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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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Prestige Brands launches PediaCare Smooth Melts

BY Michael Johnsen

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. — Prestige Brands on Thursday introduced PediaCare Smooth Melts, chewable, cherry tablets containing acetaminophen designed to make it easier for children to take their medicine. 
 
“Not only do children have more taste buds than adults, they are also extremely sensitive to bitter flavors often found in many medications,” said David Hill, a pediatrician and Prestige spokesman. “Kids are often fearful of taking medicine, because of the taste. PediaCare Smooth Melts is great-tasting and effective, so there will be less resistance to getting a child to take the medicine he or she needs to receive relief. This means less stress for both the child and caregiver.”
 
“We continue to work tirelessly to improve our product portfolio by sourcing the best-tasting ingredients we can find and investigating unique forms and flavors," said Mark Warrington, Prestige director product development. 
 
PediaCare Smooth Melts are currently available at Rite Aid locations nationwide and on Amazon.com. Each bottle of PediaCare Smooth Melts contains 24 chewable tablets. Caregivers simply determine proper dosage of the pre-scored tablets by reviewing the dosing chart on the package. And by having a convenient bottle, the caregiver can easily store any extra half tablets (if necessary).
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