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Veggie Patch expands product line

BY Ryan Chavis

BOSTON — Veggie Patch, a vegetable-based foods brand, on Monday announced new additions to its roster that will help consumers satisfy cravings for healthier food options, the company said. Health-conscious shoppers will be able to choose from Roasted Red Pepper Falafel and Moroccan Red Lentil Cakes.

Roasted Red Pepper Falafel puts a new spin on one of the company's top sellers, cassic falafel. Moroccan Red Lentil Cakes contain a blend of red lentils, carrots and spices that packs 8 g of protein per serving. Both varieties have a suggested retail price of $4.49 and will be rolling out this month in the produce sections of grocery stores across the nation.

"These mouth-watering new products are as flavorful as they are exotic, and as healthy as they are convenient," said Adam Carr, CEO Veggie Patch. "We're proud to lead the way in introducing unique and great tasting items that excite and appeal to our consumers."
 

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ONC this fall to raise awareness around the Blue Button Initiative

BY Michael Johnsen

 
 
WASHINGTON — The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology this fall will launch a consumer outreach campaign Sept. 15 through Oct. 6 to raise awareness around the national Blue Button Initiative, a public-private partnership that seeks to give consumers easy and secure access to their health records from a variety of sources in a format they can use. 
 
The Blue Button Campaign aims to raise awareness among consumers and patients about Blue Button and how they can use it to exercise their rights and empower themselves with their own health data. "Over a year ago, members of the Blue Button Initiative told us that a lack of public demand for digital health records is among the greatest impediments to greater consumer engagement in their own health and care," the organization noted. "This lack of demand is often due to consumers not being aware of the legal right to access their own health information and not knowing the benefits of doing so. These benefits include checking the health information for errors, sharing it with other members of their care team or others they trust, and referencing that information whenever necessary."
 
Supporters of the Blue Button Initiative include provider organizations, health plans, pharmacies, labs, technology developers and patient and consumer advocacy organizations. A number of these organizations have agreed to prominently feature the Blue Button public service announcements on their websites or through their other communication channels. The focus-group tested PSAs target three populations — seniors or those with chronic conditions, caregivers and cancer patients/survivors — to elevate patient and caregiver awareness of Blue Button.  
 
Stakeholders who will be participating in the campaign include: 
 
  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (has over 6 million Blue Button downloads);
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ( serves 49 million Medicare beneficiaries);
  • Indian Health Service (services 1.9 million American Indians and Alaska Natives belonging to 566 federally recognized tribes in 35 states);
  • Sharecare.com (100 million page views per month);
  • Walgreens (over 8,500 locations; 400 clinics and 6 million Americans visiting its stores each day);
  • National Partnership for Women and Families;
  • Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease;
  • Caregiver Action Network;
  • American Health Information Management Association;
  • American Cancer Society; and
  • New York e-health Collaborative.

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American Diabetes Association announces collaboration with Walgreens’ Balance Rewards loyalty program

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The American Diabetes Association on Monday announced its collaboration with Walgreens, a national strategic partner of the association, and the Balance Rewards program to help further the movement to Stop Diabetes.

For every person that joins the Balance Rewards program via Diabetes.org/pr-rewards, Walgreens will donate $1 to the American Diabetes Association through Dec. 31, 2014, up to $50,000.
 
"Walgreens plays an integral role in the advancement of our mission and our movement to Stop Diabetes," stated Larry Hausner, ADA CEO. "Leading a healthy and active lifestyle are key components for those who are at risk for or live with type 2 diabetes," he said. "We are proud to be collaborating with Walgreens to get the word out about such an exciting program that will not only get people to make better choices, but it will help the Association raise critical funds to help further our movement to stop this deadly disease."
 
The year-round relationship with Walgreens and the American Diabetes Association, which kicked off in November during American Diabetes Month, continues with Walgreens participating in the Association's educational event — American Diabetes Association EXPO — in seven cities nationwide. Walgreens also helps raise awareness about American Diabetes Association Alert Day by encouraging their customers to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for type 2 diabetes. And Walgreens promotes the importance of physical activity by participating in Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes events across the country. 

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