Walmart Deploys a Fleet of Mobile Health Vehicles
Even with all of those stores as a base of operation, Walmart execs weren’t satisfied that the company’s diabetes awareness message was reaching its intended audience. In-store counseling and information campaigns were making a dent, but it wasn’t enough—not when the American Diabetes Association estimates that nearly one-third of diabetes sufferers aren’t aware that they have the disease. So Walmart opted for a mobile tour as a way to expand the net and establish the mega-retailer as the go-to resource for diabetes education.
Enter a fleet of five Mobile Health Vehicles and a schedule of hundreds of events over six weeks at more than 200 Walmart stores. MHVs were staffed by a mix of hired brand ambassadors and professional screeners culled from local markets. On board: free screenings for cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure, as well as free literature approved by the American Association of Diabetes Educators. The effort reached 30,000 consumers, including many who would otherwise not have been able to access or afford the tests. (The screenings typically cost $300 at a doctor’s office.) Walmart also used its in-store vision centers to provide vision tests that could help identify people at risk for diabetes-related eye diseases.
In part because its pharmacy operations are still relatively new, the company figured it could build credibility for the program by bringing in vendors as tour partners. Several brands signed on—well, it is Walmart—including Abbott, Del Monte, Kraft, Splenda and Starkist.