Follow the leader
Lately, I’ve been giving a lot of thought as to what constitutes a good leader.
In the wake of NACDS Marketplace, I happened upon a column from another industry watcher who seemed to have a different experience than I had at this year’s show. Certainly, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. But, there was one criticism I found way off base. If you couldn’t find Jim Whitman, Larry Lotridge or Terry Arth, you probably went to the wrong convention center. As for Roy McGrath, as usual he was anchored, as if by a virtual ball and chain, to the registration desk. I think they let him sleep in a bed at night, but I have never been entirely sure of this.
To criticize this group for not being visible at Marketplace is unfair. To drag Steve Anderson into the middle of all of this seems somewhat irresponsible. Although Anderson always has done a good job of making himself accessible to retailers and vendors alike—and 2010 Marketplace was no exception—I don’t believe that’s the primary role of the president and CEO of NACDS. Anderson’s role is to make sure the men and women who write our laws and shape public policy in this country fully appreciate the value of retail pharmacy.
By that measure, Anderson does his job quite well. But my opinion is less important than the opinion of the editors and publishers of CEO Update. Drug Store News covers the retail pharmacy business; CEO Update covers the association management business. According to CEO Update’s scorecard, Anderson is a perennial all-star.
“It’s no accident that Anderson was named one of the most effective association leaders by the publication CEO Update in its latest issue—or that he consistently ranks high among his peers,” noted the Aug. 2 edition of The Drug Store News Group’s Drug Fix, a weekly e-newsletter analyzing the top stories of the week in retail pharmacy. “In hindsight, it’s clear that the NACDS board of directors made a brilliant choice when…it managed to pry [Anderson] away from the restaurant industry. The result has been a succession of political victories; a much sharper awareness of community pharmacy’s value to the healthcare system among policy-makers, benefits administrators and other health providers; and a more effective working relationship between retailers and suppliers…The restaurant industry’s loss is chain pharmacy’s gain.”
On the subject of leadership, Drug Store News would be completely remiss if it didn’t also acknowledge the leadership of the Convenient Care Association—which represents the nation’s growing cadre of retail-based health clinics—in particular, CCA executive director Tine Hansen-Turton. On July 26, Sens. Dan Inouye, D-Hawaii, and Thad Cochran, D-Miss., introduced a Senate resolution declaring the week of Aug. 2 to 8 as National Convenient Care Clinic Week, in line with the third annual Retail Clinician Education Congress in Orlando, Fla. It’s an important tribute to the work of Tine and her team.
It is important to note that this recognition comes at a time when the heavy lifting of health reform begins in earnest (i.e., the implementation phase), and the country begins to wrestle with the very real issue of how to extend health benefits to 30 million more Americans amid an ongoing shortage of primary care providers. Congress is learning about convenient care just in time for retail clinics to play a larger role in the healthcare system of tomorrow. For my money, that’s leadership.
Survey: Adolescent vaccination on the rise
ATLANTA A recent survey out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that adolescent vaccination at the national, state and selected local area levels are all on the rise.
Continued increases — as much as 15% — were made in nationwide coverage for vaccines specifically recommended for pre-teens, according to 2009 National Immunization Survey-Teen estimates released Thursday by the CDC.
The survey of more than 20,000 teens ages 13 to 17 years found that in 2009 there were increases in the percentage of teens in this age group who had received vaccines routinely recommended for 11- and 12-year-olds. Specifically:
• For one dose of the tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis vaccine, coverage went up about 15 points to about 56%; • For one dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine, coverage went up about 12 points to about 54%; • For girls who received at least one dose of human papillomavirus vaccine, coverage increased 7 points to about 44%. However, for girls who received the recommended three doses of HPV vaccine, coverage was only about 27% (a 9% increase);
"This year’s data are mixed," stated Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "We can see that more parents of adolescents are electing to protect their children from serious diseases such as pertussis, meningitis and cervical cancer, but there is clear room for improvement in our system’s ability to reach this age group."
"Pertussis outbreaks in several states and an increase in pertussis-related infant deaths in California highlight how important it is for pre-teens to receive the Tdap booster," Schuchat added. "It is important for teens and adults to get a one-time dose of Tdap to protect themselves and those around them from whooping cough. Young infants are most vulnerable to serious complications from pertussis and can be infected by older siblings, parents or other caretakers."
RediClinic announces availability of FluMist
HOUSTON RediClinic, which operates more than 20 clinics in H-E-B grocery stores in Houston and Austin, Texas, has announced the availability of FluMist at its clinics for the 2010-2011 flu season.
The clinic also soon will offer the flu shot Fluvirin, which is given with a needle and approved for use in people 4 years of age and older, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions, the clinic operator stated.
FluMist, which currently is available in a limited supply, is a needle-free, nasal-spray flu vaccine. FluMist is approved for use in healthy people 2 to 49 years of age who are not pregnant.