Sentara Healthcare Launches New Retail Site

Sentara Announces as a Direct-to-Consumer Healthcare Retail Company

NORFOLK, VA--(Marketwired - Jan 12, 2015) - As we try to better balance work, family and life, we're always on the lookout for ways to make the to-do's a little easier. To help with this, Sentara Healthcare partnered with Paquin Healthcare to launch -- a virtual service providing a variety of over-the-counter healthcare products based on common patient needs. Initial offerings include more than 550 competitively priced items in four primary categories:

As an integrated healthcare company, Sentara works to ensure that patients are still receiving the best care possible after leaving a hospital or doctor's office and also that patients will have access to the tools they need to help themselves. A service is already in place at many Sentara hospitals to provide prescriptions and supplies for patients getting discharged; however, ensures a way to extend some of this convenience upon their return home. A variety of products already are available on the site, including educational books, vitamins, over-the-counter medications, exercise equipment, splints, diabetic care and more.

"We recognized an opportunity and the need to evolve our product offering to provide an even more inclusive healthcare experience," said Ken Krakaur, president of Sentara Third Core Division. "Currently, most people purchase these types of products at brick-and-mortar retail locations, and some websites have a piece of the market. But as more consumers look for increased convenience and trusted information, the ability to provide a branded option that offers a higher trust factor and unique patient experience gives us a leg up."

Those attributes -- combined with simplified selection, competitive pricing, reliable shipping and a quality assurance guarantee -- give an opportunity to provide a unique product in a crowded market and continues supporting the company's overarching goal of transforming care. Shopsentara is the latest innovation from Sentara Solutions, a division of Sentara Healthcare known internally as Third Core, and to commemorate, the site is offering free shipping and a 15% discount during the month of January.

Paquin Healthcare, the Sentara partner in this new endeavor, is a leading specialist in retail healthcare with experience in developing retail business plans, online hospital commerce systems and unique retail store concepts for more than 400 hospitals across the country. Paquin will handle site management, hosting, product fulfillment, distribution and customer service.

"We are excited to collaborate with an innovative company like Sentara. Our expertise combined with their dedication to patients will result in a unique customer experience," stated Tony Paquin, CEO of Paquin Healthcare.

Sentara plans to adapt and expand the site over time from user feedback, offering a more robust experience and possibly adding pre-packaged product bundles and more physician involvement.

"Our mission at Sentara is to improve health every day. We do that through delivering quality care, but it also includes doing what we can to help those in our communities improve their quality of life in other ways -- like making their day-to-day a little less hectic whenever we can," said Bert Reese, chief information officer and senior vice president of Sentara Healthcare.

About Sentara Healthcare
Sentara Healthcare celebrates a 125-year history of innovation, compassion and community benefit. Based in Norfolk, VA, Sentara is a diverse not-for-profit family of 12 hospitals, the Optima Health Plan, an array of integrated services and a team 28,000 strong on a mission to improve health every day. This mandate is pursued through a disciplined strategy to achieve Top 10% performance in key measures through shared best practices, transformation of primary care through clinical integration and strategic growth that adds value to the communities we serve in Virginia and North Carolina.

About Sentara Solutions
Sentara Solutions is a portfolio of stand-alone businesses, services or products that are designed to serve a health care customer base, including hospitals, health plans and other private or non-profit entities. Sentara Healthcare originated as a hospital company, later expanding into the business of providing health insurance through our health plan, Optima Health. In recent years, Sentara has expanded its offerings to include virtual health products, new options for long-term care pharmacy services and is pursuing other non-traditional care delivery options. It is through Sentara Solutions that Sentara is piloting and proving these new products or technologies and taking these enhanced solutions to benefit others in the healthcare industry. 

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Dale Gauding
Sentara Communications

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