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Local high school honors Walgreens

BY Allison Cerra

WAUKEGAN, Ill. St. Martin de Porres High School, a high school located in Waukegan, Ill., honored one of the nation’s largest drug store chains with the annual President’s Award for its support of the mission of the school.

Walgreens was the recipient of the award, the school said, by offering corporate internships to students that help bridge the gap between school and work, provide financial support, and broaden students’ career horizons through exposure to professional work environments.

“St. Martin de Porres High School is pleased to honor Walgreens for their generosity and leadership as a Founding Business Partner of the Hire4Ed program of SMdP,” said George Rattin, president. “Walgreens and its employees provide our students the coaching and confidence that they can succeed in the professional workplace and find a rewarding and fulfilling future there after college.”

Walgreens’ support of education extends beyond financial support to include the active engagement of Walgreens employees in championing the mission of organizations devoted to strengthening and supporting this country’s children, particularly those most in need.  For the past five years, employees of Walgreens have taught the students of St. Martin de Porres the keys to success in the professional workplace through the school’s Hire4Ed program.  Student growth is nurtured through the excellent coaching of caring and committed professionals in Walgreens’ merchandising, advertising, finance, legal and logistics departments.  In the spring 2009 the Hire4Ed program awarded Carolynn Leiding, a divisional coordinator merchandising and strategic planning and analysis at Walgreens, the 2009 Educator of the Year Award for her outstanding work with St. Martin de Porres High School students.

“As one of St. Martin de Porres’ original business partners for this internship program, we’re so proud to help and see students grow in the workplace,” said Walgreens divisional VP Rick Hans, who accepted the award on Walgreens’ behalf.  “Not only do the students walk away with a better sense of responsibility, discipline and drive, we, too also gain a sense of enthusiasm from being a part of the mentoring process.”

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Rite Aid to auction surplus properties

BY Michael Johnsen

TULSA, Okla. Williams & Williams, a real estate auctioneer, on Tuesday announced it will auction 34 surplus real estate properties in 14 states for Rite Aid via single property auction events Dec. 8 to 10.

“Auction is a time-definite sale that secures real-market value through free market competition,” stated Pam McKissick, president and COO of Williams & Williams. “Auctioning these assets via our global platform will deliver the maximum benefit to Rite Aid Corp.”

Each auction will be conducted through Williams & Williams’ exclusive Live From The Lawn auction platform, in partnership with Auction Network, which enables interested buyers around the world to compete in real time while bidding on site or online.

The properties include a shopping center adjacent to the Las Vegas strip, commercial and residential properties, retail properties and land parcels.

Rite Aid Surplus Property auctions will be held in the following states: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

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CVS Caremark partners with Generation Health

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark is partnering with Generation Health, a genetic benefit management company, to expand pharmacogenomic clinical and testing services for CVS Caremark’s PBM clients who are either nonresponsive or who have adverse reactions to their medications.

As part of the agreement, CVS Caremark is making a minority equity investment in Generation Health. Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed. Troyen Brennan, M.D., EVP and chief medical officer of CVS Caremark, will join Generation Health’s board of directors.

CVS Caremark currently provides PGx intervention services in its specialty pharmacy business but this partnership expands upon those offerings to specialty pharmacy and introduces them for targeted drugs dispensed under the traditional PBM setting. The new pharmacogenomic clinical services are expected to be introduced to CVS Caremark’s PBM clients in the second quarter 2010.

“Personalized medicine is a fast-growing field, but the process for providing relevant and systematic clinical delivery of service needs to improve and evolve,” stated Brennan. “We will integrate Generation Health’s unique skills in genomic medicine with the experience in benefit management of both companies to provide clients with a sophisticated, evidence-based clinical approach.”

The proper application of pharmacogenomic medicine can help doctors evaluate a patient’s genetic make-up to determine whether a specific medication will be effective. Medical studies have found that in some instances, people get little benefit and even face harmful and costly side effects from medications they take. Through this partnership CVS Caremark will use genetic testing to apply greater precision to client prescription management.

Initially, the companies will focus on PGx clinical and testing programs that predict how a patient will respond to medications in areas of oncology, cardiovascular, medicine, treatment of HIV and others.

The programs can help prevent disease progression and avoid recurrences, as well as help reduce overall medical costs by determining where some therapies will not be effective. That information allows doctors to determine and prescribe the most precise medication therapy treatments for their patient’s treatment.

Going forward, the companies will explore programs in the medical diagnostics arena to encourage appropriate and cost-effective testing for certain hereditary diseases, and eliminate unnecessary testing where evidence for clinical validity and utility is lacking.

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