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A top Walmart healthcare exec is leaving the retail giant


Walmart Health

Summary List Placement

Dr. Thomas Van Gilder, the chief medical officer at Walmart, is leaving the retail giant.

Van Gilder is leaving after more than two years to spend time with his family and pursue new opportunities, according to an internal note sent to employees Tuesday by Dr. Cheryl Pegus, who leads Walmart’s health and wellness division.

“After nearly three high-impact years, Dr. Tom Van Gilder has shared his intention to leave Walmart first to enjoy the Wisconsin spring thaw with his family and then pursue new opportunities,” Pegus said in the note. 

His last day is May 15, a company spokesperson confirmed to Insider.

The spokesperson did not respond to questions about who will replace Van Gilder as chief medical officer. Van Gilder did not respond to a request for comment.

Van Gilder was hired as Walmart US’s first chief medical officer. He’s been with the company since December 2018, according to his LinkedIn page.

According to the note from Pegus, Van Gilder came to Walmart as the clinical leader of what would become Walmart Health, the business that houses the clinics. He led Walmart Health’s first clinical model design and wrote policies and procedures to guide the company’s health clinics. He also helped Walmart through the COVID-19 pandemic, guiding the company in how it protected employees and customers, and rolling out testing and vaccinations.

Van Gilder’s departure comes less than a year after Sean Slovenski, another top Walmart Health executive, left in August 2020 after spearheading the creation of Walmart’s comprehensive primary-care clinics.

The departure comes a little more than a month after Insider reported that the company is slowing its ambitious rollout of those clinics. 

Here’s the full memo Pegus sent about Van Gilder’s departure:

After nearly three high-impact years, Dr. Tom Van Gilder has shared his intention to leave Walmart first to enjoy the Wisconsin spring thaw with his family and then pursue new opportunities.

Tom arrived as the clinical leader for what became Walmart Health, leading our first clinical model design, including initiating our Community Health Worker program. He advanced our overall Health & Wellness strategies through leadership of quality initiatives, training programs and pharmacy clinical services. He led his team to develop standards of practice, writing policies and procedures to guide our emerging Walmart Health centers, and partnered with business areas across the H&W organization to achieve team innovations and success.

Tom was hired as Walmart U.S.’s first full-time Chief Medical Officer, and, in the past year, advised the entire company during the pandemic. He employed his knowledge of public health to become a steady resource to recommend and guide how we supported our associates, protected our customers, handled state mandates, enacted our remote work policy, and how we rolled out testing and vaccinations. Tom has been a great partner internally and externally. Tom and the COVID Response Team were recently awarded Walmart’s 2021 Leadership Award.

Tom will be with us until May 15. I’d like to personally thank Tom for his teamwork, guidance, support of our strategies and significant contributions. Please join me in thanking Tom for his service to Walmart and wishing him well in the next phase of his career. We will think of an appropriate, socially distanced way to celebrate Tom in the coming months.

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