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U.K.’s Film and TV Charity Launches Two-Year Program For Better Mental Health in Film and TV

The U.K.’s Film and TV Charity has launched the Whole Picture Program, a two-year initiative designed to to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the 200,000 people who work behind the scenes in film, TV and cinema.

The Film and TV Charity has now secured £3 million ($3.87 million) in funding from Amazon Prime Video, Banijay U.K., BBC, BBC Studios, Channel 4, IMG, ITV, Sky, Sky Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Walt Disney Company, ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia to deliver the program that is supported by the BFI and backed by U.K. mental health charity Mind. The charity estimates that mental health problems, including staff turnover, cost the sector at least £300 million ($387 million) in losses each year.

The program will deliver a toolkit for mentally healthy productions; enhanced professional and peer support for freelancers; people skills and training guides; industry actions to improve behavior; and anti-bullying services and resources.

Alex Pumfrey, CEO of the Film and TV Charity said: “It has been a devastating year for many people in our industry, and it’s clear we cannot afford to return to ‘business as usual’. Our 2019 research showed a mental health crisis in the industry, which has only been exacerbated by the terrible effects of the pandemic.”

More than 9,000 people took part in the research last year, sharing their experiences and stories confidentially, which identified a mental health crisis within the industry. The findings revealed issues including self-harm and bullying. Since then, the pandemic has meant increased isolation and anxiety for many, and Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people in the industry have identified the effect systemic racism and discrimination has on mental health.

“The case for improving the mental health of the industry has never been stronger or more urgent,” added Pumfrey. “This program of work is designed to turn the tide on poor mental health by enhancing the available support, changing behavior and improving ways of working; but this will need to be an industry-wide effort to create sustainable change.”

The project has been on hold for six months whilst the charity has dedicated all of its resources to responding to COVID-19, raising £6.4 million ($8.2 million), and supporting thousands of workers with grants and financial and mental wellbeing services.

Emma Mamo, head of workplace wellbeing at Mind, said: “Unfortunately, self-employed people, freelancers and those in the film and TV industry are among those hit hardest by coronavirus. That’s why we’re pleased to be supporting the Whole Picture Program, which will provide much-needed resource and support to the many experiencing poor mental health in the sector.”

Industry leaders are part of the program’s mental health taskforce and they will work collaboratively to adopt and champion the work both within their own organizations and widely across the sector.

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Caliber, with $2.2 million in seed funding, launches a fitness coaching platform

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown the fitness space for a loop. Caliber, a startup that focuses on one-to-one personal training, is today launching a brand new digital coaching platform on the heels of a $2.2 million seed round led by Trinity Ventures .

Caliber launched in 2018 with a content model, offering an email newsletter and a library of instructional fitness content.

“My cofounders started testing the idea of coaching people individually and that’s where the light bulb really went off,” said cofounder and CEO Jared Cluff. “They saw that more than anything, people need expert guidance and a really genuinely personalized plan for their fitness routine.”

That was the origin of Caliber as it is known today.

When users join the platform they are matched with a Caliber coach. The company says that it brings on about five of every 100 applications for coaches on the platform, accepting only the very best trainers.

These coaches then take into account the goals of users and build out a personalized fitness plan in conjunction with the user, which begins with a video or phone consultation. Once the plan, which is comprised of strength training, cardio and nutrition, is finalized, the coach loads it into the app.

Users then follow the instructions from their instructor via the app and log their progress. Interestingly, these aren’t live video appointments with a trainer, but rather an asynchronous ongoing conversation with a coach that is facilitated by the app.

Users can also integrate their Apple Health app with Caliber to track nutrition and cardio, giving the coach a full 360-degree view of their progress.

Alongside providing feedback and encouragement, the coach ultimately provides a layer of accountability.

This combination of real human coaching in a less synchronous, time intensive manner has allowed for Caliber to charge at a higher price than your standard workout generator apps but come in much lower than the average cost of an actual, in-person personal trainer.

Most Caliber users will pay between $200 and $400 per month to use the platform. Coaches, which are 1099 workers on Caliber, take home 60 percent of the revenue generated from users.

Pre-launch, Caliber has more than tripled its membership across the last six months and increased the number of workouts per member by 150 percent, according to the company. Cluff says the startup is doing north of $1 million in annual recurring revenue.

Of the 41 trainers on the platform, 37 percent are female and about a quarter are non-white. On the HQ team, which totals seven people, one is female and two-thirds of the founding team are LGBTQ.

“The biggest challenge is not dissimilar to the challenge we faced at Blue Apron, where I was most recently, in that we wanted to create the category around mealkits,” said Cluff. “We want to build a category around fitness training in a space that is super fragmented with no branded leader.”

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CDC launches new plan to tackle antibiotic-resistant infections

Oct. 9 (UPI) — U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials announced Friday what they describe as a “national action plan” to fight antibiotic-resistant infections.

The bacteria that cause these diseases cannot be treated by currently available antibiotic drugs, meaning patients who suffer from them may experience severe health complications or even death.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have been linked with an estimated 35,000 deaths across the United States annually, and treating them costs the nation’s healthcare system an estimated $4.8 billion per year, according to the CDC.

“The National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria gives the U.S. government its marching orders for the next five years to accelerate the nation’s efforts to stop the spread of antibiotic-resistant bugs,” the agency said in a statement.

The CDC did not provide details on the cost of the plan, but reports suggest that, in the past, more than $150 million has been allocated annually by the agency to fight antibiotic-resistant threats in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. It is a follow-up to a similar initiative launched in 2015, the agency said.

Examples of common antibiotic-resistant infections include staph — such as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA — as well as sepsis and Clostridioides difficile, or C. diff.

The emergence of these bacteria has been linked with the overuse of antibiotics. About 30% of all antibiotics are administered unnecessarily, according to the CDC.

Roughly 2.8 million Americans are diagnosed with drug-resistant infections annually, and disease like MRSA can spread in public places, while sepsis and C. diff typically circulate in healthcare facilities, the agency said.

The goal of the action plan is to reduce by 2025 the prevalence of healthcare-associated antibiotic-resistant infections like sepsis and C. diff by 20% and community-acquired antibiotic-resistant infections like MRSA by 10%.

To do so, the agency plans to expand its antibiotic resistance lab network internationally to identify and respond to emerging disease threats “in every corner of the world.”

Domestically, the initiative will support investments in state and local health departments across the country, providing up to $2.5 million per agency to “detect, contain and prevent antibiotic-resistant infections.”

The plan also includes the establishment of a “Center of Excellence for Whole Genome Sequencing,” which identifies the DNA make-up of bacteria, at the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Biotechnology Information to gain better understanding of how these diseases are transmitted.

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Happify Health Launches “2020 Survival Kit” in Support of World Mental Health Day

The new collection includes free content to help people manage stress around the election, racial injustice and discrimination, and the pandemic

In support of World Mental Health Day on October 10th, leading digital mental health company, Happify Health, today announced the launch of the “2020 Survival Kit” available today at 2020.happify.com. This new collection offers free, tailored content designed to help people manage the stressful and challenging times being faced right now amid the upcoming U.S. Presidential election, racial inequities and discrimination, and overall stress and uncertainty around the pandemic. World Mental Health Day aims to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilize efforts in support of mental health.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201009005080/en/

Happify Health has released a “2020 Survival Kit” in support of World Mental Health Day featuring free content designed to help people with the specific challenges they may be going through right now, with tracks to help manage increased stress and worry around the upcoming U.S. Presidential election, racial discrimination and injustice, and the COVID-19 pandemic. (Graphic: Business Wire)

The 2020 Survival Kit features content developed to help people cope with the additional challenges they may be experiencing right now, and includes the following tracks:

  • Find More Peace in Election Season: Manage the negative effects of the stress and anxiety you’re feeling about the state of the country and the world, and nurture your own well-being through self-care, safe social connection, and meditation.

  • Cope with Racial Stress and Discrimination: From racial discrimination to health disparities, the mental toll on the Black community is enormous. This track provides strategies to reduce negative feelings, and promote pride, meaning, and joy.

  • Managing Stress in Uncertain Times: Uncertainty goes hand in hand with intense stress and anxiety. This track helps you cope with worry while finding meaning and moments of joy during COVID-19.

  • Conquer Negative Thoughts: When things are hard, negative thinking has a tendency to grab us and not let go. This track helps you fight back against those thoughts while building resilience.

  • Your Anxiety Antidote: Mindfulness Meditation: A mindfulness practice focused on reducing anxiety can help you cope with a chaotic world and recharge your resilience.

“Now more than ever, access to digital mental health tools like Happify is critical to helping people manage the rapidly increasing stress and worry they’re experiencing – whether resulting from the pandemic, the upcoming election, racial discrimination or a combination of it all,” said Tomer Ben-Kiki, Co-Founder and CEO at Happify Health. “In support of World Mental Health Day, we are especially committed to delivering accessible mental health resources, such as our free 2020 Survival Kit, to help people cope with specific challenges they may be experiencing during this difficult year.”

Mental health disorders have been compounded by stress around the upcoming U.S. Presidential election, racial injustice and COVID-19, scaling the problem into a global crisis, and increasing the demand for digital mental health tools that will deliver people the

Walgreens Launches Find Rx Coverage Advisor to Help Customers Navigate Health Coverage Options

Find Rx Coverage Advisor builds on Walgreens efforts to support patients in maintaining affordable access to medications as health insurance shifts for many

At a time when millions of Americans face unemployment and the loss of health insurance, Walgreens has launched Find Rx Coverage Advisor, a new resource providing personalized guidance to customers seeking information on available health and prescription drug coverage options. With Medicare Part D and individual marketplace open enrollment approaching, Find Rx Coverage Advisor connects eligible customers directly to health plan partners who can assist with questions about enrollment.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201008005277/en/

Walgreens Launches Find Rx Coverage Advisor to Help Customers Navigate Health Coverage Options (Photo: Business Wire)

“Shifts in health insurance coverage because of job loss, life events or as you qualify for Medicare Part D can be a complicated maze of options,” said Rick Gates, senior vice president of pharmacy, Walgreens. “As champions of patient choice and prescription affordability, Walgreens collaborates with and accepts a wide range of health plans and benefits. This allows us to provide our customers with trusted resources to help find the right health insurance option for them.”

Customers can access a personalized report from Find Rx Coverage Advisor by answering a few questions to identify health coverage options. Results include available health plans in their area, including Medicaid, marketplace health plans, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans, as well as additional prescription savings resources based on the information provided. In the next month, reports can be emailed to customers for additional research or follow-up needs.

The launch of Find Rx Coverage Advisor builds on Walgreens efforts to support patients in maintaining access to medications. Earlier this year, Walgreens announced lower prices on hundreds of medications available through the company’s Prescription Savings Club, which offers savings of up to 80 percent off cash retail prices to all customers on thousands of medications.* Anyone can join the Walgreens Prescription Savings Club for an annual fee of $20 per individual or $35 per family. Customers can search for savings on medications through the Prescription Savings Club look up tool, and will now also save over 20 percent off the cash retail price for flu shots, where the Prescription Savings Club is available.

Members of Walgreens Prescription Savings Club have saved over $164 million off the cash retail price on prescriptions and immunizations since relaunching the program nationwide.* This adds to a number of efforts to ensure patients have access to affordable medications and health services prior to and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic including:

  • Expanding services like 90-day refills, early refill authorizations and waiving fees for one-to-two day delivery on eligible prescriptions during shelter-in-place orders.

  • Saving qualifying patients $375 million in out-of-pocket costs on medications since the beginning of the year by connecting patients with prescription assistance programs and manufacturer coupons.

  • Providing 200,000 flu vouchers for immunizations at no cost to those in need during the upcoming flu season.

  • Partnering with manufacturers to

Patient Safety Authority Launches Statewide Campaign “Knock out the Flu, PA”

Patient Safety Authority Launches Statewide Campaign “Knock out the Flu, PA”

PR Newswire

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 8, 2020

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Patient Safety Authority (PSA) has kicked off Knock out the Flu, PA—a comprehensive campaign that urges Pennsylvanians to get a flu shot.

A new white board video explains in simple terms the science behind the flu shot and its benefits, while debunking common myths: No, you cannot get the flu from the flu shot, and yes, you need one every year.
A new white board video explains in simple terms the science behind the flu shot and its benefits, while debunking common myths: No, you cannot get the flu from the flu shot, and yes, you need one every year.

The advocacy effort includes a whiteboard video that explains in simple terms the science behind the flu shot and its benefits, while debunking common myths: No, you cannot get the flu from the flu shot, and yes, you need one every year. A social media campaign featuring influencers and everyday citizens is also underway. All Pennsylvanians are encouraged to join the flu shot challenge by getting vaccinated and posting a photo with the hashtag #KnockOutTheFluPA.

Last year in Pennsylvania, there were 130,000 influenza cases. While some cases are mild, many lead to hospitalization or death. Fighting the flu also weakens your immune system, which increases susceptibility to other illnesses, like COVID-19. That’s why the flu shot is more important now than ever. October and November are ideal months to get it to keep you protected through the whole flu season.

“Our immune systems are already strained by the stress of the pandemic and our healthcare system can’t take another battle, especially one that can be prevented or significantly knocked back,” says Regina Hoffman, PSA executive director. “Getting a flu shot also makes it less likely that you’ll give the virus to someone else. We urge every Pennsylvanian to do their part.”

Flu Shots are Readily Available
Most insurance companies cover the cost of a flu shot, which are available at physicians’ offices, pharmacies, grocery stores, and clinics throughout the Commonwealth. Find locations here.

For those who don’t have insurance, several county and city health departments and health systems are offering or are planning free clinics. Among them:

Allegheny County 
Allentown Health Bureau 
Bethlehem Health Bureau
Central PA – Geisinger Health System 
Lehigh Valley Health Network 
Montgomery County 
Philadelphia 
Wilkes-Barre Health Department

Established under the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act of 2002, the PSA, an independent state agency, collects and analyzes patient safety data to improve safety outcomes and help prevent patient harm. http://patientsafety.pa.gov/

Cision
Cision

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SOURCE Patient Safety Authority

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YMCA Of Austin Launches Virtual Fitness Programs

AUSTIN, TX — Just because the coronavirus has halted some activities doesn’t mean you can’t stay fit. With that in mind, the YMCA of Austin is launching an online platform for members offering a fitness experience for them to remain active and healthy, officials said.

Launching this month, the Virtual Y includes access to more than 20 hours of YMCA Live exercise classes each week plus an on-demand library of hundreds of instructional fitness classes. Classes range from yoga, barre and tai chi to cardio fitness and HIIT (High-Impact Interval Training). Classes are suitable for people of all ages and abilities, including a full complement of senior programs such as balance exercises and low-impact workouts for people with reduced mobility.

“On-demand fitness platforms are everywhere these days, but what sets the Virtual Y apart is the local, personal connection we can provide with our instructors, other participants and the community as a whole,” James Finck, YMCA of Austin President & CEO, said in a prepared statement.

The Virtual Y is just the latest in the Y’s long history of innovation, which spans from the invention of basketball and volleyball to the creation of group swim lessons and summer camps. After the citywide shutdown in March, the Austin Y began piloting virtual programming that drew a nationwide audience. Since then, thousands of people have enjoyed a wide variety of programs that have included coffee clubs, kids’ yoga, virtual storytimes, senior fitness, Zumba and even bible study.

“Our Y has worked quickly in response to this public health crisis to meet community needs, whether by distributing thousands of pounds of food, providing child care to essential workers or performing outreach to isolated seniors,” Finck said. “The Virtual Y is yet another way that we are innovating to help people maintain their health while following safety guidelines.”

The Virtual YMCA is a benefit available to all full-facility YMCA of Austin members for no extra cost. An exclusive stand-alone Virtual YMCA membership is also available for $25 per month. More details are available at the YMCA of Austin homepage.

In the coming weeks. The Y will launch virtual Personal Training exclusively for members as well as Youth & Family programming. The Y is also currently offering fee-based virtual youth programs such as dance, martial arts, boxing, art and educational enrichment. More details are available at the Virtual Program Options portal of the YMCA of Austin website.

About the YMCA of Austin

The YMCA is a nonprofit organization that has served the Austin community since 1953, providing health and wellness, aquatics, youth sports, day camp, childcare, youth leadership and family enrichment opportunities for more than 100,000 members and 30,000 program participants annually. More information on the YMCA of Austin is available at the YMCA of Austin homepage.

This article originally appeared on the Austin Patch

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SoulCycle’s At-Home Bike Launches Across The US, With Live Classes And New Variis Fitness App

Starting today, SoulCycle riders in all 50 states can bring the sweaty, high-energy, in-studio experience into their home with the national launch of SoulCycle’s at-home bike. Initially released to a small set of markets in March, this national launch coincides with the co-launch of Variis mobile app. SoulCycle’s live and on-demand classes stream to the at-home bike’s screen via Variis, Equinox Media’s digital fitness media platform. In addition to powering the digital SoulCycle experience, the standalone Variis mobile app also launches today, powering digital access to a variety of Equinox’ other notable digital fitness and mindfulness modalities.

Not surprisingly given the current climate, demand for SoulCycle’s at-home bike skyrocketed after safer-at-home orders were issued earlier this spring, necessitating a change in rollout plans for the greater launch. According to Equinox Media and Variis CEO Jason LaRose, “We launched this March to select markets and had planned to test and iterate before going national. With the pandemic, it felt critical to accelerate our roadmap and give our members and riders the ability to pursue fitness from wherever they are. On the first day we started taking SoulCycle at-home bike orders, consumers from 47 states and 11 countries were reaching out to us asking when the bike would be available to them.” 

SoulCycle’s at-home bike experience now includes both on-demand and a growing schedule of live classes. Class length ranges from 20, 30 and 45 minutes, and difficulty from beginner to advanced. Riders can filter by instructor, and peek at class playlists before committing to a ride (something never possible with the in-studio experience). Following rider demand in test markets, SoulCycle and Variis Media accelerated the addition of live classes. These live rides have been a major hit. According to LaRose and member data, “We’ve seen tremendous reception to the launch of our live rides last month—97% of riders have shared positive user satisfaction ratings, and live riders now ride an additional class per week. We are also building in community features that enable riders to see where others are joining from, and how many people they’re riding alongside—so wherever they are, they’re part of the pack.”

Plans for the standalone Variis mobile app launch were similarly expedited, based on Equinox member demand and a spike in at-home usage. Initially intending to introduce the app in a phased rollout in the spring, Variis accelerated the launch by more than six months and expanded from one market to 14 in less than two months. According to member data, since Variis’s member-launch in March, those who use the app are working out nearly 20% more per month compared to last year. Approximately 2.5 of these workouts each week take place via the app, across 2.3 types of classes. The Variis app now offers, via a monthly subscription, unlimited classes across Equinox’s own roster, as well as SoulCycle, PURE Yoga, Precision Run, HeadStrong, and now [solidcore], Rumble and

Wondercise Launches World-First Motion Matching Home Fitness System with Apple Watch Support

Set to revolutionize the fitness industry, Wondercise is the closest on-demand home workouts have come to scalable, virtual training with a personal touch.

Pioneering fitness technology startup Wondercise, creator of the world’s first home training system to analyze and compare user movements with those of an on-screen trainer in real-time, launches globally with Apple Watch and Garmin Wearable support.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201006005849/en/

Motion Matching technology brings the personal touch of taught classes to living rooms around the world (Photo: Business Wire)

Wondercise Motion Matching

Motion Matching – a feature missing from Apple’s Fitness+ service, enables users to maintain a focus on form, mirror trainers’ movements, and maximize workout results.

Wondercise offers unlimited access to over 50 classes at an affordable price, with sessions from trainers, including MMA champion Luis ‘Baboon’ Palomino, fitness influencer Adam Frater, and experts across a huge range of disciplines. These include Resistance Band Training, Hip Hop Dance, Kettlebell Crush, Tai Chi, Yoga and more. Thanks to its pioneering Motion Matching technology, Wondercise brings the personal touch of taught classes to living rooms around the world.

A Wonder Core company

Wondercise is built upon years of international insights into health and fitness; with its award-winning parent company, Wonder Core having achieved global acclaim with over ten million products sold.

“With the backdrop of COVID 19, a dramatic reduction in gym attendance, and an increase in time spent at home, it has become critical for everyone to have easy access to an affordable and effective fitness solution during this new normal. Wondercise’s Motion Matching technology and support for a wide range of wearables creates an ideal alternative for consumers and the broader fitness, wellbeing and health industries.”
Eric Chuang, Wondercise CEO

With the global rollout of the Wondercise service released in tandem with Apple Watch support, Wondercise is set to target the 51.4 percent of global smartwatch users who currently own an Apple Watch.*

* Counterpoint Research

About Wondercise

Established in 2015 by Wonder Core, Wondercise is a smart technology and fitness equipment brand that aims to improve personal sports performance by providing a complete fitness experience for all.

In just four years, Wonder Core has become a top-300 patent applicant in Taiwan, receiving invitations from the government to participate in national innovation events. Alongside its continued work to develop its Motion Matching technology, research is being carried out in partnership with gyms and hospitals.

For more information, visit: https://www.wondercise.com/EN

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201006005849/en/

Contacts

Eric Chuang
[email protected]

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EU launches a rolling review of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine

A health worker injects a person during clinical trials for a Covid-19 vaccine at Research Centers of America in Hollywood, Florida.

Eva Marie Uzcategui | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The European health regulator is reviewing a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech in real-time, days after launching a similar assessment process for AstraZeneca’s vaccine.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Tuesday its human medicines committee was evaluating the first batch of data on the vaccine, and would continue to do so until enough data is available for a final decision. 

Pfizer and BioNTech said in a joint statement the start of the review is based on data from laboratory and animal testing, as well as early testing on humans, while continuing talks to submit data as it emerged.

The EMA is using “rolling reviews” to speed up evaluations of vaccines during the pandemic by studying data as it is submitted, rather than waiting for all data to be made available along with a formal application.

Last week, it began reviewing AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s vaccine, AZD1222 or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, increasing chances of the British vaccine becoming the first to be approved in the region for the disease which has killed more than a million people globally.

While AZD1222 uses a weakened version of a chimpanzee common cold virus to build immunity against Covid-19, Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine, called BNT162b2, uses ribonucleic acid, a chemical messenger that contains instructions for making proteins.

When injected in people, BNT162b2 instructs cells to make proteins that mimic the outer surface of the novel coronavirus, which the body recognizes as a foreign invader and mounts an immune response against it.

Pfizer’s vaccine is currently being evaluated in late-stage studies in the United States, Brazil, South Africa and Argentina.

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