(Family Features) With near-endless sunshine, world-class theme parks and abundant outdoor experiences, California is an ideal destination to embark on an unforgettable adventure.
To make it easy for travelers to plan their trips, the 2023 California Road Trips guide includes 13 action-packed itineraries that begin and end at one of the state’s 27 commercial airports, highlighting how easy it is to fly into any region of the Golden State and hit the road.
“California’s natural beauty, diverse topography and culturally rich communities are the perfect backdrop for an epic road trip experience,” said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California, a nonprofit organization that partners with the state’s travel industry to develop and maintain marketing programs that keep California top-of-mind as a premier travel destination. “This year’s guide showcases how the state’s vast network of international and regional airports provide travelers with convenient access to every corner of the California Road Trip Republic.”
The guide’s cover star, Dwyane Wade, a three-time NBA champion, dad and owner of Napa Valley winery Wade Cellars, moved to Los Angeles after his retirement in 2019. Wade said California granted him a soulful landscape and much-needed quiet time.
“I like to find moments where no one can expect anything of me and California allows me to have those moments,” Wade said. “I’ll drive to the beach and walk next to the water. I’ll drive all over to find those moments to connect with myself… I get my energy from that.”
While California’s world-renowned coastline provides a dramatic backdrop, adventures can be found in every region of the Golden State. Featured drives take travelers to both cities and classic small towns, family attractions and far-reaching, otherworldly landscapes. A few sample road trip itineraries include:
- “Animals, Desert and Offbeat Art” combines kid-friendly experiences like LEGOLAND California and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park with the rich arts culture and stargazing opportunities in Borrego Springs.
- “Cactus and Cocktails” explore both the cosmopolitan pleasures of Palm Springs and the rugged sceneries of Joshua Tree National Park and the Mojave National Preserve.
- “National Park Adventures” is a 412-mile adventure that begins at Fresno Yosemite Airport and explores the wonders of Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
- “Road to Gold” is a four-day trek that begins in Sacramento, explores Lake Tahoe and meanders back through Gold Country with photo opportunities at every turn.
- “Innovation and Agricultural Bounty” features a San Jose-based itinerary that showcases cutting-edge arts, charming seaside villages and bountiful farmlands on a 238-mile journey.
To order a guide, go to VisitCalifornia.com/Travel-Guides.
Photo courtesy of Visit California/Places We Swim
118th Toy Fair: Global Toy Companies Showcase Innovative Toys in NYC
Discover the latest innovative toys from global toy companies at the 118th Toy Fair in NYC. Don’t miss this exciting event!
New York, NY – The 118th Toy Fair is set to take place from September 30 to October 3 at the Javits Center in New York City, bringing together over 1,000 global toy companies. Spanning nearly eight football fields, this event showcases the latest and most innovative toys from around the world. From nostalgic ’90s toys to cutting-edge tech gadgets, attendees will get an exclusive, hands-on experience with hundreds of thousands of brand-new toys and games. This is not only an opportunity for trade guests and media to discover this year’s hottest toys but also a chance to catch a glimpse of what’s to come in 2024. The Toy Fair promises exciting visuals, insightful presentations on toy trends, and a parade of costumed characters to kick off the event. Registration is mandatory, and media credentials will be verified. Don’t miss out on this unparalleled play-focused experience that unifies the toy industry’s ecosystem and sets the stage for the holiday shopping season.
About Toy Fair® www.ToyFairNY.com
Toy Fair® is the largest and most comprehensive play-focused experience unifying the toy industry’s entire ecosystem with key players to help with business development and sourcing the latest products from across all forms and stages of play. Featuring thousands of new and unique toys, games, edutainment, entertainment-driven experiences, and more from around the world, Toy Fair offers attendees a competitive edge no other trade event can match.
About The Toy Association www.toyassociation.org / www.thegeniusofplay.org / www.playsafe.org
Founded in 1916, The Toy Association™, Inc. is the business trade association representing hundreds of companies including manufacturers, retailers, licensors, and others who are involved in the youth entertainment industry. The Toy Association leads the health and growth of the U.S. toy industry, which has an annual U.S. economic impact of $102.4 billion. Our manufacturing members account for 93% of U.S. toy and game sales driving the annual $40 billion U.S. domestic toy market. The Toy Association serves as the industry’s voice on the developmental benefits of play and promotes play’s positive impact on childhood development to consumers and media. The organization has a long history of leadership in toy safety, having helped develop the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 40 years ago, and remains committed to working with medical experts, government, consumers, and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play. As a global leader, The Toy Association produces the world-renowned Toy Fair®; advocates on behalf of members around the world; sustains the Canadian Toy Association; acts as secretariat for the International Council of Toy Industries and International Toy Industry CEO Roundtable; and chairs the committee that reviews and revises America’s widely emulated ASTM F963 toy safety standard.
SOURCE The Toy Association
U.S. News Releases 2024 Best Colleges Rankings
Latest edition places an emphasis on outcomes measures for graduating college students.
WASHINGTON /PRNewswire/ — U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in education rankings, today announced the 2024 Best Colleges. Serving as a guide for prospective students and their families, the rankings evaluate 1,500 colleges and universities using up to 19 measures of academic quality. This year’s rankings placed a greater emphasis on social mobility and outcomes for graduating college students, demonstrating the most significant methodological change in the rankings’ history.
More than 50% of an institution’s rank now comprises varying outcome measures related to success in enrolling and graduating students from all backgrounds with manageable debt and post-graduate success. In addition, five factors were removed: class size, faculty with terminal degrees, alumni giving, high school class standing and the proportion of graduates who borrow federal loans.
“For 40 years, students and their families have come to count on Best Colleges as a vital resource as they navigate one of the most important decisions of their lives,” says Eric Gertler, executive chairman and CEO of U.S. News. “The significant changes in this year’s methodology are part of the ongoing evolution to make sure our rankings capture what is most important for students as they compare colleges and select the school that is right for them.”
With these outcomes-focused methodology adjustments, the following schools saw significant increases in their rank:
- Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (NC) +106
- University of Texas at San Antonio (TX) +92
- California State University, East Bay +88
- Florida Gulf Coast University +80
- University of Texas Rio Grande Valley +72
- Gwynedd Mercy University (PA) +71
- University of Nevada, Reno +68
- Northern Arizona University +68
- The University of Texas at El Paso +68
- California State University, Fresno +65
- The University of Texas at Arlington +63
- Northern Illinois University +62
- Aurora University (IL) +62
- Texas Woman’s University +62
- San Francisco State University (CA) +56
- Florida Atlantic University +54
- Augusta University (GA) +52
- University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh (WI) +52
- Texas State University +51
- University of Houston, Clear Lake +51
For the first time, Best Colleges includes undergraduate economics degree and psychology degree rankings. This edition of the rankings also includes specialized rankings, such as the most innovative colleges and universities with the greatest commitment to undergraduate teaching.
The 2024 Best Colleges methodology is calculated using 19 key measures of academic quality for National Universities and 13 indicators for the National Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities and Regional Colleges. The formula uses data universally reported by schools or obtainable from third-party sources. As always, schools’ eligibility to be ranked is not contingent on participation in U.S. News’ surveys.
2024 Best National Universities – Top 3
1. Princeton University (NJ)
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
3. Harvard University (MA) (tie)
3. Stanford University (CA) (tie)
2024 Best National Liberal Arts Colleges – Top 3
1. Williams College (MA)
2. Amherst College (MA)
3. United States Naval Academy (MD)
2024 Top Public Schools: National Universities – Top 3
1. University of California, Berkeley (tie)
1. University of California, Los Angeles (tie)
3. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
2024 Top Public Schools: National Liberal Arts Colleges – Top 3
1. United States Naval Academy (MD)
2. United States Air Force Academy (CO)
3. United States Military Academy at West Point (NY)
2024 Top Performers on Social Mobility: National Universities – Top 3
1. California State University, Long Beach
2. California State University, Fullerton (tie)
2. California State University, Riverside (tie)
4. California State University, San Bernardino (tie)
4. University of California, Merced (tie)
2024 Top Performers on Social Mobility: National Liberal Arts Colleges – Top 3
1. Lake Forest College (IL)
2. Agnes Scott College (GA) (tie)
2. Salem College (NC) (tie)
2. Spelman College (GA)
Alongside the rankings, U.S. News publishes editorial content related to the college selection experience. This includes advice on topics such as a complete guide to the application process, how to ask for letters of recommendation, how to apply to college for free and more.
On Sept. 28, U.S. News will host a free webinar on the new edition of Best Colleges and its methodology, with presentations from the lead ranking analysts. Those interested in attending can register here.
U.S. News’ education portfolio also includes the newly acquired CollegeAdvisor.com which offers expert support during the college admissions process. In addition, U.S. News College Compass provides students and their parents with access to the most complete rankings and data.
About U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report is the global leader in quality rankings that empower consumers, business leaders and policy officials to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives and communities. A multifaceted digital media company with Education, Health, Money, Travel, Cars, News, Real Estate, Careers and 360 Reviews platforms, U.S. News provides rankings, independent reporting, data journalism, consumer advice and U.S. News Live events. More than 40 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
SOURCE U.S. News & World Report, L.P.
CVS Health study shows continuing suicide crisis in the U.S.
Awareness of the crisis is widespread, but most Americans lack strong knowledge of the warning signs
Despite national trends, Aetna, a CVS Health company, members have seen reductions in suicide-related events over the past year, compared to 2019 baselines
WOONSOCKET, R.I. /PRNewswire/ — A recent CVS Health® (NYSE: CVS)/Harris Poll survey of Americans 18 years and older found that nearly one in five (18%) U.S. adults say they were plagued with suicidal thoughts in the past year.
Other key findings from the survey include:
- More than a third of younger adults aged 18-34 (36%) say they had moments in the past year where they contemplated suicide.
- An overwhelming nine in ten (89%) U.S. adults deem suicide prevention efforts a major priority in our society.
- However, less than a third (32%) strongly agree they can recognize the warning signs of someone potentially at risk, and only four in ten (43%) are strongly aware of resources that offer support and information on suicide prevention.
- Nearly eight in ten (77%) U.S. adults believe health care providers have a crucial role in suicide prevention, and there is an opportunity for providers to have more discussions about suicide with patients.
“Our nation continues to face a mental health and suicide crisis, especially among youth and older adults,” said Cara McNulty, President of Behavioral Health and Mental Well-being at CVS Health. “However, with timely, evidence-based interventions, and public awareness efforts, we know suicide is preventable. We’ve developed an approach based on early detection, data-backed support methods, programs for those that have lost someone to suicide and community education to help those in need and empower their support systems. Every life saved is worth the effort.”
Growing reduction in Aetna members’ suicide attempts
As part of its ongoing commitment to mental health and well-being, CVS Health continues to focus on reducing suicide attempts among Aetna members.
- Despite the increasing national trends, Aetna has seen a 16% reduction in suicide attempts among Aetna adult Commercial members when compared with a 2019 baseline.
- Aetna member youth (13–17-year-olds) attempts remain above the 2019 baseline. However, since Aetna launched dedicated youth programming in 2021, attempts are trending downward with a 13% reduction when comparing 2022 with 2021.
- Aetna has seen a 13.7% reduction in suicide attempts among its Medicare Advantage members compared to 2019.
“Every suicide that is prevented is a life that is saved,” said Taft Parsons III, M.D., Vice President and Chief Psychiatric Officer at CVS Health. “We are working closely with our partners to implement targeted interventions for youth and develop similar programming for older adults. Together we can help raise awareness of the ongoing crisis and connect those in need to evidence-based resources that can help saves lives.”
CVS Health resources to prevent suicide
CVS Health has implemented several programs and partnerships to help address the suicide crisis focused on both individuals and health care providers.
Partnerships and programs to support Aetna members in need
- CVS Health launched a proactive outreach program for high-risk youth members. Clinical staff outreach those families to connect them with specialized services and resources.
- Aetna members have access to specialized outpatient programs, such as a suicide prevention program that combines digital solutions with telehealth sessions and specially trained, licensed clinicians.
- Through the Caring Contacts program, at-risk Aetna members receive simple messages of hope after being discharged from an intensive level of care related to suicide. More than 20,000 caring contacts or care bags are delivered annually.
- CVS Health continues to scale universal screenings and safety planning for all Aetna members, whether or not there is a clear suicide risk, in order to better take action if and when needed.
Partnerships and programs to support health care providers
- Aetna launched a free suicide prevention training, support and continuing education qualification program for contracted behavioral health and EAP providers. All therapists who provide counseling and other mental health services in MinuteClinics® in select CVS Pharmacy locations are certified in this program.
- Aetna works with SafeSide, an organization dedicated to mental health education, to train primary care physicians, medical practices and their staff in identification and early intervention for patients at risk of suicide.
- Aetna facilitates a program in which pediatricians are able to participate in the ECHO suicide prevention training opportunity from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and American Academy of Pediatrics.
CVS Health also offers a number of mental health guides, podcasts and trainings centered around different populations – from the LGBTQ+ community to young adults to parents and caregivers to teachers – and their unique mental health needs.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of CVS Health from August 3-7, 2023, among 2,016 U.S. adults age 18+ who agreed to answer questions about sensitive and personal information related to mental health, including topics surrounding suicide. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within ±2.7 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. For complete research methods, including weighting variables, please contact [Doug Feingold ([email protected])].
About CVS Health
CVS Health® is the leading health solutions company, delivering care like no one else can. We reach more people and improve the health of communities across America through our local presence, digital channels and over 300,000 dedicated colleagues – including more than 40,000 physicians, pharmacists, nurses and nurse practitioners. Wherever and whenever people need us, we help them with their health – whether that’s managing chronic diseases, staying compliant with their medications or accessing affordable health and wellness services in the most convenient ways. We help people navigate the health care system – and their personal health care – by improving access, lowering costs and being a trusted partner for every meaningful moment of health. And we do it all with heart, each and every day. Follow @CVSHealth on social media.
Aetna, a CVS Health business, serves an estimated 34 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental and behavioral health plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers’ compensation administrative services and health information technology products and services. Aetna’s customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, visit www.aetna.com and explore how Aetna is helping to build a healthier world.
SOURCE CVS Health
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