CVS Health Fights Back on High Cost Drugs by Launching Industry’s Most Comprehensive Approach to Saving Patients Money

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New CVS Health initiative seeks to solve one of the nation’s most pressing problems and a major source of consumer financial worry.

Recognizing the threat of rising drug prices and high out-of-pocket costs, CVS Health providing most advanced solutions for prescribers, pharmacists and patients.

CVS Pharmacists are key resource for patients in identifying opportunities to maximize their prescription benefits and save money at the pharmacy counter in communities nationwide.

CVS Caremark mitigating impact of high drug costs by providing members and prescribers with robust information and innovative tools to choose lower-cost prescription drugs.

The high cost of prescription drugs is one of the nation’s most pressing problems and a major source of financial worry for consumers across the nation. While CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) has made significant progress in mitigating the impact of high list prices set by pharmaceutical manufacturers, for too many Americans annual out-of-pocket drug costs are still significant. In response, CVS Health announced today that it is fighting back by launching the most comprehensive program in the industry to help patients save money on their medications.

According to a recent national poll, commissioned by CVS Health, 83 percent of Americans said they were concerned personally about the impact of rising prescription drug prices.[1] As prescription drug prices continue to rise and enrollment in high deductible health plans grows, many patients are shouldering higher costs for their prescription medicine.

CVS Health will address this problem with a robust set of initiatives, including the new CVS Pharmacy Rx Savings Finder, which will enable the company’s retail pharmacists for the first time to evaluate quickly and seamlessly individual prescription savings opportunities right at the pharmacy counter. This new tool further enhances existing savings opportunities the company’s pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) CVS Caremark is currently offering its clients such as the preventive drug lists that make medications for many common, chronic conditions available at a $0 copay. In addition, CVS Caremark provides real-time, member-specific drug costs and lower-cost alternatives to prescribers through their electronic health record system and to CVS Caremark members through the member portal and newly updated app. These programs are part of CVS Health’s commitment to helping consumers find the lowest cost prescription drugs by offering more pricing transparency for prescribers, pharmacists and patients.

“Today’s consumers are faced with higher prescription drug prices than ever before and many of them are now paying for a larger share of their prescription drug costs out of their own pockets at the pharmacy counter due to growth in high deductible health plans,” said Thomas Moriarty, Chief Policy and External Affairs Officer, CVS Health. “Until now, patients haven’t had the appropriate tools available to them to help them manage these costs. To address this, CVS Health is giving expanded tools to patients, prescribers and pharmacists so they can evaluate prescription drug coverage in real-time and identify lower-cost alternatives. We are committed to finding the right drug at the lowest possible cost for patients to ensure they are able to access and stay on the medications they need. That’s our promise.”

Pharmacist working at the drugstore

At the Pharmacy Counter

The new CVS Pharmacy Rx Savings Finder enables the retail pharmacist to quickly and seamlessly review a patient’s prescription regimen, medication history and insurance plan information to determine the best way for them to save money on out-of-pocket costs – with the primary goal of helping the patient find the lowest cost alternative under their pharmacy benefits plan.

“Our direct experience is that patients who are confronted with high out-of-pocket costs at the pharmacy counter are less likely to pick up their prescriptions and are less likely to be adherent to their prescribed therapy,” said Kevin Hourican, Executive Vice President, Retail Pharmacy, CVS Pharmacy.

“Armed with the information available through our Rx Savings Finder, our more than 30,000 CVS pharmacists can play an important role by helping patients save money on their medications, providing advice on how and when to take them, and ultimately helping them achieve better health outcomes,” Hourican added. “We are beginning this process with our CVS Caremark PBM members and expect to roll it out more broadly throughout the year.”

The Rx Savings Finder will show pharmacy teams:

  1. First, if the prescribed medication is on the patient’s formulary and is the lowest cost option available.
  2. Second, if there are lower-cost options covered under the patient’s pharmacy benefit – such as a generic medication or therapeutic alternative with equivalent efficacy of treatment.
  3. Third, if the patient may be able to save money by filling a 90-day prescription rather than a 30-day prescription.
  4. Finally, if neither a generic nor a lower-cost alternative is available, other potential savings options for eligible or uninsured patients where allowed by applicable laws and regulation.[2]

Pharmacists can also help patients enroll in the ExtraCare Loyalty Program and sign them up for Pharmacy and Health Rewards. Through Pharmacy and Health Rewards, patients receive $5 in ExtraBucks for every 10 prescriptions filled, earning up to $50 in ExtraBucks annually.

At the Doctor’s Office

Another component of the company’s comprehensive savings approach is the recently launched real-time benefits program, which helps bring greater drug price transparency to prescribers and CVS Caremark members. At the point-of-prescribing, providers are able to see the member-specific cost for a selected drug, based on a member’s coverage, along with up to five lowest-cost, clinically appropriate therapeutic alternatives based on the patient’s formulary. PBM members have access to the same information on the CVS Caremark app and member portal. Early results show that prescribers accessing the real-time benefits information through their electronic health record switched their patient’s drug from a non-covered drug to a drug on formulary 85 percent of the time. In addition, when the patient’s drug is covered, prescribers using real-time benefits switch their patient to a lower-cost alternative 30 percent of the time. When the prescriber switched to a lower-cost drug, the difference was approximately $75 per prescription.
“We have been working hard to keep prescription medications affordable for patients,” said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. “In fact, in 2017, nearly 90 percent of our PBM plan members spent less than $300 out-of-pocket for their prescription medicines. While this signals progress, for those patients that cost is not insignificant. That is why we are committed to doing even more across our enterprise to help patients find and access the lowest cost drug at the pharmacy which ultimately will help improve clinical outcomes and remove higher downstream medical costs from the system.”

Using Pharmacy Benefit Management Solutions

CVS Health is also making a variety of PBM solutions available to help further drive down drug trend for its PBM clients and drug costs for the patients they support. The company’s Point of Sale (POS) rebate offering allows the value of negotiated rebates on branded drugs to be passed on directly to patients when they fill their prescriptions – and the savings from this program can be significant. In 2013, CVS Health led the industry with the introduction of POS rebates to clients, and today nearly 10 million members are covered by and able to benefit from the program.

In 2017, despite manufacturer brand list price increases on drugs near 10 percent, CVS Health PBM strategies reduced drug trend for CVS Caremark commercial clients to the lowest level in five years, keeping drug price growth at a minimal 0.2 percent. In fact, 42 percent of CVS Caremark commercial clients spent less on their pharmacy benefit plan in 2017 than they had in 2016. CVS Caremark helped members reduce monthly out-of-pocket costs and improve adherence to its highest level in seven years in key categories such as diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia.

Prescription drug trend is the measure of growth in prescription spending per member per month. Trend calculations take into account the effects of drug price, drug utilization and the mix of branded versus generic drugs as well as the positive effect of negotiated rebates on overall trend. The 2017 trend performance is based on a cohort of CVS Health PBM commercial clients, employers and health plans.

About CVS Health

CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,800 retail locations, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 94 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, expanding specialty pharmacy services, and a leading stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, the company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

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[1] The Morning Consult poll was conducted from February 22-26, 2018, among a national sample of 1992 registered voters. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

[2] Prescriptions submitted for reimbursement to Medicare, Medicaid or other federal or state programs are not eligible.

Why Aren’t More People Eating Breakfast?

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Woman Eating Breakfast

We may know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but that doesn’t mean we are taking it to heart and having a hearty breakfast. In fact, although 97 percent of Americans agree breakfast is the most important meal of the day, only 44 percent eat it every day.

The most common reasons people skip breakfast are they weren’t hungry, didn’t feel like eating, or they were too busy. Females are more likely than males to skip a morning meal because of being busy or running late.

Why is breakfast so important? A good way to look at it is that you are breaking the fast. When you go without breakfast, you have deprived your body of calories since the last time you’ve eaten. These calories help feed your brain and without them you may lack energy, and your metabolism needs fuel to kick-start it into action. Breakfast is important, so it’s important to consume a sufficient amount.

Studies show that people who eat a good breakfast actually consume more vitamins and minerals, and less fat and cholesterol, than people who skip breakfast.

Those who make eat breakfast have been shown to be better learners. Children who have breakfast are more likely to have better concentration, problem-solving skills, and hand-eye coordination.

Smart choices for breakfast include whole grains, fruit, and low-fat dairy products.

The whole grains and fruit contain high amounts of fiber, which tend to fill you up faster and will delay symptoms of hunger for hours.

If choosing a dry cereal, look for whole grain as one of the first ingredients. It should contain 3 to 5 grams of fiber, and read the nutrition facts label to make sure sugar doesn’t appear as one of the first three ingredients. Sugar may be listed with a word that ends in “ose,” which means some form of sugar is in the product. Some of the sugar-coated or frosted cereals may have as much as 2-3 teaspoons of sugar for a one eighth cup serving.

Oatmeal is another high fiber choice, and with the instant oatmeal on the market today, it can be prepared in fewer than 2 minutes. When paired with fresh fruit and milk, you have a healthy breakfast in a matter of minutes.

If you just don’t have the time to grab something at home and must go through the drive through of a fast food restaurant, there are healthy choices for you. Many are offering warm oatmeal, whole-grain bagels, rolls, and English muffins. These are better than fat-filled doughnuts, scones, croissants, or biscuits. Skip the oversize breakfast sandwiches, whole milk, bacon and sausage. All of these contribute excessive fat, calories, and cholesterol to your diet.

Breakfast foods don’t have to be traditional. They can be any combination, just make them nutritious and well balanced, and they are limited only by your creativity and imagination.

Breakfast doesn’t have to be the full-course meal. Those can be reserved for weekends. There are many nutritious choices out there that can be ready in minutes.

As your busy day begins, take a few minutes to include breakfast into your morning schedule. Egg in a Nest is quick, healthy and only has 3 ingredients. As an added bonus, your kids may be able to make it themselves depending upon their age.

 

Meet GSK’s April M. Dosunmu

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April D

During her 20 years with GSK, April M. Dosunmu has had many accomplishments, but her most recent accomplishment was leading the recruitment efforts for the launch of GSK’s U.S. Vaccines R&D headquarters based in Rockville, Maryland.

April had the opportunity to work directly with the Global Vaccines leadership team and the integration teams to facilitate the onboarding of the Novartis business and those teams into GSK.

Prior to staffing the U.S. Vaccines business, she worked intimately with helping to build an R&D Oncology business prior to the sale of that business to Novartis, and she established some of her best working relationships outside of human resources and recruitment.

Now she is working closely with members of the ViiV organization, which has innovative and passionate leaders whose single focus is HIV research and treatment. April is also passionate about her work around Diversity and Inclusion and working with GSK’s employee resources groups to help build internal and external networks to improve the company’s representation in diversity in the United States.

GSK

What are you looking for? A company that sees what you can do, not who you are? An inclusive culture that welcomes different perspectives, experiences, and styles? A chance to add your ideas to a rich diversity of thinking? An opportunity to make a difference?

Wouldn’t it be great if a company could answer all those questions for you. And, ask you to answer some of the biggest questions around like, what’s the future of healthcare? What does a truly global business look like? And how do you help millions of people worldwide to do more, feel better and live longer?

gsk.com/careers
GSK is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

How Achievable The 6 Most Common New Year’s Resolutions Really Are

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goals

With the holidays coming to a close, it’s time to get serious and set some New Year’s resolutions for 2018. Unfortunately, keeping those resolutions is often easier said than done.

In the spirit of setting achievable goals, we asked therapists to weigh in on six of the most common resolutions and grade them on a scale of 1-5 (with 1 being “very attainable” and 5 being “very difficult”). See what they had to say below.

1). LOSE WEIGHT
“Losing weight requires a fairly good understanding of nutrition and calorie intake. It also requires, rather uncomfortably, changing your diet and exercise ― two of your three most basic behavioral patterns (the other being sleep) ― and then maintaining those changes indefinitely. Before I was a psychologist, I worked as a personal trainer: You have to have structured goals and set attainable goal posts. Without structured goals, it’s my experience that people do well for two or three months, lose some weight, but then revert back to their previous lifestyle and gain the weight back throughout the year. Grade: 3/5.”—Ryan Kelly, a psychologist in Charlotte, North Carolina

2). GET ORGANIZED
“This is very achievable if you start small. Most people want to go from not taking any action to immediate results, which is unrealistic. Good habits are best built upon one another in small, easily achievable steps. If you want to get more organized, choose one tiny organizational skill you can do for five minutes a day until you’ve mastered it. For example, make it a goal to pick up your clothes from the floor each night before bed. It can be as simple as that. Grade: 1/5.”―Amanda Stemen, a therapist in Los Angeles, California

3). LEARN TO SAY ‘NO’
“Setting boundaries with others means understanding how to change patterns of people-pleasing. People often learn to say ‘yes’ when they’d rather not do something because in our culture, we’re rewarded for taking direction well in family and in work. Luckily, the pendulum is swinging where people are learning to practice taking care of their own needs. I recommend trusting your intuition when something feels right to you, and learning to stay grounded in your experience while still responding to the needs of others. If you’re bogged down at work before a vacation, say: ‘I hear that you need this work done by the deadline, but I also have time off scheduled and I’ll only get the most urgent things ready for the client before then. When I’m back, I’ll finish it.’ Grade: 3/5.”―Kari Carroll, a marriage and family therapist in Portland, Oregon

4). TRAVEL MORE
“Traveling is super easy to experience, and you don’t need a fancy trip to Indonesia like your friends on Instagram to escape the pressures of life and enjoy nature. Get creative and pay attention when others you know take excursions around your area. You can easily take day trips on the cheap to check out nearby towns, hikes, lakes, a resort pool or an obscure museum. Sometimes getting in the car and driving until you find something cool can be an adventure in and of itself. Grade: 1/5.”―Carroll

5). SPEND MORE TIME WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
“Post-holidays, you may have had more than enough of some people in your life. But if we’re not intentional about getting together, it will only happen when forced upon us by holidays or others. This one is very doable with some planning and intentionality to follow through. Get started by picking one person a month to reach out to, then be the one who initiates and plans the get together. Grade: 2/5.”―Kurt Smith, a therapist who specializes in counseling for men

6). LEARN A SKILL OR TAKE UP A NEW HOBBY
“As long as you’re not a perfectionist about this one, it’s achievable. I would phrase the goal as ‘time spent on a new hobby’ so it doesn’t feel like you haven’t made progress when you’ve practice tennis an hour a week and still miss the ball half the time months into it. I also think that trying new hobbies and skills is good because you may learn that you don’t actually enjoy the thing you thought you would. In that case, it’s better to switch and move onto something else. Grade: 3/5.”―Marie Land, a psychologist in Washington, D.C.

Read more from the Huffington Post here

Why Nursing Jobs are High in Demand

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Nursing Jobs

The United States is experiencing a shortage of qualified nurses. Perhaps the most unsettling result of the nursing shortage is that patient care may be adversely affected.

Another point of concern is that the shortage is occurring just as the massive Baby Boomer generation is aging into their senior years, when they will likely require more healthcare. Compounding the problem, a large number of Baby Boomer nurses are nearing retirement age.

The Nursing Shortage: Current and Projected Figures
According to data published by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the shortage of qualified registered nurses (RNs) will remain into the foreseeable future.

Due to growing demand, the healthcare job market is rapidly expanding. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that healthcare accounted for one out of every five new jobs created in 2012.

The BLS reported that registered nurse (RN) is a fast-growing occupation with an increase of 16 percent projected through 2024.

The nursing shortage is projected to continue nationwide, especially in the South and West, according to a report in the American Journal of Medical Quality.

Health Affairs reported that the nursing shortage will grow to 260,000 RNs by 2025—twice as large as shortages that have occurred since the mid-1960s.

Factors Leading to Nursing Shortage
Along with the aging of the Baby Boomer generation, a number of other factors have contributed to the looming shortage:

Opportunities expanded—Nursing was traditionally a female occupation. Because of limitations placed on women, it was one of the few professional fields open to them. Now, women are free to pursue whatever career they choose, and fewer are choosing nursing.

Not enough student nurses—Nursing school enrollment is not growing fast enough to meet demand.

A shortage of nursing educators—Applicants are being turned away from nursing schools because of a lack of qualified educators.

The recession—Many nurses who would have retired during the recession stayed on the job. Others who worked part time switched to full-time status.

States and Specialties Facing Nursing Shortages
In as many as 30 states, healthcare organizations are finding it difficult to fill nursing positions. For example, the American Journal of Medical Quality reported that by 2030, states such as Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa will lack sufficient numbers of RNs (shortages of 3,827; 1,757; and 1,243 respectively).

One area of specialty that is particularly under-served is neonatal intensive care nursing. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics found that NICUs were understaffed for 32 percent of their patients. The study of 560 NICUs found that while the average number of beds was 30, the average number of nurses per shift was 12, even though standards would have required 15.

Turning the Tide
Fortunately, nursing schools, healthcare organizations, and nursing associations are taking steps to increase the number of qualified nurses available to care for patients.

Improving retention—Nursing can be a stressful job at times, but a number of organizations across the country are working to boost the number of magnet-like hospital programs, where improved communication, increased staffing levels, and more autonomy can help give nurses better job satisfaction and in turn, increase the rate of retention while decreasing nurse stress levels.

Encouraging educators—Many states are focusing on scholarships, grants, and awareness programs aimed at increasing the number of nurse educators. By encouraging current RNs to return to school for advanced degrees, they hope to reduce the educator shortage and enroll more applicants in nursing schools.

Attracting new nurses—Creating awareness also extends to children and men. Campaigns aimed at middle and high school students help them learn about the positive aspects of a nursing career. At the same time, reaching out to men may help increase the number of nursing school applicants.

Source: villanovau.com, By Bisk on behalf of Villanova University

National Coming Out Day 2017: 11 Quotes To Celebrate LGBT Life

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Wednesday is National Coming Out Day, which is an annual lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, and intersex (LGBTQI) awareness day observed on Oct. 11.

It was founded in 1988 by Richard Eichberg, a psychologist, and Jean O’Leary, a gay rights activist, to spread awareness about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and its civil rights movement, according to American Psychological Association.

On Oct. 11, 1987, about half a million people participated in a March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, which was the second such demonstration in the nation’s capital. This march resulted in the formation of several LGBTQ organizations, including the National Latino/a Gay & Lesbian Organization (LLEGÓ ) and AT&T’s LGBTQ  employee group, League.

“Most people think they don’t know anyone gay or lesbian, and in fact everybody does,” cofounder Eichsberg said in 1993. “It is imperative that we come out and let people know who we are and disabuse them of their fears and stereotypes.”

Express your true self and respect your individuality with these 11 quotes collected from Brainyquote and Goodreads.

1. Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is. — Jim Morrison

2. To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

3. Be yourself, but always your better self. — Karl G. Maeser

4. The world is so obsessed with defining sexuality for everyone and attaching labels to it. Any time any person openly leaves the sexual norm, their sexuality becomes, more often than not, the absolute defining characteristic of that person. It becomes the first thing people think about and often the first thing they mention. Every other part of that person all but disappears. — Dan Pearce

Continue onto International Business Times to read the complete article.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Key terms you should know

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Patients may hear some — or all — of these words while speaking to their doctors about breast cancer. Understanding these terms and how they can affect you may be key to getting the help you need. 

Below are their definitions, as well some other common breast cancer-related terms and what they mean.

Benign: When something is not cancer.

BRCA-1 and BRCA-2: These two types of breast cancer susceptibility genes usually “help protect you from getting cancer,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains. “But when you have changes or mutations on one or both of your BRCA genes, cells are more likely to divide and change rapidly, which can lead to cancer.”

Carcinoma: The term signifies “cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs,” according to the charity Cancer Research UK.

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS): It’s “essentially a cell that looks like a breast cancer but it’s confined in the ducts” of the breast, Dr. Laura Spring with Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, told Fox News. It’s not yet able to spread distantly in the body, she explained.

BREAST CANCER SYMPTOMS TO LOOK OUT FOR

Dr. Adam Brufsky, a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine professor, stressed the importance of finding DCIS, saying that it could become invasive cancer if it’s left untreated.

HER2/neu: Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2/neu) is a type of “protein involved in cell growth and survival and appears on the surface of some breast cancer cells,” the Susan G. Komen website explains. Testing may be done to determine a patient’s HER2 status, which can indicate if there’s a high amount of HER2/neu in the cancer.

Patients may also be tested to find out their hormone receptor status, which indicates “whether or not a breast cancer needs hormones to grow,” Susan G. Komen says. HER2 status and hormone receptor status can affect the type of care someone gets.

Continue onto FOX News to learn more about these terms.

Curves kicked off their 25th birthday celebrations and will gift 25 female veterans $25,000 each toward owning their own Curves club

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Curves Fitness

In the ever-changing and highly competitive fitness industry, there are few brands that stand the test of time. September marks the 25th birthday of Curves International Inc., one of the largest chains of fitness clubs for women in the world with more than 4,000 locations in over 70 countries.

In 1992, Curves introduced the 30-minute strength training circuit and has since helped millions of women build healthier lives. Today, Curves kicked off their 25th birthday celebrations and announced that in honor of their 25th birthday, they will gift 25 female veterans each toward owning their own Curves club. To learn more about the Curves franchise opportunity gift and to apply, visit www.buycurves.com/veterans.

Curves has partnered with F7 Group to hand-pick the 25 winners of the Curves franchise opportunity gift. F7 Group is an organization dedicated to helping female veterans and women in military families strengthen themselves, their careers and their communities. Through support and mentoring, the F7 Group empowers and equips female veterans and women in military families for their entrepreneurial journeys.

“We can’t think of a better way to underscore Curves’ commitment to helping women get stronger in all aspects of their lives than by supporting 25 female veterans to become business owners. These new business owners will seek to improve the health of women in their community,” said Monty Sharma, CEO of Curves International, Inc. “Curves has an incredibly strong and dedicated community of women worldwide and we are thrilled to celebrate this 25th birthday with them.”

Throughout the month of September, Curves will celebrate their 25th birthday at their locations worldwide through a series of unique opportunities and incentives:

  • The first 25 members at every club who join between August 28thSeptember 27th can join for free with the purchase of an annual membership*
  • On September 28, Curves will be celebrating the 25th birthday around the globe with special workouts and local in-club parties. Non-members can also join their local Curves for 25 cents to celebrate the day.**
  • Follow Curves on Facebook and Instagram and comment on their giveaway post for the chance to win free goodies
  • Join the party on social media by following #25YearsStrong and #CurvesStrong
  • Be heard on social media! Go to https://www.thunderclap.it/curves to register and share a special birthday post on social media.

Curves is a club designed specifically for women, providing a 30-minute total body workout, along with a supportive and non-judgmental environment for fitness, weight loss and healthy living.

For more information, visit www.curves.com

ABOUT CURVES INTERNATIONAL, INC.
Curves International, Inc. is one of the largest chains of fitness clubs for women in the world with more than 4,000 locations in more than 70 countries and is famous for its 30-minute Circuit with a Coach that works every major muscle group with strength training, cardio and stretching. Curves Specialty Classes*** offer workout moves for key focus areas like strength, balance and flexibility. With Curves Complete, women have a fully integrated, personalized weight loss and weight management solution that includes the Curves fitness program, customizable meal plans and one-on-one coaching and support. Curves is committed to providing women with the tools necessary to empower them to live more fulfilling lives. For more information, please visit curves.com.

ABOUT F7 GROUP
The F7 Group was founded in 2010 when USAF Veteran, Cassaundra Melgar-C’De Baca realized there was a lack of resources for Female Veterans and Women in Military families who had the desire to be entrepreneurs. As a very successful entrepreneur herself with many ventures under her belt, she began the long journey to where they are today. Through support and mentoring, the F7 Group provides female veterans and women in military families with essential access to resources within their communities to help empower and equip them for their entrepreneurial journeys. In 2013, the Group’s CEO and Founder, Ms. Melgar-C’De Baca, MBA, was honored as the first female veteran to be named Champion of Change by The White House.

No purchase necessary to enter. Open to eligible female US veterans who are legal residents of the US. Void where prohibited. All entrants must read and agree to the Official Rules at www.buycurves.com/veterans. 25 winners, if qualified and approved, will receive a $25,000 credit, which covers the Initial Franchise Fee and part of the equipment cost. Winners will be required to pay other initial fees, including but not limited to the remainder of the equipment cost ($15,034), cost of all permits and licenses, expenses to attend training and other fees as described in our Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). This giveaway and the information relating thereto is not an offer to sell a franchise, which can only be done in a state where our FDD is filed and registered, or we are exempted, as set by state law, and only if we deliver the FDD in compliance with applicable law.

*Joining fee waived for first 25 members who join at each location starting 8/28/17. Monthly membership fees required and vary by location. Offer based on enrollment for a 12-month recurring billing fitness membership. Valid at participating locations. Cannot be combined with any other offer. No cash value. Expires 9/27/17.

**Monthly membership fees also required and vary by location. Offer based on first visit enrollment for a 12-month recurring billing fitness membership. Valid at participating locations. Cannot be combined with any other offer. No cash value. Valid only on 9/28/17.

***Classes offered at participating clubs only

SOURCE Curves

10 Reasons to Breastfeed

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Dr. Lorna Shepard

August is National Breastfeeding Month. In recognition of the health benefits to women and infants, Dr. Lorna C. Shepherd shares 10 Reasons to Breastfeed.

1. Decreases incidence or severity of infectious diseases in the infant and fewer allergies are reported.

2. Decreases rates of sudden infant death syndrome.

3. Decreases rates of development of chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes later in life.

4. Enhances neurodevelopment in the infant and improves cognitive development.

5. Promotes mother-child bonding.

6. Decreases postpartum bleeding in the mother.

7. Enables more rapid uterine involution in the mother.

8. Enables earlier return to pre-pregnant weight for the mother.

9. It is economical for mothers & families dealing with other related costs of having a child!!

10. It is simply the BEST nutrition for the infant!! Adequate nutrients in the right quantities, at the right temperature, and well absorbed by the infant.

Dr. Lorna C. Shepherd, Ed.D. R.D., L.D/N., is the Chair for the Union Institute & University Master of Arts Online Program Health & Wellness and Bachelor of Science Maternal & Child Health Program. Both of these programs offer a career path in human lactation. The United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) sponsors National Breastfeeding Month to raise awareness of the health benefits to women and infants. This year’s National Breastfeeding Month theme—Charting the Course Together—will focus on how we can use data and measurement to build and reinforce the connections between breastfeeding and a broad spectrum of other health topics and initiatives.

Union Institute & University is a national university with five academic centers located in: Hollywood, Florida, Cincinnati, Ohio, Sacramento and Los Angeles California, and Brattleboro, Vermont. To learn more, visit www.myunion.edu or call 800-861-6400.

Military Spouse Finds Future in Healthy, Affordable Food Prep.

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Founder and CEO of Healthy Momma, Flossie Hall is an active duty Navy spouse of 15 years and a mother of four, ranging in age from 6 to 17.   Like many military spouses today, despite having a college degree, Flossie faced employment challenges due to her husband’s frequent deployments and multiple moves.  In fact, Flossie was headed to medical school when orders were received for her husband to deploy overseas – again.  Unemployed in San Diego with four children and a husband in harm’s way, many might have considered it easier to pack up and move ‘back home’ to be closer to family for support.  Not Flossie.

Living in San Diego is expensive, where one in five active-duty military families qualify for food subsidies according to Feed America.  With money and time being tight, Flossie had started preparing fresh cooked meals in bulk for her family each week.  Word soon spread and she found herself cooking healthy meals for other military families.  Marrying her passion for eating healthy and a desire to meet a growing need for affordable meals outside our nation’s drive-thru windows, Healthy Momma was born.  In the beginning, the majority of her customers were other military families, but that soon changed with the help of The Rosie Network, a local nonprofit whose mission is to help veterans and military spouses successfully launch and grow their small businesses.

Within the first six months, Flossie was producing nearly 6,000 meals a week out of a commercial kitchen and employed over 40 people – mostly military spouses and veterans looking for flexible hours and supplemental income.  Today, Healthy Momma has surpassed 1M in sales, provided over a quarter of a million affordable, healthy meals in San Diego and has become a resource and mentor to other military spouse entrepreneurs.  She has been featured in the Military Entrepreneur MAG and was recently nominated by the San Diego Business Journal as a 2016 Most Admired CEO.

Flossie turned her personal struggles juggling kids and military life, into a thriving businesses that offers a flexible work environment where military kids are often present during meetings.  She knows all too well the chaotic needs of the military spouse community and has made it part of her mission to make a difference.

“Donating my time and meals to military families in need is the least I can do for those who serve our country and the spouses who serve beside them,” said Flossie when asked what she enjoys most about being an small business owner.”

What’s next for this young Wonder Woman?  Taking Healthy Momma nationwide.  Flossie is on a mission to show America that a meal delivery service doesn’t have to be a “luxury item,” and that healthy food can be delicious, easy and most of all, affordable. With meals ranging for $3-$8 each, options for family style meals, kid’s meals, low carb, gluten free and just about everything in between, there truly is something for everyone. So whether you’re a busy mom, a single sailor, moving into a new home, experiencing a loss or illness, a college student away from home, or just someone who loves good food, Healthy Momma has you covered.

7 Strategies to Advance Women in Science

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stem cell research

Despite the progress made by women in science, engineering, and medicine, a glance at most university directories or pharmaceutical executive committees tells a more complex story. Women in science are succeeding in fields that may not even be conscious of the gender imbalances.

In a recent issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell, the Initiative on Women in Science and Engineering Working Group—of more than 30 academic and business leaders organized by the New York Stem Cell Foundation presented seven strategies to advance women in science, engineering, and medicine in this modern landscape.

“We wanted to think about broad ways to elevate the entire field, because when we looked at diversity programs across our organizations we thought that the results were okay, but they really could be better,” said Susan L. Solomon, co-founder and CEO of the New York Stem Cell Foundation and a member of the working group. “We’ve identified some very straightforward things to do that are inexpensive and could be implemented pretty much immediately.”

  1. Implement flexible family care spending

Make grants gender neutral by permitting grantees to use a certain percentage of grant award funds to pay for childcare, eldercare, or family-related expenses. This provides more freedom for grantees to focus on professional development and participate in the scientific community.

  1. Provide “extra hands” awards

Dedicate funds for newly independent young investigators who are also primary caregivers and hire technicians, administrative assistants, or postdoctoral fellows.

  1. Recruit gender-balanced review and speaker selection committees

Adopt policies that ensure that peer review committees are conscious of gender and are made up of a sufficient number of women.

  1. Incorporate implicit bias statements

For any initiative that undergoes external peer review, include a statement that describes the concept of implicit bias to reviewers and reiterates the organization’s commitment to equality and diversity.

  1. Focus on education as a tool

Academic institutions and grant makers must educate their constituents and grantees on the issues women face in science and medicine. For example, gender awareness training should be a standard component of orientation programs.

  1. Create an institutional report card for gender equality

Define quantifiable criteria that can be used to evaluate gender equality in institutions on an annual basis. For instance, these report cards may ask for updates about the male to female ratio of an academic department or the organization’s policy regarding female representation on academic or corporate committees.

  1. Partner to expand upon existing searchable databases

Create or contribute to databases that identify women scientists for positions and activities that are critical components for career advancement.

“The issues in science, technology, engineering, and medicine are the kinds of challenges that we as a society face, and we need to have 100 percent of the population have an opportunity to participate,” Solomon said. “We need people who care because they’re thinking about their daughters or granddaughters or nieces, sisters or wives, or larger issues like finding cures for disease or climate change and they want to make sure that we’ve got enough horsepower behind us.”

Source: Cell Press