OMAHA, Neb. -- The pharmacy department at a Hy-Vee unit here held a first-aid demonstration for children and their parents this spring that served to promote the food store as a community-oriented wellness center. The program even caught the attention of a local network's television news cameras.
"There was a very good turnout. We made it onto the news. I'm sure it helped sales," said Deb Gerch, assistant food-store manager for West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee Food Stores.
The idea was promoted by the manufacturer of Curad bandages, Futuro, a Beiersdorf company based in Milford, Ohio. The program started in July 1996. More than 100 clinics have been held so far, the majority in chain drug stores.
About 50 adults and kids attended the Hy-Vee first-aid program, which was held on a Saturday this spring from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The goal of the Carrie Curad Boo-Boo Clinic is to make learning basic first aid fun for parents and children. A Hy-Vee employee dressed up as a little girl -- "Carrie Curad" -- in a costume with velcro bandages spread all over her body. Hy-Vee pharmacists distributed first-aid kits of neosporin and some sample bandages to onlookers. Curad supplied coloring books, first-aid certificates and sample bandages.
Shoppers assembled at the pharmacy learned about first-aid basics, such as washing a scrape with soap and water, keeping hands clean and using a bandage properly. Hy-Vee pharmacists also offered useful safety tips for children like the importance of wearing helmets when biking and knee pads for in-line skating.
To publicize the event, Hy-Vee placed flyers on the supermarket entrance and distributed brochures at the Alegent health clinic, next door to the food store. Flyers also went into each prescription packet that the supermarket's pharmacy dispensed.
The "clinic" showered a lot of attention on the supermarket pharmacy.
"It told the community that we are a one-stop shopping stop. We don't have just food, we have first aid." Gerch said.
"It makes the customers aware that we have a pharmacy. It lets them know that we are people-oriented," commented Lori Hennis, a pharmacist at Hy-Vee, which is at the corner of 96th and Q Streets in residential southwest Omaha.
"It was more geared toward safety than anything else. We didn't emphasize the Curad part of it," Hennis said. "We will do it again."
Another supermarket chain, Super Food Mart Stores, part of A&P, Montvale, N.J., put its own spin on the Carrie Curad Boo-Boo event.
"At stores in Danbury and Middleton, Conn., the costumed character went to each child in the store individually and explained to them how to clean their wounds and cover them when they fall," said Robin Page, pharmacy director of the New England division of A&P, headquartered in Springfield, Mass.