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Research finds multidisciplinary approach to diabetes care can be effective

BY Allison Cerra

PHILADELPHIA — An integrated wellness team approach to diabetes care can help patients not only improve their condition, but also lower their prescription costs, according to new research presented at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists’ 21st annual Scientific and Clinical Congress in Philadelphia.

Researchers led by Gary Evans, director of research at Northeast Florida Endocrine and Diabetes Associates, developed a multidisciplinary program that enrolled adult patients with Type 2 diabetes. Patients were counseled in nutritional, fitness and behavioral elements of diabetes management in a customized 16-week curriculum while their doctors monitored body mass index, weight, HbA1C levels and diabetes medication dependence. Medications were reduced as needed to reduce the risk of low blood sugars.

Evans and his fellow researchers found that participants decreased their doses of insulin and oral medication by about 46% and 12%, respectively; reduced their 30-day prescription costs, on average, by nearly $143 per month; decreased their BMI by 3.07 and HbA1C by 0.7%. The researchers noted that HbA1C was reduced by an average of 1.3% for patients with a baseline HbA1C of 8% or more.

"The multidisciplinary program creates a timeframe that gives patients time to absorb the information, revisit strategies for management and engrave the behaviors into their minds," Evans said. "Covering those key elements is what it takes for patients to grasp and embrace the strategies to be successful and improve their condition. It is our hope that the success of this curriculum will create a pathway for intensive wellness programs to be recognized as medical benefits for diabetes patients by insurance companies The only way to be successful with long-term goals is to affect a lifestyle change."


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Kroger launches annual Bringing Hope to the Table campaign

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI — Kroger has launched its annual hunger awareness campaign, which is expected to generate $4 million in cash and food donations this year.

The Bringing Hope to the Table campaign, which kicked off Sunday and will run for two weeks, is designed to assist 80 local food banks — which are members of Feeding America — in communities where Kroger’s customers and associates live and work. Since 2006, Kroger has contributed $30 million in food and funds to local food banks through the annual campaign.

"Bringing Hope to the Table is a unique opportunity for our customers and Kroger to join together to feed our hungry neighbors," said Lynn Marmer, Kroger’s group VP corporate affairs and a member of the board of Feeding America. "We’re proud that through this campaign, our customers, associates and vendors unite to provide resources to local food banks that support our communities."

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Steven Fitzpatrick appointed to Fred’s board

BY Allison Cerra

MEMPHIS — Former Accredo Health Group president has been elected to serve on Fred’s board of directors.

Fred’s said Steven Fitzpatrick will be presented as one of the director nominees at the discount retailer’s 2012 annual meeting, which will be held later this summer.

"The addition of Steve Fitzpatrick to our board brings a unique blend of business acumen along with a knowledgeable resource for the management to call upon regarding pharmacy operations," Fred’s board chairman Michael Hayes said. "We are delighted to have Steve join our board. Steve will join Bruce Efird, Rick Chambers and Tom Tashjian on Fred’s strategic pharmacy healthcare committee to explore growth and capital needs over the next five years, and he will also serve on several other committees."

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