Rite Aid launches nationwide health-and-wellness effort

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid is launching a six-month, nationwide health-and-wellness campaign to mark its 50 years of operation, the retail pharmacy chain said Wednesday.

RA50, as the new campaign is called, began Wednesday near the company's headquarters in Camp Hill, Pa., and will move on to the Pennsylvania state capital of Harrisburg Thursday through Saturday. Afterward, it will move on to Baltimore; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Scranton, Pa.; Cleveland; Detroit; Portland, Ore.; Los Angeles; Atlanta; Norfolk, Va.; and New York.

"Rite Aid's motto is 'With us, it's personal,' and for 50 years, our associates have proudly delivered on this promise by meeting the health and wellness needs of our customers and communities," Rite Aid chairman, president and CEO John Standley said. "RA50 embodies our core values and is the perfect way for Rite Aid to thank the many communities across the nation that have helped us grow and to continue our mission of helping those we serve live healthier, happier lives."

The "acts of wellness" will include free screenings, wellness fairs, public education events and what the company called efforts to spread wellness-related messaging in "novel" ways. Events will address community needs, such as diabetes, heart disease, childhood obesity and cold and flu prevention. Participating organizations include Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, Boys Hope Girls Hope, Boys & Girls Clubs and Marathon Kids, United Way chapters and local school districts, senior centers and other private and public organizations.

Rite Aid's history began with the opening of the first store in Scranton in 1962, a 1,400-sq.-ft. store then called the Thrif D Discount Center. Rite Aid's first pharmacy opened in 1966, and the company was named Rite Aid Corp. in 1968. Since then, it has grown to more than 4,600 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia, employing more than 90,000 people, according to the company.