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Sanofi supports flu shot awareness program targeting seniors

BY Michael Johnsen

ORLANDO, Fla. — Sanofi Pasteur on Wednesday launched an awareness campaign to inform Florida residents ages 65 years and older about the importance of influenza protection and the key role vaccination plays in helping to improve the body’s immune response against the virus.

Adults 65 years of age and older typically are the hardest hit by influenza. This new program, called Influenza Immunization for You, urges older adults to talk to their healthcare provider about vaccine options. Florida Hospital Medical Group is spearheading the initiative in the region.

"The new initiative is specially timed to occur throughout September — the time when many older adults often visit their healthcare providers to receive their annual influenza vaccination," stated Justin Menezes, a spokesman for the Orlando Family Medicine of Florida Hospital Medical Group. "We want residents 65 years of age and older to know there is a flu shot made just for them, in addition to the standard influenza vaccine."

Persons ages 65 years and older account for more than 60% of the estimated 226,000 flu-related hospitalizations in the United States. Further, about 90% of flu-related deaths that occur each year in the United States occur in this age group.

With more than 100 physician practice locations and 35 medical specialties, Florida Hospital Medical Group is Central Florida’s largest multispecialty practice, caring for nearly one million patients a year. The Medical Group’s more-than-250 physicians are affiliated with Florida Hospital — one of the largest not-for-profit hospitals in the country.


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Sports journalist Jenn Brown joins team GNC LiveWell

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH — GNC Holdings on Wednesday announced that Jenn Brown, two-time Emmy Award-winning sports journalist, has joined the GNC LiveWell team as its newest brand ambassador.

"Having been a student athlete throughout my life, participating as an honor student in diving, volleyball, basketball, softball and track and field in high school and as a NCAA softball player at the University of Florida, I know and understand the value of education, health and nutrition," Brown said. "Being part of the GNC team, I am looking forward to continuing my efforts to inform, educate and inspire fellow fitness enthusiasts on living a healthy and balanced lifestyle."

Together with Nora Tobin, who signed on as a GNC brand ambassador Aug. 22, Brown will educate athletes and fitness enthusiasts on living a healthy, athletic life — and how GNC products can help enhance and support those goals — through the use of social media, video, appearances and marketing materials.

"At GNC, we find people like Jenn Brown an inspiration," said Jeff Hennion, EVP and chief marketing officer and e-commerce at GNC. "Jenn’s extensive background in sports and media, both as an athlete, journalist and Under Armour model, will help our GNC team deliver our Live Well message to millions of fellow health enthusiasts."

You can follow Brown’s healthy tips and updates on Twitter @AllThingsJenn, on Facebook at both Facebook.com/JennBrown12 and Facebook.com/GNCLiveWell, and on her website, JennBrown.com.

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Rite Aid launches Wellness+ for Diabetes

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid announced Wednesday the launch of the first extension of its Wellness+ loyalty card program.

Offered free to members, Wellness+ for Diabetes is described as a multifaceted program that offers exclusive resources and savings to people living with diabetes and their caregivers.

Part of a collaboration between Rite Aid and WebMD, Wellness+ for Diabetes offers Wellness+ members who sign up for it exclusive, around-the-clock access to a special Rite Aid-sponsored section of WebMD’s "Diabetes head2toe" online lifestyle management tools, including a customized Personal Diabetes Work Plan with a daily glucose tracker, weekly workout log, recipes and meal-planning tips and monthly lifestyle summary reports. Diabetes head2toe also provides health-and-wellness information and stories about people living with diabetes. The collaboration also includes a survey being conducted to gain further insights about the effects of diabetes, especially on women, with results expected to be released in the coming weeks.

"People living with diabetes and their caregivers are often overwhelmed by all the information available to them and are looking for help to make sense of it all," Rite Aid EVP pharmacy Robert Thompson said. "Our new Wellness+ for Diabetes program offers unique answers and extends the support Rite Aid pharmacists have long offered. We are excited to offer our diabetes customers and caregivers exclusive online tools together with WebMD’s credible and trusted health information through its Diabetes head2toe program, and to help them live well with diabetes."

Other benefits to the program include access to informative videos and Web pages that can be viewed by scanning a QR code with smartphone; educational brochures with additional resources provided by manufacturers of diabetes-related products; exclusive rewards, including a $10+UP reward that can be used for future purchases for every $50 purchase of diabetes-related products; a welcome package with more than $100 in savings on diabetes-related products when patients bring in a new diabetes prescription; and access to specially trained pharmacists who can answer questions about diabetes medications.

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