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BALTIMORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Amerigroup Maryland announced today that is has been recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), which awards distinction to organizations that meet or exceed its rigorous requirements for multicultural healthcare. In acknowledgement of these efforts, NCQA awarded the health plan with the Multicultural Health Care Distinction, which recognizes organizations that lead the market in providing culturally and linguistically sensitive services, and work to reduce healthcare disparities. “Amerigroup Maryland is honored to receive the NCQA Multicultural Health Care Distinction and we look forward to continuing our commitment to providing high quality healthcare for all our members,” said Vince Ancona, Amerigroup Maryland plan president. “This distinction is a testament to our unwavering commitment to address the needs of our distinct members and providers, and validates how we are making a positive impact in the diverse communities we serve.” In addition, NCQA also awarded the Multicultural Health Care Distinction to 16 other Medicaid health plans affiliated with Amerigroup’s parent Company. “Earning Multicultural Health Care Distinction shows that an organization is making a breakthrough in providing excellent health care to diverse populations. I congratulate any organization that achieves this level of distinction,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “Eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health care is essential to improving the quality of care overall.” The NCQA Multicultural Health Care Distinction is a symbol of quality in organizational efforts to address the diverse needs of its members. The Multicultural Health Care Distinction evaluates organizations, such as health plans, wellness, disease management and managed behavioral health organizations through use of an evidence-based set of requirements. These standards create a roadmap for improving and refining initiatives. Amerigroup Maryland has provided health care coverage since 1999. Statewide, we serve approximately 266,000 members in the Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. Amerigroup Maryland is the state’s largest Managed Care Organization (MCO) and is one of the largest MCOs in Baltimore City and the counties of Baltimore, Montgomery, Prince George’s and Anne Arundel. Employees share genuine pride in making a difference in the lives of people who might need a little extra help. NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information for consumers, purchasers, health care providers and researchers.


News Article | May 9, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

GREENVILLE, Wis., May 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- School Specialty, Inc. (OTCQB:SCOO) (“School Specialty”, “SSI” or “the Company”), a leading distributor of supplies, furniture and both curriculum and supplemental learning resources to the education, healthcare and other marketplaces, today announced financial results for its fiscal 2017 first quarter ended April 1, 2017. Joseph M. Yorio, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “During the first quarter, we saw balanced growth within our Distribution business, as most of our categories were up year-over-year.  Supplies and Furniture, which comprise over 85% of our Distribution revenues, continues to grow and we are seeing steady demand across a number of specialty product categories.  While our Curriculum revenues were down, this was anticipated given fewer Science state adoptions in 2017.  Reading softness appears to be largely timing related.  Booking trends within the category have picked up nicely and we continue to anticipate the category will grow in 2017.  Overall, our top-line outlook for the year is unchanged.  We believe the Company is positioned to generate growth in excess of 2.0% this year, with opportunities to expand across categories and new markets over the coming years, especially as team selling and other initiatives take hold.” Q1 Results (for the three months ended April 1, 2017 and March 26, 2016) Mr. Yorio continued, “We are investing in our infrastructure and upgrading our systems companywide; these investments will not only facilitate a better customer experience and process improvements, but will also enable cost savings and growth.  We are also investing in our people, bringing in the right domain experts to drive both growth and profitability.  While operating income and Adjusted EBITDA are lower for the comparable first quarter, we are generally tracking in line with our plan and our guidance for 2017 remains unchanged.  We have taken steps to strengthen our balance sheet by refinancing our debt and, with the new facilities in place, have more flexibility to execute our strategy, while pursuing appropriate avenues to enhance our competitive position and valuation.  All in all, we expect to deliver on our top and bottom-line objectives in 2017 and look forward to reporting on our progress.” Additional information on the Company’s outlook for 2017 can be found in the investor presentation on pages 18-19, which will be published shortly under the Investor Relations section of the Company’s website. School Specialty will be hosting a teleconference and webcast on May 11, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. ET to discuss its results and outlook.  Speaking from management will be Joseph M. Yorio, President and Chief Executive Officer and Ryan M. Bohr, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Interested parties can also participate in the webcast by visiting the Investor Relations section of School Specialty’s website at http://investors.schoolspecialty.com.  For those who are unable to participate in the live conference call and webcast, a replay will be available approximately one hour after the completion of the call. About School Specialty, Inc. School Specialty is a leading distributor of innovative and proprietary products, programs and services to the education marketplace.  The Company designs, develops, and provides educators with the latest and very best school supplies, furniture and both curriculum and supplemental learning resources.  Working in collaboration with educators, School Specialty reaches beyond the scope of textbooks to help teachers, guidance counselors and school administrators ensure that every student reaches his or her full potential.  Through its SSI Guardian subsidiary, the Company is also committed to school, healthcare and corporate workplace safety by offering the highest quality curriculum, training and safety and security products.  Through its recently launched SOAR Life Products brand, the Company offers thousands of products that sharpen cognitive skills and build physical and mental strength in fun and creative ways. From childhood through adulthood, they help individuals live life to the fullest – engaged, happy and well.  SOAR Life Products is a customized offering for hospitals, long-term care, therapeutic facilities, home care, surgery centers, day care centers, physician offices, and clinics.  For more information about School Specialty, visit www.schoolspecialty.com. Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Information Any statements made in this press release about School Specialty’s future financial condition, results of operations, expectations, plans, or prospects constitute forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements also include those preceded or followed by the words "anticipates," "believes," "could," "estimates," "expects," "intends," "may," "plans," “projects,” “should,” "targets" and/or similar expressions.  These forward-looking statements are based on School Specialty's current estimates and assumptions and, as such, involve uncertainty and risk. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements because of a number of factors, including the risk factors described in Item 1A of School Specialty's Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, which risk factors are incorporated herein by reference.  Any forward-looking statement in this release speaks only as of the date on which it is made.  Except to the extent required under the federal securities laws, School Specialty does not intend to update or revise the forward-looking statements. Non-GAAP Financial Information This press release includes references to Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP financial measure.  Adjusted EBITDA represents net income adjusted for: provision for (benefit from) income taxes; restructuring costs; restructuring-related costs included in SG&A; change in fair value of interest rate swap; depreciation and amortization expense; amortization of development costs net interest expense; and stock-based compensation. The Company considers Adjusted EBITDA a relevant supplemental measure of its financial performance.  The Company believes this non-GAAP financial result provides useful supplemental information for investors regarding trends and performance of our ongoing operations and are useful for year-over-year comparisons of such results.  We also use this non-GAAP financial measure in making operational and financial decisions and in establishing operational goals.  The Company assesses its operating performance using both GAAP operating income and non-GAAP adjusted operating income in order to better isolate the impact of certain, material items that may not be comparable between periods. In summary, we believe that providing this non-GAAP financial measure to investors, as a supplement to GAAP financial measures, helps investors to (i) evaluate our operating and financial performance and future prospects, (ii) compare financial results across accounting periods, (iii) better understand the long-term performance of our core business, and (iv) evaluate trends in our business, all consistent with how management evaluates such performance and movements. Adjusted EBITDA does not represent, and should not be considered, an alternative to net income or operating income as determined by GAAP, and our calculation may not be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies.


BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Until Congress passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act in 2014, individuals with disabilities did not have a tax-advantaged option to help save for ongoing disability expenses while still remaining eligible for government benefits. Today, America’s retirement leader, Fidelity Investments® introduced AttainableSM, a tax-advantaged ABLE savings plan available to Americans nationwide affected by disabilities1, to address this critical need. Fidelity is the first firm of its size to introduce and manage an ABLE savings plan. “Fidelity has always been focused on putting our customers’ needs first,” said Keith Bernhardt, Vice President of Retirement and College Products at Fidelity. “Millions of people in this country live with a disability2, and that’s not counting family members who may provide care for them. For many, this can mean additional financial challenges. The new Attainable Plan is designed to help people affected by disabilities, and their families, save in a way they couldn’t before. This Plan can help them build a safe and secure financial future, with greater flexibility to address their needs.” The Attainable Savings Plan, available to individuals who have been diagnosed with a significant disability prior to the age of 26, provides an easy and accessible way to invest savings in a tax advantaged account. No federal income tax will be owed on investment earnings made in the account if the money is used to pay for qualified disability expenses. Qualified disability expenses are any expenses for the benefit of the eligible individual in maintaining or improving his or her health, independence, or quality of life. These expenses include, but are not limited to, education, housing, transportation, employment, training and support, assistive technologies and related services, personal support services, or health and basic living expenses. Saving in an Attainable Plan account also allows individuals and families to accumulate money while preserving their eligibility to receive federal government benefits. Those with disabilities often depend on a wide variety of federal benefits to help with income, health care, food and housing. While eligibility for these benefits has placed restrictions on savings in the past, money saved in an ABLE account is largely exempt from this restriction. Savings in an Attainable account does not impact Medicaid benefits, and balances below $100,000 do not impact Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Fidelity offers a variety of resources to learn more about the Attainable Savings Plan and how it can benefit individuals and families affected by disabilities. Fidelity’s new Viewpoints article, How special needs families can save, showcases examples of how families can use the Plan to help navigate the eligible individual’s needs and plan for his or her future. Additional information about how to open and manage an Attainable account can be found online at Fidelity.com/attainable, or by calling Attainable Savings Plan Specialists at: 844-458-2253 (TTY/TTD: 800-544-0118). Fidelity’s mission is to inspire better futures and deliver better outcomes for the customers and businesses we serve. With assets under administration of $6.0 trillion, including managed assets of $2.2 trillion as of March 31, 2017, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping more than 26 million people invest their own life savings, 23,000 businesses manage employee benefit programs, as well as providing more than 12,500 financial advisory firms with investment and technology solutions to invest their own clients’ money. Privately held for 70 years, Fidelity employs 45,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit https://www.fidelity.com/about. The Attainable Savings Plan is offered by the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority and managed by Fidelity Investments. Qualified ABLE Programs offered by other states may provide state tax benefits to their residents or taxpayers that are not available through the Attainable Savings Plan. If you are not a resident of Massachusetts, you should consider whether your home state offers its residents or taxpayers state tax advantages or benefits for investing in your home state’s qualified ABLE program before making an investment in the Attainable Savings Plan. Units of the Portfolios are municipal fund securities and are subject to market fluctuation and volatility. You may have a gain or loss when you sell your Units. Please carefully consider the Attainable Savings Plan’s investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. For this and other information, contact Fidelity for a free Disclosure Document or view one online. Read it carefully before you invest or send money. The Fidelity Cash Management Account is a brokerage account designed for spending and cash management. It is not intended to serve as your main account for securities trading. Customers interested in securities trading should consider a Fidelity Account®. This information is intended to be educational and is not tailored to the investment needs of any specific investor. Fidelity Investments and Fidelity are registered service marks of FMR LLC. 1 Individuals are eligible for an Attainable account if they are already receiving benefits under Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). If not, they may still be eligible if they certify that they are blind or disabled and have a written diagnosis of their condition by a licensed physician. Under all circumstances, the onset of the disability must have begun prior to age 26. 2 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2015


News Article | May 9, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

GREENVILLE, Wis., May 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- School Specialty, Inc. (OTCQB:SCOO) (“School Specialty”, “SSI” or “the Company”), a leading distributor of supplies, furniture and both curriculum and supplemental learning resources to the education, healthcare and other marketplaces, today announced financial results for its fiscal 2017 first quarter ended April 1, 2017. Joseph M. Yorio, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “During the first quarter, we saw balanced growth within our Distribution business, as most of our categories were up year-over-year.  Supplies and Furniture, which comprise over 85% of our Distribution revenues, continues to grow and we are seeing steady demand across a number of specialty product categories.  While our Curriculum revenues were down, this was anticipated given fewer Science state adoptions in 2017.  Reading softness appears to be largely timing related.  Booking trends within the category have picked up nicely and we continue to anticipate the category will grow in 2017.  Overall, our top-line outlook for the year is unchanged.  We believe the Company is positioned to generate growth in excess of 2.0% this year, with opportunities to expand across categories and new markets over the coming years, especially as team selling and other initiatives take hold.” Q1 Results (for the three months ended April 1, 2017 and March 26, 2016) Mr. Yorio continued, “We are investing in our infrastructure and upgrading our systems companywide; these investments will not only facilitate a better customer experience and process improvements, but will also enable cost savings and growth.  We are also investing in our people, bringing in the right domain experts to drive both growth and profitability.  While operating income and Adjusted EBITDA are lower for the comparable first quarter, we are generally tracking in line with our plan and our guidance for 2017 remains unchanged.  We have taken steps to strengthen our balance sheet by refinancing our debt and, with the new facilities in place, have more flexibility to execute our strategy, while pursuing appropriate avenues to enhance our competitive position and valuation.  All in all, we expect to deliver on our top and bottom-line objectives in 2017 and look forward to reporting on our progress.” Additional information on the Company’s outlook for 2017 can be found in the investor presentation on pages 18-19, which will be published shortly under the Investor Relations section of the Company’s website. School Specialty will be hosting a teleconference and webcast on May 11, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. ET to discuss its results and outlook.  Speaking from management will be Joseph M. Yorio, President and Chief Executive Officer and Ryan M. Bohr, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Interested parties can also participate in the webcast by visiting the Investor Relations section of School Specialty’s website at http://investors.schoolspecialty.com.  For those who are unable to participate in the live conference call and webcast, a replay will be available approximately one hour after the completion of the call. About School Specialty, Inc. School Specialty is a leading distributor of innovative and proprietary products, programs and services to the education marketplace.  The Company designs, develops, and provides educators with the latest and very best school supplies, furniture and both curriculum and supplemental learning resources.  Working in collaboration with educators, School Specialty reaches beyond the scope of textbooks to help teachers, guidance counselors and school administrators ensure that every student reaches his or her full potential.  Through its SSI Guardian subsidiary, the Company is also committed to school, healthcare and corporate workplace safety by offering the highest quality curriculum, training and safety and security products.  Through its recently launched SOAR Life Products brand, the Company offers thousands of products that sharpen cognitive skills and build physical and mental strength in fun and creative ways. From childhood through adulthood, they help individuals live life to the fullest – engaged, happy and well.  SOAR Life Products is a customized offering for hospitals, long-term care, therapeutic facilities, home care, surgery centers, day care centers, physician offices, and clinics.  For more information about School Specialty, visit www.schoolspecialty.com. Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Information Any statements made in this press release about School Specialty’s future financial condition, results of operations, expectations, plans, or prospects constitute forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements also include those preceded or followed by the words "anticipates," "believes," "could," "estimates," "expects," "intends," "may," "plans," “projects,” “should,” "targets" and/or similar expressions.  These forward-looking statements are based on School Specialty's current estimates and assumptions and, as such, involve uncertainty and risk. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements because of a number of factors, including the risk factors described in Item 1A of School Specialty's Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, which risk factors are incorporated herein by reference.  Any forward-looking statement in this release speaks only as of the date on which it is made.  Except to the extent required under the federal securities laws, School Specialty does not intend to update or revise the forward-looking statements. Non-GAAP Financial Information This press release includes references to Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP financial measure.  Adjusted EBITDA represents net income adjusted for: provision for (benefit from) income taxes; restructuring costs; restructuring-related costs included in SG&A; change in fair value of interest rate swap; depreciation and amortization expense; amortization of development costs net interest expense; and stock-based compensation. The Company considers Adjusted EBITDA a relevant supplemental measure of its financial performance.  The Company believes this non-GAAP financial result provides useful supplemental information for investors regarding trends and performance of our ongoing operations and are useful for year-over-year comparisons of such results.  We also use this non-GAAP financial measure in making operational and financial decisions and in establishing operational goals.  The Company assesses its operating performance using both GAAP operating income and non-GAAP adjusted operating income in order to better isolate the impact of certain, material items that may not be comparable between periods. In summary, we believe that providing this non-GAAP financial measure to investors, as a supplement to GAAP financial measures, helps investors to (i) evaluate our operating and financial performance and future prospects, (ii) compare financial results across accounting periods, (iii) better understand the long-term performance of our core business, and (iv) evaluate trends in our business, all consistent with how management evaluates such performance and movements. Adjusted EBITDA does not represent, and should not be considered, an alternative to net income or operating income as determined by GAAP, and our calculation may not be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies.


News Article | May 9, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

GREENVILLE, Wis., May 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- School Specialty, Inc. (OTCQB:SCOO) (“School Specialty”, “SSI” or “the Company”), a leading distributor of supplies, furniture and both curriculum and supplemental learning resources to the education, healthcare and other marketplaces, today announced financial results for its fiscal 2017 first quarter ended April 1, 2017. Joseph M. Yorio, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “During the first quarter, we saw balanced growth within our Distribution business, as most of our categories were up year-over-year.  Supplies and Furniture, which comprise over 85% of our Distribution revenues, continues to grow and we are seeing steady demand across a number of specialty product categories.  While our Curriculum revenues were down, this was anticipated given fewer Science state adoptions in 2017.  Reading softness appears to be largely timing related.  Booking trends within the category have picked up nicely and we continue to anticipate the category will grow in 2017.  Overall, our top-line outlook for the year is unchanged.  We believe the Company is positioned to generate growth in excess of 2.0% this year, with opportunities to expand across categories and new markets over the coming years, especially as team selling and other initiatives take hold.” Q1 Results (for the three months ended April 1, 2017 and March 26, 2016) Mr. Yorio continued, “We are investing in our infrastructure and upgrading our systems companywide; these investments will not only facilitate a better customer experience and process improvements, but will also enable cost savings and growth.  We are also investing in our people, bringing in the right domain experts to drive both growth and profitability.  While operating income and Adjusted EBITDA are lower for the comparable first quarter, we are generally tracking in line with our plan and our guidance for 2017 remains unchanged.  We have taken steps to strengthen our balance sheet by refinancing our debt and, with the new facilities in place, have more flexibility to execute our strategy, while pursuing appropriate avenues to enhance our competitive position and valuation.  All in all, we expect to deliver on our top and bottom-line objectives in 2017 and look forward to reporting on our progress.” Additional information on the Company’s outlook for 2017 can be found in the investor presentation on pages 18-19, which will be published shortly under the Investor Relations section of the Company’s website. School Specialty will be hosting a teleconference and webcast on May 11, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. ET to discuss its results and outlook.  Speaking from management will be Joseph M. Yorio, President and Chief Executive Officer and Ryan M. Bohr, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Interested parties can also participate in the webcast by visiting the Investor Relations section of School Specialty’s website at http://investors.schoolspecialty.com.  For those who are unable to participate in the live conference call and webcast, a replay will be available approximately one hour after the completion of the call. About School Specialty, Inc. School Specialty is a leading distributor of innovative and proprietary products, programs and services to the education marketplace.  The Company designs, develops, and provides educators with the latest and very best school supplies, furniture and both curriculum and supplemental learning resources.  Working in collaboration with educators, School Specialty reaches beyond the scope of textbooks to help teachers, guidance counselors and school administrators ensure that every student reaches his or her full potential.  Through its SSI Guardian subsidiary, the Company is also committed to school, healthcare and corporate workplace safety by offering the highest quality curriculum, training and safety and security products.  Through its recently launched SOAR Life Products brand, the Company offers thousands of products that sharpen cognitive skills and build physical and mental strength in fun and creative ways. From childhood through adulthood, they help individuals live life to the fullest – engaged, happy and well.  SOAR Life Products is a customized offering for hospitals, long-term care, therapeutic facilities, home care, surgery centers, day care centers, physician offices, and clinics.  For more information about School Specialty, visit www.schoolspecialty.com. Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Information Any statements made in this press release about School Specialty’s future financial condition, results of operations, expectations, plans, or prospects constitute forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements also include those preceded or followed by the words "anticipates," "believes," "could," "estimates," "expects," "intends," "may," "plans," “projects,” “should,” "targets" and/or similar expressions.  These forward-looking statements are based on School Specialty's current estimates and assumptions and, as such, involve uncertainty and risk. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements because of a number of factors, including the risk factors described in Item 1A of School Specialty's Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, which risk factors are incorporated herein by reference.  Any forward-looking statement in this release speaks only as of the date on which it is made.  Except to the extent required under the federal securities laws, School Specialty does not intend to update or revise the forward-looking statements. Non-GAAP Financial Information This press release includes references to Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP financial measure.  Adjusted EBITDA represents net income adjusted for: provision for (benefit from) income taxes; restructuring costs; restructuring-related costs included in SG&A; change in fair value of interest rate swap; depreciation and amortization expense; amortization of development costs net interest expense; and stock-based compensation. The Company considers Adjusted EBITDA a relevant supplemental measure of its financial performance.  The Company believes this non-GAAP financial result provides useful supplemental information for investors regarding trends and performance of our ongoing operations and are useful for year-over-year comparisons of such results.  We also use this non-GAAP financial measure in making operational and financial decisions and in establishing operational goals.  The Company assesses its operating performance using both GAAP operating income and non-GAAP adjusted operating income in order to better isolate the impact of certain, material items that may not be comparable between periods. In summary, we believe that providing this non-GAAP financial measure to investors, as a supplement to GAAP financial measures, helps investors to (i) evaluate our operating and financial performance and future prospects, (ii) compare financial results across accounting periods, (iii) better understand the long-term performance of our core business, and (iv) evaluate trends in our business, all consistent with how management evaluates such performance and movements. Adjusted EBITDA does not represent, and should not be considered, an alternative to net income or operating income as determined by GAAP, and our calculation may not be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies.


Suture selection provides an important opportunity to address a key risk factor for infection – bacterial colonization of the suture. Ethicon Plus Sutures are the only globally available sutures coated with triclosan that inhibit bacteria commonly associated with SSIs (including S. aureus, S. epidermidis, MRSA, MRSE, E. coli, and K. pneumoniae.i,ii,iii) from colonizing the suture. Ethicon first innovated the triclosan-coated suture with the introduction of Coated VICRYL® Plus Antibacterial (polyglactin 910) suture in 2003. "Triclosan-coated sutures should be considered as part of an institution's comprehensive evidence-based approach to reducing the risk of SSIs," said Charles Edmiston, PhD**, Emeritus Professor of Surgery & Former Hospital Epidemiologist at Froedtert Hospital - Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. "Ethicon Plus Sutures play an important role in reducing hospital-acquired infections, and with health care costs increasingly rising, it's now more important than ever to address the risk factors associated with SSIs." Surgical Site Infections are among the most common healthcare-associated infections (HAI) worldwide; they increase morbidity and mortality in surgical patients and represent an economic burden to healthcare systems.iv In fact, SSIs have been reported as the most common type of HAI in the U.S.,v occurring in up to 3% of all hospitalized patients.vi "Ethicon, with a 60-year legacy of innovation in surgical sutures, fully supports the CDC's updated guideline, which demonstrates their commitment to improving the quality of patient care and will ultimately help save many lives," said Liza Ovington, Franchise Medical Director for Ethicon. Ethicon Plus Sutures have been shown in vitro to inhibit bacterial colonization of the suture for seven days or more, as well as bacterial growth in a zone around the suture.iii By inhibiting bacterial colonization of the suture by pathogens commonly associated with SSIs, a key risk factor for infection is addressed. Numerous peer reviewed, randomized clinical trials, as well as prospectively planned meta-analyses of these trials, support a growing body of evidence that antibacterial sutures are an important tool in the fight against surgical site infections. To learn more about Ethicon Plus Sutures, visit www.ethicon.com About Ethicon  From creating the first sutures to revolutionizing surgery with minimally invasive procedures, Ethicon, part of the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, has made significant contributions to surgery for more than 60 years. Our continuing dedication to Shape the Future of Surgery is built on our commitment to help address the world's most pressing health care issues, and improve and save more lives. Through Ethicon's surgical technologies and solutions including sutures, staplers, energy devices, trocars and hemostats and our commitment to treating serious medical conditions like obesity and cancer worldwide, we deliver innovation to make a life-changing impact. Learn more at www.ethicon.com, and follow us on Twitter @Ethicon. *Ethicon represents the products and services of Ethicon, Inc., Ethicon Endo-Surgery, LLC and certain of their affiliates. Ethicon, Inc. is the legal manufacturer of Plus Antibacterial Sutures. i Ming X, Rothenburger S, Nichols MM. In vivo and in vitro antibacterial efficacy of PDS Plus (polidioxanone with triclosan) suture. Surg Infect. 2008;9(4):451-457. ii Ming X, Rothenburger S, Yang D. In vitro antibacterial efficacy of Monocryl Plus Antibacterial Suture (poligelcaprone 25 with triclosan). Surg Infect. 2007;8(2):201-207. iii Rothenburger S, Spangler D, Bhende S, Burkley D. In vitro antimicrobial evaluation of coated Vicryl Plus Antibacterial Suture (coated polyglactin 910 with triclosan) using zone of inhibition assays. Surg Infect. 2002;3(suppl):79-87. iv Wang ZX, Jiang CP, Cao Y, Ding YT. Systematic review and meta-analysis of triclosan-coated sutures for the inhibition of surgical-site infection. Br J Surg. 2013;100(4):465-473. v Magill, S.S., et al., "Prevalence of healthcare-associated infections in acute care hospitals in Jacksonville, Florida". Infection Control Hospital Epidemiology, 33(3):(2012): 283-91. Accessed April 6, 2016 at http://www.cdc.gov/nhsn/PDFs/pscManual/9pscSSIcurrent.pdf. vi FAQs About Surgical Site Infections. Accessed April 6, 2016: http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/pdfs/ssi/SSI_tagged.pdf. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention-updated-guideline-now-include-a-recommendation-for-triclosan-coated-sutures-300454736.html


Brennan Collins, Vice President of Product at HealthMine said, "Members want one central source for their health information, and health plans can be the hub." He continued, "To more deeply connect with members, it is better if plan sponsors communicate through each member's preferred channels and share health intelligence—not just data.  Health Intelligence leverages health data and provides real-time personalized guidance to manage health. Plans that deliver that kind of value will better engage their members." The 2017 HealthMine Health Intelligence Report: Communication and Digital Healthcare Tools is available here. About the Survey The HealthMine Health Plan Intelligence Survey queried 750 insured consumers who are enrolled in a wellness program. The survey was fielded by Survey Sampling International (SSI) in January 2017. Data were collected via an opt-in panel. The margin of error is 4%. Survey Sampling International (SSI) has been the Worldwide Leader in Survey Sampling and Data Collection Solutions, across every mode, for 37 Years. About HealthMine HealthMine is a leading healthcare technology company that delivers Health Intelligence for plan members and plan sponsors.  HealthMine's cloud-based Health Intelligence Solution facilitates better health outcomes and lowers healthcare costs by providing: 1) insight into health status and risk, 2) clinical guidance on necessary health actions, 3) personalized motivation to close gaps in care and 4) measurement of outcomes. The Health Intelligence Solution derives business value from all clinical and lifestyle health data including data from existing wellness programs. HealthMine has more than 1 million users and has saved health plan sponsors more than $100 million in healthcare costs. HealthMine is on the web at www.healthmine.com. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/73-percent-of-health-plan-members-say-their-plan-doesnt-understand-their-health-very-well-healthmine-report-300457227.html


News Article | May 9, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

NORWALK, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--etouches, a leading global provider of cloud event management software and sourcing solutions, today announced that it has been acquired by HGGC, a leading middle market private equity firm. HGGC’s investment will help etouches significantly expand its business and further invest in its market-leading cloud platform to win a greater share of the $6 billion Event Management Software (EMS) and venue sourcing market. etouches’ end-to-end platform provides event management and venue sourcing solutions to a broad set of customers worldwide in all major verticals, addressing a wide range of event management and data needs and complexities. Its state-of-the-art cloud platform brings together hotel and venue sourcing, event marketing and content, registration and logistics, engagement and mobile, and data analytics and ROI solutions. etouches employs a data-and-analytics-driven focus to provide real-time insights, customer engagement and smart solutions to more than 1,300 global customers including Lufthansa, Dell, IKEA, Volkswagen/Audi, Ticketmaster, BNP Paribas, National Australia Bank, Mary Kay, Mazda and NPR. The company has offices in the US, UK, Belgium, Australia, Singapore and United Arab Emirates. “We are very excited to partner with HGGC as we continue to enhance our offering and capitalize on the large whitespace in the market,” said Oni Chukwu, CEO of etouches. “The HGGC team’s experience in marketing technology gives them a very sophisticated understanding of the opportunity in front of us as enterprises transition from single-point solutions to a suite of solutions that manage the entire event lifecycle.” Throughout its growth over the past nine years, etouches has maintained the highest level of service and quality, winning multiple industry awards including Superior Customer Service, Best Event Management Technology, Best Event Management Software, and Best Event Management Solutions. etouches was also named Best Place to Work in several industry leading publications while achieving a revenue retention rate over 100%. “Under Oni’s leadership, etouches has become a premier provider of EMS and venue sourcing solutions, more than doubling revenues since 2014,” said Steve Young, Co-Founder and Managing Director of HGGC. “We’re confident that the additional resources we can bring to bear will accelerate etouches’ already impressive growth and outpace the competition. Because we see etouches as a growth investment just starting to reach its potential, we’ve made this acquisition without leverage and are putting cash on the balance sheet to ensure nothing slows the company’s trajectory.” Over the past 12 months, etouches has executed 46,000 events totaling 5.8 million registrations. “Most people don’t realize that event management is an enormous business expense, accounting for up to 3 percent of total revenue and nearly a quarter of all B2B marketing budgets—approximately $14 billion,” said Farouk Hussein, Principal at HGGC. “Organizations are hungry for a broad solution set that can be used by multiple stakeholders to address all event management needs, as well as a centralized data source that is critical for event analytics. etouches provides that solution, which tracks real-time customer engagement, drives overall lower event costs and increases ROI and productivity.” etouches is the final platform investment made from HGGC’s $1.33 billion second fund. It also represents the seventh marketing services technology platform the firm has invested in, following AutoAlert, Dealer FX, Integrity, MyWebGrocer, Selligent, and SSI. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP served as financial and tax advisor, and Jordan Edmiston Group acted as a buy-side advisor to HGGC. etouches is a global leader in cloud based analytics and data driven end-to-end event management and venue sourcing solutions. The award winning open source platform delivers innovative technology solutions to streamline the event process, providing real-time data and analytics on event performance, customer engagement, increasing measurable event ROI. Founded in 2008, etouches has assisted over 25,000 event professionals in planning, executing and measuring their events. With a focus on event sourcing, registration, marketing, logistics, engagement, mobile and data analytics, the company serves more than 1,300 customers including leading corporations, associations, agencies and educational institutions globally. Headquartered in the United States the company also has offices in the UK, Belgium, Australia, Singapore and UAE. etouches has experienced 50% CAGR over the past 4 years. Learn more about etouches at etouches.com. HGGC is a leading middle-market private equity firm with over $4.3 billion in cumulative capital commitments. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., HGGC is distinguished by its “Advantaged Investing” model that enables the firm to source and acquire scalable businesses at attractive multiples through partnerships with management teams, founders and sponsors who reinvest alongside HGGC, creating a strong alignment of interests. Over its history, HGGC has completed more than 50 platform investments, add-on acquisitions, recapitalizations and liquidity events with an aggregate transaction value of more than $12 billion. More information is available at www.hggc.com


News Article | September 12, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

SSI separated the QUEST Awards into four categories this year: consumer, business-to-business, trackers and mobile. These awards were further divided by region: the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific, with four companies earning "Best in QUEST" in their respective categories: "The SSI QUEST Awards were created to reward companies that provide excellent respondent experiences as determined by the respondents themselves," said Andy Jolls, SSI's chief marketing officer. "The quality of the experience the industry gives its participants is paramount to achieving quality results.  Researchers must give participants a good survey-taking experience or risk losing them.  This year's SSI QUEST Award winners clearly demonstrate their commitment to high-quality research results." With panels in more than 90 countries and 40 million completed surveys annually, SSI is the industry leader and innovator on survey design and respondent experience. SSI introduced the QUEST (QUestionnaire Experience Satisfaction Tool) Awards in 2010 to support the industry's continuing quest to improve respondents' survey experience and encourage creativity in developing surveys that delight. Self-reported satisfaction scores from respondents are key factors in determining the score. Winners are also judged on drop rates and actual times to complete questionnaires. In order to be eligible for an award in each category, finalists must have a minimum of five surveys completed within the QUEST year that runs from June 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017. SSI uses its own proprietary technology and tools to test surveys on behalf of customers to help improve survey quality and participant experience. SSI Survey Score is an automated tool that tests for survey quality and mobile friendliness and also detects errors and programming issues. The SSI Survey Score tool, which is part of the SSI Suite, provides an estimate of survey length and generates detailed reports as to where the survey may have failed. It tests across multiple devices and screen sizes, and as a predictive tool, will help determine participant engagement and satisfaction. Since its introduction in June 2014, the SSI Survey Score tool has impacted millions of survey completes. ESOMAR, the global association for market research, data analytics and insights, celebrates its 70th anniversary with its 2017 Congress event in Amsterdam's Beurs van Berlage conference center from Sept. 10 to 13, 2017. SSI is the platinum sponsor of this year's event and sponsor of the Young ESOMAR Society. SSI will be celebrating its 40th anniversary on Sept. 15, 2017. For more information on ESOMAR, please visit www.esomar.org. About SSI Celebrating 40 years in business, SSI is the premier global provider of data solutions and technology for consumer and business-to-business survey research. SSI reaches participants in 90+ sample countries via internet, telephone, mobile/wireless and mixed-access offerings. SSI staff operates from 40 offices and remote staff in more than 20 countries, offering sample, data collection, CATI, questionnaire design consultation, programming and hosting, online custom reporting and data processing. SSI's employees serve more than 3,500 customers worldwide. Visit SSI at www.surveysampling.com.


News Article | September 11, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

This partnership allows marketers to combine the power of survey-based research with people-based marketing initiatives, giving them access to capabilities that include: LiveRamp's IdentityLink solution allows marketers to create an omnichannel view of the consumer, resolving multiple sources of data to a privacy-compliant identifier that can then be utilized in partnership with SSI to power people-based marketing initiatives. "For 40 years, SSI has been building an extensive global audience and a deep understanding of people's buying habits and behaviors. LiveRamp's IdentityLink solution enables the platform to connect this rich data to many new and exciting marketing and insight applications," said Bob Fawson, SSI's chief product officer. "The SSI/LiveRamp partnership offers a way to converge big data with targeted research and segmentation to deliver a better, more relevant customer experience." "Through this partnership, brands will now be able to engage consumers using self-reported data collected via surveys," said Paul Turner, LiveRamp's vice president of platforms. "This will further improve the people-based targeting, personalization, and measurement marketers can engage in." "We know what these consumers might buy in the future. Because we ask lots of questions, our data is multi-dimensional across time," added Fawson. "More importantly, our permissioned relationships with consumers allow us to collect relevant data where other sources are limited. By surveying the consumer, we offer the ability to market products and services based on actual behavior." LiveRamp offers brands and the companies they work with identity resolution that is integrated throughout the digital ecosystem, and provides the foundation for omnichannel marketing. IdentityLink transforms the technology platforms used by its clients into people-based marketing channels that improve the relevancy of marketing, and ultimately allow consumers to better connect with the brands and products they love. LiveRamp is an Acxiom company (Nasdaq: ACXM), delivering privacy-safe solutions to market and honoring the best practices of leading associations including the Digital Advertising Alliance's (DAA) ICON and App Choices programs. For more information, visit www.LiveRamp.com. Celebrating 40 years in business, SSI is the premier global provider of data solutions and technology for consumer and business-to-business survey research. SSI reaches participants in 90+ sample countries via internet, telephone, mobile/wireless and mixed-access offerings. SSI staff operates from 40 offices and remote staff in more than 20 countries, offering sample, data collection, CATI, questionnaire design consultation, programming and hosting, online custom reporting and data processing. SSI's employees serve more than 3,500 customers worldwide. Visit SSI at www.surveysampling.com.

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