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Bi-Lo introduces Community Donation Program benefitting Susan G. Komen

BY Michael Johnsen

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Bi-Lo stores on Thursday joined the fight against the estimated 232,000 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed this year with the launch of Bi-Lo’s Community Donation Program benefitting Susan G. Komen in all of its stores. From now through Oct. 22, Bi-Lo encourages customers to donate at any store register.

“Bi-Lo recognizes the important role that we and our loyal customers can play in making better, stronger communities for everyone,” stated Melissa Adams, Bi-Lo Holdings manager of charitable giving. “The partnership with Komen affords us the opportunity to support families in our communities who have been affected by breast cancer, as well as the opportunity to educate and raise awareness of this prevalent disease that affects so many of our neighbors.”

“We are pleased to again have the support of BI-LO and BI-LO customers this fall" added Chandini Portteus, chief mission officer at Komen. "These funds will have a direct impact in the lives of women and men facing breast cancer — our friends, family and neighbors — throughout the southeastern United States."

 

 

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FDA, NIH establish tobacco-research centers

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — A new research institution set up by the federal government will conduct tobacco-related research around the country using more than $50 million from the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health.

The FDA and NIH announced Thursday the creation of 14 Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science, which will receive up to $53 million in fiscal year 2013 to conduct the research. The centers, called TCORS, are designed to generate research to inform the regulation of tobacco products to protect public health, under coordination from the NIH’s Office of Disease Prevention and administration by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

"For the first time, under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the federal government, through the FDA Center for Tobacco Products, is able to bring science-based regulation to the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of tobacco products," FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg said. "The FDA is committed to a science-based approach that addresses the complex public health issues raised by tobacco product regulation."

TCORS will include scientists with expertise in epidemiology, behavior, biology, medicine, economics, chemistry, toxicology, addictions, public health, communications and marketing.

 

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American Hospital Association officially endorses medication adherence solution Walgreens WellTransitions

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — The American Hospital Association earlier this week announced its exclusive endorsement of Walgreens WellTransitions, recognizing the program for medication adherence. The coordinated care program aimed at improving medication adherence has demonstrated reductions in hospital readmission rates by helping patients better understand prescription therapies during and after discharge. 

“The Walgreens WellTransitions program will serve as another tool for hospitals seeking to reduce readmissions and support overall community wellness,” stated Anthony Burke, president and CEO of AHA Solutions. “We have endorsed this program for the broad scope of services that are provided through Walgreens extensive network of pharmacies and pharmacy services. Walgreens has consistently demonstrated its long-term commitment to supporting hospitals’ efforts to extend patient care further into their communities.” 

“Through WellTransitions, Walgreens pharmacy staff works closely with the hospital team to improve the transition of patients to their homes by educating and encouraging them to take their medications as prescribed,” said Joel Wright, Walgreens group VP enterprise specialty. “Medication nonadherence is a significant contributor to preventable readmissions, and by providing this level of personalized care, we can play an important role in helping more people get, stay and live well.”

Early results indicate that WellTransitions has been instrumental in helping to reduce patient readmissions. Within the first six months after the program’s implementation at five hospitals, WellTransitions patients had a 9.4% unadjusted rate of 30-day readmission, compared to a 14.3% 30-day readmission rate for patients eligible for but not participating in the program. 

A formal research study is planned to systematically evaluate the program’s effect on hospital readmissions rates.

WellTransitions takes a comprehensive approach to reducing readmission rates by working with patients from the time they are admitted to the hospital through their discharge and return home. The program supports patient recovery through several hospital-to-home transition steps designed to improve wellness and reduce readmission rates while increasing patient satisfaction and lowering overall care costs.

To date, more than 15 hospitals have implemented the WellTransitions program since its inception in 2012. It is currently being rolled out at a growing number of other facilities throughout the United States, including a growing number of the more than 170 hospitals where Walgreens operates an outpatient pharmacy.  

 

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