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Minnesota Department of Health launches flu preparation site

BY Michael Johnsen

SAINT PAUL, Minn. The Minnesota Department of Health Friday morning unveiled its Minnesota Pandemic Ethics Project, a Web page through which individuals and organizations may help shape the debate over how the state can best prepare an emergency response against a potential avian flu pandemic.

“You are invited to offer your advice on this important question,” the web site states. “Your voice is important, and we want to hear from as many people as possible—whether or not you live or work in Minnesota or are familiar with pandemic planning.”

The goal of the Ethics Project is to propose ethical frameworks and procedures for rationing scarce health resources in Minnesota during a severe influenza pandemic. The frameworks recommend how to decide in what order different groups of Minnesotans should be prioritized to receive resources. There are also recommendations about how to implement the ethical guidance provided by the frameworks.

Preliminary recommendations have been developed by a broad-based panel and work groups of more than 100 Minnesotans. An important part of this project is to gather public input so that the final recommendations include broader perspectives, the department stated. 

Public comments are being accepted Jan. 30 through March 16.

The project is funded by the Minnesota Department of Health and is led by the Minnesota Center for Health Care Ethics and University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics.

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Study: 13% of Americans aged 20 and over have diabetes

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Almost 13% of Americans aged 20 and older have diabetes, according to a new study.

Of those, 40% have been diagnosed, which is more than previous studies indicated, but the number of undiagnosed patients has remained flat, according to the study, published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

The study was based on a national survey of more than 7,000 patients aged 12 and older interviewed between 2005 and 2006. The researchers compared the data to data gathered between 1988 an 1994.

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CVS/pharmacy holds 2nd annual ‘For All the Ways You Care’ contest

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS/pharmacy has announced that it is holding its second annual “For All the Ways You Care” contest created as a way to celebrate and honor caregivers nationwide.

“CVS/pharmacy is committed to caring for women and those they care for. We are pleased to see the For All the Ways You Care community continues to grow as people exchange stories and discuss all aspects of caregiving,” stated Rob Price, SVP, marketing and advertising for CVS/pharmacy. “Thousands of stories have been shared on ForAllTheWaysYouCare.com since it launched last year, and we continue to be truly amazed by the selfless devotion demonstrated by so many caregivers.”

The site is a growing community that serves as forum for people to share a story about someone who has touched their life or how they personally have touched another’s.

For the stories submitted between Oct. 5, 2008 and March 1, 2009, CVS/pharmacy and a panel of judges will select a group of finalists and ultimately a grand-prize winner whose stories best represent a nurturing spirit and dedication to others. The finalists will be honored for their inspirational stories at a luncheon and luxury weekend in New York City in May. In addition, nine finalists will each receive $10,000 and the grand-prize winner will receive $25,000 from CVS/pharmacy.

Panelists include Lee Woodruff, author and wife of ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff; Dr. Roseanna Means, founder of Women of Means, a program of volunteer doctors who provide free medical care to homeless women and children; Tina Sharkey, BabyCenter chairman and global president; and Rosemary Ellis, Good Housekeeping editor-in-chief. Panelists will post their own personal caregiving stories on the Web site.

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