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Wegmans to install induction hearing loops near the pharmacy counter

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Wegmans Food Markets on Friday has begun installing induction hearing loop stations in its stores at pharmacy counters, customer service desks and designated checkout lanes to help its customers with hearing loss.
 
As many as 16 Wegmans stores currently have these hearing assistance systems – at least one store in each of the six states where Wegmans operates. More will be added in 2016, working toward a goal of having hearing loop systems in all Wegmans stores by the end of the year.
 
Induction hearing loop systems work seamlessly to help people wearing a hearing aid or cochlear implant equipped with a telecoil (T-coil), to hear speech more clearly. The hearing loop takes sound straight from the source and delivers it right into the listener's ear. These systems are in wide use in European countries and are becoming more common in the U.S., where about 70% of new hearing aids and all new cochlear implants have T-coils, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America. 
 
“The beauty of induction loops is that they’re so unobtrusive,” said Matt Sawyer, whose information technology team at Wegmans is working on the installation project. “They help those who can benefit, while others in the area are usually unaware of the hearing loop’s presence. Those with hearing loss don’t have to ask others to speak up because the system helps them hear speech more clearly.”
 
Over the last year, Wegmans piloted this technology at several stores near its headquarters in Rochester, N.Y., working with audio-visual specialist Joseph Barone to design and install the hearing loop stations.
 
Here’s how hearing loop systems work – a condenser microphone built into a service counter or checkout lane captures the sound of an employee speaking. A “smart” amplifier removes background noise and sends the clarified sound to an induction loop, which converts it into a wireless electromagnetic field. The T-coil in a hearing aid or cochlear implant acts like an antenna, picking up the signal and delivering the sound directly from the source to the ear.
 
“We began planning this project in earnest with the help of folks from the Rochester N.Y. chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America,” said Jo Natale, VP media relations. “They helped us understand what a difference these systems can make to those with hearing loss. We set up a pilot project, and the HLAA members were our ‘test pilots.’ They gave us great feedback about what worked well and what didn’t. This year, our plan is to bring hearing loops to pharmacy counters, service desks and one or more checkout lanes in every store.”
 
The standard sign that indicates the presence of a hearing loop (a line drawing of an ear with the letter T in the bottom right hand corner) will be posted in areas where loops are active.
 
 
 
 
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Mylan CFO to retire

BY David Salazar

PITTSBURTGH — Mylan on Friday announced the retirement of CFO John Sheehan, effective April 1. The company’s board is currently seeking a replacement for Sheehan, who has been CFO for six years. 
 
“John has been a valued partner since he joined Mylan in 2010 and, during the next several months, he will help to ensure a smooth transition of his CFO responsibilities while we identify a successor,” CEO Heather Bresch said. “We have in place the financial strength and flexibility, strong business momentum and deep leadership team to ensure Mylan's continued growth and success.”
 
Mylan’s executive chairman Robert Coury noted that Sheehan has contributed to the company’s financial success since joining, and expressed gratitude for his time. 
 
“I am very grateful for the opportunity to have served as CFO of Mylan during such an exciting period of growth and expansion for the company,” Sheehan said. “This has been the most professionally rewarding experience of my career and I am very proud of all that Mylan has accomplished. I am confident that the talented and dedicated team here will continue to drive strong growth and shareholder value going forward, and I look forward to handing the reins over to my successor.”
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Walgreens captures early indications that flu season has arrived

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. – To date, the cough, cold and flu season of 2015/2016 has been lackluster at best. But the season may finally be kicking into high gear, according to the latest Walgreens Flu Index, a heat map showing the progression of flu incidence, released Thursday. 
 
While activity remains relatively low across most of the U.S., The Walgreens Flu Index data continues to suggest slight increases in flu activity in a number of markets, including Las Vegas and several markets in the deep South. 
 
For the week of Jan. 3, Walgreens' top 10 markets with flu activity were: 
 
  1. Harlingen – Weslaco-Brownsville – McAllen, Texas;
  2. Las Vegas;
  3. Miami – Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.;
  4. Oklahoma City;
  5. El Paso, Texas (Las Cruses, N.M.);
  6. Beaumont – Port Arthur, Texas;
  7. Montgomery – Selma, Ala.;
  8. Phoenix (Prescott), Ariz.;
  9. Knoxville, Tenn.; and
  10. Louisville, Ky.
 
The top 10 markets as measured by flu activity gains were: 
 
  1. Beaumont – Port Arthur, Texas;
  2. Bakersfield, Calif.;
  3. Monterey – Salinas, Calif.;
  4. Las Vegas;
  5. Louisville, Ky.;
  6. Los Angeles;
  7. Raleigh – Durham (Fayetteville), N.C.;
  8. Phoenix (Prescott), Ariz.;
  9. Tri-Cities, Tenn. – Va.; and
  10. Flint – Saginaw – Bay City, Mich.
 
The Walgreens Flu Index is a weekly report developed to provide state- and market-specific information, and ranking of those experiencing the highest incidences of influenza across the country. The Flu Index does not provide data measuring actual levels or severity of flu activity, but rather, illustrates which populations are experiencing the most incidences each week based on Index methodology.
 
The Walgreens Flu Index is compiled using weekly retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza across Walgreens locations nationwide. The data is analyzed at state and geographic market levels to measure absolute impact and incremental change of antiviral medications on a per store average basis, and does not include markets in which Walgreens has fewer than 10 retail locations.
 
 
 
 
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