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Walmart, Walgreens, Supervalu join First Lady to combat food deserts

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — First Lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday afternoon will be joined by corporate chiefs from Walmart, Walgreens and Supervalu, as well as smaller regional market chains, as she announces a new initiative to support the Let’s Move! campaign, according to a Monday posting on the blog site Obama Foodorama.

The three retailers have agreed to establish more than 1,500 locations serving food desert communities to make affordable, healthier food options more accessible.

There is no federal financial commitment to the partner corporations, although in 2010, First Lady Obama established the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, a $400 million fund to combat food deserts, financed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services. It was not funded in the president’s 2011 budget.

According to the blog:

  • In January, Walmart made the commitment to open outlets in food deserts, when executives joined Obama to announce their Nutrition Charter. Walmart has set a target date of 2016 for establishing between 275 and 300 food desert locations;

  • Supervalu has pledged to build 250 Save-A-Lot stores in food deserts in the next five years; and

  • Walgreens has been adding fresh foods and produce to stores over the past two years, and has pledged to transform 1,000 stores into food desert stores.

To view the event live at 2:15 p.m. EST, click here.

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Simple Solution adds new scent offerings to stain and odor remover product line

BY Allison Cerra

DALLAS — Simple Solution has expanded its stain and odor remover lineup with two new scents.

Simple Solution stain and odor remover products now are available in Rainforest Fresh and Spring Breeze scents, the company said. The products, which contain professional-strength pro-bacteria and enzyme formulas, are designed to eliminate tough stains and odors caused by household pets and also discourage them from leaving unwanted stains throughout the house.

"Pet owners shouldn’t have to choose between stain and odor removers that provide results and ones that provide a clean, fresh smell," Simple Solution brand manager Mike Mockler said. "In addition to actually eliminating even the toughest pet stains and odors and preventing pets from re-marking, pet owners can now enjoy the proven formula’s Rainforest Fresh and Spring Breeze scents as well."

Simple Solution products are available at pet supply stores nationwide.

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Max-Wellness to open first hospital-based location next week

BY Michael Johnsen

CLEVELAND — Max-Wellness on Wednesday announced its new hospital retail concept within Lake Health’s West Medical Center will open for business on July 25.

The first hospital-based Max-Wellness will provide health-and-wellness products needed to further a patient’s recovery after leaving the hospital, as well as serve hospital visitors and staff.

“The hospital version of Max-Wellness is truly unique and a first of its kind because it’s designed specifically for patients being discharged from the hospital,” Max-Wellness CEO Michael Feuer said. “The debut location at Lake Health’s West Medical Center is a prototype store and will be a learning model for future Max-Wellness stores expected to open in hospitals and senior living centers and communities throughout the country.”

“[Max-Wellness] is one more way we are trying to engage the patient and family in the post-hospital recovery, which can possibly help reduce re-admissions and further promote the importance of overall health and wellness,” noted Cynthia Moore-Hardy, Lake Health president and CEO.

Located in the main lobby of West Medical Center, next to the gift shop, Max-Wellness will feature products to enhance quality of life, help prevent illness and treat medical issues for every age and every stage of life. Max-Wellness collaborated with the healthcare professionals at Lake Health to provide a relevant product assortment tailored to the needs of its patients.

The flagship store also will feature wellness items that appeal to the hospital’s employees and visitors, including vitamins and supplements, health and beauty products, sleep essentials, exercise devices and a broad selection of healthy snacks and drinks.

Knowledgeable store personnel called “Max-Wellness Advocates” will staff the West Medical Center store daily and provide one-on-one assistance to the patient, caregiver or family member in selecting items the patients need for continuing care and improving general wellness. Max-Wellness will work closely with Lake Health caregivers, including doctors, nurses and therapists, to be sure the store is stocking the appropriate products, and also will have a "special order" capability for more unique products that are prescribed for patients’ recovery.

Feuer anticipated introducing another concept of convenience for hospital patients and visitors known as “Wellness-in-a-Box,” a free-standing, computerized dispensing device featuring key health-and-wellness products with which customers can make purchases at any time with a debit or credit card.

“‘Wellness-in-a-Box’ allows wellness products to be available at other locations within a hospital, near adjacent medical office areas of the hospital and outside Max-Wellness during nonstore business hours,” Feuer said. “‘Wellness-in-a-Box’ dispensers are also slated to be introduced in urgent care centers, senior living facilities and airports with merchandise customized to meet the specific needs of customers in the venue where the self-service wellness center is located.”

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