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Medication safety effort for seniors earns Aurora national recognition

BY DSN STAFF

MILWAUKEE A new and unusual patient safety initiative, aimed at improving medication safety in the medical clinic, has won Aurora Health Care national recognition from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices.

The Institute selected Aurora’s Walworth County Patient Safety Council for a Cheers Award, which honors individuals, organizations and companies that have set a standard of excellence in the prevention of medication errors and adverse drug events.

Aurora’s WCPSC represents a new approach to the issue of medication safety. Patients and a safety expert from Midwest Airlines joined with Aurora physicians and pharmacists to improve medication safety for local senior citizens through a grant from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The WCPSC is believed to be the first model that brought patients and providers together to develop strategies for improving medication safety for seniors in their community.

“A key element of our commitment to enhance safety is the involvement of the community, which has helped us to approach our initiatives from the patient’s perspective,” stated Kathryn Leonhardt, Aurora’s patient safety officer and medical director of care management.

“From the initial design stages to the implementation of the tools, we applied a grassroots, public health approach to build this program as a community effort,” Leonhardt said. “Patients partnered with us to help design and disseminate tools and educate the community to work collaboratively with their physician to ensure the medical record accurately reflected the medications a patient is taking.”

The efforts included distribution of medication bags and lists to seniors in the county. There were ongoing presentations on improving communications between patients and their physician and care team. The initial focus was on the five Aurora Clinics in Walworth County. The effort later was extended to community groups. Through the initiative, the accuracy of medication lists in the doctor’s office improved from 69 percent to 81 percent.

Work is under way to replicate the process throughout Aurora. “Consumers Advancing Patient Safety believes that the perspective, the wisdom and the will of patients and families in partnership with providers from around the world provides the most powerful contribution to ensuring a truly authentic and sustainable transformation in patient safety,” stated Susan Sheridan, CAPS co-founder and president. “We applaud Aurora for recognizing the value of partnering with consumers in this medication safety project.”

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A&P completes Pathmark purchase for $1.4 billion

BY Antoinette Alexander

MONTVALE, N.J. A&P has completed its acquisition of Pathmark Stores, forming a 450-store chain—including 260 pharmacies—with $9.4 billion in annual sales volume.

The deal, valued at $1.4 billion in cash, stock and assumed or retired debt, calls for Pathmark shareholders to receive $9 in cash and 0.12963 shares of A&P stock for each Pathmark share.

The company stated that it plans to maintain the Pathmark name and will retain substantially all Pathmark store operations personnel and about 175 corporate associates.

The combined company has leading market share in the New York metro area, as well as significantly increased market share in greater Philadelphia and Baltimore.

“Our goal now is to efficiently integrate the businesses based on the comprehensive plan developed over the last eight months under the direction of senior management and outside experts. We look forward to the future of our combined company will full confidence in the long-range success we will achieve and the value and benefits we will create for all of our key stakeholders,” stated Christian Haub, executive chairman of A&P.

In announcing the completion of the merger agreement, the grocer highlighted the following key aspects of the deal:

  • The addition of the Pathmark brand and its high volume, price impact operating format, which complements A&P’s Fresh, Discount and Gourmet operations, provides the most diverse range of targeted food retail formats in the Northeast, according to the company.
  • An expanded portfolio of real estate and store locations across the Northeast’s most densely-populated markets.
  • The retention of 97 percent combined company EBITDA from store operations, based on historical financials proforma for required divestures.
  • An improved financial profile based on $150 million in integration synergies that are anticipated to be achieved within 18 to 24 months.
  • The merger of A&P’s and Pathmark’s respective technology strengths.
  • The retention of key Pathmark management personnel to support integration activities and operate the combined business going forward.

With the deal complete, A&P operates 450 stores in six states and District of Columbia under the trade names A&P, Pathmark, Waldbaum’s, The Food Emporium, Super Foodmart, Super Fresh and Food Basics.

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Ahold sale of Tops finalized

BY Allison Cerra

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands Ahold announced Monday that it has successfully completed the sale of Tops Markets to Morgan Stanley Private Equity.

This follows the agreement announced on Oct. 11, 2007, at a purchase price of $310 million, though the final purchase price is subject to customary price adjustments. Closing of the transaction was subject to the fulfillment of customary conditions, including anti-trust clearance and a financing condition.

Capitalized lease obligations will remain with Tops, although Ahold will retain dependent liability for the majority of these lease obligations.

The divestment of Tops is part of Ahold’s strategy resulting from its retail review announced in November 2006.

Tops operates stores in western New York, mid-state New York including the Rochester area, and northwestern Pennsylvania under the banners of Tops Markets and Martin’s Super Food Stores. In 2006, the company closed its northeastern Ohio stores. Several were simply closed, while others were purchased by supermarket chain Giant Eagle.

Tops was acquired by Ahold, an international group of quality supermarkets based in the United States and Europe, in 1991. Tops Markets currently operates in over 70 locations and currently employs approximately 10,000 full- and part-time employees.

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