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HDMA names new health policy guru

BY Jim Frederick

ARLINGTON, Va. Aligning itself with a new presidential administration dedicated to health reform efforts and a new Congress, the Healthcare Distribution Management Association has named Thomas Phan, a veteran of Capitol Hill and health policymaking, as its new director of healthcare policy.

In his new post, Phan will develop and implement HDMA’s public policy initiatives on healthcare reform, Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement policy, emergency preparedness and other important issues that will affect the safety, value and efficiency of the healthcare supply chain.

The hire marks a significant increase in efforts by HDMA, which represents the nation’s wholesale drug companies, to shape federal health policy in a shifting health care landscape.

Most recently, Phan worked for the Senate Special Committee on Aging under former ranking minority member Gordon Smith, R-OR, where he provided technical, policy analysis and counsel. He also served as an advisor on issues pertaining to Medicare, the Federal Food and Drug Administration, medical technologies and drug reimbursement.

Previously, Phan worked as a Policy Coordinator and a Legislative Analyst at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he managed the development of Medicare and Medicaid program policy on behalf of the HHS secretary.

“In a year when healthcare issues are at the top of the legislative agenda in Washington, D.C. and in the states, Thomas brings an extensive background on healthcare policy, particularly on Medicare and Medicaid issues,” said Scott Melville, HDMA senior VP of Government Affairs. “His vast policy knowledge and experience – at both legislative and executive levels of government – is a great addition to the HDMA Government Affairs team.”

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Rite Aid launches heart health guide

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Monday partnered with the American Heart Association and its “Go Red for Women” campaign with the introduction of a “get heart smart” 12-page guide on heart health at its pharmacies nationwide and interactively through the retailer’s Web site through March 28.

 The pamphlet, developed in conjunction with the AHA experts, helps explain how to identify risks for heart disease; the numbers behind heart disease, including body mass index, cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar; how to differentiate symptoms of a stroke from a heart attack; and healthy lifestyle tips.

To further bolster the fight against heart disease, Rite Aid again is raising money for American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign, which aims to debunk the myth that heart disease is a “man’s disease” and to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke in women by 25% by 2010.

Rite Aid associates nationwide will sell red dress pin-ups throughout February for donations of $1 or more. In return, customers will receive coupons for heart healthy products and other items. Customers who buy $30 worth of select heart-related products will receive a “Heart and Soul” T-shirt through Rite Aid’s Single Check Rebate program. Special heart-healthy displays also are in stores featuring products such as aspirin and fish oil that may boost heart health.

On Feb. 6, Rite Aid associates across the country will “Go Red for Women” and show their support for the program by wearing red and donating to the American Heart Association.

Rite Aid’s focus on heart health is part of its yearlong commitment to patient health and wellness. Each year Rite Aid offers free information, answers and guidance on health and wellness topics including diabetes, allergy awareness, skin care, oral health and weight management.

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HealthiNation to offer video catalog on Verizon Hub

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK HealthiNation, a company that makes health and wellness videos, announced that it will offer its catalog on Verizon Hub.

HealthiNation said Verizon Hub provides users with a touch screen with on-demand access to services and information over a broadband connection.

“We are thrilled to have HealthiNation’s consumer-friendly health videos delivered to the home through the Verizon Hub,” HealthiNation president and CEO Raj Amin stated. “The home phone can now be an outlet for high-quality health information in kitchens across America.”

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