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Omron launches wireless TENS device

BY DSN STAFF

Omron Healthcare earlier this week announced the arrival of Avail, an innovative over-the-counter medical device for drug-free pain relief. Avail is Omron's first TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) unit with wireless and dual channel capability that provides relief from chronic and acute pain. The device can treat multiple pain sites simultaneously and is controlled by Omron's new mobile app, Omron TENS, enabling users to operate Avail remotely.

"Pain sufferers are already inconvenienced by their condition. Omron created Avail with wireless capability to restore their freedom of movement while they get pain relief," stated Carol Lucarelli, director marketing and product development for Omron Healthcare. "And with two separately programmable TENS devices, the Omron Avail allows for customizable, multi-site treatment for individual aches and pains." 

[quote-from-article] The Omron Avail comes with two soft, contoured pads that fit comfortably and securely to treat a variety of areas of pain simultaneously. Avail's five pre-programmed Body Pain Modes soothe lower back, shoulder, knee, elbow and leg pain with recommended therapies. Avail users can also design their own therapies using five additional pulsation modes – including steady, acupuncture-like, knead, tap and microcurrent – and 20 different intensity levels.

Bluetooth connectivity on Avail provides wireless control of settings via the Omron TENS app, for on-the-go personal control of pain relief. Omron TENS for smartphones is available for free download on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

The Omron Avail is designed to provide symptomatic relief and management of chronic and acute pain, relief from pain associated with arthritis or with sore or aching muscles of the lower back, arms, legs, shoulders or feet due to strain from exercise or normal household work activities.

The device, which has received FDA clearance, is available for purchase at Omronhealthcare.com for $199.99. 

Amid rising awareness and concern about opioid addiction, a problem for an estimated two million Americans, pain sufferers are seeking drug-free alternatives for relief. The Gallup-Palmer College of Chiropractic Annual Study of Americans (conducted in February and March 2017) revealed that 78% of Americans now prefer to try other ways to address their physical pain before taking prescription medications.

"Millions of Americans experience pain on a daily basis, and Omron is investing in TENS device innovation to bring them more options for safe, effective pain management," said Lucarelli.  "Avail is our new offering to bring accessible, convenient, portable drug-free pain relief to those who need it."

A therapy regularly administered by physical therapists and chiropractors, TENS sends stimulating pulses across the surface of the skin and along the nerve strands. The pulses help prevent pain signals from reaching the brain. Electrical stimulation can also trigger the body to release endorphins, which act as natural painkillers, and improve blood circulation. Omron was the first company to market with an over-the-counter FDA-cleared TENS medical device for use at home. 
 

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Sam’s Club’s Turner-Mitchael to retire

BY David Salazar

Sam’s Club senior vice president and GMM of consumable and health and wellness will be retiring at the end of the fiscal year, a Sam’s Club spokesperson confirmed Wednesday. Turner-Mitchael is a 26-year veteran of the company, having joined Walmart in 1992 as a pharmacist in Lubbock, Texas.

During her time at the company, Turner-Mitchael has led various teams at Walmart and Sam’s Club, including Walmart’s pharmacy operations team and Sam’s Club’s merchandising, operations and health and wellness divisions. She has received the Sam M. Walton Blue Coat Award of Excellence.

“Jill leaves a lasting legacy, both as a merchant and as a disruptor in the health care industry,” the company said. “Her passion in raising awareness of health and wellness issues and in testing exciting new concepts in clubs such as free screenings, health kiosks and caregiver support programs has helped the company to become a leader in affordable health care. Jill has also made a strong impact on associates throughout the company with her mentorship and focus on championing women’s advancement in the workplace.”

The company said it has not yet named Turner-Mitchael’s successor and will do so once it has been announced internally.

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Supervalu’s Q3 shows results of acquisitions on wholesale business

BY David Salazar

Grocery retailer and wholesaler Supervalu has shared the results from its fiscal 2018 third-quarter, which included a boon to its wholesale business in the form of its Unified Grocers acquisition, even as retail sales declined. The Minneapolis-based company’s total continuing operations saw net sales of $3.94 billion — up 31% from $3 billion in the same period last year.

Supervalu’s retail division netted $1.02 billion in sales, down 4.1% from last year’s $1.06 billion, which the company attributed to a 3.5% dip in same-store sales and store closings, offset by new and acquired store sales. The company’s retail operating loss was $6 million for the quarter, a number that included $3 million in costs related to store closures. Supervalu’s third-quarter operating loss was well below the loss it posted in the same period last year, when it reported $14 million.

The impact of retail losses on Supervalu’s bottom line was buoyed somewhat by its wholesale division’s performance. The wholesale business posted $2.89 billion in net sales, an increase of 52% over the prior period, which the company said was driven by the Unified Grocers acquisition, as well as new customer sales and increased sales to existing customers. Operating earnings were down slightly from last year, coming in at $48 million after being adjusted for $2 million of merger and integration costs. In the prior third quarter, Supervalu’s wholesale division brought in $52 million in operating earnings.

“With the influx of significant new business in certain distribution centers, we experienced a larger-than-anticipated increase in expenses, but we're encouraged by the work we are doing to address those costs and believe they are manageable going forward,” Supervalu president and CEO Mark Gross said. “We remain committed to investing in our wholesale business to drive future growth.”

On the corporate side, Supervalu saw fees earned of $33 billion from services agreements, and its new corporate operating loss was $1 million — which included $3 million of merger and integration cost. This is compared with net corporate operating earnings of $4 million last year.

With the Unified Grocers acquisition completed in Q3, the company set its sights on its Associated Grocers acquisition, closing it early in its fourth quarter.

“We're pleased to have completed our acquisition of AG Florida early in the fourth quarter,” Gross said. “The work done in the third quarter concluded with this deal which, combined with the acquisition of Unified Grocers earlier this fiscal year, demonstrates our commitment to the strategic growth of our Wholesale business. Furthermore, we're extremely pleased with the integration work at Unified and the progress made in that market.”

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