February 2014 John Weeks Integrator Round-Up: Public Health
by John Weeks, Publisher Editor of The Integrator Blog News & Reports Credit CVS Caremark APHA calls on all drug stores to end cigarette sales "We've come to the conclusion that cigarettes have no place in a setting where health care isby John Weeks, Publisher/Editor of The Integrator Blog News & ReportsCredit CVS Caremark: APHA calls on all drug stores to end cigarette sales "We've come to the conclusion that cigarettes have no place in a setting where health care is being delivered." So explains pharmacy chain CVS Caremark's president Larry Merlo regarding his firm's decision to remove cigarettes from its stores. The decision will reduce the firm's sales by over $2-billion. The American Public Health Association has initiated a campaign for other pharmacies to follow suit in "breaking the co-dependence" businesses have with the tobacco industry.Comment: Huge deal for this for-profit firm to act on principle and leave money on the table. In retrospect, the norm of drugstores selling cigarettes evokes images of doctors examining patients with ashes falling off the end of their Marlboros. This is exceptional leadership in shifting the "perverse incentives" in the industry.Sommers reports on CAM/IM at the APHA meetingBeth Sommers, PhD, LAc has written an excellent report and review of the activities of the Complementary and Alternative Health Care Practices Special Interest Group at the recent American Public Health Association conference. The title of the acupuncture Today article, Think Global, Act Local: CAM's Role in the Public Health, echoes the theme of the meeting. Sommers, a principal with Pathways to Wellness, serves as co-chair of the special interest group that developed the program. She notes that "although APHA meetings have included studies on acupuncture for over a dozen years, this year's gathering specifically addressed the integration of acupuncture into conventional healthcare."Comment: Sommers provided the Integrator a brief summary of the developments of the special interest group in the December 2013 Round-up. This Acupuncture Today piece, though acupuncture-centric, is a good companion piece on the fine work going on under Sommers’ term in leadership.