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Education Congress surpasses expectations

BY Antoinette Alexander

ORLANDO, Fla. Retail Clinician, a publication of the Drug Store News Group, in conjunction with the Convenient Care Association, hit a major milestone in August as it held here the Inaugural Retail Clinician Education Congress—a highly successful event that marked the first and only educational conference specifically focused on the retail clinician.—

Attendance for the event surpassed expectations as more than 300 nurse practitioners from around the nation gathered for the event held Aug. 11 to 13 at the Gaylord Palms Resort.

Amid the backdrop of an overburdened U.S. healthcare system and rising healthcare costs, the role that these clinics play grows increasingly vital. There are about 1,000 clinics in operation, and it is estimated that by the end of 2008, some 1,500 clinics will be in operation nationwide.

In addition to a robust lineup of speakers and education sessions, the event recognized several key players who are helping to shape the industry through the first-ever presentation of the Clinician Awards for Retail Excellence (C.A.R.E.), which honored in-store practitioners for amazing examples of patient care.

Winners of the C.A.R.E. “unsung hero” awards, which honored retail clinicians for making a difference in patient’s lives, included:

Anita Wilson-Powell, RN, BSN, MSN, ANP-C, FNP-C, of Take Care Health Systems in St. Louis. Wilson-Powell helped save a child’s life by referring him to a physician who discovered the boy was suffering from meningitis.

Louise Berndt, FNP-C, of Bellin Health Fast Care in Green Bay, Wis. Berndt was recognized for her love of the profession and her work in diagnosing a patient with diabetes.

Dixie Childers-Bowman, CNP, of MinuteClinic in Columbus. Childers-Bowman was recognized for her work in establishing the MinuteClinic Fit Club, a wellness/fitness regimen for employees.

Wendy Wright, FNP, of Take Care Health Systems in Tampa, Fla. Wright, who has passed away, was honored and remembered as someone who loved being a nurse practitoner and touching patient’s lives.

Sandy Ryan, chief nurse practitioner officer of Take Care Health Systems, received the C.A.R.E. Leadership Award for her trailblazing efforts in the convenient care industry.

Receiving the C.A.R.E. Lifetime Achievement Award was Loretta Ford, who helped revolutionize the nursing profession 40 years ago with her work in co-founding the nation’s first pediatric nurse practitioner program.

In addition, the Convenient Care Association honored Retail Clinician editor-in-chief Rob Eder for his support of the retail clinic movement.

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Walgreens donates food, supplies as new storms target Gulf, Southeast

BY Jim Frederick

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens has sent truckloads of food, water and emergency supplies to Baton Rouge, La., to aid with continuing Hurricane Gustav relief efforts.

Among the necessities shipped to hard-hit residents: water, trail mix, granola bars and other snack items, along with infant formula and diapers. Walgreens reports it is also gathering supplies to place on standby for a swift response to new emergency requests across the nation’s southeast coast with the expected arrival of Tropical Storm Hanna this weekend and Hurricane Ike next week.

“We’ll direct critical resources to communities in need,” said Walgreens director of community affairs John Gremer. “We’re on alert, and we’ll be ready to help wherever we can.”

The company notes there is still “tremendous need in many Baton Rouge communities,” which were among the hardest hit by Gustav. “Thousands remain without electricity, and food and water are still in high demand,” the company reports.

Another priority is getting any stores that were closed due to the storm back open quickly, according to the chain. As of Friday morning, Walgreens reported, “all but one of Walgreens’ 15 Baton Rouge stores are open. Across the Gulf Coast region, only nine remain closed down from 69 closed immediately following the storm.”

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Rite Aid donates $44,500-plus in supplies for Gustav evacuees

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. To further assist evacuees of Hurricane Gustav, The Rite Aid Foundation is donating more than $44,500 worth of supplies including water, snacks, sunscreen, hand sanitizer and other personal hygiene products as requested by the Louisiana Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross to be distributed at shelters for evacuees, the Foundation announced Friday

“Throughout the Gulf Coast, widespread flooding and violent wind damage have created an urgent need for disaster support,” stated Jeff Towers, chief development officer at the American Red Cross. “Rite Aid generously responded to this need through in-kind and financial support to help the Red Cross provide food, shelter and counseling to Gulf Coast communities during this hurricane season.”

Earlier this week, The Rite Aid Foundation made a $75,000 donation to the American Red Cross to help the victims, families and communities affected by Hurricane Gustav in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. A relief team of Rite Aid associates, including store cashiers and pharmacists, have traveled from Tennessee and unaffected areas of Louisiana and Alabama to help stores that have been impacted and to help reopen additional stores.

“One of Rite Aid’s core values is to be caring neighbors in the communities we serve, and we are happy to work with the American Red Cross to help the evacuees of Hurricane Gustav,” commented Mike Seesholtz, Rite Aid regional vice president for Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. “Our associates have been amazing in their commitment to do whatever they can to help the victims of Hurricane Gustav.”

Residents displaced by the hurricane can visit any open Rite Aid for their prescriptions because the company’s satellite-linked computer network assures a complete customer prescription history at any Rite Aid store. Because of the state of emergency, Rite Aid pharmacies also can access prescription information for patients who do not normally get their prescriptions at Rite Aid.

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