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Crossmark names Joe Crafton CEO

BY Antoinette Alexander

PLANO, Texas — Crossmark, a sales and marketing services company in the consumer goods industry, has announced several executive moves, including the appointment of Joe Crafton as CEO. He previously served as company president.

John Thompson, Crossmark’s CEO since 2010, now will focus primarily on acquisitions and strategic alliances as the company’s chief strategy officer. Thompson remains a shareholder, serves on the board, and will continue to be responsible for overseeing the company’s international businesses.

Ben Fischer maintains his role as COO and has assumed the additional title of president as well as other responsibilities.

The moves, which were effective Jan. 7, come after the recent majority investment in Crossmark by an affiliate of Warburg Pincus, which, according to Thompson, brings a renewed focus on growth.

“We have charted a course for the future that positions us well to grow our business and better serve our clients,” Thompson stated.  “I chose to create the new chief strategy officer role in order to better focus my efforts on external growth opportunities.  Simultaneously, Joe and Ben will continue to develop and lead new initiatives that will continue to enhance service to our clients and customers.”

Crafton began his Crossmark career in 1988, was elected to the board in 2000 and held a variety of leadership positions before being appointed president of the company in 2010.  Prior to joining the company, Crafton was a manager with Procter & Gamble. 

“For nearly 25 years, Joe has proven himself in a variety of Crossmark senior leadership roles in both the legacy sales agency business as well as emerging and innovative service businesses,” added Jim Neary, managing director of Warburg Pincus.  “Under Joe’s leadership of the company’s marketing services division, Crossmark has become the North American leader of in-store marketing services.”

“We have great people and a strong culture of exceeding clients’ expectations with service excellence.  With the twin tailwinds of both outsourcing and shopper marketing, we are well positioned for significant growth.  I look forward to building on our company’s strong foundation and to continue delivering more value and growth for our clients and customers,” Crafton stated. 

 

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As U.S. health system lags other nations, need grows for larger role for pharmacists

BY Jim Frederick

Opponents of health reform are usually quick to make comparisons between our nation’s healthcare system and that of the rest of the world. Americans, they argue, enjoy the most advanced and most effective health care in the world. And forcing the U.S. system to change – either through new, evidence-based government payment incentives, federally mandated quality and cost controls, or through new methods for delivering primary care or making health decisions on behalf of patients – would only jeopardize the patient-doctor relationship and undermine the best healthcare network in the world.

Those opponents of change are wrong, in part because they’re willing to accept the status quo for U.S. health care, which is unsustainable for the simple reason that the nation can’t afford the current fee-for-service health system and its skyrocketing costs. But they’re also wrong because they’re proceeding from a flawed assumption: that our health system is tops among all nations.

A new report from the non-profit National Academies, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services smacks that argument “upside the head,” as we say in the South. Based on a major comparison study of many health markers in 17 developed countries including the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan and western European nations, the report “gives low marks to the United States in the health of its citizens, finding that Americans have higher rates of injury and disease and die sooner than their counterparts in other developed countries,” writes DSN associate editor Alaric DeArment.

The U.S., he reports, ranks “at or near the bottom in terms of infant mortality and low birth weight, injuries and homicides, teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, prevalence of HIV and AIDS, drug-related deaths, obesity and diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung disease and disability.” Equally striking, we’ve had “the highest infant mortality rate of any high-income country for decades while also ranking poorly in premature birth and the proportion of children who live to age 5 years.”

“What concerns our panel is why, for decades, we have been slipping behind,” says the report’s lead author, Virginia Commonwealth University professor of family medicine Steven Woolf.

If ever there was a time when the nation’s health care system was ripe for big change – including a larger role for pharmacists as disease managers, front-line patient care team members and wellness advocates – that time is now.

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BMI an appropriate gauge of health risks, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A new study indicates body mass index is a reliable indicator of obesity-related health risks.

The study, published Saturday in the journal Obesity Research and Clinical Practice, compared the merits of BMI to other measures of body size as a predictor of obesity-related cardiovascular health risks. The study’s authors noted that some have questioned the validity of BMI.

"There has been a lot of controversy recently over whether BMI, which is based simply on weight and height, is a good clinical indicator of obesity-related health risks, especially when compared to more complex measures and newer technologies," Columbia University epidemiology professor Andrew Rundle said. "I wanted to see how well BMI performs compared to other proposed measures, and our research shows that BMI performs well as a predictor of health risks. If your BMI is heigh, chances are good it’s because you have an excess of fat tissue and that you have other health risks."

Rundle and a team of researchers analyzed cross-sectional measurements of height, weight, waist circumference, percent body fat, blood pressure measurements, cholesterol levels and fasting glucose levels among more than 12,000 adults from a database maintained by EHE International, a 100-year-old provider of preventive medicine and annual physical exams. Rundle is a member of EHE’s advisory board.


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