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Samford University pharmacy school gets CMS nursing home grant

BY Alaric DeArment

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A pharmacy school in Alabama is getting a grant for a program designed to reduce hospitalizations among nursing home residents.

Samford University announced that its McWhorter School of Pharmacy would receive $865,568 from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to improve quality of care among Medicare-Medicaid dual enrollees in the state’s 23 nursing homes, part of a program led by the Alabama Quality Assurance Foundation. The AQAF is one of seven organizations around the country working with the CMS to improve care quality at 145 nursing homes around the country.

In Alabama, the Samford University pharmacy school and nine other health care-related partners will provide enhanced, on-site services and support for nursing home residents, which are in 14 counties in the central and north-central regions of the state. The services include evidence-based decision support and education for healthcare providers on rational use of medications from pharmacists at the university’s Global Drug Information Service.

"The pharmacists will implement quality improvement projects to reduce the risk of adverse events and avoidable hospitalizations related to use of high-risk medications," GDIS director Maisha Kelly Freeman said. "They will also provide continuing education seminars on the appropriate use of medications, facilitate training sessions with nursing personnel and evaluate the success of the education initiative."

Most nursing home residents are enrolled in Medicare, and nearly two-thirds are enrolled in Medicaid. According to research, about 45% of hospitalizations among dual enrollees, costing about $7-8 billion in 2011, could be avoided.


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Safeway HR head earns industry recognition

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Monday announced that Russ Jackson, Safeway SVP human resources, has been named by Human Resource Executive magazine to the influential 2012 HR Honor Roll. Jackson will be recognized by the publication on Oct. 9 at a black tie awards dinner at the University Club of Chicago.

Human Resource Executive selected Jackson and four other human resources professionals to recognize and feature in the October issue. Each was chosen for their problem-solving skills, positive impact on their organization and contributions to the profession at large.

"Russ is a transformational architect within Safeway," stated Safeway EVP Larree Renda. "With his vision, insight and drive for results, he has built a human resources organization that is a powerful accelerator of change."

Among his accomplishments at Safeway, Jackson has been instrumental in strengthening the company’s leadership development efforts. For example, in 2011 the company launched a program which provides high-potential and high-performing directors and district managers with VP-level experiences and instruction. Human Resource Executive noted that Jackson also "implemented a series of new programs aimed at recruiting ex-military personnel for key roles; reshaped the organization’s competency model; and enhanced the organization’s already highly regarded health initiatives."

Elevating the company’s efforts to support veterans, Jackson launched an initiative aimed at recruiting and developing former junior military officers for retail store management positions. Since the program launched in 2010, the company surpassed its goal of hiring more than 1,000 ex-military personnel by the end of 2012.

Jackson and his benefits team have also made significant strides in the area of employee health and wellness.  Employees at all levels are encouraged to participate in a range of programs from biometric testing to other wellness initiatives designed to help employees and their families make healthier choices.

Jackson joined Safeway in 2007 after a 27-year career with Pacific Gas & Electric, where he served as SVP human resources. He holds a Business degree from San Jose State University, earned his MBA from St. Mary’s College and a Master’s degree in human resources and organizational development from the University of San Francisco, along with a certificate in Human Resources Management from the University of California at Berkeley. He has also achieved the designation of SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) from the Human Resources Certification Institute.

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Mars Chocolate unveils Easter 2013 items

BY Allison Cerra

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. — Mars Chocolate already may have unveiled its lineup of new treats for Halloween, Valentine’s Day, as well as the winter holiday season, but the company announced that it is adding new items to its Easter 2013 lineup.

The new Easter 2013 lineup includes:

  • Snickers Peanut Butter Squared minis;

  • Dove Silky Smooth white chocolate eggs;

  • Twix minis filled eggs;

  • M&M’s milk chocolate Fun Size filled gift box;

  • Snickers Eggs 2-To-Go;

  • Snickers Peanut Butter Eggs 2-To-Go;

  • Dove Silky Smooth white chocolate bunny;

  • Mixed singles Easter floor stand: Chock full of Snickers, Snickers Peanut Butter and Milky Way Brand Simply Caramel — all in Easter egg and bunny shapes — this convenient display is a one-stop-shop for snacks and basket fillers.

The new Easter products carry a suggested retail price range of 60 cents to $3.99.

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