4 Ways to Have a Healthier and Happier Holiday

‘Tis the season to overeat, overspend, and overcommit—sound familiar? Although it’s often easier said than done, there are ways to buck these trends. Focus on health and happiness—rather than the number of gifts exchanged. That can bring priceless payoffs to you and your family. Here are a few simple ideas to consider.

  1. Eat well, but don’t deprive yourself. Do you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or another health condition that requires healthy eating choices? Or are you simply among the crowd that packs on extra pounds during the holidays? If so, plan ahead.

Have one or two strategies that make it possible to enjoy yourself without hurting your health. Here are a few examples: Bring a healthy dish to share at potlucks. Go easy on the liquid calories, especially alcohol. Treat yourself, but set limits—maybe limit sweet treats to once a week.1

  1. Do some healthcare “housekeeping.” The flu or other illness is sure to put a big damper on anyone’s holiday. Take steps to make this less likely for you and those around you. Wash your hands often to help prevent the spread of germs. Get your annual vaccines, if you haven’t already.

The end of the year is also a good time to check if you need any exams and to sign up for insurance, unless you’ve done so already. Also, take advantage of family time to flesh out your family’s medical history.2,3 If you or someone you know is making multiple trips a month to pickup medication talk to our pharmacist about consolidating those trips and even set up automatic refills so your medication is always ready.

  1. Focus on experiences, not things. Studies have shown that helping others can increase your own levels of happiness. This could be anything from volunteering at a local food bank to simply picking up prescriptions for a neighbor. There is no shortage of ways to get involved during the holidays—and all year long.

Here’s another way to focus on experiences: Create your own holiday traditions. Try some caroling with your family or friends. So what if your Uncle Charles is tone deaf? Just have some fun. And there’s another bonus: singing lowers stress.4

Or maybe you’d enjoy cutting down your own tree, taking in a high school performance of the Nutcracker, or turning your holiday cards into gratitude cards. By adding personal notes that express your appreciation, you can boost your own happiness as well.4

  1. Turn down the “doer dial.” Does it feel as though everything speeds up during the holidays? That can be really stressful. This is not a race. And no matter the messages you’re receiving, you don’t need to do it all. Take breaks when you need them. (Introverts, this especially applies to you!) Put another log on the fire, take a bubble bath, snuggle up with your sweetie, or sleep in—guilt free. Remember: if you take good care of yourself, you can be more present for the people you love. And after all, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.

 

 

Sources

 

  1. Huffington Post: 8 Tips for Staying Healthy and Happy During the Holidays. Available at: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/leana-wen-md/holidays-health_b_2341813.html Accessed 11-3-17.

 

  1. CDC: 12 Ways to Have a Healthy Holiday Season. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/features/healthytips/index.html Accessed 11-3-17.

 

  1. Consumer Reports: 40 Tips for healthy holidays: 40 ways to get the most out of the season. Available at https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/11/happier-healthier-holidays/index.htm Accessed 11-3-17.

 

  1. Prevention: How To Have 31 Days of Healthy, Happy Holidays. Available at: https://www.prevention.com/mind-body/emotional-health/31-days-happy-healthy-stress-free-holidays Accessed 11-3-17.

 

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Pharmacy Conference Helps Local Pharmacy Technician Improve Professional Skills

Pharmacy Conference Helps Local Pharmacy Technician Improve Professional Skills

Sun Praire, WI, April 11, 2017

Bridgett Edgar, pharmacy technician at Pharm A Save in Monroe  recently attended the IPC Independent Pharmacy Conference in Scottsdale, AZ.  At the three day conference she participated in nearly 10 hours of continuing pharmacy education courses.

Meeting organizers said that during the educational sessions attendess were updated on the latest trends in prescription medications.  They were also brought up to date on the latest rules and regulations affecting the practice of pharmacy.   Edgar says she was pleased with the information she gained and will use it as she strives to insure her patients get the maximum benefit from the medication Pharm A Save provides.   Edgar participated in the meeting as the official pharmacy technician representative of the Washington State Pharmacist Association.

According Don Anderson, President and CEO of the Independent Pharmacy Cooperative (IPC) said a primary goal of the meeting was to provide formal business classes and a forum where pharmacy owners can learn from others whose experience will help them take better care of their customers.

About IPC: Formed in 1983 IPC is the nation’s largest group purchasing organization.  The cooperative serves the needs of nearly 6000 independent pharmacy owners across the country.  With locations in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and Phoenix, Arizona, IPC prides itself on providing access to programs and services that enable pharmacy owners to operate more modern, up to date and profitable pharmacies.    Continue reading Pharmacy Conference Helps Local Pharmacy Technician Improve Professional Skills

Thank You for the Honor, It’s What We Do Everyday

Thank You for the Honor, It’s What We Do Everyday

 On Thanksgiving Day, families across the country will come together around dining room tables. Many will share a bountiful feast and give thanks for many blessings. What better time than the month of November to also give thanks for our customers?

We are particularly grateful this year: In the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Pharmacy Study, Health Mart independent pharmacies were ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Chain Drug Store Pharmacies.” We outpaced other “brick-and-mortar” chain drug stores in four of five categories:

  • Our stores
  • Our cost competitiveness
  • Our pharmacists
  • Our non-pharmacy staff

The pharmacy study is now in its eighth year. This year, it was based on responses from 14,789 pharmacy customers who filled or refilled a prescription during the three months prior to the survey period of June 2016.

Personalized service. The survey also found that health and wellness services enhance customer satisfaction. We’re pleased by this finding. It validates the approach we use. This includes highly valued services such as consolidating medication pick-up, medication therapy management, and individualized disease health coaching.  You will be seeing some other valued services coming soon!

This kind of personalized service is a contrast to the approach offered by many large chain drug stores. By contrast, we take the time to care for you and your family right in your community. We take the time to hear our patients and provide trusted advice to answer your health questions.

Trusted advice. Patients can trust the advice offered at their local Health Mart pharmacy. Our pharmacists’ extensive training and expertise can help set your mind at ease. That’s because you know you can rely on their considerable knowledge to provide informed care and help you achieve optimal results from your medications.

How do we do this? For one, we simplify the language of prescription coverage—making it easier to understand without compromising accuracy. We also provide clinical services that can help you stay well. And we partner, as needed, with health care providers to enhance the quality of your healthcare.

Customer loyalty. Personalized service plus trusted advice is clearly a winning combination. And, as seen in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Pharmacy Study, Health Mart is surpassing the industry average in customer loyalty.

We accomplish this in many ways. For example, we don’t treat you as a number. We know that you’re a unique person with unique needs, which we strive to address. We accept most insurance plans and make it easy to transfer prescriptions. It also helps that our locally owned pharmacies are a part of the community—close to where our patients work, shop, and live.

Again, thank you for honoring us with this award. It means a great deal to us. But awards or no, we’ll keeping doing what we enjoy doing: delivering the very best care possible for our patients.

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.

 

Source

  1. J.D. Power press release: “Health Mart, Publix, Sam’s Club, Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy Rank Highest in Respective Segments.” Available at: http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/jd-power-2016-us-pharmacy-study. Accessed: 10-4-16.

News about the Flu Vaccine

It’s really tough to stay on top of all the health news these days. We’re here to help. Since the flu season is right around the corner, here’s a snapshot of recent news stories about the flu vaccine.

Flu shot helps people with diabetes. The seasonal flu vaccine is now recommended for everyone 6 months and older.1 But for some people it can be a matter of life and death.

During a seven-year study, British researchers looked at a group of nearly 125,000 people with type 2 diabetes—people who have a higher risk of cardiovascular problems.2 In those with type 2 diabetes, the flu vaccine was linked with reductions in flu-season hospital admissions, including a:

  • 30 percent reduction in admission for stroke
  • 22 percent reduction in admissions for heart failure
  • 19 percent reduction in admissions for heart attack
  • 15 percent reduction in admissions for pneumonia or influenza

Among those who received a flu shot, the death rate was 24 percent lower than in those who had not been vaccinated. The study didn’t prove a cause-and-effect connection between the two. But the results are pretty compelling.

Limits of the flu vaccine “twofer.” How do infants benefit when their moms have a flu shot during pregnancy? Previous studies showed a benefit, for sure. Now we know how long it likely lasts. Researchers in South Africa assessed more than 1,000 infants whose moms received a flu shot while pregnant. During the first eight weeks after birth the vaccines were 85.6 percent effective.3 After that, effectiveness ranged from about:

  • 25 percent at eight to 16 weeks
  • 30 percent at 16 to 24 weeks

It’s helpful to know this because current vaccines don’t work well in infants younger than six months, and infants have high rates of the flu. Talk to me about other ways you can protect your baby. That includes washing your hands often, keeping your baby away from sick people, and making sure everyone else in your family is vaccinated.1

 Get your flu shot. If you’re like many people, getting a flu vaccination can easily slip your mind. But a flu shot is too important to get bumped to the bottom of your priority list. Every flu season is different, and every person responds to the flu in a different way. The flu can lead to hospitalizations and even death. The flu season often begins in October, so there’s no better time than the present.

Long-term protection. More good news? Another study has found that flu vaccines offer moderate protection for about six months. That’s the length of most flu seasons. The study’s findings suggest that a flu shot in early fall may prevent the greatest number of cases.

Want to get a jump-start on that flu shot instead? Well, then, October is your month. Call us  or just stop by for your flu shot options.  We are ready if you need us.  If you do catch the flu this season stop in for your flu needs and talk with our pharmacist about your symptoms.  We are here to help.

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.

 

Sources

  1. What You Should Know for the 2015-201 Influenza Season. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2015-2016.htm Accessed 8-13-16.
  2. Flu Shot Tied to Fewer Hospitalizations, Deaths in Type 2 Diabetes Patients. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_160085.html Accessed 8-31-16.
  3.  Pregnancy Flu Shot Protects Newborn for 8 Weeks: Study. Available at:       https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_159719.html  Accessed 8-31-16.