Safeway gives thanks for generosity of employees, customers
PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway, in a release issued Wednesday, thanked its customers and employees for their generosity for donating food and toys to a number of Safeway Foundation charities this holiday season.
"We deeply appreciate the generosity of our customers and employees, especially at this time when the need is at its greatest," stated Larree Renda, EVP and chair of the Safeway Foundation. "Through the holiday season we hope to lighten the load for those in our communities who are struggling to make ends meet and strengthen the charities that are receiving a record number of requests for assistance."
Central to Safeway’s holiday initiative is the nationwide Help Us End Hunger (Every Bag Counts) food drive — a partnership with Kraft Foods, local media partners and customers to provide food banks with high-quality staples. The products are preselected and bagged, allowing customers to purchase the bag for a discounted price and place it in a donation barrel that goes directly to a local food bank. Kraft Foods is providing a special holiday gift totaling $400,000 in the form of a grant to several food banks in each of Safeway’s U.S. operating divisions. The cash donations will help the food banks provide roughly 2 million meals.
Along with Safeway’s Help Us End Hunger (Every Bag Counts) food drive, there are holiday outreach programs that take on a local flavor, from a sit-down dinner for 5,000 people in Washington, D.C., to one of the nation’s largest toy drives in Texas.
Each of these initiatives relies on the dedication of Safeway employees who volunteer their time with local charities, churches, schools, senior centers and other community organizations during the holidays and throughout the year.
As part of a companywide initiative to encourage and reward volunteerism, Safeway connects employees who want to "give back" with charities and volunteer opportunities. This year, the company’s 180,000 employees contributed a record number of volunteer hours, and still are participating in holiday-focused activities through the end of the year. In the New Year, Safeway will announce the total number of volunteer hours that its workforce contributed in 2011 and will recognize the employees who spent the most time volunteering in their communities.
In addition to these holiday season activities, Safeway raised $46.4 million for a wide array of important causes in 2011. Stores raised and donated $24.4 million for breast cancer and prostate cancer research, continuing the efforts that make Safeway one of the largest corporate supporters of cancer causes.
Campaigns to help people with disabilities raised nearly $21 million. The funds were donated to Easter Seals, Special Olympics, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and other organizations that provide support and services to the people with disabilities.
In addition, for the first time, Safeway held a fundraiser to help injured veterans receive the medical treatment and other support they need. Over the three-day Veterans Day weekend, the company’s U.S. stores raised $1 million for the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that exists to honor and empower "wounded warriors" who incurred service-related injuries on or after Sept. 11, 2001.
Fundraising efforts for worthy causes during the holidays and throughout the year have become part of the company’s culture. Those efforts were recognized when Safeway received the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ 2011 Freeman Philanthropic Services Award for Outstanding Corporation. The award, which was presented earlier this year, honors companies that demonstrate outstanding commitment to important causes through financial support and encouragement, as well as the company’s ability to motivate others to take on leadership roles in their communities.
MinuteClinic, UMass Memorial Health Care ink clinical collaboration
WOONSOCKET, R.I., and WORCESTER, Mass. — CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic and UMass Memorial Health Care, the largest healthcare system in central and western Massachusetts and the clinical partner of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, have entered into a clinical collaboration to enhance access to healthcare services in central Massachusetts.
The agreement is MinuteClinic’s first clinical collaboration with a healthcare system in Massachusetts. The collaboration includes MinuteClinic’s location inside the CVS/pharmacy store in Northborough and additional MinuteClinic openings anticipated in Central Massachusetts in 2012.
"UMass Memorial Health Care has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to improving the health and well-being of patients in central Massachusetts and shares MinuteClinic’s mission to make access to high-quality healthcare services more accessible in the region," stated Andrew Sussman, president of MinuteClinic and SVP/associate chief medical officer for CVS Caremark. "Since opening our first clinics in Massachusetts in 2008, we have continued to grow, and now have 31 clinics in the state, including nine new locations in 2011. We believe this affiliation will help us expand into other parts of the state as we look to open new locations in central Massachusetts."
Under the agreement, UMass Memorial Health Care physicians will serve as medical directors for MinuteClinic locations in central Massachusetts. In addition, MinuteClinic and UMass Memorial Health Care will collaborate on patient education and disease management initiatives, and will inform patients of the services each offers.
UMass Memorial Health Care is able to offer the full continuum of care for patients who need a level of care that is not provided at MinuteClinic. Signage at MinuteClinic locations will inform patients that each site has a clinical affiliation with UMass Memorial Health Care.
The two organizations will begin to work toward fully integrating their electronic medical record systems to streamline communication around all aspects of each individual’s care. With patient permission, MinuteClinic will electronically share medical histories and visit summaries with other UMass Memorial Health Care locations in central Massachusetts. In the meantime, MinuteClinic will continue its standard practice of sending patient visit summaries to primary care providers via fax or mail, typically within 24 hours.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute to develop smartphone application for patients with advanced diabetes, foot ulcers
WORCESTER, Mass. — An interdisciplinary research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute is slated to develop a smartphone application that will help patients with advanced diabetes and foot ulcers.
WPI announced it received a $1.2 million award from the National Science Foundation to create the app, which will be wirelessly integrated with a personal glucose meter and scale and would track and archive blood-sugar levels and weight, as well as use the phone’s camera to capture and analyze images of foot ulcers, which are potentially dangerous complications that affect people with advanced, uncontrolled diabetes, WPI said.
The four-year project will be organized through WPI’s Healthcare Delivery Institute in collaboration with diabetes and wound care specialists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
"This is an ambitious project that we hope will create a useful tool for people who are dealing with advanced diabetes," said Diane Strong, one of the project’s leaders, who is a professor in WPI’s School of Business. "We appreciate the National Science Foundation’s support for our approach to combine technology development and clinical expertise into a unified team to address this challenge."