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Share your memorable pharmacist moment

BY Ryan Chavis

NEW YORK — If we learned one thing from the global pharmacists tweet-a-thon, it's that the role of pharmacists in advancing health and wellness can't be understated. From administering flu shots to medication adherence and beyond, pharmacists are proven healthcare rock stars. 
 
In celebration of all that they do, October is designated as American Pharmacists Month. Drug Store News wants to hear from you! Have you had a pharmacist that went above and beyond to help? Sound off in the comment section below. 
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CADCA, CHPA kick off their National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON – The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association started their National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month on Wednesday to spread awareness around the abuse of over-the-counter medicines.
 
Every October, CADCA urges its membership to plan and promote an educational event — such as town hall meetings for parents, youth, and local advocates — to educate communities on the potential dangers associated with both prescription and OTC medicine abuse and to discuss prevention, intervention strategies and treatment.
 
“As the nation’s leading substance abuse prevention organization, CADCA is deeply concerned about the misuse and abuse of medicines — whether prescription or over-the-counter,” said Gen. Arthur Dean, CADCA chairman and CEO. “Too many young people are seeking out these substances as a means to get high without realizing the devastating impact medicine abuse can have on their lives. National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month will help educate families across America about the dangers of abusing medicines and spur communities into action.”
 
CADCA is a partner of CHPA’s Stop Medicine Abuse campaign, which works to inform parents of teen abuse of OTC medicines containing the cough suppressant dextromethorphan, which some people — primarily teens — abuse in excessive amounts in pursuit of a high. The campaign encourages parents to talk to their teens about the dangers of medicine abuse, to safeguard their medicines and spread the word in their communities.
 
“Last year, the annual Monitoring the Future study reported a decrease in the percent of teens who abuse OTC cough medicine, and we know that the  work being done in communities by CADCA coalitions played a major role in that progress,”  CHPA president and CEO Scott Melville said. “We are proud to continue partnering with CADCA to reach more parents about OTC cough medicine abuse and to mobilize them to action.”
 
This year, the groups are also promoting an online engagement campaign (ToMyTeen.com/#ToMyTeen) to help spread the word about medicine abuse by mobilizing parents to post photos showcasing their words of affirmation to their teens and encouragement to other parents.
 
“As a father of teens, I have seen how giving teens positive reinforcement boosts their self-esteem and helps them to make smart choices,” Melville said, “I’m excited by this campaign and hope it will rally parents around celebrating the good in their teens while also mobilizing them to discuss some of the tough issues their teens may be facing such as pressure to abuse drugs, alcohol or OTC medicine.”
 
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Mayo Clinic introduces kiosk-enabled telemedicine pilot project

BY Michael Johnsen

AUSTIN, Minn. — Mayo Clinic on Friday committed to reducing healthcare expenses and improving access to medical services through a new telemedicine pilot project called Mayo Clinic Health Connection, now available at Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin. The Mayo Clinic Health Connection trials a telehealth delivery system to meet patient’s needs through the HealthSpot platform, which combines robust cloud-based software and a private walk-in kiosk that offer solutions to care for patients in their place of work. 
 
The system will be piloted with Mayo Clinic Health System employees in Albert Lea and Austin before potentially being deployed to other local employers.
 
The Mayo Clinic Health Connection allows patients to connect with Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Health System providers through a private, walk-in kiosk that provides high-definition videoconferencing and interactive, digital medical devices. The kiosk enables Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Health System physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, to see and treat patients face-to-face in a variety of nontraditional healthcare settings.
 
“Mayo Clinic is committed to reducing healthcare expenses for employees and employers by improving access to medical services through convenient and more affordable care through Mayo Clinic Health Connection,” said Matt Bernard, Southeast Minnesota region Primary Care Service Line chair. “We are excited to offer innovative health care technology locally and to leverage resources across our system to better serve our patients. You’ll avoid waiting and time away from work, and still get the continuity of care you need from people you trust. This should decrease absenteeism, lower costs and increase wellness, a win-win for employers and employees when fully deployed.”
 
Patients can walk up to the kiosk without scheduling an appointment and be treated for minor, common health conditions, such as cold, earaches, sore throat, sinus infections, upper respiratory infections, rashes and skin and eye conditions. “Mayo Clinic Health Connection provides convenient care from experts for common conditions, while saving the patient time and money. It’s the best of both worlds. Together with HealthSpot’s secure telehealth platform, we will give patients a convenient way to access care where they spend most of their day and the visit information is integrated to the patient’s medical record," Bernard said.
 
Mayo Clinic Health Connection is designed to meet the increased demand for access to health services locally. “HealthSpot’s innovative technology will help control costs for employers and employees,” said Steve Cashman, HealthSpot CEO. “The HealthSpot station will connect people to Mayo Clinic in a new and convenient way.”
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