DEERFIELD, Ill., July 11, 2013 - Concussion rates in youth sports have doubled over the past decade1, driving heightened concern and greater awareness among parents, athletes and administrators nationwide. To help address the ongoing need for prevention and information, Take Care Clinics at select Walgreens (NYSE:WAG) (Nasdaq:WAG) have introduced a new concussion education component as part of its annual camp, back-to-school and sports physicals, which are now available daily for just $39.
Take Care Clinics, located at more than 370 Walgreens stores, have been providing physicals since 2006. The camp, back-to-school and sports physicals, regularly $60, are available at the reduced price through Sept. 30 as part of a limited offer. Physicals are performed by board-certified nurse practitioners and in select locations physician assistants, and are routine health physical examinations for school-aged children. All camp, back-to-school and sports physicals at Take Care Clinics will now include concussion education to help families prevent and recognize concussion symptoms, at no extra cost.
“These physicals represent a valuable opportunity for families to meet with a trusted health care professional who can screen patients for undetected health conditions, identify children that may be at risk for injury and provide important health and wellness information and advice,” said Heather Helle, divisional vice president, Walgreens consumer solutions group. “The inclusion of concussion education and awareness as part of our annual physicals follows our recent overall expansion of health care services, and is another way we’re providing comprehensive care as part of our mission to help people get, stay and live well.”
According to the American Journal of Sports Medicine, high school athletes sustain an estimated 300,000 concussions per year, 2 and for young people ages 15 to 24 years old, sports are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury behind automobile accidents.3
“Helping parents and athletes to know the signs of concussion symptoms and how to tell when immediate medical attention is needed is crucial, and our nurse practitioners and physician assistants can play an important role in providing this information,” said Sandra Ryan, RN, MSN, CPNP, FAANP, chief nurse practitioner officer and clinical advocate for Take Care Clinics.
As part of the concussion education, patients receive take-home materials with important information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stressing the importance of concussion prevention, recognizing symptoms reported by athletes, and warning signs all parents and guardians should understand.
Camp, back-to-school and sports physicals are also an opportune time to check if immunizations are up-to-date prior to the start of the school year. Take Care Clinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants can administer appropriate immunizations for school-aged children, such as flu, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis/whooping cough (Tdap), meningitis (meningococcal), chickenpox (Varicella), measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) and Human Papillomavirus (HPV). It is recommended that patients bring a copy of their vaccination record and medical history to the clinic in preparation to receive a sports physical or immunization.
The physicals can be scheduled online by visiting TakeCareHealth.com. Physicals are also available on a walk-in basis daily. The sports physicals do not provide a replacement for a child’s yearly health exam.
As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2012 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) vision is to become America’s first choice for health and daily living. Each day, Walgreens provides more than 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 8,098 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.
1 Lincoln A, Caswell S, Almquist J, Dunn R, Norris J, Hinton R. Trends in Concussion Incidence in High School Sports: A Prospective 11-Year Study. Am. J. Sports Med. 2011; 39(5):958-963
2 Marar M, McIlvain NM, Fields SK, Comstock RD. Epidemiology of Concussions Among United States High School Athletes in 20 Sports. Am J Sports Med 2012
3 Gessel LM. Fields SK. Collins CL. Dick RW. Comstock RD. "Concussions among United States high school and collegiate athletes. J. Athl Train. 2007; 42(4): 495-503.