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Walmart launches ‘Golden Spark’ promotion as part of hunger awareness campaign

BY Allison Cerra

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart has launched part of its Fighting Hunger Together fall initiative to provide meals to communities in need.

The "Golden Spark" promotion, a $2.5 million initiative, gives consumers a chance to win "sparks" that will help fund childhood hunger programs in their communities. The Fighting Hunger Together fall initiative is part of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s $2 billion commitment through 2015 to fight hunger. As a part of this commitment, Walmart and its Foundation pledged to donate more than 1.1 billion lbs. of food from Walmart stores, distribution centers and Sam’s Club locations, valued at $1.75 billion, as well as $250 million in grants to support hunger relief organizations.

Walmart said the Fighting Hunger Together fall initiative launches amidst the release of the U.S. Department of Agriculture report which found that at some point during the year, more than 50 million Americans won’t know where their next meal will come from, which is equivalent to 1-in-6 Americans.

"The USDA report is yet again proof that millions of Americans are facing the harsh reality of hunger this year and the issue is further compounded by a historic drought and the lingering effects of high unemployment rates," said Sylvia Mathews Burwell, president of the Walmart Foundation. "Walmart is committed to fighting hunger in America every day. By engaging our partners and providing unique and creative opportunities for our customers and associates to join the fight against hunger, such as this campaign, we know we can make an even greater impact and help local communities through this critical time."

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MinuteClinic, University of Oklahoma Physicians form clinical collaboration

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I., and OKLAHOMA CITY— MinuteClinic and OU Physicians, Oklahoma’s largest physician group with more than 560 doctors, have entered into a clinical affiliation to enhance access to healthcare services in Oklahoma.

The agreement includes four MinuteClinic walk-in medical clinics inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in Edmond, Moore, Mustang and Norman.

Under the agreement, OU Physicians doctors will serve as medical directors for MinuteClinic locations in Oklahoma. In addition, MinuteClinic and OU Physicians will collaborate on patient education and disease management initiatives and will inform patients of the services each offer. OU Physicians will accept patients who need a level of care that is not provided at MinuteClinic. Signage at MinuteClinic locations will inform patients that each site has a clinical affiliation with OU Physicians.

"MinuteClinic shares OU Physicians’ commitment to clinical quality and expanding access to care to patients throughout central Oklahoma," stated Andrew Sussman, president, MinuteClinic and SVP/associate chief medical officer of CVS Caremark. "We look forward to collaborating with their doctors who will provide quality oversight, teaching and back-up so MinuteClinic can provide the best care to Oklahomans at the lowest overall cost."

MinuteClinic and OU Physicians will begin to work toward fully integrating electronic medical record systems to streamline communication around all aspects of their patients’ care. With patient permission, MinuteClinic will electronically share medical histories and visit summaries with other OU Physicians locations in the state. In the meantime, MinuteClinic will continue its standard practice of sending patient visit summaries to primary care providers via fax or mail, typically within 24 hours.

"At OU Physicians, we are committed to providing high-quality health care to Oklahomans, and in today’s rapidly changing healthcare environment, it is critical to explore smart, innovative ways to improve our citizens’ access to necessary treatments and preventive care," stated Brian Maddy, CEO of OU Physicians. "By joining forces with MinuteClinic and sharing our expertise, we can deliver much-needed care to a larger population of patients and make sure more Oklahomans get the resources they need to lead healthier lives. We are very excited about the collaboration and the positive results it will produce."


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L’Oreal Paris names Lea Michele as newest brand ambassador

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — L’Oréal Paris has officially announced actress Lea Michele as the brand’s newest ambassador.

Today, Michele joins the L’Oréal Paris spokespersons family, including Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce Knowles, Julianna Margulies, Eva Longoria, Andie MacDowell, Freida Pinto and Aimee Mullins, among others. Michele will debut in TV and print advertising campaigns for the global beauty brand beginning in the United States in early 2013

"I am thrilled that Lea joins our roster of amazing spokespersons. In just a few years, her incredible talent has made her one of the most popular young actresses in a TV series. Lea is committed, genuine, fun with an inspiring sense of style, in total resonance with the brand’s values," L’Oréal Paris global brand president Cyril Chapuy said.

"Lea is undeniably one of the most gifted and accomplished women of her generation and a role model to young women everywhere. We are so honored to welcome her as a member of the L’Oréal Paris family. A beautiful woman inside and out, Lea truly exemplifies our brand philosophy ‘Because You’re Worth It,’" added Karen Fondu, president of L’Oréal Paris USA.

At 8 years old, Michele made her professional debut as Young Cosette in the classic Broadway production "Les Miserables." Since then, she has shared the stage with Broadway greats in "Ragtime," "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Spring Awakening," earning herself a Drama Desk Award nomination for "Outstanding Actress in a Musical" for her role in "Spring Awakening."

Michele is perhaps best known for her role in the Fox TV television series "Glee," which returned this month for its fourth season. Throughout her role as Rachel, Michele has received a People’s Choice Award, a Teen Choice Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. She also has been honored with an Emmy Award nomination and two Golden Globe nominations.

In addition to her role on "Glee," she has performed solo concerts in New York and Los Angeles and has lent her vocal talents to two feature films. In 2011, Lea starred in the romantic comedy "New Year’s Eve" and in 2013, she will star in Summertime Entertainment’s animated 3D film "Dorothy of Oz," providing vocals on several original numbers.

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