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  March 30, 2009 Release.
  Media Advisory. For Immediate Release.
  Contact: Bonnie Arkus 609-771-9600

Alexian Brothers     Alexian Brothers     Women's Heart Foundation

Dr. Ann Rybolt, MD, Board Certified Specialist, Geriatrics Medicine - Gives You a Prescription for a $200 Billion Dollar Problem in "What the Doctor Ordered."

A community outreach initiative in association with
the Women's Heart Foundation Medication Safety Week
in partnership with the Alexian Brothers Health Ministry

Hixson, Tennessee--   March 31, 2009, 5:30 p.m. at the North River Civic Center - Dr. Ann Rybolt, MD, Board Certified Specialist, Geriatrics Medicine, University Medical Associates, UT Internal Medicine will be the featured presenter in "What the Doctor Ordered." Dr. Rybolt, gives you a prescription for a $200 billion dollar problem; ranking above Heart Disease, Cancer, Alzheimer's Disease, and Diabetes, according to recent data from America's Senior Care Pharmacists (www.ascp.com/advocacy/campaign2011), and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says, "Adverse drug events are a large public health problem" (www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/ps_forAdults.html). There are ways to combat this problem and on March 31st, Live At Home in association with Women's Heart Foundation Medication Safety Week and in partnership with Dr. Ann Rybolt, the American Heart & Stroke Association and the Mid-South Alzheimer's Association will provide participants with tools needed to correctly manage, monitor and store medications.

Most people have long-term relationships with their doctors and pharmacists, so you would think communication would be simple, but in a report "Medication Misuse Among Older Adults" by the Ohio State University Extension, it cites that "Many older adults do not take their medications correctly for a number of reasons" (ohioline.osu.edu/ss-fact/0128.html), such as...

  1. Not understanding dosage instructions or hearing them correctly
  2. Having a confusing dosage schedule or not remembering to take medication
  3. Impaired vision leading to difficulties with reading labels and distinguishing medications
  4. Not getting a prescription refilled
  5. Unpleasant taste of medication
  6. Fear of becoming drug dependent
  7. Not being able to afford medication
  8. Limited ability to get to a pharmacy due to physical limitations or lack of transportation
  9. Not being able to open "childproof" medication containers.

Prescription medications are not the only concern, the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) commissioned a comprehensive national survey to see how well consumers understand and process information about over-the-counter (OTC) medications. A third of respondents said they had taken more than the recommended dose of an OTC medicine. Of that subset,

  • 69% said they had taken more than the recommended number of pills at a single time;
  • 63% said they had taken the next dose sooner than directed on the label; and
  • 44% had taken more than the maximum doses per day as directed on the label.

Source: (www.bemedwise.org/tool_kit/Dose%20of%20Reality%20Statistics.doc)

All medications have the potential to be harmful, even when properly used. The "Be MedWise" prescription promotes safer use of medicine by focusing on the "3Rs": Risk, Respect, and Responsibility. In 2003, when Surgeon General of the United States Dr. Richard Carmona signed his prescription for "Be MedWise," he referred to it as "the most important prescription I have ever written" (www.bemedwise.org/psa/Full.JPG).

Alexian Brothers Live At Home is a retirement planning and long-term care membership program used in place of or as a supplement to long-term care insurance; providing a more comprehensive approach to health, wellness, and long-term care with an emphasis on a variety of preventative services.

"Communication is key to reduce the incidence of a medication error", says Women's Heart Foundation president and founder Bonnie Arkus, who is a registered nurse. "I have seen many errors in medical care that could have very simply been avoided if the patient had been given the proper information and tools for self-care", she said. "Our organization seeks to empower consumers by partnering with the Alexian Brothers Live At Home ministry."

For more information about "What the Doctor Ordered," please contact Alexian Live at Home at (423) 634-0814 ext 225 or email Priscilla Smith. If you would like to schedule an interview with Dr. Ann Rybolt, Clare Geren, Executive Director for Alexian Brothers Live At Home, Dale Huffstutler, American Heart & Stroke Foundation, or Amy French, Program Coordinator, Mid-South Alzheimer's Association, please contact Priscilla Smith at (423) 634-0814 Ext. 225 or prsmith@alexianbrothers.net.

Founded in 1259, the Alexian Brothers Health System carries out the healing mission of the Catholic Church through the Alexian Brothers ministries by identifying and developing effective responses to the health and housing needs of those we are called to serve.

Founded in 1982, the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) is a non-profit coalition of over 125 organizations. NCPIE's mission is to stimulate and improve communication of information on the appropriate use of medicines to consumers and health care professionals. NCPIE develops programs, provides educational resources, and offers services to advance the common mission of its members. NCPIE has as its motto: "Educate Before You Medicate". For more information, go to www.talkaboutrx.org or contact Executive Vice President Ray Bullman at (301) 656-8565.

Founded in 1992, the Women's Heart Foundation (WHF), a 501c3 organization that implements wellness and prevention programs, is dedicated to improving survival and quality of life. The organization has developed a personal health record for consumers called "Cards4Life" - available for free download from its pdf health library page of . WHF created Medication Safety MS powerpoint programs for community outreach and makes these programs available to its health partners. Medication Safety Week is April 1-7 with seven focus days for raising awareness to plan education and outreach. For more information about the Medication Safety Week Program and partnerships, contact info@womensheart.org. or call executive director Bonnie Arkus at (609) 771-9600.

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