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Social media marketing guru to headline DSN Summit

BY DSN STAFF

Drug Store News will host the 17th annual Industry Issues Summit at the famed New York Athletic Club on Dec. 3, with record-breaking attendance expected.

DSN also is proud to announce that social media marketing genius and best-selling business writer Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia, will deliver a special lunchtime keynote address at this year’s event. Vaynerchuk, who got his start in business by building his father’s New Jersey-based wine shop into a $45 million online business — along with the viral wine-tasting web show “Wine Library TV,” which led him to a 10-book deal with HarperStudio — leads VaynerMedia, the digital agency he launched in 2009 to work with companies the likes of GE and PepsiCo.

Author of the New York Times/ Wall Street Journal/Associated Press bestseller “Crush It! Why Now is the Best Time to Cash in on Your Passion,” and “The Thank You Economy,” which details the effect of social media on business — required reading for business leaders around the world — Vaynerchuk will share insights from his newest book, “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World.”

This year’s Industry Issues Summit event once again features a top-notch lineup of leading retail executives from companies including CVS Health, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart, H-E-B, Kroger, Wakefern, Costco, Family Dollar and many more.

Moderated by Dan Mack, founder of the Mack Elevation Forum and author of “Dark Horse: How Challenger Companies Rise to Prominence,” the Industry Issues Summit is the anchor of the daylong thought leadership/industry networking event. “The vision of the Industry Issues Summit is to discuss how we elevate retailer-supplier engagement while reviewing the changing dynamics influencing our industry,” Mack said. “We will discuss seven drivers affecting growth, including balancing boomer and millennial health needs, optimizing trade investments, designing value and premium consumer offers, trip consolidation and implications, new developments in omnichannel, localization and the next generation of leadership.”

Hamacher Resource Group VP and co-owner Dave Wendland will be back to once again moderate the Chronic Care and Retail Health Roundtable, which this year focuses on the transforming role of the pharmacist; better connections between hospitals and pharmacies in transitioning care; incorporating quality and adherence metrics for people with multiple chronic conditions; and supporting patient self-management and family care-giving through enhanced merchandising, informational resources and operational approaches. “According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic diseases are responsible for 7-of-10 deaths each year, and treating people with chronic diseases accounts for 86% of our nation’s healthcare costs,” Wendland noted.

The program kicks off with the Health, Wellness and Technology Summit, moderated by Chris Dimos, SVP business development at McKesson.

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Kroger contributes $2.9 million to USO

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI – Kroger on Tuesday announced a total contribution to the USO of nearly $2.9 million for 2015. This total includes a company contribution of $1 million in funds and in-kind donations totaling $250,000.
 
The remaining support was raised through customers and associates who contributed at check stands, purchased special gift cards to be delivered to USO centers, or donated online throughout Kroger's year-long Honoring Our Heroes campaign.
 
Kroger also announced that as a result of its one-day Honoring our Heroes hiring event held on Sept. 15, the company hired more than 2,000 military veterans and their family members. Kroger has hired more than 32,000 veterans since 2009 as part of its commitment to active duty troops and the nation's 23 million veterans.
 
"Whether through our customer, associate and company support of the USO or creating career opportunities for transitioning service men and women, Kroger is dedicated to our nation's active duty troops and 23 million military veterans and their families," stated Lynn Marmer, Kroger's group VP corporate affairs.
 
As a token of appreciation for the many family dinners missed while deployed, Kroger invited troops and families to enjoy the summer barbecue experience in 11 bases across the country.  Kroger also provided a taste of home by sending barbecue "fixins" to three international bases for our deployed troops to enjoy overseas in Camp Buehring, Kuwait; Camp Arifjan, Kuwait; and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany.  
 
Since 2010, the Kroger family of stores, in partnership with customers, associates and vendors, has donated a total of $14.8 million to help support the military and their families – the largest cumulative gift to the USO in that organization's history. 
 
"The money raised by Kroger's 'Honoring Our Heroes' campaign speaks volumes to their generosity and that of their customers," said J.D. Crouch II, USO CEO and president. "For nearly 75 years, the USO has kept our servicemen and women connected to their family, home and country by providing the support, programs and entertainment that keep their morale high. Partners like Kroger, allow us to deliver on our important mission." 
 
 
 

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Where does your state rank in physician access?

BY Michael Johnsen

IRVING, Texas — As such convenient care options as retail clinics, telehealth services and urgent care clinics proliferate, physician search firm Merritt Hawkins has creaated its Physician Access Index, which ranks states based on 33 variables to show which have the best — and worst — access to physicians. The index shows that Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Delaware and Maryland have the most positive physician access variables, while Mississippi, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada and Oklahoma have the fewest.
 
“When it comes to accessing physicians, not all places or all patients are equal,” stated Mark Smith, president of Merritt Hawkins. “As the healthcare system evolves, there will be clear access 'haves' and access 'have-nots,' and the rankings reflects these imbalances.”
 
The index tracks such metrics as physicians per capita, the percentage of residents with health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid acceptance rates, household income and telehealth access, among others, on a state-by-state basis. Each state is given a score for each metric; these scores are added together, with lower scores meaning better physician access. For example, the top state, Massachusetts, has a total score of 442 points, whereas Oklahoma — the lowest-ranked state on the index — has a score of 1096. 
 
But these scores only show an overview of a given state, Smith said, noting that other factors influence access within states. Though New York is ranked 11th best for physician access, it ranks 34th in percent of mental health care needs met. And New Mexico, which ranks 47th in the overall rankings, ranks sixth in patient encounters per capita in federally qualified health centers, which Merritt Hawkins said suggests a solid safety net for underserved patients. 
 
“No state is without its challenges and strong points where physician access is concerned,” Smith said. “There are pockets of patients with poor physician access in highly ranked states and pockets of patients with good physician access in states with low rankings.”
 
The data, then, can bve used to show what challenges are facing states when it comes to healthcare access for their residents. Though issues like poverty and low per capita income are issues that won’t resolve overnight, Smith said that funding residency positions, and investing in such retention incentives as educational loan repayment could help with physician retention rates. Additionally, Smith said, states that haven't yet can work to reduce barriers to telehealth implementation, expand the practice parameters of NPs and PAs, and expand eligibility requirements for Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act. 
 
For more insights, see the infographic below. 
 

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