Building on its successful grassroots campaign, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores has kicked off a "get-out-the-vote" political mobilization drive and recognized the political engagement of Kmart and H.E. Butt Grocery Co.

NACDS, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, NACDS Pharmacy & Technology Conference, Steve Anderson, RxImpact Votes, get-out-the-vote, political engagement, Kmart, H.E. Butt, H.E.B., Kmart Pharmacy, Sears Holdings, grassroots advocacy, NACDS Political Action Committee, NACDS-PACPolitically Engaged Pharmacy Award, PEP Award, RxImpact Leader of the Year Award, Robert Egeland, Hy-Vee, Russell Redman

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NACDS launches RxImpact Votes; Kmart, H.E.B. honored

August 30th, 2010

SAN DIEGO – Building on its successful grassroots campaign, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores has kicked off a "get-out-the-vote" political mobilization drive and recognized the political engagement of Kmart and H.E. Butt Grocery Co.

At the NACDS Pharmacy & Technology Conference in San Diego on Monday, association president and chief executive Steve Anderson unveiled RxImpact Votes, a bipartisan effort to spur pharmacy personnel to register to vote, volunteer for political campaigns and vote on Election Day for the candidates of their choice. The initiative is part of NACDS' RxImpact grassroots advocacy program.

"The launch of this get-out-the-vote initiative is important for the future of pharmacy," Anderson said in a statement. "Pharmacy advocates now have the tools to register to vote, find out about elections in their communities and how to get involved in campaigns, which are all key ways to engage in the political process."

Also, the bipartisan NACDS Political Action Committee (NACDS-PAC) and the RxImpact program joined forces during an event on Saturday to celebrate political involvement by recognizing the recipients of the NACDS-PAC Politically Engaged Pharmacy "PEP" Award and the NACDS RxImpact Leader of the Year Award.

The 2010 recipient of the PEP Award is Texas-based food and drug chain H.E.B. for its involvement in the political process to help ensure that pharmacy's voice is heard by policymakers. The award is presented to a company or individual who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to the advancement of pharmacy through political engagement. H.E.B. also serves as the chair of the NACDS-PAC.

"We are pleased to recognize H.E.B.'s leadership and participation in all segments of NACDS' political programs with the PEP Award," Anderson commented. "We are also grateful for the company's generous personal support of NACDS' efforts to advance the political process."

And this year's recipient of the RxImpact Leader of the Year award is Kmart Pharmacy, part of Sears Holdings Corp. NACDS said the award honors the company for its distribution of nearly 20 RxImpact "Calls to Action" that inspired their engaged pharmacy teams to send thousands of letters to policymakers on pro-pharmacy issues. Kmart was also the first NACDS member company to host RxImpact Training Program breakout sessions to encourage employees to discuss their grassroots experiences.

"NACDS is pleased to recognize the grassroots advocacy efforts of Sears Holdings Corp., Kmart Pharmacy," stated Anderson. "The company is deeply involved in the NACDS RxImpact program. Its execution of thousands of personalized letters to policymakers illustrates exemplary efforts at a time pro-pharmacy health care reform needed powerful advocates. We applaud their efforts and thank them for their support of NACDS' activities."

The importance of political involvement was highlighted at the outset of the conference. In kicking off the event on Sunday, conference chairman Robert Egeland, vice president of pharmacy at Hy-Vee Inc., urged attendees to remain engaged with NACDS throughout the year.

"NACDS is tackling some huge issues. It is helping to promote the importance of medication adherence, which I think matters in some way to everyone in this room, chains and suppliers alike," Egeland said. "It is redefining pharmacy in the minds of government officials. It is empowering you to be more active in advocacy through the RxImpact grassroots program, which connects you with your legislators. The opportunities to make business connections do not come close to ending when we close up shop here [at the conference] on Wednesday."