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Kroger extends partnership with USO

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger said it is kicking off a year-long initiative to raise funds for armed forces members in partnership with the USO, the leading organization for morale-boosting programs and services for American troops and their families.

Kroger said the campaign will include in-store and online promotions and a text-to-give campaign that encourages Kroger customers to text "USO" to 27722 during the race to donate $10 to USO programs.

The campaign launch is in line with the retailer’s Daytona 500 celebration, which will be held Sunday. In addition, Kroger will present a $400,000 donation to the USO on Sunday, a set of funds that were collected in 2010 from customers and associates at nearly 1,300 Kroger-operated supermarkets nationwide.

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Bounty supports clean classrooms with ‘We Love Our School’ week

BY DSN STAFF

CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble’s Bounty brand has partnered with PTO Today, an organization focused on filling unmet school needs through parent-teaching partnerships to promote clean, creative learning environments nationwide.

The "We Love Our School" week, which kicked off Monday, offers participating schools a Bounty Clean Kit with enough Bounty and Mr. Clean product to clean all of their classrooms. The cleaning program is helping to mobilize volunteers in 1,000 schools and 2,500 classrooms nationwide.

The program is an extension of P&G’s Make a Clean Difference campaign, which launched last year, and stemmed from a recent survey released by Bounty, which found that among 1,000 teachers polled, nearly all (94%) believed that students learn better in clean classrooms, and almost half of respondents (51%) said they avoid certain in-class projects or activities because they dread the clean-up.

"The clean learning environments provided through Bounty’s ‘We Love Our School’ Week program are needed now more than ever," said Dave Lee, Procter & Gamble North American Bounty delivery brand manager. "It’s surprising to learn that more than half of teachers surveyed acknowledged that the need to clean their classroom interferes with teaching. Through this program, we aim to help provide clean learning environments that allow students to learn uninhibited by messes."

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HHS unveils National Vaccine Plan

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday unveiled a new National Vaccine Plan to enhance coordination of all aspects of federal vaccine and immunization activities with the goal to ensure that all Americans can gain access to vaccines.

“Vaccines are a critical cornerstone of the public health system,” stated Howard Koh, assistant secretary for health for HHS. “The National Vaccine Plan articulates a vision that will ensure that the nation’s prevention strategies protect the public for the next decade and beyond.”

The plan offers innovative approaches to improve delivery of existing vaccines and to spur development of new products to prevent infectious disease. And pharmacies play a role in expanding access to vaccines, the report acknowledged. “Barriers to improved vaccine uptake include persistent cost, awareness and access problems; lack of knowledge of necessary vaccines; and limited use of evidence-based strategies to improve vaccine uptake, such as reminder-recall systems,” the report read. “Community health centers, other community immunization sites (e.g., pharmacies and stores) and school-located clinics offer venues for improving vaccine uptake, in addition to traditional provider sites.”

“This plan is a 10-year vision for the nation to more effectively prevent infectious diseases and reduce adverse reactions to vaccines,” stated the director of the National Vaccine Program Office and deputy assistant secretary for health, Bruce Gellin. “The plan is national in scope. Implementation will require a well-organized effort among stakeholders, including federal, state and local policy-makers, healthcare providers, manufacturers, academia, philanthropic organizations and the public.”

Next steps include a series of regional meetings with stakeholders in the spring and summer of 2011, which will focus on how to implement the strategies laid out in the National Vaccine Plan. The final implementation plan will be completed by the end of 2011.

For more about the new National Vaccine Plan, click here.

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