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Portland, Ore., wins Safeway’s ‘America’s Most Natural City’ FB contest

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Monday named Portland, Ore., as the winner of its "America’s Most Natural City" contest and will donate $20,000 and 25 picnic tables constructed from the Guinness World Record holder for the world’s longest picnic table.

The contest was inspired by Safeway’s commitment to 100% natural products with its new Open Nature line, the grocer stated.

"As with our Open Nature all-natural product line, we looked to our customers to define which cities they considered the most natural," stated Mike Minasi, president of marketing at Safeway. "We wanted to make a positive impact and give back to the parks and recreation organizations. Many of them provide everything from playgrounds to picnic spots, and it was clear that voters shared our passion for preservation of all things natural. We hope that our contest inspires others to give back to their communities in this time of reduced budgets."

Portland won the contest with 1,189 votes. Coming in second and third were Denver and Seattle, respectively, both of which had tremendous community support for the contest. In addition to the monetary donation, Portland will receive 25 picnic tables created from the Guinness World Record holder of the world’s longest picnic table (at 305 ft) which debuted at a recent Safeway event in San Francisco.

"We applaud Safeway for their charitable giving. Portland Parks & Recreation welcomes the generous donation, which will go toward the city’s E-205 Initiative to enhance nature trails and build park amenities, such as children’s playgrounds in the East Portland area," stated Nick Fish, Portland parks commissioner. "These improvements will make a huge impact in historically underserved East Portland."

Launched on Aug. 30, "America’s Most Natural City" contest encouraged Facebook users to vote for one of 15 preselected cities where Safeway and its family of stores have a significant presence in the community. Over the course of the contest, thousands of votes were cast for the cities of Austin, Texas; Baltimore; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Los Angeles; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; Sacramento, Calif.; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; Tucson, Ariz.; and Washington, D.C.

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Buehler’s Fresh Food Markets pharmacies now operated by Ritzman

BY Michael Johnsen

WADSWORTH, Ohio — Ritzman Pharmacy on Monday opened its doors in Buehler’s Fresh Food Markets, marking the completed transition of all Buehler’s 11 in-store pharmacies to Ritzman Pharmacies.

“The transition to Ritzman Pharmacy will, for the most part, be seamless to our customers; they will see the same faces and receive the same outstanding service they have come to expect from our pharmacies," stated Bob Buehler, Buehler’s VP marketing.

Both Ritzman and Buehler’s are family-founded, locally owned and operated businesses. Buehler’s has been in business for more than 80 years and has pharmacy departments in 11 of their 13 supermarkets.  Ritzman has been in operation for more than 60 years and adds those 11 new locations to its existing nine retail locations.

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Coventry Health Care unveils Walgreens, Walmart, Target Medicare plan network

BY Michael Johnsen

BETHESDA, Md. — Coventry Health Care on Saturday announced that it has partnered with Walgreens, Walmart and Target for 2012 to offer a Medicare prescription drug plan known as First Health Value Plus.

As Coventry’s newest Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, First Health Value Plus is the lowest premium, zero-dollar deductible Part D plan in the United States, the company stated.

First Health Value Plus is built on one of the nation’s broadest preferred pharmacy networks and offers lower member co-payments for prescriptions filled at any one of the almost 14,000 combined Walgreens, Walmart and Target pharmacy locations. The preferred network pharmacy benefit design allows members to receive free Tier 1 formulary prescriptions (most generics and select branded drugs) when filled at any Walgreens, Walmart or Target pharmacy before reaching the coverage gap or “donut hole.” As a result, First Health Value Plus will potentially provide hundreds of dollars in annual savings to Medicare beneficiaries and be a competitive alternative versus the lowest premium stand-alone Part D plan that includes a deductible.

“In these challenging economic times, we believe our new Part D plan brings great value to beneficiaries and the Medicare program by establishing broad access to prescriptions through the most recognized names in the pharmacy and retail business, low monthly premiums, and no deductible, all of which are important to seniors," stated Nancy Cocozza, SVP Medicare at Coventry Health Care.

Also as part of the offering, Coventry will be mailing vouchers to enrolled First Health Value Plus members for health and well-being products, such as multivitamins and calcium tablets, which can be redeemed at any preferred pharmacy. "For the first time, we’ve also included value-added well-being items that are available only through our preferred partners," Cocozza noted.


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