Walgreens makes a home in Brooklyn with 7,000th store
It was a goal set about a decade ago, and on Thursday it officially became a reality for Walgreens — store No. 7,000 opened its doors.
“What a community for us to be celebrating our 7,000th store in. We have come a long way from when Charles R. Walgreens Sr. opened the first store in the South Side of Chicago in 1901. This has certainly been a journey for us,” Greg Wasson, president and CEO, told the crowd of attendees. “Here we are celebrating our 7,000th store opening, ahead of schedule by the way. Back in 2001 we had 3,000 stores and we set a goal to have 7,000 by 2010 and we are two months early.”
The new store, located in the Gravesend neighborhood near iconic Coney Island, marks Walgreens’ 20th Brooklyn store and its 67th location across the five boroughs. Walgreens, which employs more than 1,250 people in the city, has made it known that the New York area is an attractive market that it wants to expand.
Just one week ago, on Sept. 24, CVS Caremark celebrated the grand opening of its 7,000th store in Little Canada, Minn.
State and local officials, including Brooklyn Borough president Marty Markowitz, State Senator Martin Golden and Council Member Michael Nelson, joined Walgreens executives to celebrate the grand opening.
“We are very happy that Walgreens is opening not only their 7,000th store, that is important of course, but this will be the 20th Brooklyn store … and they’ve only just begun,” said Markowitz as he handed pins to Wasson and Walgreens chairman of the board, Alan McNally, declaring them “honorary Brooklynites.”
“What [the store opening] says is that Brooklyn is a strong, economically important district, area, community and they invested their money here because they know their return will be good,” said Markowitz, noting that Brooklyn’s population is nearly 2.6 million. “There will be jobs for our local residents and we know you are an excellent employer. Secondly, Walgreens is committed to enhancing the communities in which they do business. That’s their credo and that means it’s a love affair with Brooklyn.”
Golden also addressed the crowd and presented Walgreens with a state certificate to honor the opening of the 7,000th store.
To mark the occasion, Wasson presented a $7,000 donation to Lenny’s Lighthouse, a Brooklyn charity that provides support to people with disabilities.
Wasson shared with the crowd that its head of distribution and logistics, Randy Lewis, has a child with a cognitive disability and it was Lewis’ dream to open a distribution facility that would employ as many people as possible with cognitive or physical disabilities. Today, Walgreens operates two distribution centers in South Carolina and Connecticut that employ more than 1,000 employees, and nearly half of those associates have a cognitive or physical disability.
For the grand opening event, the store’s parking lot was transformed into a Coney Island-themed extravaganza with free hot dogs from Nathan’s, clowns, barbershop quartet music, giveaways and an autograph signing by actor John-Paul Lavoisier from “One Life to Live.” The AARP/ Walgreens Wellness Tour unit was also on hand to offer residents free health screenings and to hand out vouchers for free flu shots.
Following an official ribbon-cutting ceremony, the famed Brooklyn Steppers marching band, which performed in President Obama’s inauguration parade, dazzled the crowd.
Study finds certain diabetes drugs may cause bone fractures
NEW YORK A certain class of diabetes drugs may put patients at higher risk of bone fractures, according to a study published in the online edition of the journal PLoS Medicine.
Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in the United Kingdom, used data from a database of more than 6 million British patients, using data from 1,819 patients aged 40 and older who had experienced a bone fracture while taking at least one drug called a thiazolidinedione.
Taking age and the resulting higher risk of fractures into account, the researchers found that patients had fractures at 1.43 times the rate while taking the drugs as when they didn’t take them. Among patients taking the drugs for four years or more, the rate was twofold. Though the study’s findings suggest an association between the drugs and higher risk of fractures, the researchers cautioned against jumping to conclusions based on them.
“These findings do not prove that thiazolidinediones cause fractures because, despite the self-controlled case-series design of this study, it remains possible that the people who have fractures share some unknown characteristic that affects their chances of breaking a bone,” the researchers wrote.
Thiazolidinediones, also known as glitazones include drugs such as GlaxoSmithKline’s Avandia (rosiglitazone) and Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ Actos (pioglitazone), both of which were included in the study.
All cases of gestational diabetes should be treated, study finds
NEW YORK As the percentage of women who are overweight increases, so have cases of a form of diabetes that occurs in pregnant women and can put their babies at risk of metabolic disorders.
According to a study of 958 women, six to eight months pregnant with mild gestational diabetes, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, all women with the condition should receive treatment for it. The women were broken into two groups, one that received no treatment and one that received counseling on diet and monitoring of glucose and, in some cases, insulin.
Most babies were born with normal weights, but 14.5% in the group that received no treatment were too large, compared with 7.1% of the babies in the treatment group, who also were less likely to experience birth trauma or have to be delivered by C-section.