HEALTH

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital kicks off Thanks and Giving campaign

BY Alaric DeArment

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is applauding the retailers that have joined and returned to its annual campaign to raise money for children’s cancer research.

The Memphis, Tenn.-based hospital said that over the last 10 years, the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign has raised more than $387 million to invest in research and treatment for childhood cancer. Longstanding retail donors like Kmart, CVS/pharmacy, Ann Taylor, HSNi and Dick’s Sporting Goods were recently joined by Best Buy, GameStop and Tween Brands, in addition to the more than 60 other donor companies, all of which are supporting the campaign this year. Those other brands include Coca-Cola, GNC and New York & Co.

"St. Jude is where doctors send their toughest cases because we have the world’s best survival rates for the most aggressive childhood cancers, and we won’t stop until no child dies from cancer," St. Jude national outreach director Marlo Thomas said. "It means so much to us that our incredible St. Jude Thanks and Giving partners have opened their hearts and offered the strength of their successful brands in support of our lifesaving work."

Kmart, which became a donor in 2006, was named Corporate Partner of the Year after raising a record $7.5 million last year. This year, as previously reported in DSN, the retailer is rewarding members of the Shop Your Way loyalty program who donate by giving them a coupon of 5% back in points on their next qualifying purchase, through January.


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Report: Dietary supplementation saves healthcare dollars in patients with chronic disease

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — Use of specific dietary supplements in targeted populations not only provides health benefits, but also, according to a new economic report released Monday, offers significant savings for healthcare costs. 

The report, “Smart Prevention—Health Care Cost Savings Resulting from the Targeted Use of Dietary Supplements,” issued by the economic firm Frost & Sullivan through a grant from the Council for Responsible Nutrition Foundation, examined four different chronic diseases and the potential for healthcare cost savings when U.S. adults 55 years and older, diagnosed with these chronic diseases, used one of eight different dietary supplement regimens. 

It demonstrated that supplementation at preventive intake levels in high-risk populations can reduce the number of disease-associated medical events, representing the potential for hundreds of millions — and in some cases, billions — of dollars in savings. 

“Chronic disease takes a huge toll on people’s quality of life, and the healthcare system spends a tremendous amount of money treating chronic disease, but has failed to focus on ways to reduce those costs through prevention,” stated Steve Mister, president of the CRN Foundation. “We already knew that the dietary supplements identified in the report can play a role in reducing the risk of certain chronic diseases; we felt compelled to find out if they could also contribute to healthcare cost savings by reducing the medical events associated with those conditions. This new report says emphatically that they do.”

“I anticipate this report will fuel the critical conversation around the importance of preventive healthcare practices to control healthcare spending, and the critical role dietary supplements can play in reducing the risk of medical events associated with these diseases," said Chris Shanahan, global program manager of Frost & Sullivan. “This report provides one more reason for doctors and other healthcare practitioners to open a dialogue with their patients about incorporating supplement usage along with other healthy behaviors. For consumers, it’s a wakeup call to talk to their doctor or nurse practitioner, their pharmacist or a registered dietician about smart prevention, including which dietary supplements and what intake levels are right for their individual lifestyle." 

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Survey: Half of those with chronic disease suffer from chronic sleep problems

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Results from a new survey released Monday of 5,256 PatientsLikeMe members who live day to day with life-changing conditions found that nearly one-third of respondents never (5%) or rarely (25%) get a good night’s sleep. Nearly half (44%) wake up a lot during the night every night, or almost every night.

The survey also found that sleep problems for the group are chronic, with more than half (53%) saying their sleep problems have lasted for more than a year. 

“It’s challenging enough to live with a condition that affects your day-to-day life, but now on top of that we’ve uncovered a hidden burden that has a major impact on patients’ well being,” stated PatientsLikeMe research and development director Paul Wicks.

The survey offers a glimpse into the sleep experiences of patients with chronic illnesses and is part of a broader study of sleep issues that PatientsLikeMe has conducted over the last five years.

 

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