American Cancer Society Hope Lodges Make Traveling Easier


Hope Lodges pic
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.


How to Simplify Life with an Alzheimer’s Patient

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America pic
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

Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy pic
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.

When to Use OTC Drugs to Manage Pain

Pain Management pic
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.

Unexpected Benefits of Participating in Volunteer Work

Volunteering pic

Based in Melville, NY, Ellen Scharaga is a pharmacy professional with 25 years of experience. A supporter of the American Cancer Society as well as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Ellen Scharaga values charitable work and spends time outside of her professional life engaging in volunteer services. Volunteerism not only provides charitable organizations and nonprofits with the extra help needed to reach disadvantaged groups, but also can provide volunteers with several personal benefits.

Beginning with the physical benefits, volunteering can remove you from an old routine, getting you out of your home and moving around. Many volunteer opportunities involve cleaning outdoor spaces or packaging items such as food or medical supplies. The physical exercise coupled with the social connections that you can make working with people who share your values are excellent ways to fight mild stress and depression.

Volunteering also presents participants with an opportunity to learn new skills. Nonprofits often look for individuals who are open to learning new tasks. In unpaid volunteer positions, individuals can earn experience in areas such as office administration, childcare, and crisis counseling. They can then take these skills into their professional lives.

Perhaps the most important benefit is that volunteering brings a sense of accomplishment and charity to the lives of volunteers. Engaging with a nonprofit can help volunteers find a way to participate in an activity or cause that is personally relevant, especially if they work in an industry in which they do not receive personal validation.

Beneficial Activities for Individuals with Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America pic
Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

Ellen Scharaga of Melville, NY, is an operational consultant for Alegria Specialty Pharmacy, a company that develops and administers medications that help manage the effects of chronic medical conditions, such as HIV, arthritis, and infertility. Outside of her professional life, Ellen Scharaga donates her time to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. Though patients with Alzheimer’s can experience emotionally taxing mental degeneration, participation in certain activities may help improve both their mood and mental function.

Professionals suggest that devising simple activities based on patients’ past interests can lead to a successful and happy experience. For example, a patient who once enjoyed completing complex jigsaw puzzles may enjoy attempting a smaller puzzle with larger pieces.

Another suggestion that professionals make is to suggest activities that engage creativity. Working with bright colors in the form of paints, crayons, or clay may allow individuals with Alzheimer’s to express their creative side, generating a positive internal response to the activity.

Additionally, no matter a person’s age or condition, participating in physical exercise tends to yield positive results. Encourage Alzheimer’s patients to take short walks, offering them the opportunity to explore the outdoors in a setting such as a park or garden, where they can appreciate nature and use benches to rest.

Events Held at the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life

American Cancer Society pic
American Cancer Society

Ellen Scharaga, operational consultant for Alegria Specialty Pharmacy, is a health-industry. Outside of work, Ellen Scharaga volunteers with nonprofits that focus on medical research, such as the American Cancer Society. Each year, the American Cancer Society sponsors Relay for Life, a nationwide fundraising event. The overnight track walk that brings together cancer survivors and their supporters to raise money toward finding a cure.

Though all local Relay for Life walks have elements that make them unique, three events take place at every walk held throughout the country. The Survivor’s Lap, in which those who have battled cancer take the first turn around the track, always begins the walk. The supporters on the sidelines line up along the track to cheer on the survivors as they walk.

When night falls on the event, a luminaria ceremony is held to honor friends and loved ones who have succumbed to cancer. Participants light candles and place them inside bags around the track with personalized inscriptions written on them to memorialize those who have passed. Additionally, a Fight Back Ceremony, in which all participants are encouraged and inspired to fight back against cancer year-round and commit to helping the American Cancer Society save lives, is held at every event.