Originally published by CVS Health on September 3, 2019
Together, we can help deliver the first tobacco-free generation.
We’re helping deliver the first generation to be tobacco-free. As the nation’s largest pharmacy innovation company, CVS Health is uniquely positioned to help people on their path to better health, which includes playing a leading role in helping people lead tobacco-free lives. That’s why, through our company and the CVS Health Foundation, we’re investing $50 million and working with the nation’s leading anti-tobacco and youth organizations to support comprehensive education, advocacy, tobacco control and healthy behavior programming to help those who smoke quit and ensure those who don’t never start.
Part of our commitment to deliver the first tobacco-free generation includes a partnership with the CVS Health Foundation, American Cancer Society® and Truth Initiative® to award grants to hundreds of U.S. colleges and universities. Our Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative is part a growing movement to accelerate and expand the number of campuses that are 100 percent smoke and tobacco free.
In addition, we have invested in tobacco-free resources for students, parents, teachers, schools and youth organizations. These tools and curricula cover topics including the dangers of tobacco, e-cigarette use, healthy behaviors, and advocacy training.
Each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 3,200 children under the age of 18 smoke their first cigarette, with 580 who become regular, daily smokers. We have an opportunity to end this persistent epidemic, and ensure the health of 5.6 million children alive today who are at risk of becoming a tobacco statistic tomorrow.
With our partners, we’re working towards contributing to a 3% decline in youth smoking rate; a 10% decline in the number of new youth smokers; and doubling the number of tobacco-free colleges and universities.
American Cancer Society
American Lung Association
Tobacco Prevention Toolkit
Tobacco Free Kids
National Urban League
Catch Global Foundation
American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation
Yale Center for Health & Learning Games
Tobacco use remains the number one preventable cause of death in the United States. Explore resources that help people live tobacco-free lives.
Completes installation of time delay safe technology in all 446 CVS Pharmacy locations as part of effort to help reduce robbery incidents
Company also adds 50 in-store safe medication disposal units to help combat misuse and diversion of unused medication across the state
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — As part of an ongoing commitment to helping build healthier and safer communities, CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced the expansion of two initiatives aimed at reducing the potential for misuse and diversion of prescription medications in Massachusetts.
CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health, completed the installation of time delay safe technology in all its 446 Massachusetts locations, including those in Target stores. The safes are anticipated to help prevent pharmacy robberies and the resulting diversion of controlled substance medications, including opioid medications such as oxycodone and hydrocodone by electronically delaying the time it takes for pharmacy employees to open the safe. In addition, the safes are anticipated to help CVS Pharmacy ensure the safety and well-being of its customers and employees.
Further enhancing the company's efforts to help prevent opioid diversion and misuse, CVS Pharmacy also announced the addition of 50 new safe medication disposal units placed in select stores throughout Massachusetts. The new units join another 106 secure disposal kiosks previously installed in CVS Pharmacy locations in the state and another 43 units previously donated to Massachusetts law enforcement agencies. CVS Pharmacy plans to install an additional 6 units in stores by year-end.
"While our nation and our company focus on COVID-19 treatment, testing and other measures to prevent community transmission of the virus, the misuse of prescription drugs remains an ongoing challenge in Massachusetts and elsewhere that warrants our continued attention," said John Hering, Region Director for CVS Health. "These steps to reduce the theft and diversion of opioid medications bring added security to our stores and more disposal options for our communities."
"We commend CVS Health for its continued commitment to address the opioid crisis and welcome the expansion of safe and convenient medication disposal in our communities," said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. "We are proud of the progress made in combatting addiction and reducing the rate of opioid related deaths in Massachusetts, and we know this work is as essential as ever especially as we navigate an unprecedented pandemic. We value the strategic alignment and ongoing investment from partners like CVS Health in our collective, continued fight against opioid addiction."
CVS Health first implemented time delay safe technology in 2015 in CVS Pharmacy locations across Indianapolis, a city experiencing a high volume of pharmacy robberies at the time. The company saw a 70 percent decline in pharmacy robberies among the Indianapolis stores where time delay safes had been installed.
Since then, the company has introduced time delay safes in 4,760 CVS Pharmacy stores across 15 states and the District of Columbia, resulting in a 50 percent decline in robberies at CVS pharmacies in those local communities.
The time delay function cannot be overridden and is designed to serve as a deterrent to would-be pharmacy robbers whose goal is to enter and exit their robbery targets as quickly as possible. All CVS Pharmacy locations in Massachusetts with time delay safes display visible signage warning that time delay safes are in use to prevent on-demand access to controlled substance narcotics.
The expansion of CVS Pharmacy's safe medication disposal program in 50 Massachusetts stores continues the company's commitment to providing increased year-round access to safer, easier and more convenient options for removing unneeded prescription drugs from the home.
"When patients leave unused medications especially opioids in a medicine cabinet, there is a risk they might be misused, diverted or come in contact with unsupervised children, other family members or guests in the home," said Tom Davis, Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Services at CVS Health. "It is critical that medications are taken only as prescribed, and we believe safe medication disposal is an important way to help prevent misuse."
In 2020, the company is adding an additional 1,000 in-store safe medication disposal units to the 2,500 units currently in CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide. Over the past several years, the company has also donated over 1,000 units to local law enforcement. Together, these existing medication disposal units have collected more than 1.8 million pounds of unwanted medications, including over 90,000 pounds in Massachusetts, that might otherwise have been diverted, misused or ended up in the water supply.
Located in the pharmacy area of the CVS store and similar in design to a postal box, the safe medication disposal units allow customers to drop off unused prescriptions in a container or in sealed plastic bags if liquids or multiple medications are included.
Additionally, CVS Pharmacy locations that do not offer a safe medication disposal kiosk offer DisposeRx packets at no cost to patients filling an opioid prescription for the first time. According to the manufacturer, when warm water and the DisposeRx powder are added to a container, the combination breaks down medications including powders, pills, capsules, tablets, liquids or patches to a non-divertible biodegradable gel, allowing for safe disposal in the trash at home.
Given its national reach and local presence, CVS Health is uniquely positioned to help address prescription opioid misuse and abuse with an enterprise-wide approach. To learn more about CVS Health's efforts, visit the company's Opioid Response website.
For downloadable safe medication disposal units and time delay safe media assets, including photos and B-roll footage, please visit the Media Resource Center.
CVS Health employees are united around a common goal of becoming the most consumer-centric health company. We're evolving based on changing consumer needs and meeting people where they are, whether that's in the community at one of our nearly 10,000 local touchpoints, in the home, or in the palm of their hand. Our newest offerings from HealthHUB locations that are redefining what a pharmacy can be, to innovative programs that help manage chronic conditions are designed to create a higher-quality, simpler and more affordable experience. Learn more about how we're transforming health at www.cvshealth.com
As we work with our community partners to address the COVID-19 pandemic, our purpose of helping people on their path to better health is more important than ever. With many individuals and communities in need, we are focused on finding meaningful ways to strengthen the communities we serve.
There are many individuals and communities in need and we are finding meaningful ways to support our employees, patients, customers and partners nationally and in the communities we serve.Read more
At the beginning of this new decade, we are reinforcing our commitment through Transform Health 2030, our new corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy focused on improving the health of the people and communities we serve, and to support the health of our business and the planet.Read our 2019 CSR report
At the beginning of this new decade, we are reinforcing our commitment to helping people on their path to better health through Transform Health 2030. Grounded in four pillars — Healthy People, Healthy Business, Healthy Community and Healthy Planet — Transform Health 2030 is inclusive of our enterprise strategy and the impact we know we can have as a health care leader.
Our goal is to be the front door to health care and CVS Health remains focused on helping people on their path to better health by making health care more local and simpler. In 2020 and beyond, we welcome the opportunity to collaborate with our partners, stockholders and other stakeholders to deliver better health to our customers, patients, colleagues and the communities we serve.
We have established 23 measurable, time-bound performance targets to track progress against our goals and strategic priorities. Over the next year, we will develop new key performance targets and commitments to advance our Transform Health 2030 CSR roadmap.
In 2019, we conducted a comprehensive materiality assessment, in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards, to reflect our growing business, strategy and stakeholder expectations. The assessment evaluated the 23 topics from our materiality assessment in 2017. Additionally, it reflected our Aetna integration activities through internal and external stakeholder feedback, competitive benchmarking, an industry landscape and assessment of emerging issues. Ultimately, the 2019 materiality assessment drove the development of our Transform Health 2030 strategy and its pillars: Healthy People, Healthy Community, Healthy Business and Healthy Planet.
Educating students and parents about prescription drug misuse
Prescription drug misuse and abuse can impact our nation’s youth, who face peer pressure and a lack of knowledge about the dangers of misuse.
As part of our ongoing commitment to help educate the public about the challenges surrounding addiction, CVS Health created Pharmacists Teach, a no-cost educational prevention program that provides students and parents with information about prescription drug misuse and abuse.
Since 2015, Pharmacists Teach has reached more than 560,000 students and parents nationwide and that number continues to grow.
Since 2015, CVS Pharmacists have delivered education to students in grades 6 through 12 at schools, youth organizations, and faith-based groups. Led by one of our pharmacists, students have been able to learn the facts and hear stories that share how the lives of other youth were forever changed by misuse or abuse of prescription drugs.
Now, we are excited to announce CVS Health and Discovery Education have partnered to further expand the Pharmacists Teach program into the classroom with a no-cost prevention program, Dose of Knowledge. This program provides standards-aligned resources to educators and pharmacists across the U.S. This program strives to empower educators and pharmacists to address substance misuse and educate students to make good decisions for the health and well-being of themselves and their community.
Youth presentations can be delivered to groups of any size, from small groups to large assemblies, and is delivered at no cost to the school or organization.
Research shows that children who learn about the risks of drugs from their parents are up to 50 percent less likely to use drugs than those who don’t get this information at home.
With this in mind, we expanded our outreach to create a prevention education program for adults to encourage parents, caregivers, friends and family members to talk about prescription misuse and abuse by arming them with knowledge about commonly abused drugs and how to identify the signs and symptoms of prescription misuse and abuse as well as helpful tips and tools needed to navigate challenging questions and answers around the topic.
“Prescription for Parents” includes impactful videos of real life stories and is led by a pharmacist who can answer questions about prescription misuse and abuse.
This presentation can be delivered to groups of any size at school parent meetings, community centers, religious organizations, and company meetings.
If you’re interested in bringing these programs to your school, community or business, email us at PharmacistsTeach@CVSHealth.com.
Healthy Conversations highlights our innovative approach to health care and is designed to inspire and educate. Our first three episodes will showcase our leadership in the COVID-19 response and the innovative and transformative solutions we’re developing, and feature conversations between CVS Health executives and other industry experts. Each episode includes a video and podcast.
This inaugural episode – COVID-19 Response – focuses on our testing efforts and also includes a discussion of systemic racism in health care and how that is manifesting itself especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our two hosts Dr. Daniel Kraft and Dr. Dela Taghipour engage in lively conversations with three CVS Health leaders: Chief Medical Officer for CVS Caremark Sree Chaguturu; President of MinuteClinic Sharon Vitti; and Vice President of Community Health and Chief Community Health Officer, Dr. Garth Graham, MPH. In addition, Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, shares his concerns around the need for more testing, especially as we enter the second half of the year.
The accompanying podcast features an in-depth discussion between Dr. Taghipour, whose research has focused on health care disparities, and Dr. Graham. Together they discuss how disparities in health care delivery among minorities have adversely affected them during the pandemic and how CVS Health is working to support these at-risk patients.
The program continues in September and October with two more episodes focused on COVID-19. Those episodes – Recovery and Reset – will take a closer look at the future of medicine and the importance of telehealth during a public health emergency and beyond, and how we are reimagining personalized care and community health.
Aetna HealthSpire sales manager Janeika Knight finds great fulfillment managing a team of 10 who assist Medicare beneficiaries. She’s also a National Guard medic on the frontline who supports the state of Tennessee by conducting crucial COVID-19 testing in underserved rural communities.
Thank you, Janeika, for bringing your heart to work as a respected and caring manager and for aiding your country at a time when it needs you most. #CVSHeartAtWork
Welcome to Healthy Communities News — where we highlight communities that are finding innovative solutions to solve local health challenges. Our first episode features communities battling two common and persistent problems: food deserts and heart disease. In Bridgeport, Connecticut, the East End Pop Up Market gives residents easy access to fresh food for the first time in four decades. In Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, church leaders are mixing faith with fitness to stem the tide of heart disease and diabetes in their congregations.
As the economy struggles and poverty rises in Bridgeport, manufacturing jobs are not the only thing leaving town: Residents have had to go farther and farther to find fresh food. But a group of local businesspeople is looking to reverse that trend. They’re opening the new East End Pop-Up Market, which will offer not only fresh food, but also job training and wellness workshops. It’s a solution that can be a model for food deserts across the country.
Small businesses can revitalize neighborhoods – so the Bridgeport OIC is lending a hand to local entrepreneurs. We talk to Jeff Nelson of Seeding Knowledge, a start-up that plants and maintains gardens and sells produce. He’s expanding his services to the East End Pop-Up Market, where he’ll offer not only fruits and vegetables, but cooking classes and gardening instruction.
Faith leaders, county health officials, the local health system and community groups have proven that it takes a village to address local health issues. The Village HeartBEAT program created a fitness challenge in local congregations. The goal? To help residents battling heart disease and diabetes. The program uses exercise, nutrition and community gardens to help raise the spirits and lower the weight of participants.
Local people with local solutions — that’s what we’re all about at Healthy Communities News. In this episode, our host, Hilary Russo, travels to Virginia and North Carolina to check out two communities taking creative approaches to address opioid use disorder. We’ll hear about these innovative solutions from the folks on the ground putting them into action and get a glimpse into recovery from Wanda Jenkins, who is using her experience with opioid use disorder to help others.
In this episode’s podcast, we meet Gina Musa, who advocates passionately for community members in rural North Carolina struggling with opioid use disorder. A former sex worker, Gina draws on her own experience with addiction and recovery to connect people with much-needed resources and support. Today, she is a Linkage to Care Coordinator for the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, a job funded by an Aetna Foundation grant.
The number one killer of women is cardiovascular disease. This stark statistic is why the American Heart Association’s national “Go Red for Women” movement is so important. Healthy Communities News was on hand at their annual star-studded Red Dress Collection fashion show in New York City, where we got the opportunity to sit down with four heart disease and stroke survivors for a roundtable discussion. Hear their stories of recovery and hope — and why we need to talk about women’s heart health.
You can be young, look and feel healthy and still be at risk for a heart attack or stroke. Surprised? Healthy Communities News spoke with Dr. Mosca, a volunteer medical expert with the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement, to get a better of understanding of women’s heart health. We also sat down with Jenny Petz and Nicole Murray, two of the inspiring heart disease and stroke survivors chosen for Go Red for Women’s 2020 class of Real Women to hear their powerful stories of survival and recovery.