Haggen Expands Pharmacy Team to Support 89 Acquired Pharmacies
Bellingham, Wash. and Irvine, Calif. (April 20, 2015) — As West Coast regional grocer Haggen acquires and converts stores in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona during the first half of 2015, its pharmacy business is growing from 17 pharmacies to 106 pharmacies. To support this growth, Haggen is expanding its pharmacy management staff from six to 28 to manage the 470 pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who will make up the Haggen Pharmacy team.
As Haggen continues its unprecedented 146 store acquisitions across five states, the pharmacies are committed to minimizing any downtime during the intense 40+-hour store conversions. The pharmacy conversion team at each store works diligently from the 6 p.m. store closing time to 11 a.m. the next morning to ensure the current pharmacy guests and future Haggen guests have access to their prescription medications while the rest of the store is closed for the conversion.
"We want to make this transition a seamless experience for both our guests and our associates,” said Guy A. DiPasqua, R.Ph. corporate senior vice president, pharmacy of Haggen. “While we’re making a lot of changes behind the scenes to our pharmacy management and point of sale systems, our pharmacies are staffed by the same great pharmacy associates who deliver the same great level of care. We hope our service and care will keep shoppers returning to their new neighborhood pharmacy at Haggen.”
New Faces on the Pharmacy Team
The Haggen pharmacy business will continue to be led by DiPasqua, who joined Haggen in 2012 after 25 years at Albertsons and six years at Target. DiPasqua will lead two division vice presidents, Mike Arndorfer, promoted from his director of pharmacy position and Stewart Edington, who joined Haggen in March 2015.
Mike Arndorfer will oversee the Pacific Northwest division, which includes 53 pharmacies in Washington and Oregon. Arndorfer brings a great deal of pharmacy experience to Haggen, having served in a number of store- and management-level positions in Community Pharmacy as well as director-level positions with Amber Specialty Pharmacy in Omaha and Harrison Memorial Hospital in Kentucky, prior to joining Haggen as director of pharmacy.
Stewart Edington will be responsible for the 53 pharmacies in the Pacific Southwest which includes California, Arizona and Nevada. Born in Zimbabwe and raised in South Africa, Edington moved to the United States 13 years ago with his wife and three children to work for Albertsons. Edington served in a variety of roles there ultimately rising to vice president of pharmacy for Albertsons LLC from June 2011 through the end of 2013, leaving the Company to own and operate Jupiter Compounding in Jupiter, Florida.
Both Arndorfer and Edington are building out their regional teams, with each hiring two regional pharmacy managers. In the Pacific Northwest, Schontel Delaney will oversee the 36 pharmacies located in the state of Washington. She worked for Albertsons Savon Pharmacy for 18 years, starting as a pharmacy technician. She has been a pharmacist since completing pharmacy school in 2007.
Haggen is filling positions for the additional regional pharmacy manager positions, seven pharmacy operations specialist jobs and other support positions within the pharmacy team. For a current list of open positions, visit Haggen’s website.
Pharmacies Open During Conversions
To date, 38 pharmacies have been converted to Haggen Pharmacies. All of these have been converted within the allotted 17-hour window, thanks to dedicated pharmacy teams and key partners.
Immediately after the store closes and transfers ownership, the pharmacy conversion team takes inventory of the controlled substances, uninstalls the existing IT systems and equipment, and then installs Haggen’s new Enterprise Pharmacy System (EPS), provided by PDX, Inc. The Fort Worth, Texas-based pharmacy technology company has been a key partner in making sure the conversions go smoothly by providing a Project Manager, committed to Haggen for the 20-week cadence of conversions, as well as supplying nine trainers who work side by side with the Haggen store team for five days.
The actual conversion of patient records is overseen by Two Point of Chicago, IL, which specializes in the extraction, analysis and conversion of electronic medical records. The work done by Two Point converts all patient information, including insurance and prescription history. This is a certified, secure and HIPPA-compliant process and regulations do require that all of the records initially be transferred to the Haggen Pharmacy as part of the ownership transfer.
DiPasqua added, “Haggen prides itself on providing genuine and caring service, a commitment that is evident in our associates’ resilience and adaptability through the conversion process. After 17 hours, we open a freshly painted, new Haggen Pharmacy with the same great team, a completely new Pharmacy Management system, and many new best practices and routines to be executed. Even while the store is undergoing its own makeover, our pharmacists are ready to fill our guests’ prescriptions on day one. It’s been a great, team process.”
Founded in 1933 in Bellingham, Washington, Haggen has built its business on providing guests the freshest and most local products with genuine service, while supporting the communities it serves. The company currently operates stores in Washington, Oregon and California, and is in the process of acquiring 146 stores and establishing a second headquarters in Irvine, California. With this acquisition, Haggen will expand from 18 stores with 16 pharmacies to 164 stores with 106 pharmacies; from 2,000 employees to more than 10,000 employees; and from a Pacific Northwest company with locations in Oregon and Washington to a major regional grocery chain with locations in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona. Throughout its eight decades in business, the company has supported regional farms, ranches, fisheries and other businesses, creating a lasting and sustainable local food economy. The company remains focused on building local, sustainable food economies as it expands. For more information about what’s happening at Haggen, visit haggen.com, and get social with Haggen on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.