The National Children’s Cancer Society Observes 25 Years

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – The battle against childhood cancer is ongoing. Over the past 20 years, incidence of children diagnosed with cancer has risen from 11.5 cases per 100,000 children in 1975 to 14.8 per 100,000 children in 2004 — during this same time, however, death rates declined dramatically, according to the National Cancer Institute. Many experts agree that these higher survival rates can be attributed to better medicine — and awareness.
One such organization that delivers essential action, The National Children’s Cancer Society (NCCS), has established a legacy of providing emotional, financial and educational assistance to children with cancer and their families.
This year, NCCS is marking its 25th anniversary — that’s 25 years of assistance to more than 28,000 children in the U.S. Since its beginning, NCCS has grown and evolved with programs such as the Pediatric Oncology Program (POP), which has distributed over $52 million to families, and Beyond the Cure. This year alone, Beyond the Cure — a survivorship program designed to educate children and their families about the challenges they may face as childhood cancer survivors — has awarded $100,000 in college scholarships to 32 cancer survivors.
“The NCCS recipients show all of us how to successfully turn a challenge into something positive,” says Mark Stolze, NCCS president and CEO. “The Beyond the Cure Scholarship Program is a vehicle to help these individuals move forward with their lives in a meaningful way.”
The programs give children suffering from cancer a better chance to make a full recovery, especially children who don’t have access to quality health care or proper treatment. And POP lessens the family’s financial strain by helping with the ongoing expenses of treatment, such as meal assistance, gas money and, in some cases, health insurance premiums. This gives some added peace of mind to those parents whose incomes have become affected by their child’s illness.
For more information on the NCCS or coping with pediatric cancer, go to www.thenccs.org. To learn more about Beyond the Cure, visit www.beyondthecure.org.

The National Children’s Cancer Society Celebrates 25-Year Commitment

It’s hard not to be moved when you hear about the stress that cancer can put on a family – especially when it affects a child. It’s now time to salute one of the driving forces behind the efforts to try make these lives a little more joyful and longer.

Over the past 20 years, incidence of children diagnosed with cancer has risen from 11.5 cases per 100,000 children in 1975 to 14.8 per 100,000 children in 2004 — during this same time, however, death rates declined dramatically, according to the National Cancer Institute. Many experts agree that these higher survival rates can be attributed to better medicine — and awareness.

Medicare’s Extra Help Program Lowers Price of Medications

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Making ends meet should not mean going without your medications. If you have limited income and resources, Medicare’s “Extra Help” program sets it up so this year you pay no more than $2.50 for each generic drug and $6.30 for each brand-name drug.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimate that more than 2 million people with Medicare may be eligible for the subsidy but are not currently enrolled to take advantage of these savings.
A recent law changed how income and assets are counted. Life insurance policies do not count as resources. Any help you get from relatives, friends and others to pay for household expenses — like food, mortgage, rent, heating fuel or gas, electricity, water and property taxes — does not count as income.
After these changes in 2010, many people qualify for the program and don’t know it. Even if you were previously turned down for “Extra Help” due to income or resource levels, you should reapply. You could get help paying for Medicare prescription drug coverage premiums, copayments and deductibles. To qualify, you must make less than $16,335 a year (or $22,065 for married couples). Even if your annual income is higher, you still may be able to get some extra help. Your resources must also be limited to $12,640 (or $25,260 for married couples). Resources include bank accounts, stocks and bonds.
There’s no cost or obligation to apply — it’s easy and free. Apply at www.socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp or call at 1-800-772-1213. Medicare beneficiaries can also receive assistance in their local communities from their State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), Area Agencies on Aging (AAA), the Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) and many tribal organizations.
For information about how to contact these organizations, go to www.eldercare.gov. To learn more about prescription drug coverage, go to www.medicare.gov, or call 1-800-633-4227. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048. This information was prepared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Cosmetology Offers Domestic Violence Victims New Path

Many women who suffer from domestic violence feel powerless to remove themselves from abusive relationships because they are financially dependent on their abuser. This leads many to stay in an unhealthy or even dangerous environment.

Empire Beauty Schools, one of the nation’s largest systems of cosmetology schools, has created an educational assistance program to help these women. The Empire Gives Back Endowment Program allots money for clients of domestic violence relief organizations across the country. The endowment will provide up to $3,000 towards attending any Empire Education Group beauty school. The goal of the fund is to help abuse victims afford a cosmetology education, which can mean a path to financial independence.

Cosmetology Offers Domestic Violence Victims New Path

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Many women who suffer from domestic violence feel powerless to remove themselves from abusive relationships because they are financially dependent on their abuser. This leads many to stay in an unhealthy or even dangerous environment.
Empire Beauty Schools, one of the nation’s largest systems of cosmetology schools, has created an educational assistance program to help these women. The Empire Gives Back Endowment Program allots money for clients of domestic violence relief organizations across the country. The endowment will provide up to $3,000 towards attending any Empire Education Group beauty school. The goal of the fund is to help abuse victims afford a cosmetology education, which can mean a path to financial independence.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of cosmetology is projected to grow 20 percent between 2008 and 2018. And aside from its healthy job outlook, cosmetology has proven to be an answer for mothers who need a flexible job schedule that will allow for their childcare needs.
“Domestic violence affects one out of every four women, and that includes our clients and even our Empire family,” says Franklin K. Schoeneman, CEO and Chairman of Empire Education Group. “Thanks to our endowment program, students have come to us from many of the women’s shelters we support around the country, and we have witnessed first-hand how the opportunity for a cosmetology career can change a life.”
Empire is not the only organization to embrace the concept that cosmetology can be a solution for women who desperately need a lifeline. Beyoncé Knowles just opened the Beyoncé Cosmetology Center at Phoenix House, a drug and alcohol addiction-recovery center in New York. Knowles, whose mother once ran her own salon, said that she felt like the program needed something that was geared towards women.
Career assistance is only one way the salon industry helps in the fight against domestic violence. Hairstylists often share intimate client relationships, allowing them to notice signs of abuse that others may miss. Women usually see their hairdressers regularly, building trust over time, and sometimes feel more comfortable confiding in their hairdresser than family members or friends. Empire educates students on how to inform abused clients about where to get help.
“We’ve worked with the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Office on Violence Against Women to launch our Empire Gives Back awareness and fundraising program, and we are hopeful that our new endowment program will be a path to a new career and, hopefully, a new life for women in need,” said Schoeneman.
To learn more, visit www.empiregivesback.com.

Web Site Helps Consumers Find Free Medications

<b>Web Site Helps Consumers Find Free Medications</b> (NU) – Millions of Americans have turned to the Internet for cheaper prescription drug prices, but they may be surprised to learn that for millions of consumers, the best deals are available from pharmaceutical companies in the form of patient assistance programs.

In 2003, patient assistance programs helped uninsured or underinsured patients obtain nearly 18 million prescriptions. The estimated wholesale value of medicines distributed through patient assistance programs is almost $3.4 billion.

To continue to help doctors and low-income patients take advantage of free and significantly discounted medications, America’s pharmaceutical companies are launching a new Web-based tool on www.helpingpatients.org, a site that gives eligible patients and health care providers “one-stop shopping” for available patient assistance programs.

The new feature provides easier and faster access to 40 different patient assistance programs and more than 400 medications.

“In the past, you had to determine which programs you were eligible for and then fill out a separate application for each program,” said Alan F. Holmer, president of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. “Now, all you need to do is answer one short set of questions. Then the computer tells you which programs you are eligible for and creates separate applications based on your answers, clearing the confusion and cutting the time you or your health care provider would spend answering the same questions over and over again on different forms.”

After printing out the form, the site provides instructions for attaching certain documentation, completing the documents and obtaining the signature of the appropriate health care provider.

In accordance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations, none of the personally identifiable information is retained. To ensure that the information is highly secure, all of the forms are encrypted to require a password that only the patient and health care provider knows.

HelpingPatients.org also contains an online database of more than 185 patient assistance programs. The database was created and funded by the pharmaceutical industry.

Consumers can download a free copy of the patient assistance program directory at www.helpingpatients.org or at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Web site, www.phrma.org.

PhRMA also publishes a printed version of the directory, which lists programs, the companies that offer them, available medicines, basic eligibility requirements and contact persons.