Sav-Mor
PHARMACY

Sav-Mor offers 24/7 physician access with My T Health Plus

BY David Salazar

Sav-Mor Pharmacy Services is bringing a new telehealth program to 33 of its pharmacies in southeastern Michigan. The Southfield, Mich.-based chain has partnered with My T Health Plus, which will allow patients 24/7 year-round virtual physician visits for the monthly price of $14.99.

The company said the service offers access to a physician who can diagnose conditions, provide medical advice and prescribe medications over the phone when necessary, without charging a consultation fee. Sav-Mor noted that it can help patients avoid potentially costly urgent care or emergency room visits for non-emergency needs.

“Our customers are our family, so we are committed to helping them get the resources they need as quickly as possible,” said Yvonne Gallagher, President, Sav-Mor Pharmacy Services. “By teaming up with My T Health Plus, we’re building a pharmacy experience that exceeds expectations by adding a service that provides 24/7/365 access to a physician.”

Sav-Mor said it has My T Health Plus brochures in-store at all locations in Michigan, as well as online.

“Now more than ever, consumers want access to telehealth as an alternative to traditional in-person visits to the doctor’s office,” said Bob Hoeffner, senior vice president of business development for My T Health Plus. “The My T Health Plus program allows Sav-Mor customers to access these valuable and innovative services, which are easy-to-use and highly affordable.”

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Hy-Vee expands clinic offerings, mobile tours

BY Mark Hamstra

Hy-Vee is expanding the health clinic operations in its stores, both in terms of the size of the clinics and the number of clinics it offers.

“It’s been a good model for us, and it’s growing,” said Aaron Wiese, vice president of HealthMarkets and health and wellness strategy at Hy-Vee.

The company currently hosts 70 such clinics in its stores — all operated by local healthcare providers — and its goal is to have 100 by the middle of 2019, Wiese said. The company is incorporating clinics into most of its new stores, and carving out space in older stores for clinics as they are remodeled.

Hy-Vee also takes its clinics on the road. Since launching its Hy-Vee Healthy You Mobile program in 2013, the company has converted nine Winnebago RVs into mobile clinics, each with two exam rooms offering biometric screenings, flu vaccinations, nutritional information, cooking demonstrations, food samplings and other services. The mobile units, staffed with Hy-Vee dietitians and pharmacists, travel to health fairs, festivals, school events and other community gatherings.

“It’s a diagnostic mobile clinic on wheels,” Wiese said. “It’s been a great asset for us.”
This year, Hy-Vee focused on bringing the Hy-Vee Healthy You Mobile clinics to more underserved areas, and tying them back to the stores thematically. In February, for example, the Hy-Vee Healthy You Mobile clinics conducted a heart health tour throughout the retailer’s eight-state region, offering free biometric screenings to consumers who might not otherwise have had access to such services. The mobile clinics distributed samples of heart healthy products and coupons to use in-store, where it featured displays of related products.

“Our CPG partners helped fund the screenings, enabling our customers to get a free screening and improve their awareness of heart health and heart healthy foods,” Wiese said.
Hy-Vee also did a similar tour focused on men’s health in June and a diabetes-themed tour is scheduled for November.

In total, Hy-Vee is doubling the number of events and screenings this year via its Hy-Vee Healthy You Mobiles, compared with a year ago.

“We operate in some very rural markets, and in a lot of our markets, Hy-Vee is one of the only places where people are going to find these services,” Wiese said.

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Report: HPV vaccination rates remain too low to achieve cancer prevention potential

BY Sandra Levy

Although the human papillomavirus, or HPV, vaccine uptake has improved in recent years, underuse of the HPV vaccine remains a serious threat to progress against cancer in the United States, according to a report released Thursday by the President’s Cancer Panel Chair.

The report, “HPV Vaccination for Cancer Prevention: Progress, Opportunities, and a Renewed Call to Action,” finds that while there has been demonstrated progress in HPV vaccine uptake in the United States over the past five years, vaccination rates remain unacceptably low and well below the government’s Healthy People 2020 goal of 80% of age-eligible adolescents.

The panel chair concludes that recent, notable strides must be amplified and expanded, and recommends several steps to increase HPV vaccination both in the United State, as well as globally.

“We have a safe, effective vaccine that protects against a cancer-causing virus, and we applaud the efforts of cancer and immunization leaders joining forces and rising to the challenge of accelerating HPV vaccine uptake,” chair of the President’s Cancer Panel Barbara Rimer said in a statement. “Yet, the fact remains, that this vaccine remains seriously underutilized — we are still missing opportunities to prevent cancer and save lives.”

In its 2012-2013 report, “Accelerating HPV Vaccine Uptake: Urgency for Action to Prevent Cancer,” the President’s Cancer Panel issued a call for action that was later echoed in other high-profile reports, including 2015 and 2018 reports from the National Vaccine Advisory Committee and 2016 reports from the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel and Cancer Moonshot Task Force.

On average, the percentage of adolescents who started the HPV vaccine series increased five percentage points each year between 2013 and 2017. Yet, as of 2017, less than half of U.S. adolescents were fully vaccinated. In addition, HPV vaccines are not included in the national vaccine programs of many low- and middle-income countries, where the vast majority of cervical cancer cases and deaths occur.

The Panel Chair concluded that that provider- and system-level changes have the greatest potential to increase U.S. HPV vaccination rates, and that partnerships and collaborations among key stakeholders are essential for sustaining momentum and expanding the reach of this urgent call to action.

The Panel Chair also urges renewed action around the following goals: reduce missed clinical opportunities to recommend and administer the HPV vaccine; increase parents’ acceptance of HPV vaccination; maximize access to HPV vaccination services; and promote global HPV vaccine uptake.

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