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CADCA, CHPA kick off their National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON – The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association started their National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month on Wednesday to spread awareness around the abuse of over-the-counter medicines.
 
Every October, CADCA urges its membership to plan and promote an educational event — such as town hall meetings for parents, youth, and local advocates — to educate communities on the potential dangers associated with both prescription and OTC medicine abuse and to discuss prevention, intervention strategies and treatment.
 
“As the nation’s leading substance abuse prevention organization, CADCA is deeply concerned about the misuse and abuse of medicines — whether prescription or over-the-counter,” said Gen. Arthur Dean, CADCA chairman and CEO. “Too many young people are seeking out these substances as a means to get high without realizing the devastating impact medicine abuse can have on their lives. National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month will help educate families across America about the dangers of abusing medicines and spur communities into action.”
 
CADCA is a partner of CHPA’s Stop Medicine Abuse campaign, which works to inform parents of teen abuse of OTC medicines containing the cough suppressant dextromethorphan, which some people — primarily teens — abuse in excessive amounts in pursuit of a high. The campaign encourages parents to talk to their teens about the dangers of medicine abuse, to safeguard their medicines and spread the word in their communities.
 
“Last year, the annual Monitoring the Future study reported a decrease in the percent of teens who abuse OTC cough medicine, and we know that the  work being done in communities by CADCA coalitions played a major role in that progress,”  CHPA president and CEO Scott Melville said. “We are proud to continue partnering with CADCA to reach more parents about OTC cough medicine abuse and to mobilize them to action.”
 
This year, the groups are also promoting an online engagement campaign (ToMyTeen.com/#ToMyTeen) to help spread the word about medicine abuse by mobilizing parents to post photos showcasing their words of affirmation to their teens and encouragement to other parents.
 
“As a father of teens, I have seen how giving teens positive reinforcement boosts their self-esteem and helps them to make smart choices,” Melville said, “I’m excited by this campaign and hope it will rally parents around celebrating the good in their teens while also mobilizing them to discuss some of the tough issues their teens may be facing such as pressure to abuse drugs, alcohol or OTC medicine.”
 
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Mayo Clinic introduces kiosk-enabled telemedicine pilot project

BY Michael Johnsen

AUSTIN, Minn. — Mayo Clinic on Friday committed to reducing healthcare expenses and improving access to medical services through a new telemedicine pilot project called Mayo Clinic Health Connection, now available at Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin. The Mayo Clinic Health Connection trials a telehealth delivery system to meet patient’s needs through the HealthSpot platform, which combines robust cloud-based software and a private walk-in kiosk that offer solutions to care for patients in their place of work. 
 
The system will be piloted with Mayo Clinic Health System employees in Albert Lea and Austin before potentially being deployed to other local employers.
 
The Mayo Clinic Health Connection allows patients to connect with Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Health System providers through a private, walk-in kiosk that provides high-definition videoconferencing and interactive, digital medical devices. The kiosk enables Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Health System physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, to see and treat patients face-to-face in a variety of nontraditional healthcare settings.
 
“Mayo Clinic is committed to reducing healthcare expenses for employees and employers by improving access to medical services through convenient and more affordable care through Mayo Clinic Health Connection,” said Matt Bernard, Southeast Minnesota region Primary Care Service Line chair. “We are excited to offer innovative health care technology locally and to leverage resources across our system to better serve our patients. You’ll avoid waiting and time away from work, and still get the continuity of care you need from people you trust. This should decrease absenteeism, lower costs and increase wellness, a win-win for employers and employees when fully deployed.”
 
Patients can walk up to the kiosk without scheduling an appointment and be treated for minor, common health conditions, such as cold, earaches, sore throat, sinus infections, upper respiratory infections, rashes and skin and eye conditions. “Mayo Clinic Health Connection provides convenient care from experts for common conditions, while saving the patient time and money. It’s the best of both worlds. Together with HealthSpot’s secure telehealth platform, we will give patients a convenient way to access care where they spend most of their day and the visit information is integrated to the patient’s medical record," Bernard said.
 
Mayo Clinic Health Connection is designed to meet the increased demand for access to health services locally. “HealthSpot’s innovative technology will help control costs for employers and employees,” said Steve Cashman, HealthSpot CEO. “The HealthSpot station will connect people to Mayo Clinic in a new and convenient way.”
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Kroger kicks off annual #SharingCourage campaign for breast cancer awareness

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger on Thursday kicked off its annual #SharingCourage campaign, asking customers to join in the fight against breast cancer by taking action online and in local communities.

 
Customers are invited to visit www.sharingcourage.com where they can find stories of courage shared by Kroger associates and breast cancer survivors and ways to get involved in their communities.
 
"You know having breast cancer is not easy. Talking about it is not easy. Living through it is not easy.  But when you get together with a group of women that have been through it, you know that you'll get through it. It gives you hope," said Liz Truppa, a Fry's Food store manager and breast cancer survivor. "Sharing Courage is just that: it is sharing the courage that it takes to get through breast cancer."
 
Kroger's family of stores and supporting partners together committed $3 million towards breast cancer research, detection and treatment this year. Since 2006, Kroger and its partners have donated more than $27 million to the fight.
 
Earlier this week, the company lit its headquarters building pink with Yoplait, Kroger's Friend in the Fight against breast cancer for five years. During the month of October, Kroger and Yoplait together will donate $1 to the American Cancer Society (up to $20,000) for every tweet or Facebook post that uses #SharingCourage and #FriendsInTheFight.
 

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