Thursday, September 19, 2013

Walgreens Provides $2,500 for CERC Diabetes Research

CERC Director Dr. Gloria Callwood and Research Director Dr. Noreen Michael accept a $2,500 check from Walgreens officials opening the company newest store in St. Thomas. Also on hand for presentation were, from left, UVI Director of Major Gifts Mitchell Neaves, Walgreens Corporate Operations Vice President for Walgreens Southern Operation Charles Bernard, St. Thomas store Pharmacy Manager Danielle Shook, Walgreens Puerto Rico and USVI Market Vice President Nivia Santiago, Dr. Michael, Gov. John de Jongh Jr., UVI Director of Corporate, Foundation and Government Relations Richard Cleaver, Callwood and St. Thomas Store Manager and Community Leader Justin Woods.

UVI's Caribbean Exploratory Research Center (CERC) received $2,500 to further its ongoing diabetes research efforts in the territory from Walgreens on Saturday, Sept. 13, when the company opened its first U.S. Virgin Islands store on St. Thomas.

CERC Principal Investigator and Director Dr. Gloria Callwood said the idea for supporting the organization's research stemmed from a community meeting which both she and Justin Woods, Walgreens store manager and community leader, attended at the Schneider Regional Medical Center. The session was organized by Sen. Clarence Payne, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health and Veterans affairs, and Schneider CEO Dr. Bernard Wheatley.

Dr. Callwood thanked Walgreens for being a good corporate citizen. She was especially pleased the company “recognizes the need for more research into this particular condition to be done here.” She said diabetes and its complications are “one of the leading causes of death in the territory.”

"We recognize that diabetes is a prevalent issue that affects many people in the St. Thomas community,” Walgreens Puerto Rico and USVI Market Vice President Nivia Santiago said during the opening ceremony. “So, as part of our commitment to help support the people in St. Thomas, we wanted to contribute to a local organization on the island – the Caribbean Exploratory Research Center.”

Santiago told those attending the opening that CERC sponsors research, intervention, community outreach efforts and education to address health issues such as diabetes. She said it affects the growing population of those living in the U.S. Virgin Islands who do not have access or have barriers to health care. “We are privileged to be able to support CERC,” she said.

“Our purpose is to help our customers get, stay and live well,” she said. “We are committed to developing relationships that help our neighborhoods and we believe in the importance of giving back to the community. Walgreens also donated $2,500 to the United Way.

Walgreens’ Corporate Operations Vice President for Operations Charles Bernard said the Walgreens Co. has been around for more than 100 years. “Our success stems from changing and evolving to meet needs of customers,” he said. “Today, we are pleased and thrilled to be here in St. Thomas to celebrate the opening of our very first Walgreens store in the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

“All of us at UVI are delighted any time we can work together with local corporations and businesses to improve the quality of life in the territory,” said UVI Director of Corporate, Foundation and Government Relations Richard Cleaver. “We’re a University for the Virgin Islands .”

For more information on CERC and how to support its work visit the CERC website – – or call (340) 693-1178.