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Rise and Shine: Sunscreen 101

Warmer weather has finally arrived, and outdoor activities are in full swing. Whether you’re having fun in the sun or trying to beat the heat, it’s easy to forget to protect your skin when spending more time outside. Want to know why sunscreen is important for skin protection? Let’s talk about what causes sun damage and how sunscreen can help:  

Rays of sunshine you want to avoid 

Getting fresh air and enjoying the outdoors is a great, easy way to stay active and relieve stress. While some sun exposure is beneficial as a natural source of vitamin D, it can also harm your skin if left without protection. Year-round, the sun emits ultraviolet (UV) radiation, also known as UV rays. These invisible rays are categorized into three groups based on energy amounts: the most familiar being UVA and UVB rays. These two UV ray types cause indirect damage to the DNA of our skin cells, which can have effects as mild as sunburn to more serious issues like skin cancer 

Sunscreen and Skin Protection 

You can do many things to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful UV radiation—sunscreen being one of the most important. Key minerals found in sunscreen, like titanium dioxide and zinc, obstruct and disperse UV rays before penetrating the skin. Other important ingredients are chemically derived, such as avobenzone and octisalate, which help to block rays from the skin by absorbing them. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, sunscreen can reduce your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by nearly 40 percent if used daily as directed and your risk of melanoma by 50 percent. The important thing to remember about sun protection is that no one method can provide complete protection, so incorporating as many as possible into your routine is essential.  

Practicing smart sun protection is one of many tools for maintaining a healthy life. Become a Community Cares Rx prescription discount cardholder today and access our online pharmacy locator, price comparison tools and more to help you stay up to date on daily medications. For more details on Community Cares Rx and other programs that provide cost saving on prescription medications, please visithttps://www.communitycaresrx.com.  

Why Words Matter: Things to Know for National Autism Acceptance Month

Since 1970, April has been known as National Autism Awareness Month. However, the American Autism Society (ASA) revised the name of the celebration to National Autism Acceptance Month in 2021. Here is why this small change is so important: 

What is Autism?  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), autism affects an estimated one in 44 children in the United States. Formally known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), autism is a developmental disability characterized by a broad range of cognitive and behavioral conditions. As a spectrum disorder, autism impacts people not only in different ways but to varying degrees. Each person with autism learns, thinks and communicates differently, manifesting in a distinct set of strengths and challenges. While some people with ASD can live independently, others require significant daily assistance.   

The Journey from Awareness to Acceptance 

As a widely varying disorder, conscious efforts have been made to include and celebrate people who differ from neurotypical individuals. This increased awareness has been a crucial step in sparking change in the way those with autism and their loved ones are perceived. "Awareness is knowing that somebody has autism," said Christopher Banks, President and CEO of the Autism Society of America. "Acceptance is when you include (a person with autism) in your activities. Help (them) to develop in that community and get that sense of connection to other people." 

Embracing this shift in perspective is a necessary step toward igniting meaningful dialogue around autism. “While we will always work to spread awareness, words matter as we strive for autistic individuals to live fully in all areas of life,” said Banks. “As many individuals and families affected by autism know, acceptance is often one of the biggest barriers to finding and developing a strong support system.” 

Community Cares Rx cares about your health and well-being. Our prescription discount card makes it easy and affordable to access your prescription medications. Become a cardholder today to utilize our many online resources and manage your prescriptions with ease.   

For more details on Community Cares Rx and other programs that provide cost saving on prescription medications, please visit https://www.communitycaresrx.com.   

March is National Nutrition Month: Here are 3 easy ways to celebrate

If the phrase “I’ll start tomorrow” sounds familiar to you, then listen up! March is National Nutrition Month, making it the perfect time to embark on your journey to healthier eating. Whether you're just starting or looking for new ideas, here are some fast and simple tips for better nutrition: 

Varying Your Diet:  

Understanding what your current diet looks like is an important first step to eating healthier. What foods do you regularly reach for? Do you eat the same foods consistently, or do you follow your cravings? When thinking about each meal, Harvard’s School of Public Health recommends that you fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter of your plate with proteins and the final quarter with carbohydrates, adding healthy oils in moderation. Beyond including key food groups in your daily diet, varying what you eat is an easy step towards better eating. Rotating your go-to veggies and fruits will not only make eating healthy more enjoyable, but it will give you the opportunity to try new foods and ensure that you receive a mix of different nutrients. Next time you sit down for dinner, think of what foods you’d like to try to change up the colors on your plate.  

Meal Planning 

Consistency is key when it comes to keeping up with good nutrition. Eating well does not mean eliminating the foods you like; it’s about maintaining a balanced diet. If you have a sweet tooth, it’s okay to incorporate your cravings into your diet in moderation, especially if indulging every now and then will help you stick to your overall nutrition goals. A great way to understand where you can fit in a snack or two is by planning out your meals ahead of time. By planning out what you’re going to eat for the week, you can take stress out of your grocery shopping and make sure that you’re including an appropriate amount of each food group daily. Knowing what you’re eating and how much you’re eating can also help relieve anxiety and guilt around snacking because you can adjust to include it in the context of what you’re eating that day.  

Getting Creative 

Eating healthy food doesn’t have to be boring!  It’s very common to approach weight loss healthy eating as a temporary diet or solution to help reach your goals. However, the true benefits of reaching your nutrition goals come with consistency and making a lifestyle change. If you don’t like what you are eating, it’s easy to go off course and indulge in less nutritious snacks. Adding some simple cooking skills to your arsenal can help you enhance the flavor of your healthy foods. For example, high heat cooking techniques such as pan-searing, grilling or broiling can help brown and add flavor to your proteins. And for those who aren’t big vegetable fans, dressing your veggies up with some olive oil and herbs and roasting them in the oven or grill can add sweet, smoky flavors, making them fun and easier to eat. 

Healthier eating is one of many tools to maintaining a healthy life. Become a Community Cares Rx prescription discount cardholder today and get access to our online pharmacy locator, price comparison tools and more to help you stay up-to-date on daily medications. For more details on Community Cares Rx and other programs that provide costs saving on prescription medications, please visit https://www.communitycaresrx.com.   

Heart Health Month: Taking Time to Focus on Your Heart

With Valentine’s Day taking center stage, it is no wonder that February has been dubbed National Heart Health month. During the entire month, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute is implementing various initiatives, like its #OurHearts campaign, to open a dialogue on the importance of heart health and lifestyle habits which can help prevent heart disease. 

 

The Heart Truth 

Every day, we remember to do things like  buckle our seat belts and look both ways before we cross the street. We don’t really think about taking care of our heart every day, but maybe we should be. According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. About 659,000 American die from heart disease each year, accounting for nearly one in every four deaths. Damage caused by heart disease is not always obvious. One out of five heart attacks is silent, so paying attention to heart health is vital.  

 

How COVID-19 Can Impact the Heart 

Along with direct consequences, like heart disease, poor cardiovascular health also puts you at an increased risk of severe illnesses from COVID-19. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen that the virus can lead to long-term damage to the lungs. Lung damage can prevent oxygen from reaching the heart muscle, ultimately impairing heart tissue. Furthermore, when fighting the virus, the body creates inflammation. If the inflammation goes into overdrive, it can disrupt heartbeats, reduce pumping ability and lead to or worsen arrhythmia. So, no matter your age or current health status, it is always smart to prioritize your heart.  

 

Listen To Your Heart  

Knowing how and what numbers to look for and record is a great first step towards better heart health. Eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly are tried and true ways of practicing an overall healthy lifestyle.  However, it can be difficult to know what that looks like, specifically, for each individual. Keeping a record of what you eat and logging your activity can help you map out a plan to achieve your health goals. Furthermore, a blood test can show you your cholesterol levels, which can give insight into your overall heart health. And finally, getting your blood pressure checked at least once a year is another number to keep track of for heart health. Consider asking your doctor what your target numbers should be and how often you should check it yourself.  

 

At Community Cares Rx, we understand that an important element of public health includes access to affordable medications. Learn more at https://www.communitycaresrx.com/. 

 

National Pharmacist Day: Celebrating the Backbone of the Healthcare Industry

Where would healthcare be without pharmacists? In celebration of National Pharmacist Day, which was on January 12, it’s important that we highlight the great work pharmacists are doing to help advance the industry and provide quality care for the general population:

Improvement in population health

Over the years, pharmacists have played an integral role in helping manage the outcomes of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia. Most chronic diseases require long-term medications and high levels of adherence, making pharmacists a key contributor to the successful management of these diseases. To resolve the healthcare workforce shortages taking place across the country, pharmacists have stepped up to fill the gap and provide team-based care.

Combatting the rising cost of drug therapy

Drug prices have been on the rise since 2013 due to new FDA approvals, medication shortages and specialty therapies. The cost-effectiveness of pharmacists coupled with their impact on inpatient healthcare outcomes have helped healthcare teams reduce the average price and length of individuals’ hospital stay. As COVID-19 continues to have a massive impact on hospital pharmacy revenues, pharmacists can help contain costs while performing pharmacotherapeutic consultive services. 

Leading vaccination programming

Since the American Public Health Association identified pharmacists as an underutilized resource in 1981, community pharmacists have been working to administer vaccinations and assist in addressing other public health needs. Each state has expanded the pharmacy scope of practice to include vaccine administration, although details vary from state to state. In addition to administering FDA-approved COVID-19 tests, pharmacists are now allowed to order vaccine

supplies directly from the federal government and provide vaccinations to children above the age of three.

Pharmacists are among the most trusted healthcare professionals and are often accessible when other physician offices are closed. Like your community pharmacists, our team at Community Cares Rx takes your health seriously and wants to make the process of receiving access to your prescription medications easily and affordably. Sign up to receive a prescription discount card today and unlock a number of resources including online price comparison tools and pharmacy locators.

For more details on Community Cares Rx and other programs that provide costs saving on prescription medications, please visit www.communitycaresrx.com.

Be the Healthiest Version of You in 2022

2022 is not just a new yearbut a chance to start fresh. Whetheryou want toeat healthier, exercisemorefrequentlyor spendextratime with family and friends, now is the time to startimplementingproactive health measures and makingthis next year your bestoneyet. Here are fourpractices to help ensure you have a happy and healthy 2022: 

Prioritizeself-care 

Allow2022to bethe year that youput yourself first.Read a new book. Meditate more often. Get outside.Self-carehelpsyoucope with dailystressors;it isimportant tofind methods that work for youtoguarantee long-term physical and emotional health.  

Schedule your doctor’s visits 

You should be visiting your primary care provider each yearto receive a physical exam.Beproactive andschedule appointmentswith your dermatologist, eye doctor and dentist. Females shouldalsomeet with their gynecologiston a yearly basis. Getahead of the game andon your doctors’calendar now!  

Make an anti-resolution 

Instead of focusing on what you should be doing in the new year, try identifying what you shouldn’tbe doing.Anti-resolutionssingle outthe self-destructive behaviorsthatmakeyour life more difficult,helping youto becomespecific and smart about howtowork towardsbeingthe best version of yourselfin the future.  

Set your nutrition goals 

Ifyouwant topractice better nutrition and exercise more, tryimplementingsmall changesinto your daily routine to help youbuild and retain consistencyin your health journey.Followinga daily schedule is a greatfirst stepto makingsureyoueat balanced meals every four to five hours, includinghealthy carbohydrates,fatsand lean proteins. In addition,a schedule willencourageyou tofindoptimalperiods in the day for a quick walk, trip to the gym or a stretch break.  

Become a Community Cares Rx prescription discount cardholder today and get access to our online pharmacy locator, price comparison toolsand more in the new year.For more details on Community Cares Rx and other programs that provide costs saving on prescription medications, please visithttps://www.communitycaresrx.com.

A Year in Recap: Health Advances Paving the Way Toward a Bright Future

The medical industry is continuously evolving, working to perfect the next new treatment or technological innovation that will transform the future of healthcare. While the world was consumed with the latest COVID-19 vaccine and treatment updates, the medical industry has been continuing to break boundaries in other areas. Here are three breakthroughs discovered this year that will continue to change the game in 2022: 

Advancement in Obesity Medication 

Semaglutide, the new obesity medication hitting shelves following the FDA’s approval in June, offers treatment to the 78 million Americans facing the risks of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions as a result of carrying excess weight. Semaglutide recipients lost nearly 15% of their body weight on average, proving this new medication is significantly more powerful than other obesity medications.  

 Smarter Pacemakers 

Pacemakers, technology that delivers electrical impulses to heart muscle chambers to prevent heart arrhythmias, are used by over 1 million patients. These devices are remotely monitored using Bluetooth technology. Now, patients are able to use this technology to link their pacemaker to smartphone-based apps that will help them better understand and utilize the devices. In addition, pacemakers have shrunk in size.  

Universal Hepatitis C Treatment 

Individuals who face hepatitis C, also known as the “silent epidemic,” face a number of serious risks including cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer. While there are drugs available to treat the condition, they have been proven to be ineffective for certain genotypes or come with undesirable side effects. The FDA has approved a fixed-dose combination of drugs that is more than 90% effective in treating hepatitis C genotypes 1 to 6.  

At CommunityCaresRx, we pride ourselves on our ability to stay ahead of the industry curve and provide easy and affordable access to the prescription medications you need for the betterment of your health. For more details on Community Cares Rx and other programs that provide costs saving on prescription medications, please visit https://www.communitycaresrx.com 

 

  

The Best Ways to Keep the Sniffles at Bay: How to Survive the Upcoming Flu Season

Over the past decade, the flu has infected 9 to 41 million people each year. The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. People who catch the flu often suffer from a fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, fatigue and more. Here are three ways that you can stay healthy this flu season:

Get the flu shot

One of the best ways to prevent yourself from getting sick is to get the flu vaccine. The vaccine contains deactivated flu viruses that teach your immune system to fight the virus before you come into contact with it. A flu shot will protect you against three to four flu strains and reduce your chance of getting the virus by 40% to 60%. If you catch the flu after getting the shot, the duration of your symptoms will be shorter.

 Wash Your Hands

The flu spreads through contact with droplets emitted when talking, coughing or sneezing. It can live on surfaces for hours. If you touch a door handle and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth, you are putting yourself at risk of infection. Avoid touching your face and wash your hands with soap and water. Make sure to have alcohol-based hand sanitizer available when you are not able to wash your hands.

Eat a Healthy Diet

It’s important to eat nutritious foods from various food groups to help boost your immune system. Fruits and vegetables are a great addition to your plate because they are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, zinc, beta carotene and more. Researchers believe that low levels of vitamin D play a role in increasing seasonal colds, the flu and respiratory infections. The active cultures found in yogurt are a great source of vitamin D.

Prioritize your health this flu season and stay up to date on your prescription medications. For more details on Community Cares Rx and other programs that provide costs saving on prescription medications, please visit https://www.communitycaresrx.com.

Health Care Through Your Screen: The Impact of Telepharmacy

As the world works to combat the pandemic, many healthcare service professionals turned to telepharmacy to continue the management of prescription medications. The impact has been worldwide, with the global telepharmacy market expected to reach $71.43 billion by 2027. We’re outlining three benefits of this game-changing healthcare service:

More Emphasis on Patient Care, Less on Logistics

At the onset of the pandemic and implementation of social distancing protocols, hospitals and other healthcare service teams struggled to provide medications to patients in a timely manner. Telepharmacy was an efficient fix to this problem, allowing hospitals to focus less on the logistical elements of patient care. Now, there is an increased focus on developing direct-to-patient and clinical services to provide patient education, monitoring, adherence support and antimicrobial and opioid stewardship programs.

Growth of Digital Applications

Digital pharmacies have been in the works for years, but is now being implemented in even more pharmacy organizations. Mobile health telepharmacy improves medication adherence through the use of smartphone apps and near-field communication (NFC) protocols. These protocols allow mobile devices to communicate using a wireless connection. While video conferencing is the most common tool in telepharmacy, innovative health technologies such as digital pill bottles, ingestible sensors and remote dispensing machines are all key tools in the industry.  

Expanded Hours and Locations

Telepharmacy expands options for advanced clinical offerings, allowing pharmacists to reach new groups of patients in remote locations. Pharmacies located in rural or small-volume hospitals with limited resources can utilize the expansion of service hours if around-the-clock coverage is in high demand. Not only do advanced clinical offerings help pharmacists reach a wider audience, but they also help improve patient safety by educating and monitoring patients and providing adherence support.

The growing popularity of telepharmacy within the pharmaceutical industry is making medication management more efficient than ever. At Community Cares Rx, we understand the importance of access to prescription medications. Customers who are part of our prescription discount program are able to locate pharmacies online and see which pharmacy offers the best price for their particular medication.

For more details on Community Cares Rx and other programs that provide costs saving on prescription medications, please visit https://www.communitycaresrx.com.

Celebrating National Health Center Week

This month, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) celebrated National Health Center Week to highlight the accomplishments of health centers and their staff and raise awareness for important public health concerns such as healthcare for children and individuals experiencing homelessness. Here are some of the organizations supporting the vital services that health care centers provide in their communities:

Health Care for the Homeless

The National Health Care for the Homeless Council aims to help those experiencing homelessness receive primary and behavioral health care, case management, outreach and more. There are 300 health centers that receive funding from the Health Care for the Homeless program, and they provide care for one million out of the 1.3 million homeless people that visit health centers each year.

Sesame Street in Communities

More than eight million children in the U.S. visit community health centers to receive health care. Just in time for kids to return to school, NACHC is working with Sesame Street in Communities (SSIC), a bilingual, multimedia initiative featuring beloved Muppets, to enhance learning and help children cope with traumatic experiences.

PRAPARE

PRAPARE, The Protocol for Responding to and Assessing Patients’ Assets, Risks and Experiences, assists health centers in the collection and applications of data to understand patients’ social determinants of health. PRAPARE’s research allows providers to evaluate and improve care, integrate delivery systems and decrease costs.

Interested in learning more about the impact of heath care centers in communities? This infographic courtesy of the NACHC further breaks down the individuals served by health care, the positive health impacts of this service and other key statistical information.

At Community Cares Rx, we understand that an important element of public health includes the access to affordable medications. Learn more at https://www.communitycaresrx.com.