Author Archives: Alisha Martin

Christiana Care Dedicates New Atrium at Wilmington Hospital to AZ

AstraZeneca continuously seeks opportunities to improve health in our local communities, including through its support of partners and programs that make a difference in the lives of patients and their families.  On Tuesday, July 22, Christiana Care Health System dedicated its new atrium at Wilmington Hospital to AstraZeneca during a special ribbon-cutting ceremony, in a show of appreciation for the company’s $1 million contribution to support the Wilmington Hospital Transformation Project, designed to advance patient and family centered care.

At the event, Christiana Care Health System unveiled a plaque, which will be displayed in the atrium and serves to commemorate AstraZeneca and Christiana Care’s shared commitment to improving patient health.  Joining in the celebration with Christiana Care and AstraZeneca executives and employees were government officials, including Delaware Governor Jack Markell, and other community and business leaders.

“AstraZeneca is dedicated to building strong, healthy communities across the state of Delaware and nationwide,” said Paul Hudson, president, AstraZeneca U.S. and executive vice president, North America.  “Christiana Care shares in this commitment, and we’re pleased to support the expansion of its outstanding hospital system, which supports a patient-centered culture and delivers critical health resources to our community every day.”

Atrium - back view

The skylit atrium, complete with a waterfall fountain set amid lush indoor garden beds, serves as a new main entryway for Christiana Care patients, family and employees.  It provides patients and their families with easy access to the new Wilmington Hospital Health Center, a full-service health care provider offering wellness and preventive health care visits for patients of all ages, as well as the Gateway Building, a 51,000-square-foot medical office building that allows doctors to practice onsite.  Both the Wilmington Hospital Health Center and the Gateway Building will open this fall.  The atrium also connects to Wilmington Hospital’s new outdoor Healing Garden and the First State School, one of only three hospital-based schools in the nation for students with serious illnesses.

The Wilmington Hospital Transformation Project, which includes a number of other improvements – from a new main lobby and intensive care unit, to an expanded emergency department and more – is expected to be completed in the spring of 2015.

“We are thankful to philanthropic partners like AstraZeneca for helping us transform the Wilmington Hospital campus so we can serve our neighbors in Wilmington and the surrounding region,” said Robert J. Laskowski, M.D., MBA, president and CEO, Christiana Care. “AstraZeneca’s generous investment enables us to provide more access to care and greater value for our patients.”

On Mother’s Day, AZ Recognizes Women Living With MBC

Visit http://www.MyMBCStory.com and plant a flower in the Inspiration Garden to support women living with metastatic breast cancer.

Mother’s Day can be particularly emotional for women living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) and their families. This Mother’s Day and throughout the month of May, join AstraZeneca in supporting these women and the MBC community by visiting My+Story at www.MyMBCStory.com and planting a flower in the Inspiration Garden. In support of this initiative and others, AstraZeneca will donate to breast cancer organizations for their continued support of women living with MBC. Help us reach our 500-flower goal by May 31!

New to the site is Jewel Crawford Ajibade’s personal account of her own MBC journey. A wife, a mother, and a friend to many, Jewel is no stranger to breast cancer. Her mom and aunt both lived with the disease, and dealing with her own diagnosis requires strength each day. Despite the challenges of managing the disease, Jewel has directed her energy into patient advocacy work with LBBC and has become a source of inspiration for others. Read her story here.

The My+Story site also houses tools and information tailored for women living with MBC, including treatment options and tips on disease management. To reinforce the power of imagery and the importance of capturing memories, visitors may also create a customized, hard copy photobook of personal stories that may be shared with loved ones. The Web site is designed to connect the MBC community with the information they need and links to patient support groups that have specific programs for patients with MBC.

 

2971504 Last Updated 4/14

AZ Joins Global Community in Recognizing World Ovarian Cancer Day

AstraZeneca Recognizes 2nd World Ovarian Cancer Day

AstraZeneca Recognizes 2nd World Ovarian Cancer Day

On May 8, 2014, AstraZeneca will join the global community in recognizing World Ovarian Cancer Day (WOCD), designed to raise awareness for ovarian cancer – a disease which still ranks fifth in cancer deaths among U.S. women and claims more deaths than any other female cancer of the reproductive system.

In line with this year’s theme, AstraZeneca is calling on people to take five minutes out of their day to share five facts about ovarian cancer with five friends or family members. We want as many people as possible to sign the WOCD pledge at www.ovariancancerday.org and help spread this message.

A woman’s risk for developing ovarian cancer and her subsequent prognosis are influenced by several factors, including age, early diagnosis, and family history. Women with BRCA mutations are at a heightened risk of developing ovarian cancer and it is estimated that as many as 40 percent of women with the genetic mutation will go on to be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime. At AstraZeneca, we recognize the severity of the unmet treatment need for women living with ovarian cancer.

AstraZeneca remains committed to expanding our more than 30-year history in oncology through continued gynecologic cancer research.  As we look forward, we consider it important to engage with the ovarian cancer community. Ultimately, our drive to work towards solutions in the field of oncology is fueled by our dedication to meet the shifting needs of patients – wherever they may be in their journey.

We look forward to a day on which we can celebrate all of the unmet needs in ovarian cancer being met. Until then, we recognize the importance of this day as an opportunity to raise awareness.

AZ Asks APA Attendees to “Help Us Help Others” and Support Mental Health

By Emily Denney, Head of External Affairs, AstraZeneca

HUHOAstraZeneca believes that a healthier world cannot come from medicines alone. That is why we support the efforts of nonprofit organizations working to improve health in communities across the US. We collaborate with many organizations who share our passion for making a meaningful difference to patient health across therapeutic areas.

One way we show our support is with our Help Us Help Others program that was started by AstraZeneca to engage healthcare professionals at medical meetings by asking them to join the company in supporting non-profit organizations working to improve healthcare. It will now expand to include programs in mental health. For more than 50 years, AstraZeneca has been committed to raising awareness of mental health conditions and the availability of resources and services to developing treatment options that help patients manage mental health conditions.

The Help Us Help Others program will be featured at the 167th American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting, in New York City May 3-7. Conference attendees can visit our booth (#937) for an interactive experience, including patient and healthcare professional videos that show the journey through bipolar diagnosis, treatment and adherence. After visiting the booth, attendees can select one of three mental health organizations—Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Mental Health America, or the National Council for Behavioral Healthcare, to receive a donation from AstraZeneca to support patient programs.

This effort underscores AstraZeneca’s commitment to connect people and communities with resources that improve health and well-being and help the organizations make a meaningful difference in their communities.

You can learn more about AstraZeneca’s focus on innovation and improving health in communities across the US here.

2979908 Last Updated 4/14

AZ’s Amanda Mott honored at HBA’s Woman of the Year event

Amanda MottAstraZeneca’s Amanda Mott, Executive Business Director – Sales, was honored as AZ’s HBA Rising Star at the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association’s (HBA) 25th annual Woman of the Year event on May 1.

HBA Rising Stars are professionals in various sectors of the healthcare industry and are designated by HBA’s corporate partner organizations. These individuals represent various career stages and are recognized for significantly contributing to their organization, exemplifying leadership and serving as a role model to others, assisting those in subordinate or peer positions as a team player, exhibiting dedication to the healthcare industry, and representing a true example of top talent in their organization.

AstraZeneca Vice President of Marketing Paul Spittle nominated Amanda saying, 

Amanda’s passion for patient health, and her leadership and commitment to her teams have led to exceptional business results and the respect from employees across AstraZeneca. She is a role model and a champion for professional development and networking, and inspires others to push boundaries and define the future, for themselves and for the company. With a diverse background in the pharmaceutical industry, including Legal, Managed Markets, Government Affairs, Marketing, and Sales, Amanda brings a unique perspective to the team and we are honored to name her our 2014 Rising Star.”

Paul Hudson, President, AstraZeneca U.S. and Executive Vice President, North America, sat down with Amanda to discuss this honor and what it means to be AZ’s HBA Rising Star.

AstraZeneca congratulates Amanda for receiving this distinguished recognition!

AZ Leaders Host Patient Centricity Dinner Discussion

AstraZeneca’s Paul Hudson and Greg Keenan mingle with dinner guests.

AstraZeneca’s Paul Hudson and Greg Keenan mingle with dinner guests.

At AstraZeneca, patients are why we come to work every day.  We always seek to understand and reflect their needs.  And we pay close attention to the wider healthcare environment and continuously look for opportunities to collaborate, exchange ideas and learn from others across the industry who share a common goal of improving patient health.

On Monday, April 21 in Washington, D.C., AstraZeneca leaders – including Paul Hudson, President, AstraZeneca U.S. and Executive Vice President, North America; Greg Keenan, Vice President of Medical Affairs and U.S. Head Medical Officer; and Rich Buckley, Vice President of North America Corporate Affairs – were joined by 20 leading experts and executives to explore the topic of patient centricity in an evolving healthcare environment.

The participants, who represented a broad range of stakeholders including businesses, nonprofit groups and media, shared their knowledge and perspectives on the state of patient care and how a patient centric approach can help drive quality healthcare.  Maggie Fox, senior writer on health issues for both NBCNews.com and TODAY.com, served as moderator for the discussion.

“As the healthcare landscape continues to change, the role of the patient in making healthcare decisions is transforming as well,” said Hudson.  “As the industry seeks ways to adapt, it is imperative that we work together to understand patients’ challenges and priorities so we can identify and deliver solutions that improve their experiences and outcomes.”

AstraZeneca’s Paul Hudson leads a dinner discussion with attendees about various patient centricity topics.

AstraZeneca’s Paul Hudson leads a dinner discussion with attendees about various patient centricity topics.

Topics addressed included the future of patient-centered care, the most impactful way the industry can be engaging patients moving forward, and where various stakeholders can be playing a larger role.  Participants agreed that aligning incentives in the healthcare system – so that providers are rewarded for quality of healthcare and great results – is important to ensure care is truly patient-centered.   Innovative ideas for getting patients more engaged in their care were also discussed, along with the need to truly understand first what matters to patients and then build treatment plans from there.

The dinner was part of a series of events coordinated by National Journal LIVE, a premier events business that convenes top leaders in the Washington, D.C. area for dialogue on how to solve the country’s biggest challenges.

 

NEXIUM® (esomeprazole magnesium) Direct: Giving Patients Another Option In How They Receive Their Medication

By Rick R. Suarez, Executive Director, GI and Foundation Brands, AstraZeneca

When it comes to health, patients are increasingly becoming self-advocates and working more closely with physicians to take greater control of their health care and make choices that are right for them. Many patients want doctors to offer them choices and consider their opinions, including determining how and when they receive their medicines.

At AstraZeneca, everything we do is driven by our commitment to improving the lives of patients, and we are continuously looking for ways to ensure our medicines reach the patients that can benefit from them, particularly as their healthcare needs and preferences evolve.  It’s with this in mind that we created NEXIUM® (esomeprazole magnesium) Direct, an innovative service that provides eligible patients the option of having NEXIUM delivered directly to their home at no additional cost.

A subset of AstraZeneca Direct, NEXIUM Direct is the latest offering from AstraZeneca as we seek to better serve patients. Enrollment is simple; patients with a valid prescription can sign up at purplepill.com. All orders are dispensed by registered pharmacists and certified pharmacy technicians through Eagle Pharmacy, a trusted pharmacy partner.  NEXIUM Direct also includes 24-hour support as well as refill reminders to help patients remember to take their NEXIUM.

Inspired by feedback we received directly from patients, AstraZeneca Direct initially began as a way for patients to get our brand name ARIMIDEX® (anastrozole) delivered at an affordable price, right to their door. The service is called AstraZeneca Direct because it offers patients a choice to have the medication their doctor thinks is right for them delivered straight from the original manufacturer.

At AstraZeneca, we want to make sure there are multiple avenues for patients to get their medicine. The role of the retail pharmacy is critical, and continues to play a major part in patients’ lives.  NEXIUM Direct and AstraZeneca Direct simply give patients yet another option along with another level of convenience.

2963708   Last Updated 3/14

AZ Lends Support for National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic

Now in its 28th year, the 2014 National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic was held March 30 through April 4 in Snowmass Village, Col., bringing together nearly 400 U.S. military veterans and active duty service men and women with disabilities to conquer a snow-covered mountainside.   Participants were provided adaptive winter sports instruction from more than 200 certified ski instructors– including current and former members of the U.S. Disabled Ski Team.  They also took part in a number of activities including alpine and cross country skiing, rock climbing, scuba diving, kayaking, snowmobiling and more.

For more than a decade, AstraZeneca has been a national sponsor of the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, which is co-sponsored by DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  AstraZeneca’s support this year helped fund a weeklong stay in Snowmass for approximately 200 participants.

AstraZeneca is involved in a number of other initiatives throughout the year to support and make a difference in the lives of our military men and women.

AZ Employees Take Time to Give Back

Recently, AstraZeneca’s U.S. President Paul Hudson and Vice President of Corporate Affairs Rich Buckley joined forces with field sales employees in the Kansas City, Mo. region to volunteer at Connections to Success Kansas City. Connections to Success works to inspire individuals to realize their dreams and achieve economic independence by providing hope, resources and a plan. The AstraZeneca volunteers provided mentoring support for the Dress for Success Going Places Network, a Connections to Success program that helps unemployed and under-employed women suit up, gain professional skills, accelerate their job search and build confidence through weekly training sessions, one-on-one career coaching and networking in a supportive environment.

Connections to Success KC

This is one example of many efforts by AstraZeneca employees to serve their communities. At recent sales meetings, more than 1,000 AstraZeneca volunteers participated in activities to benefit local charities.  For example, in Orlando, Fla., employees built 70 adult rocking chairs, 70 child rocking chairs, 70 book shelves and 70 reading benches to give to the Heart of Florida United Way, in addition to donating approximately 875 books.

Heart of Florida

In Atlanta, Ga., AstraZeneca employees donated and sorted various materials such as DVDs, coloring books, toys, children’s clothing and much more for Children’s Health Care of Atlanta (CHOA). CHOA is a not-for-profit organization that provides specialized care to children and teens from all walks of life. They rely on support from the community and groups like AstraZeneca in order to serve kids from more than 150 countries in a caring and holistic way.

Children's Health Care of Atlanta

Whether volunteering at sales meetings, in the field with their teams or as individuals in their communities, AstraZeneca employees take time throughout the year to give back.

Successful Outcome on Medicare Part D Reminds Us Why Advocacy is Important

By Chuck Ingoglia, Senior Vice President of the National Council for Behavioral Health

Chuck Ingoglia, Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Practice Improvement, National Council  for Behavioral Health

Chuck Ingoglia, Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Practice Improvement, National Council for Behavioral Health

In January, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) surprised the patient and provider community when it issued a proposed rule seeking to make unprecedented changes to the successful and popular Medicare Part D drug program.   One of the most concerning of these proposed changes was the introduction of new criteria to evaluate the “drug classes of clinical concern,” most commonly referred to as the six protected classes.  These six “protected” classes of medications were identified by CMS during the implementation of the Medicare prescription drug benefit as needing special access for patients and providers, including drugs to treat mental illness, organ transplant, cancer, HIV and seizure disorders.

The proposal not only introduced new criteria, but it applied these criteria to the  protected classes and proposed removal of two classes in plan year 2015 – immunosuppressants and antidepressants – as well as removal in plan year 2016 for antipsychotics.  After hearing from patients, providers, legislators and the pharmaceutical industry, including the National Council for Behavioral Health and AstraZeneca, CMS announced on March 10th that it would abandon its recent proposal to strip mental health and immunosuppressant drugs of their protected status in Medicare Part D.

CMS’ decision comes on the heels of an overwhelming outpouring of bi-partisan support that was the result of unified and swift advocacy.  In addition to the National Council and AstraZeneca, members of Congress, the Partnership for Part D Access, and other concerned patient and provider groups submitted well over 1,000 comments to CMS opposing the changes.  This reversal demonstrates the power of various sectors working together – providers, patients and industry.

The National Council and AstraZeneca applaud CMS for its decision not to finalize the proposed changes to the protected class policy.  This change will allow millions of the most vulnerable beneficiaries to continue to confidently rely upon Medicare to provide them the drugs they need.

CMS noted it will gather additional input and reserves the right to advance changes in these areas in future years, and this possibility necessitates ongoing vigilance and willingness to continue to work together on matters of common interest.  The National Council and AstraZeneca are committed to such a partnership to preserve patient access and choice within the Part D program.

Chuck Ingoglia is Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Practice Improvement for the National Council  for Behavioral Health. There he directs the federal and state affairs function and oversees practice improvement and technical assistance programs offered to more than half a million behavioral health professionals.

 

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