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Sam’s Club donates $1.25 million to expand YMCA health, wellness initiatives; retailer offers diabetes screenings

BY Alaric DeArment

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Sam’s Club has donated more than $1 million to the YMCA to expand a program designed to address health issues among residents of underserved neighborhoods, as well as a diabetes-prevention program, the club retailer said Friday, also announcing that it would offer diabetes screenings at its pharmacies next week.

The retailer announced a $1.25 million grant to the YMCA through the Sam’s Club Giving Program to fund programs that will expand healthy living opportunities in underserved communities as part of the group’s Healthier Community Initiatives.

"The YMCA is a renowned champion for preventive health solutions, are we are thrilled the Sam’s Club Giving Program could expand the Y’s commitment to diabetes awareness throughout the country," Sam’s Club SVP health and wellness Jill Turner-Mitchael said. "Sam’s Club also recognizes the importance of preventive care, providing more than 5 million free health screenings to the communities we serve through monthly screening events and interactive Solohealth stations available in our clubs."

The YMCA will use the money to expand the Healthier Communities Initiative to five additional communities to address health disparities among African-American and Latino individuals and families. The program currently serves more than 250 neighborhoods nationwide and has helped more than 46 million people.

The grant will also support six new YMCAs in launching the Diabetes Prevention Program. The program has helped participants at more than 600 locations around the country lose an average of 4.9% of body weight. The program, which Sam’s Club is collaborating with the non-profit group on, is designed to help people adopt healthy eating and exercise habits and has served about 12,000 people around the country.

The screenings will focus on A1c and blood glucose tests for diabetes, as well as blood pressure, body mass index and vision screenings, worth a total of $200. The tests will take place at the chain’s 571 pharmacies on Sept. 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million Americans have diabetes, while 79 million have pre-diabetes. Participants can pick up a postcard from the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program to evaluate their risk for pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.

 

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Use of e-cigarettes among middle, high schoolers on the rise, CDC finds

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — More students in middle and high school are using electronic cigarettes, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Friday, the CDC said that between 2011 and 2012, among students in sixth through 12th grades, e-cigarette use increased from 3.3% to 6.8%.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that deliver water vapor with nicotine and have been marketed as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes. While the Food and Drug Administration regulates tobacco products, it does not regulate e-cigarettes, and many states do not have age restrictions on their sale to minors, according to the CDC. While studies are ongoing, the CDC said some e-cigarette cartridges contain potentially harmful chemicals such as irritants, genotoxins and animal carcinogens.

The agency also found that among middle school students, the number of students who had tried e-cigarettes increased from 1.4% in 2011 to 2.7% in 2012, while habitual use of e-cigarettes increased from 0.6% to 1.1% during the same period, while use of both e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes increased from 0.3% to 0.7%. Slightly more than 20% of middle schoolers who had tried e-cigarettes reported never smoking tobacco cigarettes, while among those who habitually used e-cigarettes, 61.1% reported habitual smoking of tobacco cigarettes as well.

The figures were higher among high school students, as those who had tried them increased from 4.7% in 2011 to 10% in 2012, and habitual use increased from 1.5% to 2.8% during the same period. As with middle schoolers, use of e-cigarettes among high schoolers correlated with use of tobacco cigarettes, as only 7.2% of those who had tried e-cigarettes had never tried tobacco cigarettes, while 80.5% of those who habitually used e-cigarettes also smoked tobacco cigarettes.

Experimentation and recent use of e-cigarettes doubled among middle and high school students during 2011-2012, the report found, with 1.78 million students using e-cigarettes last year, while 160,000 of those who used e-cigarettes had never used tobacco cigarettes.

"This is a serious concern because the overall impact of e-cigarette use on public health remains uncertain," the report read. "In youths, concerns include the potential negative impact of nicotine on adolescent brain development, as well as the risk for nicotine addiction and initiation of the use of conventional cigarettes or other tobacco products."


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J.KESSLER says:
Sep-09-2013 01:59 pm

America's youth will experiment. (period). It's better that e-cigarettes are used rather than standard cigarettes. The study appears to ignore the fact that many e-cigs on the market contain the option of zero nicotine. Another point I would make is that any study that relies on truthfulness from middle-school and high-school aged children, regarding the term, habitual cannot be relied upon. Nor can their concept of the equal use of an e-cig be correlated to X number of actual cigarettes per day. The use of an e-cig is measured by puffs and/or end of flavor packet peiord of dissapation, (not battery life). The use of regular cigarettes is usually measured by # of cigs consumed during a day, regardless if how many cigs were put out at the half-point or lended out to others. In other words, the study cannot be relied upon. My final point is; where do middle-school children get the money to buy e-cigs? This is a parent issue, NOT an FDA or government issue. E-cigs have helped countless adults and I don't want to see our rights jeopardized due to faulty studies and overzealous save our youth compaigns that have never proved out anyway. Refer to first sentence.

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LDM network to deliver messages to Kmart pharmacists, patients

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. LOUIS — Targeted healthcare communications company LDM Group is adding Kmart to its network, LDM said Friday.

As part of the network, Kmart will offer its PharmacistCare and CarePoints messaging systems to pharmacists and patients, with the goal of improving patients’ medication adherence and overall health outcomes.

"Kmart has continuously shown that it represents a strong leader in the industry, and we are extremely pleased that they have joined our rapidly expanding retail network," LDM Group CEO Mark Heinold said. "Kmart’s continued focus on operational effectiveness, combined with its desire to enhance patients’ experiences in their pharmacies, will allow us to continue providing pharmacists and patients with trusted health information and ultimately improving overall health outcomes."

PharmacistCare allows pharmacists to stay abreast of new developments in the industry through direct messages in their workflow that they can communicate to patients. CarePoints are printed in real time — based on medication history and containing information about a patient’s prescription and condition being treated — and distributed to the patient by pharmacy staff along with the patient’s prescription.


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