Wal-Mart Teams with Delta Regional Authority to Fight Diabetes

Partnership underscores commitment to affordable, accessible health care
Brings Delta-area residents free health screenings


BENTONVILLE, Ark. and NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 24, 2007 –With a commitment to battling diabetes in this region, and making healthcare more affordable and accessible, Wal-Mart and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) today joined forces to launch a diabetes awareness program in Wal-Mart stores across the eight-state DRA region beginning this month and continuing through March 2008. 

With a half-million dollar gift from the Wal-Mart Foundation to support its Healthy Delta diabetes initiative ( www.healthydelta.com), the DRA will host a series of “Hometown Health Fairs” at Wal-Mart Stores – beginning in Jonesboro, Ark. on Sept. 29 and continuing in select parishes and counties in Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. Through the Health Fairs, the DRA will continue its efforts to encourage residents who have diabetes or may be at risk of developing the disease to see a health care professional to manage its long-term debilitating effects.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 20.8 million Americans – seven percent of the population – have diabetes. That percentage climbs to almost 10 percent of the population in the 240 counties and parishes served by the Delta Regional Authority. 

“The health care reform effort in America simply must include disease management programs and Wal-Mart is pleased to support this important diabetes education program in an eight-state region,” said Linda Dillman, executive vice president of benefits, risk management and sustainability for  Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “Diabetes is a real threat to millions of Americans.  With pharmacies, health clinics, and vision centers, Wal-Mart is often a health destination in small towns along the Mississippi River. We look forward to doing everything we can to help the Delta Regional Authority help people manage and avoid diabetes."

“This Wal-Mart partnership on our Healthy Delta program is truly a remarkable demonstration of the good that can happen when public and private organizations partner to take on important health issues,” said Pete Johnson, federal co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority.
 
Each Hometown Health Fair will include free biometric screenings: body composition, including weight, body fat and body mass index; total cholesterol checks; HDL, LDL and triglycerides levels and glucose level checks available for 200 people at each Saturday event. Free blood pressure screenings and other health information will also be available. 

Reinforcing its commitment to help provide access to affordable healthcare in the Delta region, Wal-Mart also announced a unique partnership with Xavier University in New Orleans to reopen the university’s disease management clinic that was destroyed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Wal-Mart will provide Xavier space in its Harihan, La. store with hopes to reopen the clinic by the end of this year.
 
“Diabetes is a controllable disease with possible devastating consequences and it makes good economic sense to use resources on patient education rather than on treating the consequences,” said Wayne Harris, dean of the College of Pharmacy at Xavier University of New Orleans. “Effective diabetes management requires an active partnership between the patient, his/her family and health care providers. Patients must understand the importance of self-monitoring of blood glucose levels and they must be taught how to do it on a regular basis.  Because of their accessibility in the community, pharmacists are ideally suited to take a leadership role in this component of care.”

Healthy Delta will run radio and television advertising in an eight-state region urging diabetics, and people who think they might have diabetes, to call 866-602-3300 for more information about diabetes management.  Callers will be mailed information about diabetes prevention and management, as well as information about diabetes prescription medications available at Wal-Mart for $4.

For more details on the Healthy Delta program and the Hometown Health Fairs at Wal-Mart Stores, visit the Healthy Delta website at www.HealthyDelta.com.

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, millions of customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at www.walmart.com.  The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $270 million to local communities in the United States.  To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmartstores.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.

About the DRA
The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership that serves 240 counties and parishes in parts of Arkansas, Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. Pete Johnson of Clarksdale, Miss., was appointed by President Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the DRA federal co-chairman in 2001. Johnson and the governors of the eight states comprise the DRA board. The DRA operates a highly successful grant program in each of the eight states it serves. The program allows cash-strapped cities and counties to leverage money from other agencies. The DRA also has expanded its regional initiatives in the areas of health care, transportation and information technology. To learn more visit www.dra.gov.

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