BlueCross Health Foundation, Count It! Drop It! Lock It!™ promote medication safety by hosting collection events across the state
In an effort to fight opioid abuse, Tennessee residents are invited to bring their unused or expired prescriptions to one of more than 100 National Prescription Drug Take-Back events being held statewide on April 29 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The event aims to provide safe, convenient locations to dispose of prescription drugs and other medications and to raise awareness about the potential risks for abuse and misuse of certain medications, such as opioids.
This year, more drug take-back sites are available in Tennessee than ever before, thanks in part to the efforts of the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation-sponsored Count It! Drop It! Lock It!™ program, which has helped place secure, permanent drop boxes in all 95 counties.
“It’s important to get rid of old or unused drugs,” explains Dr. Andrea Willis, chief medical officer of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. “Prescription opioid abuse is a serious public health issue, and more than half of Tennesseans who use prescription painkillers recreationally say they got them from friends and family.”
“These bi-annual events offer a convenient and safe way for individuals to protect themselves and their loved ones from potential and unintentional harm,” said CLD co-developer Kristina Clark. “It’s worth it to take a few minutes to search through medicine cabinets or other storage places and bring unneeded drugs to a Drug Take-Back Day event.”
The Count It! Drop It! Lock It!™ program, expanded statewide in 2016 with a $1.3 million grant from the BlueCross Health Foundation, encourages community members to:
- Count It! Count pills once every two weeks to monitor theft and help ensure medications are taken properly.
- Lock It! Lock and store them in a secure place where others would not think to look.
- Drop It! Take unused or expired medications to drop boxes located in participating law enforcement offices or pharmacies, or during bi-annual take-back events.
Tennesseans can find their nearest prescription take-back location online at countitlockitdropit.org.
About Count It! Drop It! Lock It!™
Count It! Drop It! Lock It!™ (CLD) is a comprehensive community program for prescription drug abuse prevention that began in Coffee County, Tenn. Today, CLD is actively represented in 44 counties across Tennessee. For more information, visit countitlockitdropit.org.
About BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, Inc.
The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, Inc. was established in December, 2003 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation organized to promote the philanthropic mission of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. The foundation awards grants focused on high-impact initiatives across the state, which promote healthy lifestyle choices and help control health care costs for all Tennessee residents. Working with civic and economic partners, the foundation is dedicated to the support of research, innovative programs and creative approaches to improve the health and quality of life of Tennesseans for generations to come.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s mission is to provide peace of mind through better health. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on serving more than 3.4 million members in Tennessee and across the country. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company’s website at bcbst.com.
MARCH FUNDRAISER FEATURES AUTHOR AND NATIONAL POLLSTER CORNELL BELCHER
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Memphis Branch will host the first of three major fundraisers for the year on Thursday, March 30, 2017 from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at First Baptist Broad Church (2835 Broad Avenue, Memphis, TN 38112). The speaker for the Centennial Kick-Off Luncheon will be author, pollster and one of the premier strategists in national progressive politics, Cornell Belcher.
“The luncheon will serve as a time to honor heroes of our chapter, reflect on the accomplishments of our past and share with our members and supporters our responsibilities for the future,” said Deidre Malone, President, Executive Committee, NAACP Memphis Branch. “We will honor the service of Rev. Keith Norman and receive an inspirational word from Mr. Belcher. It promises to be an exciting luncheon, and we hope all of our supporters will purchase a ticket, table or sponsorship and attend.”
Belcher is author of the book “A Black Man in the White House: Barack Obama and the Triggering of America’s Racial-Aversion Crisis.” His polling was the blueprint for the heralded 50-State Strategy as Pollster for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) under Chairman Howard Dean—Cornell was the first minority to be lead pollster for either national party. He also served on the polling team for both Obama presidential campaigns, and has worked with both Senate and House Democrats as Senior Political Advisor to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), Special Projects Director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and Women VOTE! Coordinator for EMILY’s List. In 2015 he was an Institute of Politics (IOP) Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School. He is a highly sought after political commentator, and is currently President of brilliant corners Research & Strategies.
Tickets start at $30. To purchase, please click https://www.eventbrite.com/e/centennial-kick-off-luncheon-tickets-31733299152. For more information contact Sherry Boyce at 901. 521.1343 or email at Sherry@NAACPMEMPHIS.org.
About the Memphis Branch NAACP:
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, and the Memphis Branch NAACP is the largest branch of the organization in the United States. The mission of the NAACP is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination. During the entire year of 2017, the Memphis Branch NAACP is celebrating 100 years of service to the community.
$10,000 scholarships assist minority students pursuing health care careers
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation’s 2017 Diversity Scholarship application period opened today and continues through March 1. Three $10,000 scholarships will be awarded to three minority college students pursuing health care careers.
Now in its fifth year, the diversity scholarship program was developed to help address the need for a qualified and more inclusive health care workforce in Tennessee. The scholarships are presented in partnership with the Memphis chapter of the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE) and recognize achievements in academics, community service and leadership.
“These scholarships help outstanding minority students to achieve continued academic success,” said Ron Harris, vice president of workforce diversity for BlueCross. “And in addition to that, this program serves to increase diversity in the health care field.”
According to BlueCross research on health care reform and its effects on minority populations in Tennessee, African-Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, and other minorities remain underrepresented in medical professions compared to their numbers in the population.
For more information, including FAQs and the application, go to the community diversity page on bcbst.com.
Memphis Seafood Week begins October 17-21
With October being National Seafood Month it was only right to highlight our seafood partner restaurants for Memphis Seafood Week 2016. Eating healthy is a good way to keep a healthy heart. The national non-profit, Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP) is doing its part by building a coalition of community leaders, restaurant owners, and other influencers that will help spread the message of the health benefits that come along with consuming seafood.
We are proud to share with you our Memphis partners. These restaurants are doing their part to encourage a healthier lifestyle by offering their patrons healthy seafood dishes. We are encouraging Memphians to patronize these restaurants and take a selfie from October 17-21 to post to social media with the hashtag #Seafood2xWkMem.
- Flying Fish (105 S. 2nd Street)
- Pearls Oyster House (299 S. Main)
- Captain D’s (All Locations)
- Cajun Catfish Company (1616 Sycamore View)
- Humdingers (1134 N. Germantown Parkway & 6300 Poplar Ave Suite #101)
- Fish Net (2731 Lamar Avenue)
- Southwind Fish (7915 Winchester Rd. Suite 101)
- Bayou Bar & Grill (2094 Madison Ave.)
- Mardi Gras Memphis (496 N. Watkins)
- Sekisui (All Locations)
- Tsunami (928 Cooper St.)
- Déjà vu (51 S. Main St.)
The Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP) is a 501 (C) (3) nonprofit whose mission is to inspire a healthier America through partnerships that raise awareness about essential nutritional benefits of eating seafood. SNP, a member of the Non-Communicable
Diseases Roundtable, leads education efforts to help Americans gain the skills to select, order and prepare fish and shellfish, and to inspire a healthier America by promoting a nutrient-rich diet that includes seafood. For more information, visit
BlueCross Health Foundation Awards Grant to Count It! Lock It! Drop It!TM
Count, Lock and Drop your pills! That’s the message from the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, which is teaming up with the state Department of Health and the Coffee County Anti-Drug Coalition to reduce prescription pain medication abuse in Tennessee.
To help address the state’s opioid epidemic, the BlueCross Health Foundation is providing a $1.3 million grant to expand the Coffee County Anti-Drug Coalition’s Count It! Lock It! Drop It!™ program to counties with high rates of opioid deaths. The funding will support training and outreach efforts including a public education advertising campaign.
According to Dr. David Reagan, chief medical officer for the Tennessee Department of Health, opioid abuse is one of Tennessee’s most concerning public health issues. “It will take various parties and a multifaceted approach to tackle this crisis, and we’re pleased to have the state’s largest insurer commit itself to this cause,” Reagan said.
In 2015, BlueCross covered more than 1 million opioid prescriptions for its members – that’s more than 66.6 million painkillers dispensed. “We know pain medication is necessary to treat many conditions; but there is a clear need to engage in clinical and social efforts across the state to prevent the many tragedies that individuals, families and entire communities have faced from opioid abuse and addiction,” explained Dr. Andrea Willis, chief medical officer for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee.
Count It! Lock It! Drop It! was co-founded in 2011 by Christina Merino and Kristina Clark of the Coffee County Anti-Drug Coalition. The goal was to build a comprehensive, community-level approach to prescription drug misuse. The program ensures patients are receiving the same messaging at doctors’ offices and pharmacies, as well as integrating counseling on the addictive nature of certain medications and teaching drug safety skills.
The Count It! Lock It! Drop It! program encourages community members to:
- Count It!Count pills once every two weeks to monitor theft and help ensure medications are taken properly.
- Lock It!Lock and store them in a secure place where others would not think to look.
- Drop It!Take unused or expired medications to drop boxes located in participating law enforcement offices or pharmacies or during take-back events.
“Many adults and teens do not understand the dangers of misusing prescription drugs, and think of them as safe because they are prescribed by a doctor,” said Christina Merino, co-founder of Count It! Lock It! Drop It! “Our program educates everyone from health care providers to grandparents on the need to use, store and dispose of prescription medications safely.”
BlueCross Community Relations and Foundations Director Dawn Abel pointed to research that shows 55 percent of those who abuse painkillers in Tennessee get them from a friend or relative who has a prescription. “Count It! Lock It! Drop It! has a proven track record of educating communities on the importance of safeguarding and properly disposing of prescriptions,” Abel said.
Last year, the Count It! Lock It! Drop It! program in Coffee County collected approximately 600 pounds of various medications at its three drop boxes in the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office, the Manchester Police Department and the Tullahoma Police Department. The estimated street value of the collected opioids was more than $11,387.
Count It! Lock It! Drop It! is currently operating in 32 counties statewide – 11 in East Tennessee, 18 in Middle Tennessee and three in West Tennessee – with its educational and grassroots program. A main element of the program is permanent drop boxes located in law enforcement offices. By September, all 95 Tennessee counties will have a box in place. For more information on Count It! Lock It! Drop It! or to locate a drop box, visit www.countitlockitdropit.org.
The 2015-2020 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating seafood at least twice a week and to take in at least 250mg of omega-3s EPA+DHA per day. Currently only 1 in 10 Americans follow this guideline.
As part of SNP’s 3-year public health education Healthy Heart Pledge campaign, the 2016 Seafood Nutrition Partnership Recipe Sweepstakes encourages people to show how easy, delicious, and nutritious fish and shellfish can be to add to weekly meals. “We are excited to introduce this consumer education program to teach Americans about the critical importance seafood nutrition has in supporting heart and brain health,” said SNP Executive Director Linda Cornish. “This program not only highlights the health benefits seafood offers, but also how simple, easy and delicious it is to incorporate seafood at least twice a week into your regular meals.”
Beginning today through October 21st, people are encouraged to share a photo of a seafood dish prepared using 5 ingredients or less (not counting spices/garnishes) on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtags #HealthyHeartPledge and #SNPSweepstakes for a chance to win a $250 gift card. A total of ten winners will be randomly selected in accordance with the Sweepstakes Schedule, with winners being announced on http://www.SNPSweepstakes.com and SNP’s Instagram and Twitter accounts.
Official instructions and rules of the sweepstakes are as follows:
- Share a photo of a seafood dish prepared using five (5) ingredients or less (not counting spices/garnishes) and list the ingredients or provide a link to a page, which includes a list of the ingredients, and, if possible, include the directions in the social post or via a link.
- Post to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtags #HealthyHeartPledge and #SNPSweepstakes.
- A total of ten winners will be randomly selected in accordance with the Sweepstakes Schedule to win a $250 gift card. People can submit one entry per day, and SNP will announce winners on http://www.SNPSweepstakes.com, and SNP’s Instagram and Twitter accounts.
- No purchase necessary. The sweepstakes ends on 10/21/16. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. and D.C., 18 and older. For Official Rules, including odds, and prize descriptions, visit http://www.SNPSweepstakes.com. Void where prohibited.
- By posting the #HealthyHeartPledge hashtag, you are taking SNP’s Healthy Heart Pledge. This means you recognize seafood is a healthy choice for you and your family and you’ll pledge to eat at least two servings of seafood each week and supplement with omega-3s. You can learn more about the Healthy Heart Pledge and sign up for our newsletter for information to help you eat more sustainable seafood on http://www.seafoodnutrition.org/healthy-heart-pledge.html
About Seafood Nutrition Partnership
Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to inspire a healthier America through partnerships that raise awareness about the essential nutritional benefits of eating seafood. SNP, a member of the Clinton Global Initiative and NCD Roundtable, leads education efforts to help Americans gain the skills to select, order and prepare fish and shellfish, and to inspire a healthier America by promoting a nutrient-rich diet that includes seafood and omega-3s. In October 2015, SNP launched a three-year national public health education campaign. For more information, visit SeafoodNutrition.org.
Glassman, Wyatt, Tuttle & Cox, PC Attorney Lauran Stimac has recently joined the Board of Directors of Memphis Area Legal Services (MALS) and will serve as the sponsorship chair for the first annual Justice for All Ball benefiting MALS. “Our community’s need for the services MALS provides grows each year, and we must raise funds to provide MALS with the resources to meet those needs,” said Stimac.
Stimac is a Memphis-based trial attorney with the Firm where she handles medical malpractice, legal malpractice matters and assists attorneys facing board-related disciplinary complaints.
MALS is the primary provider of civil legal representation to low income families in the western Tennessee counties of Shelby, Fayette, Tipton and Lauderdale. MALS helps individuals and families facing critical, sometimes life-threatening, situations including domestic violence, mortgage foreclosure, wrongful denial of healthcare and other necessary services, consumer fraud or predatory lending and special challenges of children and the elderly. MALS does not accept fees for its services and does not handle criminal cases, class action lawsuits or fee generating cases such as personal injury or worker’s compensation
“I’m very excited about this opportunity to help our Memphis community through providing a quality service to the underserved and giving hope to those who might have once felt vulnerable during their time of need,” said Stimac. “I’m also super excited about this year’s Justice for All Ball, and I hope that the legal community will come out in full force to support this worthy cause.”
The Justice for All Ball is a superhero-themed event that will be held at the Halloran Center on Saturday, October 15, 2016. It will be a fun night with live music, a silent auction, and more – all to benefit MALS.
Individuals and businesses interested in participating in the Justice for All Ball as sponsors should contact Lauran Stimac directly at (901) 527-4673. Tickets are $125 each with all proceeds going to support MALS. The black tie (and cape) optional event will begin at 7pm. For more information on purchasing tickets, please visit The Justice For All Ball website.
About Glassman, Wyatt, Tuttle & Cox:
Glassman, Wyatt, Tuttle & Cox is a boutique law firm engaging only in civil trial litigation in courts primarily around the Mid-South, including in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky and Alabama. Our lawyers focus their talents on helping clients achieve the best possible results in their trial and arbitration matters both inside and outside the courtroom. The firm is renowned for its ability to handle the most difficult legal situations with targeted and steadfast intensity.
Recent high school graduates and adults who are interested in attending college this fall are invited to attend an Education Fair sponsored by the Memphis Talent Dividend/Graduate Memphis. They will have an opportunity to complete the Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA). This event is free and open to the public and will be held on Friday, July 15th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ben Hooks Library, 3030 Poplar Ave., Memphis, TN 38111.
This Education Fair will conclude this year’s campaign that kicked-off on January 7th. Last year, the Memphis Talent Dividend/Graduate Memphis community partners assisted with completing more than 7,000 FAFSA applications. So far this year more than 66% of high school graduates have completed forms to help them enroll in an educational opportunity post high school graduation.
For more information about the Education Fair and the Memphis Talent Dividend/Graduate Memphis, contact Alton Cryer, Program Coordinator at 901.278.0016 or AcryerA@leadershipmemphis.org.
More About Leadership Memphis
Leadership Memphis is a non-profit, community leadership development organization. Its mission is to prepare and mobilize leaders to work together for the good of the whole community. Founded in 1977 as The Memphis Institute of Public Responsibility, the organization has trained and graduated more than 2,500 leaders from its signature programs: Executive, FastTrack, Criminal/Juvenile Justice, and Grassroots. Its Action initiatives are Memphis Talent Dividend/Graduate Memphis, and SUCCESS High Schools.
Submission Deadline is Monday, July 18, 2016 – This Year’s Theme is “And Justice for All!”
The National Civil Rights Museum (NCRM) is looking for young poets to share their creativity in a poetry slam with an emphasis on equality and justice, now. “And Justice for All!” is the theme for the 3rd Annual National Civil Rights Museum Drop the Mic Poetry Slam on August 13, 2016. Poets in the age groups of 14 – 17, 18 – 25 and 26 – 35 can compete for two top cash prizes per age group at $1,000 and $750.
We are starting early so poets can save the date for this event. “The Drop the Mic Poetry Slam was spectacular the first two years, each year surpassing the last in attendance, buzz, and creativity,” said Faith Morris, NCRM Chief Marketing and External Affairs Officer. “We hope that this year with everything that has transpired in this country our justice theme will bring out the passion in our young poets. The Slam provides participants with a platform to artistically express themselves about important issues facing society.”
Submissions must be original works addressing the topic “And Justice for All!” Each entrant must submit a YouTube or Vimeo video link in their online registration. Videos should be no longer than 2 minutes. Only one entry per person will be considered. All videos must be received by Monday, August 1, 2016 by 5pm.
Top finalists will be selected and must perform live in front of a panel of spoken word judges at the National Civil Rights Museum on Saturday, August 13, at 5pm in order to win. For more information and to enter visit http://civilrightsmuseum.org/dropthemic/.
The hashtags used this year with information about the Poetry Slam are #JusticeForAll, #NCRMDropTheMic. Event supporters are encouraged to share through social media.
About The National Civil Rights Museum
The NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM, located at the historic Lorraine Motel where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, is the only Museum of its kind in the country that gives a comprehensive overview of the American Civil Rights Movement from 1619 to the present. The Museum is intended to bring the movement to life, place the events in a historical perspective and provide a focus of national remembrance. Since the Museum opened in 1991, millions of visitors from around the world have come, including more than 70,000 students annually. Recognized as a center for civil rights and social change, the Museum is steadfast in its mission to share the culture and lessons from the Movement and explore how this significant era continues to shape equality and freedom globally.
Through interactive exhibits, historic collections, storytelling, dynamic speakers and events, the museum offers visitors a chance to walk through history and learn more about a tumultuous and inspiring period of change. Then, invites you to Join the Movement, take a stand and share your voice on issues that impact our society.
An internationally acclaimed cultural institution, the Museum was recognized as USA Today’s Top 10 Best American Iconic Attractions; Top 10 Best Historical Spots in the U.S. by TLC’s Family Travel; Must See by the Age of 15 by Budget Travel and Kids; Top 10, American Treasures by USA Today; and Best Memphis Attraction by The Commercial Appeal.
The National Women’s Political Caucus hosted a Train the Trainers Workshop in Seattle, Washington on April 23 and 24. The Carter Malone Group, LLC President /CEO Deidre Malone participated in the workshop and received certification as a trainer to recruit, educate, train, coach and build the confidence of women seeking elected or appointed office.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of the first graduating class of NWPC’s Train the Trainers workshop,” said Malone. “The instructor, Cathy Allen, provided the tools to set in motion the momentum needed to increase the number of women who successfully run for office and win. I’m looking forward to doing my part to advance more women in to leadership and elected and appointed positions.”
Joining Malone from Tennessee in receiving certification was Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committeewoman and Memphis Women’s Political Caucus member Adrienne Pakis Gillon.
For organizations interested in learning more securing Deidre Malone for training, contact The Carter Malone Group at 901.278.0881 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.