’s why in March 2014, Rite Aid unveiled its newest program, Rite Aid Health Alliance.

Rite Aid’s Health Alliance integrated care model is a first for the drugstore industry, as it uniquely leverages the combined expertise of community pharmacists, who are one of the most accessible and trusted resources among health care providers, along with specially trained in-store health care coaches.

Through Rite Aid Health Alliance, patients with chronic and poly-chronic conditions, such as congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes, are recommended to the program by their primary care physician. Rite Aid pharmacists and specially trained health care coaches, located in Rite Aid pharmacies, work with the physician and patient on an ongoing basis to improve the patient’s overall health and self-management abilities. The care team members collaborate with the patient to establish health goals, eliminate barriers, and create a personalized health care action plan in coordination with the patient’s physician.

Rite Aid is currently testing the program in Buffalo with the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network; High Point, North Carolina–based Cornerstone Health Care; and Glendale, California–based Apollo Medical Holdings, Inc. Since its inception last year, Rite Aid Health Alliance has delivered more than 2300 coaching visits to almost 1500 enrolled patients during this pilot period.

In these markets, Rite Aid provides the health care coaches on the team through a partnership with Health Dialog, a leading provider of health care patient support, analytics, and decision support. Health Dialog coaches will be available in Rite Aid pharmacies, and they specialize in behavior change to help patients address lifestyle-related health issues.

At a recent press conference, Rite Aid chairman and chief executive officer John Standley said, “We are excited about the results of the program to date and believe it presents a significant opportunity to deliver improved health outcomes for those who need them most. We look forward to bringing this unique health care model to more Rite Aid markets and customers in the future.”

The full range of services available to patients participating in Rite Aid Health Alliance includes medication compliance support; comprehensive medication reviews and reconciliation; nutrition and weight management information; disease education; exercise coaching; and tobacco cessation support. Records of all interactions, which occur in Rite Aid pharmacies, as well as updates from the physician, are stored electronically along with patient profiles, including medication lists and lab results. This supports continuity of care and provides convenient access of information to other members of the patient’s health care team.

Rite Aid Health Alliance is yet another exciting step for us to grow our business and continue our journey along the road to wellness. Programs like this represent the future of health care delivery, and by expanding Rite Aid Health Alliance, we will boldly claim our space in the rapidly changing health care landscape. 


As Rite Aid’s vice president of healthcare initiatives, Jocelyn Zazyczny Konrad, RPh, is responsible for the development, implementation, and execution of the company’s health care service efforts, furthering Rite Aid as a health and wellness destination. Her primary focus is the Rite Aid Health Alliance, Rite Aid’s new integrated care initiative which uniquely leverages the combined expertise of community pharmacists, along with specially trained in-store health care coaches, to provide comprehensive care and support to individuals with chronic and poly-chronic health conditions and helps them achieve health improvement goals established by their physicians.

A registered pharmacist and retail pharmacy veteran with more than 20 years’ experience, Jocelyn began her career in pharmacy in 1992, serving as a pharmacist for Thrift Drug Pharmacy. In 1997, she joined Eckerd Pharmacy as a district manager, overseeing the pharmacy staff and operations of 36 stores. Jocelyn held this role through 2007, when Eckerd and the Brooks pharmacy chain were acquired by Rite Aid Corporation. She successfully helped her store teams with the integration and continued serving Rite Aid as a pharmacy district manager.

In 2011, Jocelyn was promoted to regional pharmacy vice president. In this role, she led a team of more than 350 pharmacists at approximately 150 Rite Aid pharmacies in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, and had responsibility for implementing company programs, growing pharmacy business, managing costs, talent management, and enhancing both the customer and Rite Aid associate experience. She was promoted to her current role in 2012. Jocelyn holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science.