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Reporters Notebook

BY DSN STAFF

Supplier News

Writing instrument maker Paper Mate is going green. The new Paper Mate Biodegradable products are the latest step in Paper Mate’s ongoing commitment to the environment. Paper Mate also offers an existing line of products made from recycled sources, and recently introduced an innovative new upcycling program to find new ways to repurpose otherwise throwaway writing instruments.

“When you write with a Paper Mate Biodegradable pen or pencil, you can do your part to help protect our planet,” said Kanan Banerjee, director of marketing for Paper Mate. “Paper Mate Biodegradable pens and pencils make going green simple, easy and affordable.”

The Paper Mate Biodegradable pen comes in black, blue, red or purple ink and retails for about $1.70. The mechanical pencil is available in 0.5-mm or 0.7-mm lead sizes and retails for about $2.70. Both are available wherever Paper Mate office products are sold.

Tim Burton’s epic fantasy adventure “Alice in Wonderland” is arriving on Blu-Ray and DVD on June 1.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment said the film will be available on Blu-Ray combo pack, including a Blu-Ray disc, DVD and digital copy, in addition to a single-disc Blu-Ray and single-disc DVD. The Blu-Ray disc versions of the film include nine bonus features that take viewers deeper into the famous “rabbit hole”—exploring more of the world of Wonderland, its iconic characters and the making of the film. Features include the making of the futterwacken dance, a look inside the world of the Mad Hatter and Johnny Depp’s transformation, Tim Burton’s vision for the movie and its characters, the visual effects of growing and shrinking of Alice, costume designs, music, stunts and more.

The suggested retail prices for “Alice in Wonderland” are as follows: The three-disc Blu-Ray combo pack is $44.99; the single-disc Blu-Ray for $39.99; and the single-disc DVD is $29.99.

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Retail clinics: Improved care at a lower cost

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT Retail clinics. Save. Money. Without regard to who’s footing the bill exactly — healthcare payer or Jane Patient — retail clinics not only represent a significant cost savings across the board, but by siphoning nonemergency-yet-still-urgent cases out of the emergency rooms and doctors’ offices, retail clinics also can contribute to improved care across the healthcare continuum.

(THE NEWS: Study: Retail clinics save nonemergency patients money. For the full story, click here)

All told there were 119.2 million total ER visits in 2006, up 8.2% as compared with 2004, according to ACEP. Extrapolate that figure with WellPoint’s finding that 19.4% of those visits may be for nonemergencies across the entire nation, and the fuzzy math equates to an approximate 23.1 million non-emergency patients presenting across some 3,833 ERs. For whoever is paying for the cost of care, that’s an expenditure totaling $10.2 billion if every case were to present at an ER; as compared to $1.2 billion if every case were to present at a retail clinic. That’s the cost savings piece.

But cost savings aren’t the only benefit retail clinics afford the overall healthcare system —  there’s a general improvement in care. According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, average waiting times for patients triaged with non-emergency ailments at emergency departments range between one and two hours, but only when the ER isn’t crowded. That’s like saying that bee stings don’t hurt, you know, except when they do.

Let’s face it, in a nation of 309 million and counting, there are simply not enough points of care, be it for an emergency or nonemergency situation. Taking nonemergency visits out of emergency rooms would likely improve the efficiency of care for more critical patients, as well as the experience of care for noncritical patients. That’s the improved care piece.

Improved care at a lower cost, that’s what retail clinics bring to the table.

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Tide brings Loads of Hope to Dollar General

BY Allison Cerra

NASHVILLE Tide brought its mobile laundromat to a local Dollar General to benefit victims of the recent floods.

Tide’s Loads of Hope program visited a Nashville Dollar General May 12 to provide customers in the area with clean laundry. One truck and a fleet of vans house more than 32 energy-efficient washers and dryers that are capable of cleaning over 300 loads of laundry every day. Tide washs, dries and folds the clothes for these families for free.

The Loads of Hope program also benefited victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, in addition to other natural disasters.

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