HEALTH

Advanced Vision Research names new VP professional relations

BY Michael Johnsen

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Advanced Vision Research on Monday named Diane Houtman VP professional relations. A licensed Optometrist, Houtman will serve as the medical and clinical lead for all AVR projects and will act as corporate liaison to the medical community. 

"[Houtman’s] background as a clinician and business executive provides a unique perspective and skill set that will benefit our business both internally and externally with customers," stated Scott Chapman, general manager of Advanced Vision Research.  

Houtman earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and her Doctor of Optometry degree at the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago. She completed her Refractive Surgery and Cornea Fellowship at Minnesota Eye Consultants and received an MBA from the University of Florida. 

Prior to joining AVR, Houtman worked for global eye care company, Alcon Laboratories, in a variety of positions including, associate director, global medical affairs; associate director, clinical development and principal as a clinical research scientist. In addition, she served as  the clinical and regulatory affairs liaison for Alcon China. 

Houtman is a member of the American Academy of Optometry, National Board of Examiners in Optometry, Optometric Council on Refractive Technology, Optometric Refractive Surgery Society and Ophthalmic Women’s Leaders.

She is the recipient of the 2000 Minnesota Optometric Association Presidential Merit Award and has been published in numerous medical publications. In addition, Houtman is a reviewer for the International Journal of Ophthalmology and a frequent speaker and guest lecturer at professional meetings and conventions.

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i-Health launches Culturelle in adult-strength chewable format

BY Michael Johnsen

CROMWELL, Conn. — i-Health on Monday released an adult-strength chewable version of their probiotic brand — Culturelle Digestive Health Probiotic Chewables. According to i-Health, the new tablet allows easier daily probiotic consumption for the large number of adults who experience difficulty swallowing pills.

"A study cited by the American Medical Association found that 40% of Americans have difficulty swallowing pills — a fact reinforced by the many individuals who were unable to take our current formulation, but saw its benefits with their family members," stated Michael Petschek, director of marketing for i-Health. "We created the chewable version as a natural solution for this very large portion of the population, as well as for those who are looking for ways to simplify their daily routines in the quest for overall well-being."

Culturelle uses a unique and proprietary packaging process, which guarantees 10 billion live active Lactobacillus GG cultures at the time of use, the company noted.


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GNC directly engages pro-active consumer base through branding campaign contest

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH — GNC last week launched a nationwide campaign for customers to enter their own personal health-and-wellness success stories in the "Me on GNC" photo and video contest. The competition offers $100,000 in prizes for the best photo and video submissions, with the help of the GNC online community.

“This is a celebration of the importance of the health and wellness of GNC customers — and the customer is definitely the star,” stated Tom Dowd, EVP, chief merchandising officer and general manager for GNC. “Our new campaign is all about respecting yourself by making smart, healthy choices in your life. Additionally, we’ve layered in a personalized element to the campaign with Me on GNC. This gives us the opportunity to show how respect and healthy living mean different things to different people," he said. "Everyone has their own story to tell, and we want to give them the opportunity to tell it. … GNC is always looking for inspiring people to feature in our advertising, on the web and in our stores."

Caption: Kia Borges

GNC associates and team members are participating in their own "Me on GNC" contest, the specialty retailer noted. Here are a pair of examples on YouTube: Crystal McGaha and Santos Andujar.

As part of GNC’s “Respect Yourself" multi-media branding campaign, "Me on GNC" celebrates individuals who exemplify living a healthy lifestyle. To witness the “Respect Yourself” movement first-hand, search #RespectYourself on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. 

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