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Jane E. Henney, M.D. - 2000 Pinnacle Awards, Canadian Embassy

This text contains Dr. Henney's prepared remarks. It should be used with the understanding that some material may have been added or deleted during actual delivery.

Remarks by:
Jane E. Henney, M.D.
Commissioner of Food and Drugs
U.S. Food and Drug Administration

2000 Pinnacle Awards
Recognizing Contributions to Health Care Quality through the Medication Use Process

Canadian Embassy
Washington, D.C.
June 14, 2000


I'm delighted to be here today to accept this award on behalf of the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Women's Health, for their successful public awareness campaign about safe medicine use, known as Take Time to Care.

This particular issue--using medicines safely--gave us the perfect opportunity to confront a major health concern with education. The program is about teaching people to help manage risk by reducing the possibility of medical error.

The effort was geared primarily toward women because women are the most active health care decision-makers in this country, and because women over the age of 45 use more medications than any other group. The campaign has distributed more than 6.5 million of the brochures, "Use Medications Wisely," since 1997. The brochure's been distributed in English and Spanish, and is available in 13 different languages on the Internet.

The success of this Office of Women's Health initiative was the result of a public-private partnership and the hard work of more than 80 not-for-profit and corporate organizations as well as 20,000 chain pharmacies. So many caring people have put enormous amounts of time and energy and creativity into making this idea a reality. I am reminded of something that Frank Lloyd Wright once said... "I know the price of success: dedication, hard work and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen." While I'd like to, I obviously can't acknowledge each and every one for their contribution. But I'll mention a few who are here with us tonight.

From FDA...

  • I'd like to start with Marsha Henderson, who created and directed this program. Marsha came to FDA four years ago with a blank sheet of paper and a directive to create a women's health education program. Even before the FDA Modernization Act was passed, she recognized the value of our stakeholders and the need to involve them in a national medication safety campaign. Marsha's vision and hard work became Take Time to Care.
  • Sharon Smith Holston - FDA's Deputy Commissioner in the Office of International and Constituent Relations has supported the campaign from the beginning. She was one of the first to see its benefits and has been a vocal champion for the program both within FDA and in the public as a media spokesperson.
  • Tom McGinnis - the Director of Pharmacy Affairs in FDA's Office of Policy-has been our liaison to the pharmacy community for Take Time to Care. Tom has played key roles in both the content of the materials and in linking the Office of Women's Health to the pharmaceutical community.
  • Darlene Bailey-is our Public Affairs Specialist from the Chicago District. In 1997, Chicago was one of two TTTC pilot cities where we tried out the idea of using drug stores to distribute our brochures. Under Darlene's leadership a Take Time to Care week was declared by Mayor Daley and more than 100 TTTC events took place throughout Chicago. Darlene is also a member of our Public Affairs Specialists Executive Council that represents more than 45 field offices across the country.
  • And Dr. Jonca Bull, Acting Director of FDA's Office of Women's Health, who is the newest member of the Take Time to Care team and is continuing its legacy.

Thank you all for your tireless efforts in creating and nurturing this campaign to enhance and protect the health of American women and their families.

I'd also like to thank our Take Time to Care partners for their heroic efforts in conducting community-based outreach and distributing our "My Medicines" brochure.

First, thanks to Philip Schnider--from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores--TTTC's official cosponsor in 1999--Mr. Schnider vigorously recruited community pharmacies for this campaign. As a result, millions of "My Medicines" brochures were printed and distributed with expert help from pharmacists across the country. Not only that, but Phil was also responsible for getting private-sector support to sponsor a satellite media tour, a public service announcement featuring the First Lady, an independent program evaluation, and many other activities during the October campaign.
Deborah Briceland Betts-President of the Older Women's League-was at the table giving us programmatic guidance from the very beginning. From the pilot city phase in 1997, to the national campaign in 1999, Deborah's chapters distributed thousands of brochures across the country during their own meetings, in senior centers and at places of worship. OWL has a long history of educating women about medication use, and we certainly benefited from their experience.

And Dr. Betty Keltner-the immediate Past President of the National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association-who encouraged her members to take thousands of our brochures and distribute them on reservations and in urban areas across the country. To date, Indian Health Services clinics in more than 19 states have received our brochures with support from the nursing community. Dr. Keltner is also the Dean of Nursing at Georgetown University and we look forward to continuing our work with her.
I'd also like to thank Dr. Marsha Millonig with the National Wholesale Druggists Association (NWDA), who nominated us for this award. Dr. Millonig's organization targeted the federal empowerment zones in the Kentucky Highlands, Mississippi Delta and Texas Border with our message in 1998. These include 13 of the poorest rural counties in the country. We are looking forward to continuing our work with NWDA's Foundation and the American Pharmaceutical Association Foundation again this year, as we seek to move into hospital settings with our TTTC campaign.

Finally, I want to thank the American Pharmaceutical Association Foundation and the Health Care Quality Alliance for selecting us to receive this prestigious award.

On behalf of FDA and the Office of Women's Health, I am honored to accept. Thank you.