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Annapolis Medical Device Maker Partners With Boston Hospital On Patient Monitoring

Annapolis medical device company Zephyr Technology Corp. is collaborating with Massachusetts General Hospital on its OmniSense system for monitoring patients' vital signs. 

Paul Costello,  Zephyr's vice president of mHealth Sales, says the OmniSense system is used to monitor patients in the hospital and after they are discharged. The system allows staff and physicians at the Boston hospital to track and measure their health while they are recuperating at home.
 
Costello says the OmniSense device is about the size of a silver dollar and weighs an ounce. It is attached to the skin with two “smart” electrodes. The system works within the confines of a hospital without interfering in the facility’s electronic and internet equipment.
 
Zephyr makes sensors that measure vital signs such as electrocardiogram, heart rate, breathing rate and skin temperature. The real-time physiological status monitoring is transmitted via high-level wireless such as mobile phones, PDAs and the web.
 
The company has a variety of product lines, for use by professional sports teams, fire and rescue, law enforcement and Special Forces groups. It also sells consumer products. For example, its heart rate monitor went on sale this month, at a cost of $79.
 
Zephyr was founded in 2003 as an engineering services firm. In 2005, it received a contract from the US Department of Defense to develop a physiological monitoring system that US Navy Seals could use in combat. From there, the company branched out to monitoring the medical aspects of First Responders. The company is growing and recently hired four people for a total of 36 employees. 
 
Zephy is privately-owned and venture capital-backed. Backers include 3M New Ventures, Motorola and iGlobe Partners.
 
Source: Paul Costello, Zephyr Technology Corp.
Writer:  Barbara Pash

Hopkins Dementia Study Reveals Effects of Home Health Care

A study conducted by Johns Hopkins University and a Jewish charity revealed that people with dementia could live in their homes with help 10 months longer than those without help.

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine's Division of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry and The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore partnered on the $1.8-million study, called MIND at Home. The study was designed by Hopkins and funded by Associated. The study was designed to provide a model that could be used by community service agencies throughout the country.
 
“This is the first study coming out of the geriatric psychiatry division that looked at dementia service delivery,” says Quincy Samus, a Johns Hopkins assistant professor in the division and project director.

Dementia care coordinators provided help for a range of needs, including general medical care, interactions of their medications, behavioral problems, social involvement like adult day care, home safety modifications, financial issues and safe driving.
 
The average age of the study participants, chosen at random from Baltimore neighborhoods, was 84 and many of them still drove their cars.
 
The help the participants received not only kept them in their homes longer but improved their quality of life as well, says Samus, who notes that the study was designed to provide a model that could be used by community service agencies throughout the country.
 
LeRoy Hoffberger, past chairman of Associated, is credited for being the catalyst for the study and leading its fundraising efforts. The 18-month study was staffed by Jewish Community Services, an Associated agency, with Hopkins developing the protocols for the dementia care coordinators. Hopkins experts from its Memory and Alzheimer’s Treatment Center also participated.
 
According to Barbara Levy Gradet, Jewish Community Services’ executive director, the coordinators specialized in dementia care and the impact of dementia on family care-givers. 
 
Gradet says the Associated agency is now planning how to bring the study to scale, in other words, how to translate what worked for a small setting to the Jewish community as a whole. Still to be determined is a funding source to broaden the  scope, whether a federal agency or insurance companies.
 
In 2012, an estimated 5.4 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease. Over 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for a person with Alzheimer’s or other dementia, at an estimated cost of $200 billion.
  
Although results from the Mind At Home study have not yet been published in professional journals, preliminary findings were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference last month.
 
Calling the dementia service delivery system a “crucial concept,” Samus says the “ultimate hope is that other states adopt this approach.”
 
Sources: Quincy Samus, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Division of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry; Barbara Levy Gradet, Jewish Community Services
Writer: Barbara Pash; [email protected]

Johns Hopkins Gets $108M Public Health Grant

India, Pakistan, Zambia and Honduras could get life-saving projects that boost maternal health, improve HIV treatment and reduce the incidence of malaria thanks to a $108-million federal grant to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Communications Programs.

The U.S. Agency for International Development awarded the Center the five-year grant for health communication projects in developing countries. The Center, which manages programs in more than 30 countries and in the US, will evaluate, design and implement projects in partnership with the countries' ministries of health and other local agencies, including advertising agencies.

Center Director Susan Krenn says the goal is to have a "population-level impact" by working across all levels, from government ministries to the health providers and community leaders. The center also wants to increase good health behaviors and to influence the social norms that impact those behaviors. The communications message is built into the campaign using various media, from the internet to radio.

In Uganda, for example, the Center coordinated a campaign about pediatric HIV that set up an online "toolkit" of resources and a National Health Hotline as well as instructions to local health providers via the radio. In the Union of South Africa, for another example, soccer's World Cup finale concert promoted the fight against malaria.

For this grant, Krenn says the projects will be chosen by the U.S. Agency, which has missions in 80 countries worldwide. Each mission can apply for projects. Project approval will determine in what countries the Center works, what it does and how much is spent on each project.

The $108-million Agency grant is one of the largest in the field of health communications. This is not the first time that the Center has won a grant of this size. In 2002, it won a five-year Agency grant for about the same amount of money for similar projects. That grant ended in 2007.

For the previous Agency grant, Krenn says funding went to an array of projects. The Center scripted an award-winning program on HIV prevention in the Union of South Africa; sponsored a game show in Ghana; and developed short films about family planning that were aired on Indian TV. 

For this award, the Center is collaborating with Management Sciences for Health and NetHope as well as specialized communication partners InterNews, Ogilvy Public Relations and Population Services International.

Krenn says that advances in communications technology open up new possibilities for projects. The South African show, for example, had a social media element in the form of a Facebook page and Twitter account. In India, the Center will try a pilot program that downloads the short films onto smart phones for distribution to local educators and community leaders.

“We want to understand what are best practices and how we can use them in our work,” says Krenn.

Source: Susan Krenn, Center for Communications Programs, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Writer: Barbara Pash

Biotech Firm Fyodor to Begin Trials for Malaria Test

Fyodor Biotechnology Inc. expects to complete human trials on its product to detect malaria next year, with commercial production to begin in 2014. The Baltimore biotech firm is also in the planning stages for a second product, a variation of the first, that should be ready for production by 2015. The tests are significant for diagnosis and treatment of an illness that is endemic in developing countries around the world. 

"The tests will be revolutionary in malaria circles," says Eddy Agbo, CEO and chairman of the board of Fyodor, which has established a global network of malaria health professionals.

Fyodor Biotechnology is working with partners who will manufacture and distribute the tests, which will be sold to government and non-government organizations like the World Health Organization, travelers and the military. The tests are for citizens and visitors to countries in the "frontier" market, aka developing countries.

The University of Maryland School of Medicine is conducting the human trials on the first product in Nigeria and Mali. The Urine Malaria Test is the first urine-based test geared to the type of malaria seen in Africa, the Caribbean and South America. The second product will detect the malaria strain found in Asia, China and India. It, too, is the first urine-based test for this malarial type and human trials will also be conducted.  
 
The human trials are required to obtain approval from the US. Food and Drug Administration. While FDA approval is not necessary to sell the products in other countries, it validates them, Agbo says. 
 
Agbo says the tests resulted from Johns Hopkins University’s global health initiative. Using technology that came out of the initiative, Fyodor created a one-step test that is accurate, easy to use, and quick. Test results are available within 20 minutes.
 
Founded in 2008, Fyodor was initially housed in the University of Maryland BioInnovation Center. It subsequently moved to the University of Maryland BioPark where, in July, it relocated from a 700-square foot space to a 2,000-square foot space.
 
The company is doubling its staff, from its current three full-time employees to hiring another three full-time employees by 2013 with expertise in chemistry and recumbent DNA technology. It is also looking for several part-time employees and interns who are familiar with biology, chemistry and laboratory procedures.
 
So far, Fyodor has attracted a total of $2 million in state and federal grants and from private investors, including Maryland Technology Development Corp. and the National Science Foundation (NSF). In August, NSF awarded the company a grant of $476,000 to continue its research.
 
Source: Eddy Agbo, Fyodor Biotechnology
Writer: Barbara Pash

Audacious Inquiry Doing More IT Work For the Feds

Audacious Inquiry has landed a new client, conducting market research on behalf of the federal government.

The Baltimore technology services company will perform research on special topics, then report to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology with the results. The company cannot go into details about the topics, which are considered sensitive, according to Barbara Koch, analyst at Audacious Inquiry.   

Based on a federal act, the Office of National Coordinator seeks to improve America's health care delivery system and patient care through information technology. It runs several different programs that assist and support providers, coordinate within and among states, connect to public health resource, and train and equip workers.

Christopher Brandt, managing director of Audacious Inquiry, says the office identified the company for its market tracking and advisory services and sought it out for the $247,000 contract.

Audacious Inquiry deals primarily in health care and government, providing systems integration support, software development and technical project management. The company worked behind-the-scenes on the CRISP initiative that resulted in Maryland being the first state in the country to connect all of its 46 acute care hospitals and two specialty hospitals to the Maryland Health Information Exchange.

Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown made the official announcement last February. CRISP (Chesapeake Regional Information System For Our Patients is a partnership of Erickson Retirement Communities, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, University of Maryland Medical System and MedStar Health.

Brandt called the project "a major milestone for us." Audacious Inquiry is a contractor to CRISP, and the project allows approved doctors' offices, hospitals and other health organizations to instantly and securely share clinical health data. The state has invested $10 million along with $10.9 million in federal funds in the Health Information Exchange. 
 
Audacious Inquiry was founded in 2004. In 2010, the 30-employee company relocated from the Howard County NeoTech Incubator to the BW Tech @UMBC, the research park at University of Maryland Baltimore County. In 2012, it won the Howard County Technology Council award for life sciences company of the year.
 
Source: Christopher Brandt and Barbara Koch, Audacious Inquiry
Writer: Barbara Pash
 
 
 

Gates Foundation Grant Goes To Hopkins Researcher

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded a $100,000 grant to a researcher at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to improve the health of mothers and children in rural, hard-to-reach areas by increasing vaccine coverage.
 
Dr. Alain Labrique, director of the Johns Hopkins University Global mHealth Initiative, received a Grand Challenges Exploration Grant from the Gates foundation. This is the first time that Labrique and Hopkins’s public health school have received this particular grant although members of Labrique’s team have received other Gates’ grants.
 
“Grand Challenges pioneered funding for innovative research, for researchers to receive seed funding to take their ideas to the next level,” Labrique says. He is working with a team to develop a virtual vaccine registry, called mTikka. Part of the study will look at the impact of mobile phones on rural health delivery. 
 
Labrique says the registry builds on 12 years of public health work in rural Bangladesh, particularly on behalf of maternal, neonatal and child nutrition and survival. His team works in partnership with the Bangladesh ministry of health and family welfare and social enterprise partners mPower Health. mTikka will be test-piloted in rural, remote areas of Bangladesh for future use in other developing countries.
 
The Grand Challenges grant covers a 12- to 18-month long period. Researchers can reapply for another Grand Challenges grant after that but “you cannot hold more than one seed grant at a time,” Labrique says.
 
Grand Challenges grants have two levels, each with its own requirements. The Phase 1 grants are for $100,000 each. The Phase 2 grants start at $1 million. Will Labrique be applying for a Phase 2 grant in the future? “Oh, certainly,” he says.
 
Source: Dr. Alain Labrique, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Writer: Barbara Pash
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Maryland AG Office, MedChi Launch Insurance Watch

The Maryland Attorney General’s Office and MedChi, the state medical society, are partnering in a program that protects consumers from insurance company abuses. Launched last month, Insurance Watch enables physicians in the state to file complaints online on behalf of their patients.

The Attorney General’s Health Education and Advocacy Unit  has long accepted written claims filed by physicians when an insurance company refuses to cover a patient’s medical care and other insurance payment issues.

MedChi asked to be involved when a survey found that physicians were not filing the paper forms. “We wanted to make it easy for physicians,” MedChi CEO Gene Ransom says.

Physicians can opt to have the complaint sent to the Attorney General’s Office only or to MedChi as well. If they choose the latter, MedChi will monitor the complaint, which often goes to mediation.

According to David Paulson, spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office, more than 2,000 complaints were filed in 2011, resulting in over $1 million in claims and recovery on behalf of patients.

With the new, online system, Paulson expects the number of filed complaints to increase. “The doctors are pleased” with Insurance Watch, he says. “It’s a smart way to communicate with them, and for them to communicate with their patients.”

Che Parker, spokesman for Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic, says the health insurer has no objections to the program.

“Doctors and patients are free to use established processes and procedures to surface concerns to insurance regulators and other venues established for that purpose,” he says. “We trust those concerns will be appropriately resolved in those venues.”

Sources: Gene Ransom, MedChi; David Paulson, Maryland Attorney General’s Office; Che Parker, Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic
Writer: Barbara Pash
 
 

State Establishes New Tech Transfer Fund

The state and five universities are spending upwards of $5.8 million to help startups move from a concept to a company.  

Senate Bill 239/House Bill 442 establishes the Maryland Innovation Initiative Fund under the aegis of the Maryland Technology Development Corporation, or TEDCO. The bill passed the Maryland House and Senate and awaits the signature of Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is expected to sign it. 

“Maryland has premiere research universities but it ranks low on technology transfer,” Brian Levine, vice president, government relations, Tech Council of Maryland, says of the fund, which is intended to remedy that situation.
 
To participate in the fund, five universities are contributing to it. Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland College Park and University of Maryland, Baltimore will each contribute at least $200,000 per year. The University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Morgan State University will contribute at least $100,000 per year. The state has allocated $5 million to the fund, which will begin operating July 1.
 
Calling the fund “a great benefit for the state,” Rob Rosenbaum, TEDCO’s president and executive director, says. “We have so much research but commercialization is needed. We have to stimulate that activity.”

TEDCO is establishing an office to administer the fund. The fund helps technology concepts reach the startup phase by providing marketing and supporting the the technology transfer offices that already exist at the participating universities.
 
Rosenbaum says the fund intends to work with 40 projects per year that will result in 12 to 15 new companies. Startup companies initially generate 2.5 jobs on average, with salaries the first year of more than $75,000 per job.
 
Rosenbaum says that “all policies of the fund have not yet been defined” but the hope is that the startups it helps stay in Maryland.
 
Ronald Wineholt, vice president of government affairs of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, says the legislation provides better coordination of the universities’ transfer efforts. “Now that it’s under TEDCO, it’s a state-wide effort rather than an individual university,” he says.
 
Sources: Brian Levine, Tech Council of Maryland; Rob Rosenbaum, Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO); Ronald Wineholt, Maryland Chamber of Commerce
Writer: Barbara Pash

Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Performing Face Transplant Surgeries

Only six face transplant surgeries have been performed in the entire U.S., one of them earlier this month on a 37-year-old male at the University of Maryland Medical Center. It was the first such procedure in the state and took place over 72 hours. 

Now Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions is following suit and expects to get approval within the next few months to perform the rare and complicated surgery. 

The request from Hopkins Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery  is being considered by a Johns Hopkins University board, which has already approved its hand transplant surgery. Such boards are fairly standard among facilities that perform research on humans, the goal being to ensure the safety of the subjects.

Face transplant surgery is a medical procedure that replaces all or part of a person's face with facial tissue from a deceased human donor. Although at this point Hopkins does not have a specific candidate for the surgery, "many patients have expressed interests, and we plan to screen patients for face transplantation" as soon as approval is given, says W.P. Andrew Lee, M.D., director of the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, who has formed a face transplant team.

Besides Lee, key faculty members on the team are Dr. Chad Gordon, assistant professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery, who was involved in the country's first face transplant at Cleveland Clinic; Dr. Gerald Brandacher, visiting associate professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery; and Dr. Patrick Byrne, associate professor of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery. 

"There are many patients with significant facial disfigurement that cannot be adequately reconstructed with conventional means.  Face transplant offers the best reconstructive option for them," says Lee. "In addition, we have an immune modulation protocol that allows us to perform such transplants with much reduced anti-rejection medication, thus minimizing their side effects. 

Source: Dr. Andrew Lee, director, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Writer: Barbara Pash

Apothecary Wellness Expands Services

Apothecary Wellness in Federal Hill has added three new employees.

The holistic wellness spa and boutique has added a new esthestician, a massage therapy assistant and Dr. Homa Hashime, a holistic medical practitioner to its team.

The addition of a naturopathic medical doctor to the staff means that Federal Hill patients who choose naturopathic medicine will no longer have to travel to Hampden for care. To promote this expansion, Apothecary Wellness has planned an open house Jan. 29.

“We are seeing a drastic change in the way people are taking care of themselves, including the products they are choosing to use," says Christine Cochrum, co-owner of Apothecary Wellness. "We are excited to be a part of that change and we hope to continue to inspire wellness in our community."

The open house will feature free samples of the natural products that the boutique carries, make-up and skincare demonstrations and educational opportunities with the spa's practitioners.

Writer: Amy McNeal
Sources: Jane Seebold; Federal Hill Main Street; Christine Cochrum, Apothecary Wellness



Howard County Cites Verizon, Humanim, Among Healthy Workplaces

Howard County has named Verizon Wireless, Columbia Bank and the Hotel at Turf Valley among the area’s healthiest employers.

Launched two years ago, the county’s Healthy Workplaces program recognizes companies that develop programs to address six factors: nutrition, physical activity, wellness, mental health, environmental health, and safety.

Verizon Wireless, for instance, has instituted several programs to increase its employees’ health and wellness as well as provide family friendly amenities. Corporate facilities have large fitness centers that are available to employees. The company offers smoking cessation, on-site mammography and nutrition seminars. The company also offers lactation rooms at both of its corporate offices. The company employs nearly 1,800 in Laurel, Hanover and Columbia.

Other winners include Athelas Institute, Baltimore Aircoil Co., Humanim, Jolles Insurance, Thrive, Tower Federal Credit Union and W.R. Grace & Co.

Source: Melanie Ortel, Verizon Wireless
Writer: Amy McNeal


Hunt Valley-Based National Healthcare Career Network Adds Partners

The National Healthcare Career Network has added several new partners to its job board alliance. The Hunt Valley-based company specializes in making connections between job seekers in the healthcare industry and recruiters looking for healthcare workers with specialized skills.

"By having intrinsic knowledge of the industry, we're able to develop solutions that address specific talent acquisition needs. We continuously gather feedback from employers to understand their challenges in order to create practical, cost-effective products and services," says Carol Barber, Managing Director at the National Healthcare Career Network.

First established in 2008, NHCN is an alliance of 267 healthcare professional association and trade group job boards. One of NHCN's founding partners was the American Hospital Association. The company recently announced that it has entered into new partnerships with three organizations. The Interamerican College of Physicians & Surgeons, the National Society of Genetic Counselors, and The American Academy of Ophthalmologists joining the NHCN means that the company now has connections to 60 physician-based organizations with over half a million members.

"Healthcare is the only industry that has continually added jobs in this recession. That said, the openings tend to be very specialized and not at the entry-level. Like all industries, healthcare has felt the effects of the economy and must be very targeted and efficient in recruiting," Barber says.

The National Healthcare Career Network is also working to improve it's connections to healthcare workers with a new mobile app offering job seekers access to other things at NHCN besides just the jobs boards, including candidate screening tools and strategic counsel.


Writer: Amy McNeal
Source: Carol Barber, National Healthcare Career Network


International Dyslexia Association Launches Parent Initiative

The International Dyslexia Association has launched an initiative to help parents of dyslexic and learning disabled children connect with one another and get the information that they're looking for to help their children. The initiative includes a lower membership price for parent members, a new bi-monthly news letter, and other tools for parent members.

The centerpiece of the new program is a website that allows parents of dyslexic and learning disabled children to connect with other parents dealing with the same issues. The private, secure forum allows parent members to post questions, have conversations, post photos and videos, and make connections within the dyslexia and learning disability community. The connection site is currently being tested in 12 markets.

The Timonium based International Dyslexia Association has up to this point been a resource that was tailored to the needs of clinicians, researchers, educators and other professionals in fields that contribute to dyslexia research and education. The initiative to make the IDA accessible to parents was spurred by large numbers of parent calls and emails to the IDA.

"We get phone calls and emails from parents all over the country. Our goal is to support our parents in any way that we can. One of the things that we see the most is that parents want to connect with other parents," says Kristi Bowman, Director of Development for the International Dyslexia Association.

The IDA will be continuing the parent outreach program with new informational materials designed for parents. The new parent focused informational brochures and other learning materials will be available later this year.


Writer: Amy McNeal
Source: Kristi Bowman, International Dyslexia Association


University of Maryland Medical Center one of two dubbed "Hospital of the Decade"

Citing its strong public commitments to and major achievements in reducing medical errors, and other innovations in patient safety and quality, The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) has been named a "Leapfrog Top Hospital of the Decade" by The Leapfrog Group. Virginia Mason Medical Center (VMMC) in Seattle also received the award. The awards were presented on November 30th at a Washington, DC ceremony marking Leapfrog's 10-year anniversary.

According to Leapfrog, the two hospitals are among 1200 leading institutions that voluntarily participate in the annual Leapfrog Hospital Survey. UMMC and VMMC are the only two hospitals in America to consistently perform in the top ranks of survey responders since Leapfrog began its Top Hospitals awards program in 2006.

The Leapfrog Group is a coalition of public and private purchasers of employee health benefits founded a decade ago to work for improvements in health care safety, quality, and affordability. Initially organized by the Business Roundtable, it is now an independent, national not-for-profit organization working with a broad range of partners, including hospitals and insurers. The annual survey is the only voluntary effort of its kind. Leapfrog officials say they plan to expand their efforts in the months ahead to work with consumer groups.

Leapfrog Group Board Chair David Knowlton, president of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, describes the efforts of the two hospitals as "extraordinary in every sense of the word."

"The new era of health care reform in our nation is going to require providers, insurers, employers and others to work together as never before to improve the quality and efficiency of care," Knowlton says. "Hospitals such as The University of Maryland Medical Center and Virginia Mason Medical Center chose to blaze that trail long ago by committing themselves to change, accountability and transparency. They have done the work that others must now undertake."

According to Leapfrog CEO Leah Binder, the kind of top notch performances achieved in Baltimore and Seattle are tributes not only to employers and health care purchasers who championed Leapfrog, but to the Boards of Trustees and management teams at these hospitals, and to every physician, nurse and employee working every day on the frontlines of care. Binder noted, "These hospitals are role models: they don't compromise on patient care and they never relax their determination to do better and better every year. They are courageous enough to be transparent throughout the process." Leapfrog publishes its hospital results by hospital at www.leapfroggroup.org.

Source: The Leapfrog Group
Writer: Walaika Haskins


Medifast Tops Forbes 2010 List of America's 100 Best Small Businesses

For Owings Mills-based Medifast, Inc., a purveyor of prepackaged, portioned weightloss meal plans, , the third times the charm. The company took the top spot in Forbes Magazine's 2010 list of "America's 100 Best Small Companies." In 2008, Medifast earned its first mention on list as the 85th best small biz, rising to No. 16 on the list in 2009. Under Armour and Joseph A. Bank also made the list earning the No. 28 and No. 48 spots, respectively.

"We are extremely pleased to be recognized by Forbes for the third consecutive year, and being ranked as the top small company in America is an amazing honor and achievement," says Michael S. McDevitt, CEO of Medifast.

According to Forbes, the rankings are based on earnings growth, sales growth and return on equity in the past 12 months and over five years.

"We dropped companies with fuzzy accounting or looming legal troubles. We also compared the stock performance of each company with that of its peers. Shares of last year's list members outpaced the Russell by 10 percentage points," Forbes says, "Medifast is on a tear. Sales have marched north 41% a year over the past five years and earnings per share have increased 35% a year during the same period. The past 12 months have been even better, with sales increasing 69% and earnings jumping 120%."

The company made it to the top of the list churning out $218 million in annual sales, a 41 percent increase over the previous five years and earnings per share that have increased 35 percent a year during the same period.

Source: Medifast
Writer: Walaika Haskins

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