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mHealthCoach winner of Walgreens’ Health Guide Challenge

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN FRANCISCO — Health 2.0 and Walgreens on Monday announced Chicago-based Team mHealthCoach as the winner of the Walgreens Health Guide Challenge. The winners receive a cash award of $25,000, plus an opportunity to spend an hour with Walgreens chief information officer Timothy Theriault.

mHealthCoach will demonstrate its winning entry at the Health 2.0 Fall Conference taking place Sept. 26 and 27 in San Francisco.

The Walgreens Health Guide Challenge launched in June at the Health Data Initiative Forum meeting in Washington as part of the Health 2.0 Developer Challenge program. Teams were tasked with developing an innovative application and a supported Web service that would aggregate three or more Health and Human Services databases by disease condition, topic and location.

The mHealthCoach team developed a sophisticated tablet-based application that incorporates data feeds from multiple health and social media sources in an easy-to-navigate interface. The mHealthCoach application potentially will enable Walgreens’ healthcare staff to quickly and easily provide pharmacy customers with useful and relevant health information.

“We were impressed by the application developed by the mHealthCoach team, and we believe the tool they created could be easily incorporated into the pharmacy of the future,” stated Colin Watts, chief innovation officer at Walgreens. “The innovative approach used by the mHealthCoach team is absolutely aligned with Walgreens’ broader innovation initiatives.”

“Health 2.0 is very excited to see the development of innovative technology solutions under the umbrella of the Developer Challenge program,” stated Indu Subaiya, CEO of Health 2.0. “We believe that prize competitions can be a very effective tool to drive innovation at corporations, and we look forward to more successful challenges like this one.”

Walgreens also awarded a second-place prize to Florida-based Team Tuxemo and a third-place prize to Connecticut-based Acsys Interactive. The winners will receive $5,000 and $3,000, respectively.

You can learn more details about the Walgreens Health Guide Challenge at the competition website.

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Safeway appoints chief medical officer

BY Allison Cerra

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway has appointed Kent Bradley as its new chief medical officer.

In his new role, Bradley will be responsible for developing and guiding the company’s extensive portfolio of health care programs including its employee and consumer wellness and prevention activities. Additionally, Bradley also will assist Safeway’s Safeway Health subsidiary on a range of business initiatives, the company said. He will report to Safeway EVP and Safeway Health president Larree Renda.

Prior to joining Safeway, Bradley had a career in the U.S. Army, where he earned the rank of colonel and served in a wide of range assignments, including chief medical officer from the Infantry Division level to CMO-executive director for Tricare-Europe, which supported more than 250,000 Department of Defense beneficiaries in more than 95 countries throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Prior to that, Bradley served in Iraq as deputy commander of the 30th Medical Brigade.

"We are pleased and honored to have someone of Dr. Bradley’s caliber and reputation joining the Safeway team," Safeway chairman, president and CEO Steve Burd said. "His well-recognized expertise in health and wellness and his proven track record leading large groups of professionals in a range of challenging settings will bring immediate and important benefits to our company."

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Kroger features employee breast cancer survivors in new campaign

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger has committed $3 million in donations for local breast cancer initiatives across the country to support National Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, the grocer announced Monday.

"We are honored that so many of our courageous associates are willing to share their experiences as breast cancer survivors," stated David Dillon, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. "Their inspirational stories educate and encourage others to better care for each other and their own health."

For example, Missy Veeder, who works in retail merchandising for the company’s Ralphs division in Southern California, is featured this year on packages of Kraft shredded cheese. "Talk to other women who have been there, talk to other women that may have just been diagnosed. Every woman who has been in those shoes can give you some wisdom that might be what you need to hear," Veeder said.

Veeder’s inspirational story and others also can be found at SharingCourage.com, an interactive website dedicated to raising breast cancer awareness.

The company’s annual Giving Hope a Hand campaign kicked off in stores on Sunday, Sept. 25, and features 53 Kroger associates who are breast cancer survivors on marketing materials and custom packages of national-brand and Kroger-brand products. These women share their survivor stories on the packaging of select items sold exclusively in Kroger’s family of stores.

Kroger’s campaign features a store-wide sales promotion of popular items, many of which will feature exclusive, specially marked pink packaging. This year, 1,600 items, including Kroger’s own products and popular items from such Kroger partners as General Mills, Kellogg’s, Kimberly Clark, Kraft, Pepsi, Procter & Gamble, Purina and SC Johnson will be marked with special shelf tags to highlight participation.

At the end of this year, Kroger will have donated more than $18 million to support breast cancer research, education and services since Giving Hope a Hand began in 2006.

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