Last month, we released our ninth annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report, which demonstrates our “Prescription for a Better World.” The report focuses on the three pillars that support our strategy here at CVS Health – Health in Action, Planet in Balance and Leader in Growth.
Through Health in Action, we bring quality health care that is affordable and accessible to the communities we serve. A great example of this commitment is our partnership with Teen Xpress, which has increased access to quality health care for thousands of in-need youth in the Orange County area of Florida over the past ten years. The Health in Action blog recently connected with Terri-Jo Ciocca to learn more about the great work that is being done by Teen Xpress and how the grant received from CVS Health has helped expand the program.
What is the Teen Xpress Program and how was it created?
Teen Xpress (TX) is one of six programs at the Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families. TX provides comprehensive medical, mental health, and nutrition education services for uninsured/underserved adolescents via two 40-foot, state-of-the-art mobile health care clinics at high-need secondary schools and community sites. The program also offers family-centered case management to help optimize the health of a vulnerable population. Collaboratively created in 1997 with the Orange County Public School district to increase access to quality health care, TX has served thousands of youth in the last 10 years, helping them improve and manage multiple health concerns as well as healthy behaviors.
How has the funding you received from CVS Health improved the Teen Xpress Program?
The CVS Health Community Grant Program is helping TX to serve uninsured/underserved teens by supporting medical supply needs and lab testing that identifies chronic disease risk factors, as well as asthma-related equipment like inhalers. TX providers have assisted those diagnosed with asthma/allergies and have helped 60 percent of participants to improve their conditions through guided management. Additionally, 95 percent of teens who have received at least six encounters with TX providers have improved their behaviors that optimize healthy living. CVS Health’s support of the maintenance costs of one mobile health care unit that visits each school weekly has been essential in providing access to quality care.
How does the Teen Xpress Program address the medical needs of your community?
Brightly-colored TX mobile health care units travel weekly to eight secondary schools in need to provide free, holistic health care to adolescents by a highly-qualified and compassionate team. A case manager assesses their needs including immunizations, access to primary care and other health-related issues. After the certified medical assistant records vitals and medical history, the Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner conducts a comprehensive physical, often including lab work and medications. TX also provides confidential mental health assessments by a licensed clinician and/or a consultation with a registered dietician (RD). Our case managers extend TX’s care through home visits.
Can you share an example of a student who has benefited from the services that Teen Xpress provides?
Mike is an 11-year-old 6th grader from a nearby low-income community. Mike first visited Teen Xpress for a physical with the Nurse Practitioner and discovered he was overweight for his height. He was concerned and wanted to meet with TX’s RD to help improve his eating and exercise habits. During the first session, the RD found that Mike’s emotions affected his diet and worked with him to develop healthier eating habits. Since then, Mike has made a commitment to improve his health and has gained more confidence and knowledge of what it means to lead a healthier lifestyle. He has learned to eat mindfully using his five senses and has a better understanding of the five food groups. He also knows what a healthy plate should look like and carefully reads labels and is more aware of portion size.