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Contact:   Deborah Davis
Campaign Manager
For Immediate Release
May 28, 2004


ALA, Walgreens team up to bring Medicare information to libraries

Company becomes Founding Partner
of The Campaign for America's Libraries


(CHICAGO) The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce that Walgreens has been named the newest Founding Partner of The Campaign for America's Libraries.   During the course of the Campaign, ALA and Walgreens will promote consumer health education and libraries as sources of accurate, reliable health information.

This month, ALA and Walgreens are working together to provide public libraries with information aimed at increasing knowledge and understanding of the new Medicare Drug Discount Card Program.   In June 2004, ALA and Walgreens will distribute 410,000 copies of the brochure Introducing Medicare-Approved Drug Discount Cards, provided by Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), to the nation's 16,400 public libraries.

"We are aggressively reaching out to seniors to help them learn about the new benefits being offered to them under Medicare," said HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. "America's libraries are performing an important and meaningful public service by helping deliver straight answers directly to seniors who have questions about the new Medicare law."

All public libraries will receive a package of 25 brochures that outlines the new Medicare-approved program and provides information that will better enable people to understand the drug discount card and make informed decisions.

"Librarians have always worked to assist patrons in accessing much-needed, accurate healthcare information," said ALA President Carla Hayden. "Because 84 percent of people ages 65+ say that the new Medicare discount cards are 'too complicated to understand (USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll),' library staff across the country are faced with an immediate need for clear and concise information on this topic.   We are pleased to work with Walgreens to bring this information to our libraries and to highlight the role of librarians in keeping our communities healthy and well-informed."

"Walgreens is committed to helping people make informed healthcare decisions.   By working with the American Library Association, we are able to provide information to all segments of the population that use public libraries as their primary source for information," added Walgreens President Jeff Rein. 

The Campaign for America's Libraries is a multi-year public awareness and advocacy effort, sponsored by ALA, to speak loudly and clearly about the value of libraries, librarians and library workers in the 21st century. Founding Partners include: Major League Baseball; Dean Foods, marketer of Hershey's Milk; Woman's Day magazine; 3M Library Systems; Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA); National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); and Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. For more information about Walgreens, including its health library featuring Mayo Clinic Health Information, visit 


About the American Library Association: Established in 1876, the American Library Association is the oldest and largest association in the world with approximately 64,000 members.   Its mission is "to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all."


About Walgreens:   Walgreen Co. is the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2003 sales of $32.5 billion. The company operates 4,397 stores in 44 states and Puerto Rico and plans to open 425 new stores in fiscal 2004. The company also operates Walgreens Health Initiatives, which provides pharmacy benefits management, mail service prescriptions and other clinical services.




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ALA, Walgreens team up to bring Medicare information to libraries