Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Just real quick before I go vomit...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sarah Clark, Wal-Mart
1-800-331-0085

Dr. John Agwunobi to join Wal-Mart as Senior Vice President and President for the Professional Services Division

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Tuesday, August 7, 2007 --Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is pleased to announce that Dr. John Agwunobi, current Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and an Admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, has been named Senior Vice President and President for the Professional Services Division for Wal-Mart in the U.S. effective September 4.

Dr. Agwunobi will oversee the company's health and wellness business unit including pharmacies, vision centers and health care clinics. He is the country's expert on public health, and he will bring new perspective, diverse talents and tremendous expertise to our company in his new role.

He will report to Bill Simon, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Wal-Mart Stores U.S.

"John is the country's expert on public health, and I look forward to his contributions in furthering Wal-Mart's health and wellness efforts," said Simon. "He will bring new perspective, diverse talents and tremendous expertise to our company in his new role." Added Dr. Agwunobi, "Wal-Mart touches many lives in many communities and this position provides me with a new opportunity to reach people in the places where they live, work and shop. I am very excited to join the Wal-Mart team."

Dr. Agwunobi, also a pediatrician, is a seasoned public health professional with experience in health care delivery, managed care and health care policy. As Assistant Secretary for Health, he was responsible for disease prevention, health promotion, women and minority health efforts, the reduction of health disparities, the fight against HIV/AIDS, pandemic influenza planning and vaccine preventable disease initiatives.

Prior to his current position, Dr. Agwunobi served as Florida's Secretary of Health and State Health Officer from October 2001 to September 2005. In this role, he confronted many public health challenges, including leading the state's public health and medical response to four major hurricanes, led the call for a healthier Florida, managed the response to the nation's first-ever intentional anthrax attack, and guided Florida's nationally-recognized efforts to protect the state against bioterrorism.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates [the locations and contact information I don't feel the need to publish here].

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Maybe this only seems scandalous to me, but the idea that someone whose career has ostensibly focused on improving the health of the public will now be working for one of the worst purveyors of screwing employees out of decent health (and many other) benefits is pretty atrocious.

One hopes that Agwunobi's new post will lead to better benefits for all involved--workers and patrons alike--but I can't help but suspect that it will only lead to better benefits for himself, paid for by a nakedly politically-motivated move by Wal-Mart.

I think separation of Church and State is a good thing.

I think separation of Corporation and State--at least more separation than we currently see--is even better.

1 Comments:

Anonymous sara said...

Amen sister.

7:37 AM  

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