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Trio’s diabetes health initiative will have community-centric focus

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT Walgreens. YMCA. UnitedHealth Group. Two nationally known yet locally focused and health-interested organizations are partnering on a health initiative with a third organization, which marks the first time a health plan will play for evidence-based diabetes prevention and control programs. That future heralded so many years ago by the Asheville Project may finally have arrived.

(THE NEWS Walgreens becomes founding partner of Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance. For the full story, click here)

And it’s a health initiative that will be grounded in the local community. Walgreens has certainly made a commitment to get more local in the past year — changing its operations structure and sending the VPs to live back out in the communities they operate, for example. And YMCA already is an integral part of the fabric for many local communities.

Consider this, the 2,686 YMCA centers in communities that are serving more than 20.9 million members are already committed to “directly address [the] nation’s growing health crisis” through its Activate America initiative. And the two tenets of Activate America are: 1) we will support healthy lifestyles by reaching out and engaging all those who seek well-being of spirit, mind and body; and 2) we will create and sustain healthier communities by actively participating in our communities and connecting our networks and resources to influence decisions that impact health.

That doesn’t sound too different from the underlying objectives of either Walgreens pharmacy or Take Care Health Systems’ retail clinics in serving their own local patient populations, especially now that Walgreens in the past year dispatched its 29 regional VPs out of the chain’s Chicago headquarters and into their respective regional offices with a singular vision — be more responsive to community needs.

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Study: Remicade more efficient in treating Crohn’s disease than generic competitor

BY Alaric DeArment

HORSHAM, Pa. Patients who had not received previous treatment recovered and healed better when taking a Johnson & Johnson biotech drug for Crohn’s disease than when taking a common generic drug for the disease, according to post-marketing clinical trial results published Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Results of a phase 4 study comparing J&J’s Remicade (infliximab) with azathioprine showed that a larger number of patients had steroid-free remission and mucosal healing when taking Remicade than when they took azathioprine. Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory, autoimmune disorder of the gastrointestinal tract that affects around half a million Americans.

“The results provide new insights into the benefits of starting Remicade alone or in combination with azathioprine –– earlier in the treatment of moderate to severe Crohn’s disease,” principal study investigator and medicine professor of France’s Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Lille Jean-Frederic Colombel said.

The investigators found that after 26 weeks, 57% of patients taking Remicade and azathioprine together and 44% of those taking Remicade alone had remission of their disease without steroids, compared with 30% of those taking azathioprine alone.

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Babson College to host Strategic Planning and Management in Retailing program

BY Allison Cerra

WELLESLEY, Mass. Babson College will be offering two sessions of Strategic Planning and Management in Retailing, its seven-day open enrollment program on retail management.

As a leader in entrepreneurial management education, Babson said Strategic Planning and Management in Retailing works with retail leaders to identify and evaluate their organizations’ key success factors in order to plan more strategically and manage their businesses more effectively.

The program, designed for retail CEOs, senior and general merchandise managers, operations managers, district managers, and upper-level marketing, finance, human resources, and MIS managers, participants will learn to:

  • Strategically plan for growth, including financial modeling and productivity analysis
  • Analyze and interpret consumer, competitive, and market research
  • Develop and implement enhanced merchandising management and assortment strategies
  • Effectively manage strategic resources

Program faculty include: Lawrence Ring (faculty director) and John Strong.

The program will be held at The College of William and Mary from May 1-7 and at the Babson Executive Conference Center from September 11 – 17.

Click here to sign up.

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