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McKesson names Kathy McElligott CIO

BY David Salazar

SAN FRANCISCO — McKesson announced Monday that Kathy McElligott had been appointed EVP and chief information officer, as well as chief technology officer, effective July 20. She will succeed Randy Spratt who announced early this year that he would retire in the summer after 29 years with McKesson.

“We are delighted to welcome Kathy to our senior leadership team,” McKesson chairman and CEO John Hammergren said. “As a respected industry leader, her track record in strategic global technology and driving exceptional customer experience will help McKesson continue to deliver greater value to our customers and shareholders.”

McElligott will oversee McKesson’s enterprise business tech strategy and IT security among other duties as CIO and will guide the company’s healthcare technology products’ direction while providing support for companywide application development.

Most recently, McElligott was CIO at Emerson, where she has worked since 2000, previously serving as VP, information technology of Emerson Power Transmission and Emerson Industrial Automation. 

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Walmart donates $15.5 million for food, nutrition children’s programs

BY Gina Acosta

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — The Walmart Foundation is making a big statement in support of free school meal and education programs.

The organization will give away $15.5 million in grants to seven national nonprofits to support free meal and nutrition education programs this summer and throughout the school year. The programs in more than 7,700 communities across the country will help over 1 million low-income children and their families gain access to critical meals and teach them how to cook and eat healthy together.

“While many children look forward to the summer months as a time to relax, it can be a difficult time for families who rely on meals at school,” said Karrie Denniston, director of hunger relief and nutrition at the Walmart Foundation. “As in years past, this summer we continue our work with longstanding nonprofit partners to help more kids access meals and learn to develop nutritious eating habits so they can live healthy lives.”

The nonprofits receiving funding from the Walmart Foundation include: National Council of Young Men’s Christian Association (Y-USA), National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), Baylor University’s Texas Hunger Initiative, National 4-H Council, National League of Cities, FoodCorps and Common Threads.

These grants come at a challenging time for the millions of children who are out of school and without access to school meals and daily routines. Many children who benefit from eating free and reduced priced school meals do not participate in summer meal programs.

Although this gap is slowly closing, only one in six low-income children who relied on school lunch during the school year participated in a summer nutrition program last year, according to a new report issued by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). This leaves many children vulnerable to hunger and poor nutrition during the summertime and poses a risk to future health.

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Rite Aid’s Health Dialog, Penn State to study health coaching in older adults with fractures

BY Lesley Thulin

BOSTON — Health Dialog, a health management company and division of Rite Aid, will partner with the Penn State College of Medicine in a three-year study that will examine the role that health coaches play in preventing fractures among older adults who wish to exercise.

“A health coach can be an invaluable resource to older adults beginning an exercise program following a fracture,” said Chris Sciamanna, Project Director of Band Together and Professor of Medicine and Public Health Sciences and Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine at Penn State College of Medicine.

The study, called Band Together, will enroll 2,000 adults 65 years and older who have suffered a fall-related fracture and want to resume exercise. Penn State received a $14 million grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to conduct Band Together, which is the largest of its kind.

The study seeks to confirm the findings of smaller studies that indicate that heal coach-assisted exercise reduces the risk of fracture in older adults by two-thirds.

One-on-one support from health coaches can give older patients confidence, according to Sciamanna.

“While older adults may understand the benefit of exercise, many have never done strength training,” he said. “They may have a fear of falling or experiencing another injury.”

Health Dialog will train the health coaches participating in the study.

Researchers hope the findings will urge Medicare and private insurance to cover health coach-assisted exercise for this demographic, according to a press release.

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