PHARMACY

RCEC focuses on rising role of retail clinicians

BY Antoinette Alexander

ORLANDO, Fla. There is still time to register for the second annual Retail Clinician Education Congress, hosted by Retail Clinician, a publication of The Drug Store News Group, and the Convenient Care Association.

The role that these clinics play continues to grow increasingly vital as patients battle rising health care costs and an overburdened healthcare system. There are currently more than 1,100 clinics in operation.

This year’s event will be held Aug. 3 to 5 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. More than 500 nurse practitioners from across the nation are expected to attend. Those who attend can fine-tune their skills, while earning up to 13 CE/CME credits and learning about the latest products and services the industry has to offer.

“CCA is very excited to again partner with Retail Clinician and Drug Store News to offer a first-rate clinical education congress, delivering timely medical education, policy news, and clinic operation tips,” said Tine Turton-Hansen, executive director of CCA.  “In addition to being a very informative and productive event, the RCEC is a terrific opportunity for the CCA to express its sincere appreciation for the health care providers who work in the clinics, without whom we wouldn’t be able to achieve our mission of providing high quality and personal care to all patients who walk in the door.”

Last year, attendance for the event surpassed expectations as more than 300 nurse practitioners attended.

In addition to the presentation of The CARE Awards (Clinician Awards for Retail Excellence), which honor outstanding retail clinicians who go above and beyond the call of duty to achieve excellence in patient care, this year’s agenda includes an impressive lineup of speakers and educational sessions.

Presentations include “Communicating with Patients: What Every Healthcare Professional Must Know” by Edward Leigh, founder and director for Center for Healthcare Communication; “CCA: Where are we Currently and Where are we Headed?” by Sandy Ryan, chief nurse practitioner officer for Take Care Health Systems, Kevin Smith, director of clinical services at MinuteClinic and Tine Hansen-Turton, executive director of the CCA; and “Pediatric Pharmacology & Dosing” by Margaret Fitzgerald, president of Fitzgerald Health Education Associates.

Award categories for this year’s CARE Awards include: Headquarters CEO of the Year, Clinical Leadership Award, Lifetime Achievement Award and Three Retail Clinic Unsung Heroes. In addition to the CARE award plaque, winners will be featured on the cover of the Winter 2009 edition of Retail Clinician magazine, and Retail Clinician magazine will make a donation in their names to the charities of their choice.

The 2008 “Unsung Heroes” included Anita Wilson-Powell of Take Care Health Systems, Louise Berndt of Bellin Health Fast Care, Dixie Childers-Bowman of MinuteClinic, and Wendy Wright of Take Care Health. Ryan received the CARE “Leadership” Award and Loretta Ford received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

As of press time, event sponsors included McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a division of McNeil-PPC; Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America; Hylands; Merck & Co.; MinuteClinic; Take Care Health Systems and The Little Clinic.

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PHARMACY

H.D. Smith elevates sales, purchasing leaders

BY Jim Frederick

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. Pharmacy wholesaler H.D. Smith has promoted two veteran executives in a continuing bid to strengthen its senior management ranks and boost its growth potential.

The latest moves include the promotion of Jeff Greer to VP sales and Bob Dynek Jr. to VP purchasing and trade relations.Greer, who joined the company in 2005 after long service with drug wholesale giant AmerisourceBergen, will lead an effort by H.D. Smith to expand into new service sectors. Dynek, an 11-year company veteran whose previous career included stints with General Drug Co., Foxmeyer Corp. and Louis Zahn Drug Co., will will have primary responsibility for purchasing and managing inventory service levels across all business segments.

“Moving Jeff and Bob into corporate headquarters will take full advantage of growth potential for the company,” said Dale Smith, chairman and CEO. “Together, they bring more than 50 years of expertise in pharmacy distribution and will be influential in helping us realize our goal of becoming the preferred pharmaceutical wholesaler nationwide.”

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Diabetes not sole cause of depression in diabetic patients, study suggests

BY Anna Mcgrath

NEW YORK Increased risk of depression in diabetic patients could be the result of more frequent contacts with the medical system, rather than the disease itself, a new study suggested.

Previous research suggested that diabetic individuals faced a higher risk of depression, yet few studies accounted for the number of primary care visits that patients make, noted Patrick O’Connor of HealthPartners Research Foundation in Bloomington, Minn., and his colleagues.

To investigate, O’Connor and his colleagues analyzed records from a large medical group that treated about 225,000 patients between 1997 and 2003 and found that the likelihood of being newly diagnosed with depression fell as the number of times the patient visited the doctor increased.

Among the group of diabetic patients with few physician visits during the study period were 46% more likely to be newly diagnosed with depression during the course of the study. But for the diabetic patients who had more than 10 physician visits during the study period, the risk of a new depression diagnosis was similar to that of non-diabetic individuals who visited their physicians equally often.

The reason why people — diabetic or not — who visit the doctor less often are more likely to be depressed isn’t clear, the researchers said. “These data might indicate that primary care clinicians are good at recognizing depression after only a few visits,” they wrote. “Other explanations are possible, however; perhaps physician who do not recognize depression early are not likely to diagnose it later.”

This study was published in Annals of Family Medicine, July/August 2009.

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