OPERATIONS

CVS offers pharmacist Facebook chat for American Heart Month

BY Staff Writer

New York City — CVS/pharmacy announced on Thursday that it is providing several free services, educational information and special product offers during February’s American Heart Month.

As part of its new Project Health wellness and free health screenings program, CVS/pharmacy will provide free blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index and osteoporosis screenings every weekday in February from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at select CVS/pharmacy locations in Atlanta; Chicago; Dallas-Fort Worth; Detroit; Houston; Los Angeles; Miami; New York; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; and Puerto Rico.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, CVS/pharmacy’s Project Health will deliver more than $21 million worth of free health screenings to multicultural communities this year to help prevent disease through early detection. More than 1,000 Project Health events will be held during five disease-specific national health awareness months, including Heart Health Month.

To further help patients by answering their questions about heart health and managing cardiovascular disease, CVS/pharmacy will host a live Facebook chat with a CVS pharmacist on Feb. 15 from noon to 1:30 p.m. The live online event will be free and open to the public, and can be accessed by logging on to the CVS/pharmacy Facebook page.

"As a pharmacy innovation company, we are pleased to provide free resources, such as Project Health screenings and an online pharmacist chat, to help people on their path to better health during American Heart Month," stated Papatya Tankut, VP pharmacy professional services at CVS/pharmacy. "In addition to these programs, CVS pharmacists are always available to support their patients’ heart health by counseling them on ways to lower prescriptions costs, manage their medications and improve medication adherence in order to achieve better health outcomes."

In further recognition of American Heart Month, CVS/pharmacy will provide healthy savings and tips through its 2012 Heart Smart Guide, which is available at select locations across the United States in February.

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OPERATIONS

San Francisco expands plastic bag ban to all retailers

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a proposal to expand the city’s bag on plastic bags from grocery stores and pharmacies to all retailers, including restaurants.

The expanded regulations also call for customers to pay a 10-cent surcharge for paper bags at the point of purchase. The businesses charging the fee will keep the money to use how they see fit.

The proposal, which would go into effect in October, is backed by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the California Grocers Association and the city’s Small Business Commission. It would exempt the use of plastic bags for items such as loose nails, dry cleaning and restaurant “doggy-bags.”

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OPERATIONS

Ellen DeGeneres addresses J.C. Penney controversy

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — The popular television talk show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres said she was “proud and happy” that J.C. Penney remained committed to her after One Million Moms asked the retailer to dump her as a spokesperson because she is gay.

The group, a division of the conservative American Family Association, warned they would boycott J.C. Penney stores if the chain did not go along with their request.

DeGeneres addressed the issue on Tuesday at the taping of her television show. The show will air on Wednesday.

“They wanted to get me fired and I am proud and happy to say that J.C. Penney stuck by their decision to make me their spokesperson,” DeGeneres said.

The comedian said that “normally I try not to pay attention to my haters, but this time I’d like to talk about it because my haters are my motivators.”

The conservative group accused J.C. Penney of trying to appeal to a new target market by getting on board the “pro-gay bandwagon” with the hiring of DeGeneres.

"Being gay or pro-gay isn’t a bandwagon,” DeGeneres said at the taping of her show. “You don’t get a free ride anywhere. There’s no music. And occasionally we’ll sing ‘We Are Family’ but that’s about it.”

She also poked fun at the group, saying that the One Million Moms group “only has 40,000 members on their [Facebook] page. So they’re rounding up to the nearest million and I get that.”

DeGeneres has an estimated 9 million followers on Twitter.

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