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Keeping tradition alive: AMG Medical continues to honor veterans with annual national program

BY Allison Cerra

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Sam’s Club locations this year once again will host “Hugo Salutes Our Veterans,” a national program that will provide 36,000 Hugo folding canes free of charge to U.S. military veterans in need of mobility assistance.

The Hugo folding canes, which retail for $29.99, will be distributed at all Sam’s Clubs nationwide on Nov. 9, 10 and 11. The program was started several years ago by Alpharetta, Ga.-based company AMG Medical in tribute to its employees who served in the military.

“For all of us at AMG Medical, Hugo Salutes Our Veterans is a way to express our deepest appreciation to all Veterans for their selfless contributions to our country,” AMG Medical global president Philip delBuey said. “Our company’s mission is all about helping people stay active and connected to family, friends and their community. With this year’s program, we will have given out more than 100,000 canes. We hope that many Veterans will benefit from Hugo Salutes this year.”

The Hugo folding cane has multiple settings to accommodate people between 5 ft. and 6 ft., 3 in. in height. The cane automatically unfolds and locks into place for use. To store, the cane conveniently folds into four sections, AMG Medical said.

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Study: No cognitive benefit with tight blood-glucose control

BY Michael Johnsen

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Intensive control of blood-sugar levels beyond standard targets provides no additional protection against cognitive decline in older people with diabetes than standard treatment, according to a national study coordinated by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center that was published online in the The Lancet Neurology.

"We know that people with Type 2 diabetes have a much higher risk of dementia and memory loss than people without diabetes," stated Jeff Williamson, chief of the Department of Geriatrics and Gerontology and principal investigator of the study’s coordinating center at Wake Forest Baptist. "What we didn’t know was, if you intensively control blood-sugar levels in people who have had a history of trouble controlling them, does the added cost and effort to control blood sugar result in a slowed rate of memory loss? After conducting this study, there remains no evidence that it does," he said.

"We also learned, however, that the intensive blood-sugar control does preserve brain volume," Williamson added. "What that means for the long term preservation of cognitive function of these patients, we’re still trying to figure out."

The ACCORD-MIND trial is a national study sponsored by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute — part of the National Institutes of Health — designed to examine the effects of different glucose-lowering strategies on the risk for cardiovascular disease.

"While these findings do not support the use of intensive therapy to reduce the possible effects of diabetes on the brains of older people, it remains important for older adults with Type 2 diabetes to continue well-established regimens to keep their blood-glucose levels under control," noted lead author Lenore Launer, of the National Institute on Aging. "Cognitive health is of particular concern in Type 2 diabetes. We will continue to investigate how managing blood sugar levels might be employed to protect people with diabetes from increased risk of cognitive decline as they age."


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NACDS’ Anderson to pharmacy students: Create the ‘practice of the future’

BY Antoinette Alexander

AURORA, Colo. — “When it comes to advancing pharmacy to truly become the ‘practice of the future,’ we must tell our story.” That was a key message that Steve Anderson, National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO, had for next-generation pharmacists attending the Dean’s Convocation at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus on Tuesday.

“If you want to know what the future of pharmacy will look like, I can tell you. Pharmacy will become whatever people like you envision. And its advancement will reflect the energy with which you engage,” Anderson said.

He emphasized four key points, urging tomorrow’s pharmacists to help advance pharmacy as the “practice of the future”:

  • “Together, we must commit to advance pharmacy”;
  • “Not only must we commit to advancing pharmacy, but together we can do this. The opportunity to promote pharmacy’s value is great, because the story of pharmacy’s value is might”;
  • “Pharmacy’s commitment to achieving the status of the ‘practice of the future’ must be a ‘forever’ thing.  We need to make a long-term commitment to revolutionizing healthcare through pharmacy”; and
  • “You have a specific role that you can play — today and every day as a member of the pharmacy profession.”

Anderson relayed a litany of statistics that reflect the accessibility and public trust of community pharmacists, as well as the return-on-investment that community pharmacy services deliver. He emphasized community pharmacy’s ability to help patients take medications correctly, thus reducing reliance on costly forms of care, and he highlighted community pharmacy’s value through vaccinations and health screenings and education. He also described community pharmacy’s increasing success in achieving public policy victories as elected officials gain a greater understanding and appreciation for its cost-effectiveness.

Describing NACDS’ ongoing initiative to educate the government, opinion leaders, the media and other audiences about pharmacy’s role as “the face of neighborhood health care,” Anderson said the message has taken on new importance in the wake of economic turmoil. “Our position is that there is no greater value in healthcare delivery than neighborhood pharmacies,” he said.

Anderson also emphasized the effectiveness of the NACDS RxIMPACT grassroots advocacy program, through which community pharmacy advocates connect with their elected officials.

"I am fired up about pharmacy,” Anderson concluded. “While the times around us are challenging, the opportunities before us are invigorating. I am thankful for the opportunity to be with you today to talk about what pharmacy has accomplished together, and the work that lies ahead."

“All I ask is that you remember four things. They are simple. When it comes to advancing pharmacy to truly become the ‘practice of the future,’ we must tell our story; we have a compelling story to tell; but it will take all of us, working together, forever; beginning now. Will you join us?”

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