Walgreens disabilities initiative serves as bedrock for broader public/private engagement
WINDSOR, Conn. — Top-level executives from more than a dozen major U.S. companies on Monday joined with government officials to launch a nationwide public-private sector initiative to advance employment of people with disabilities. The companies and officials plan to work together to achieve common goals, including to identify and resolve employment barriers facing people with disabilities, share experience and best practices, raise visibility around the effort and awareness of the significant benefits, and expand participation.
The initiative arose from the CEO Summit focused on employment of people with disabilities on June 4 hosted by Walgreens at the company’s Windsor, Conn., distribution center. The summit was held at the Walgreens facility to provide participants a first-hand look at the company’s robust effort to employ people with disabilities. About 50% of the workforce at the distribution center has a disability, but all employees work as equals with the same responsibilities and performance standards.
Summit participants included government officials led by Sens. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; Rep. Pet Sessions, R-Texas; and Delaware governor Jack Markell, vice chairman of the National Governors Association. Participating companies included Amerigroup, Ascend Performance Materials, Best Buy, Clarks Companies, Ernst & Young, GE Lighting, IBM, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Lundbeck, McLane, Merck, OfficeMax, SAP AG, Procter & Gamble, UPS, Walgreens and Walmart.
Following the summit, the officials and companies made a commitment to schedule additional activities with expanded participation, starting with meetings at the U.S. Business Leadership Network conference in Orlando, Fla., in October of this year; summits in Dallas and Washington, D.C.; a website to share information and best practices; and future activities to expand and promote the employment of people with disabilities and address barriers.
"The Walgreens facility is powerful proof that people with disabilities are valuable assets to our workforce," Blumenthal said. "I appreciate the leadership of these companies on this important issue, and I’m very eager to work with them to employ more people with disabilities in Connecticut and across the nation. All people with disabilities deserve the dignity of work, and we should continue to find ways to help make this possible."
"Hiring workers who happen to have some type of disability but can still do a good job and want to work is a win for business, for employees and for our communities," said Mike Mikan, interim CEO of Best Buy. "Our distribution facility in Shepherdsville, Ky., is proof positive that highly motivated, productive employees with disabilities deliver strong performance on every metric from productivity to safety to quality. We plan to extend this employment model to other facilities, and we encourage other companies to consider this untapped talent pool."
Humana, Novo Nordisk enter research collaboration
LOUISVILLE, Ky., and PRINCETON, N.J. — A healthcare company and a drug maker have entered a one-year research partnership to explore diabetes treatment and care.
Humana and Novo Nordisk said its researchers will identify opportunities to change how patients might be treated to improve quality and outcomes for the millions of people who battle diabetes. Humana is working through its research affiliate, Competitive Health Analytics, on this partnership, Humana noted.
"We look forward to collaborating with Humana on this project," Novo Nordisk’s corporate VP clinical development, medical and regulatory affairs Anne Phillips said. "Healthcare quality is so important when it comes to achieving good outcomes, but we can’t measure it unless we have a strong partner with substantial data. It is our hope that this collaboration ultimately will create solutions that will improve outcomes for people with diabetes."
P&G adds new ‘so you can rest’ medicine to its portfolio
CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble on Monday officially announced the introduction of ZzzQuil, a sleep aid addition to its Vicks NyQuil and Vicks DayQuil brands.
“ZzzQuil not only helps reduce the time it takes for a person to fall asleep, but [also] allows them to sleep soundly so they can wake up rested and refreshed,” stated Dave Tomasi, marketing director of North America for Vicks. “It is a sleep-only solution that delivers effective relief to consumers suffering from occasional sleeplessness.”
“Occasional difficulty sleeping can be caused by different issues, such as stress or jet lag,” noted Joseph Ojile, founder and CEO of Clayton Sleep Institute and National Sleep Foundation board member. “In addition to lifestyle changes, behavioral approaches and physician care, over-the-counter sleep aids containing diphenhydramine HCI … are a good option for people whose only symptom is not being able to fall asleep occasionally.”
Unlike some other over-the-counter products that combine ingredients to relieve minor aches and pains with a sleep aid, ZzzQuil helps relieve occasional sleeplessness through its single active ingredient, diphenhydramine HCI.
ZzzQuil is the only over-the-counter sleep aid medication that comes in both a liquid (warming berry flavor) and a LiquiCap form, P&G noted.