American Cancer Society Hope Lodges Make Traveling Easier


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Hope Lodges

For more than three decades, Ellen Scharaga has been a leader in the pharmacy industry. Having held such positions as director of pharmacy, pharmacy supervisor, and general manager, she currently serves Alegria Specialty Pharmacy as an operational consultant. Dedicated to helping others, Ellen Scharaga supports several charitable organizations, including the American Cancer Society.

As part of its mission to end cancer around the world, the American Cancer Society maintains numerous programs and services that help cancer patients and caregivers ease some of their burdens during their battle against cancer.

One such service, the Hope Lodge program, provides patients and their caregivers with a free place to stay while they receive treatment away from home. Hope Lodge was created to alleviate the expense and stress of traveling to obtain treatment, which oftentimes prevents individuals from getting the help they need. Hope Lodge helps patients focus on getting better rather than worrying about paying for lodging.

There are currently more than 30 Hope Lodge locations throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Although each location varies in terms of eligibility requirements, they all provide guests with a home-like environment and offer various resources related to cancer treatment. Hope Lodges also give guests the option to connect with other patients or to maintain their privacy.


The LLS Praises the FDA’s Approval of Blinatumomab

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Melville, NY, resident Ellen Scharaga is committed to helping others. Beyond promoting improved medical patient outcomes through her role as an operational consultant for Alegria Specialty Pharmacy, she supports several charitable organizations. One of the many organizations Ellen Scharaga supports is the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).

For more than 65 years, the LLS has been committed to educating the public, helping patients with blood cancer, and funding blood cancer research. The organization recently praised the United States Food and Drug Administration’s approval of blinatumomab as a treatment for individuals with a unique form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The therapy, which is a bispecific antibody T-cell engager, directs the body’s T cells to a specific protein found on the surface of B cells, including B-cell lymphomas and leukemias. Modified antibodies then engage a specific target on both the T cell and B cell, forcing the two cells to connect to one another and allowing the T cell to destroy the other cell.

Blinatumomab received the FDA’s Breakthrough Therapy designation in mid-2014 and was approved for patients with refractory B-cell precursor or Philadelphia chromosome-negative relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia in early December. The FDA will maintain its approval of the treatment once its clinical benefit is proven through additional research trials.

Four Mobile Apps for Online Shoppers

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A resident of Melville, NY, and a registered pharmacist, Ellen Scharaga has more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Over the course of her career, she has served at the executive level, directing all pharmacology-related matters in various companies. Outside of work, Ellen Scharaga enjoys reading, walking, and shopping.

Although regular shoppers prefer taking trips to the mall for an authentic shopping experience, technology has made shopping more accessible and convenient. Here are some mobile applications for online shoppers:

ShopStyle. This app features a catalogue of over 1,400 retailers. It also allows shoppers to custom search and receive alerts when favorite brands go on sale.

Poshmark. Since most items sold in Poshmark are gently used, shoppers can get items at a discounted rate.

Amazon. The online marketplace features a wide array of products, from electronics to pet supplies. Amazon also has a review section to help buyers purchase from trusted sellers.

Sephora. This app caters to beauty junkies, with its curated collection of beauty products. The Sephora app also has a Virtual Artist feature, which allows shoppers to try on various lip shades before buying.

How to Simplify Life with an Alzheimer’s Patient

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Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

Ellen Scharaga, an operational consultant for Alegria Specialty Pharmacy, works on developing specialty medications to treat diseases such as HIV, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis. Currently living in Melville, NY, Ellen Scharaga is a supporter of the Alzheimer’s Foundation.

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can feel overwhelming at times. However, there are several adjustments that you can make to help day-to-day life run more smoothly. For instance, help your loved one with Alzheimer’s establish a predictable daily routine. Schedule medical appointments at the time of day when your loved one tends to be most agreeable. Allow extra time to complete daily activities, since moving through them with someone with Alzheimer’s will take more time than before.

Limit choices, but make room for independence at the same time. For instance, lay out two outfits to choose between, but allow your loved one to get dressed independently if they are able. Give any instructions one step at a time and be sure to turn off any distractions, such as the television, to allow your loved one to focus better on the task. Finally, remember to stay flexible, as your loved one’s preferences and moods are likely to change more than before.

Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Plans Next Meeting for April 2016

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Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy

Ellen Scharaga of Melville, NY, currently works as an operational consultant for Alegria Specialty Pharmacy. Active in professional societies, Ellen Scharaga is a member of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy.

The next annual meeting of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy will be held from April 19 to 22, 2016, in San Francisco, California. This is the premier event for various experts and pharmacy professionals to come together to discuss the industry and share their viewpoints on such matters as managed care pharmacy, breakthrough drug therapies, and their impact on health care. A highlight of next year’s event will be the growing field of specialty pharmacy.

Sessions will bring participants up to date with current pharmaceutical regulations, as well as cutting-edge research developments and the future of the profession. The target audience for the event includes managed-care pharmacists, medical directors, health plan and Medicare/Medicaid administrators, and health practitioners who focus on pharmacy benefits.

American Cancer Society Updates Guidelines for Mammography Screenings

American Cancer Society pic
American Cancer Society

An accomplished pharmacologist, Ellen Scharaga of Melville, NY, currently works for Alegria Specialty Pharmacy as an operational consultant. Interested in supporting cures for chronic and life-threatening diseases, Ellen Scharaga is a supporter of the American Cancer Society.

After studying recent medical evidence, the American Cancer Society has updated its guidelines for mammogram screenings. The new recommendations for preventive breast cancer screenings may come as a surprise to some. The Cancer Society now says that women can start having mammograms later in life, and they can be done less frequently than has been the norm.

The new guidelines, based on the findings of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, say that regular screenings for women of average risk in the 40-49 age group carry more risks than benefits. In addition, it is now recommended that women aged 50 to 74 have mammograms only every other year, rather than each year. The reasoning behind the changes is the high rate of false positives. Women of low risk who are screened annually have almost a two-in-three chance of receiving at least one false positive, which increases health care costs and causes patients unnecessary stress.

When to Use OTC Drugs to Manage Pain

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Pain Management

A resident of Melville, NY, and operational consultant for Alegria Specialty Pharmacy, Ellen Scharaga plays a vital role in developing new medications that manage chronic conditions. Medications that Ellen Scharaga works with include specialized pain management drugs.

When experiencing pain, individuals have the option to use over-the-counter (OTC) medicine or obtain a prescription. OTC pain relievers are best suited for occasional aches derived from arthritis, sore muscles, headaches, and back pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, are often recommended. Pain management specialists suggest using OTC medication to manage infrequent pain and to try a different NSAID if one does not work, since each type offers varying outcomes.

Individuals should see a physician if the OTC medication is not working and the pain intensifies. Swelling and inflammation as well as onset of a fever will require attention from a medical professional. A physician will evaluate a patient to determine suitable medication to prescribe that will not only manage pain but have the least likelihood of side effects.