Pharmacists trained by Kentucky Cancer Program to provide education, support and follow-up to help smokers through cessation process
DEERFIELD, Ill., Feb 21, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Walgreens /quotes/zigman/245520/quotes/nls/wag WAG +0.43% /quotes/zigman/245520/quotes/nls/wag WAG +0.43% pharmacists at eight of the drugstore chain’s convenient Louisville locations are partnering with Passport Health Plan, a local Medicaid health plan, on a new smoking cessation program which launched in early January 2012. The program is free to Walgreens customers and Passport members and aims to improve the community’s health by giving smokers the tools, resources and ongoing clinical pharmacist counseling to help achieve their cessation goals.
Participating Walgreens pharmacists and technicians have undergone specialized training provided by the Kentucky Cancer Program at the University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center. The program provides further education on tobacco treatment, and helped in the development of Walgreens formal, 12-month process for helping those interested in tobacco cessation.
“The harmful effects of tobacco use are well-documented, and by working closely with our community pharmacists who people know and trust, we hope to encourage more smokers under Passport Health Plan to improve their health through this free program to help them quit,” said Greg Baker, Walgreens pharmacy supervisor for Louisville. “The cessation process can be very challenging. We believe the ongoing dialogue with pharmacists, who are among the most accessible health care professionals in the community, can be an effective tool in working with and supporting people to overcome those challenges.”
“Smoking and tobacco use are complex problems that require different approaches to adequately address,” said Stephen Houghland, M.D., chief medical officer for Passport Health Plan. “We believe that addressing this critical driver of negative health outcomes in as many areas where our members are, and with people they trust, is a great opportunity to truly make a difference in their health and quality of life.”
Passport Health Plan members identified as tobacco users can enroll by visiting one of the eight participating Walgreens pharmacy locations. Upon enrollment, pharmacists will work with patients through a multi-step process that includes:
— Information and education on smoking cessation
— Cessation options and tools, products and therapies
— Regularly-scheduled patient follow up for the next 12 months
The program is now offered at the following Louisville Walgreens stores:
— 3421 W. Broadway
— 3980 Dixie Highway
— 1475 Dixie Highway
— 700 Algonquin Parkway
— 200 E. Broadway
— 1008 N. Mulberry St.
— 1602 N. Dixie Highway
— 550 W. Dixie Highway
Walgreens will be sharing program results with Passport Health Plan on a monthly basis and will also be measuring the program’s effectiveness for individuals enrolled over a six- and 12-month period.
“We applaud Walgreens for stepping up to help patients in two districts of Kentucky and Southern Indiana end tobacco use, in this pilot initiative,” said Celeste T. Worth, Professional Education and Training Manager at the Kentucky Cancer Program. “We are pleased to work with Walgreens pharmacies in their efforts to help customers get the medications and counseling they need to successfully overcome nicotine addiction.”
Walgreens ( http://www.walgreens.com ) is the nation’s largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2011 sales of $72 billion. The company operates 7,830 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Each day, Walgreens provides nearly 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy service includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.
About Passport Health Plan
Passport Health Plan is a unique public-private partnership with the Commonwealth of Kentucky and a provider-sponsored, Medicaid health plan serving more than 170,000 members in 16 Kentucky counties. The Plan has operated successfully over the past 14 years. The counties of service include Breckinridge, Bullitt, Carroll, Grayson, Hardin, Henry, Jefferson, Larue, Marion, Meade, Nelson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, Trimble and Washington. Passport Health Plan is sponsored by the University of Louisville Medical School Practice Association, University of Louisville Hospital, Jewish and St. Mary’s Healthcare, Norton Healthcare, and the Louisville/Jefferson County Primary Care Association, which includes the Metro Louisville Department for Health and Wellness and Louisville’s two federally qualified health centers, Family Health Centers and Park DuValle. For additional information, please visit http://www.passporthealthplan.com .
About the Kentucky Cancer Program (KCP)
Their mission is to promote education, research and service programs to reduce the heavy burden of cancer in our state. KCP is recognized nationally as a unique program that is state-funded, university-affiliated, and community-based. KCP is the state-mandated cancer control program, jointly administered by the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky. For more information, contact (502) 852-6318 or visit the Kentucky Cancer Program online at http://www.kycancerprogram.org .
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