Community joins forces to live healthy in Miami’s Little Havana

Community joins forces to live healthy in Miami’s Little Havana
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Much like the neighborhood for which it is named, the Live Healthy Little Havana program is a mix of many different elements. It’s a community-led initiative, a partnership with the government, a collaboration with health organizations and an effort to improve resident/police relations — all rolled into one.

To really know what a community needs, you have to live there. Talk with your neighbors over the back fence. See the issues with your own eyes. That’s what makes the Live Healthy Little Havana program a success.

Neighborhood residents, working as community liaisons, are at the heart of the work to improve life for those in the community. And everyone’s got a seat at the table, from government representatives to health workers to lifelong residents. It’s a model that’s driving change — and one that other communities can replicate.

Live Healthy Little Havana participants are working on multiple fronts toward a single goal — to improve life for the residents of this storied community. We showed up at one of their events to hear about how it’s working — and watched as kids from the neighborhood vied to be the first to get the local police commander into the dunk tank.

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Building trust and rebuilding a community in Louisville

Building trust and rebuilding a community in Louisville
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Healthy Communities News spotlights local people with local solutions to health challenges in their communities. In Louisville, Kentucky, the shadow of segregation and the city’s past reluctance to invest in a historically black community have left many residents distrustful of government. But now, a group of longtime residents are driving efforts to help revitalize their neighborhood — and they’re doing it in partnership with the government. Together, they are creating programs like the West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative — which, among other things, helps local kids learn about and experience nature. Because many local families don’t have easy access to parks or forests, the initiative brings nature to the children with a project called ECHO — Engaging Children in the Outdoors. We visited Louisville to learn more.

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Cutting hair and hypertension at Nashville barbershops

Cutting hair and hypertension at Nashville barbershops
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In Nashville, Tennessee, there’s a low-slung brick building nestled among fast food shops and a gas station on Clarksville Pike. It’s proudly painted red, white, and blue — a comfortable, well-worn spot that’s become a cultural hub for generations of African-American customers.

Barbershops are not just places to get a shave and a haircut. For African-American communities, they can also become havens for much-needed health care services. High rates of hypertension in this community are compounded by the fact that African-American men often aren’t receiving regular medical care.

To address this, a group of partners, including Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Nashville Health, and CVS Health, are placing pharmacists inside Nashville barbershops to test patrons for high blood pressure and recommend treatments.

Listen to this episode’s podcast for a deeper dive.

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ADA turns 30: Abilities in Abundance

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David L. Casey (Vice President for Workforce Strategies & Chief Diversity Officer at CVS Health) kicks off this episode with some remarkably personal stories about his family and military history, both of which fuel David’s commitment to the Abilities in Abundance program. 

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which is more important now than ever before. Recent national unemployment rates for individuals with disabilities is more than double that of abled people, so we thought it was a perfect opportunity to highlight ways people with untapped talents can thrive — even in challenging times like these.

We also connected Duane Rohr, an advisor in CVS Health’s Workforce Initiatives department and Renee Smith, a graduate of the Abilities in Abundance program and colleague at one of our CVS Pharmacy locations in Baltimore, Maryland. 

A very special thanks to Dana, Stacey Butler, The Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Rehabilitation Services and the local Workforce & Technology Center. Thank you for the wonderful and inspiring work that you do.

Image credit: ADA National Network (adata.org)

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Supplier diversity

We are working to create jobs and increase economic opportunities for the people and local businesses in the communities we serve. We source products from diverse, women-owned and small businesses.

cvs heart

“Our ability to deliver innovative, high quality health and pharmacy services to our customers and communities is closely tied to our partnerships with diverse suppliers and diverse-owned pharmacies. Reflecting the diversity of our colleagues, customers and communities in our supplier base is the responsibility of every colleague at CVS Health with purchasing authority.”

Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Health

Billion Dollar Roundtable

We have achieved $1 billion in spending annually with diverse suppliers, and have been named to the Billion Dollar Roundtable, an organization that promotes excellence in supply-chain diversity.

Learn more about this milestone

Our impact

In 2019, our engagement with small and diverse business led to over $5.6 billion in contributions to the U.S. economy and sustained 35,746 U.S. jobs.

Read about our supplier diversity Impact report Read our corporate social responsibility report

Awards and recognition

CVS Health has received a number of recognitions from the supplier diversity community.

Learn more

Our program

Our Supplier Diversity team partners with our business units to integrate supplier diversity into procurement activities, and with national organizations to identify and develop diverse businesses.

Doing business with us

We are always seeking new partners, and invite diverse-owned certified businesses to learn more about CVS Health, and to register your company profile online to be considered for future opportunities.

Learn more about our program
Supplier development

We understand that doing business with a large company like ours can be challenging, so we’ve developed resources to help you succeed, including an executive learning series for diverse suppliers.

Learn more about the CVS Health Success Model for Diverse Suppliers
Supplier outreach

We expand our supplier network by working closely with nationally recognized diversity organizations and communicating with diverse suppliers about building their businesses.

Connecting, engaging, and networking with diverse suppliers, advocacy organizations, and corporate partners is a key tenet of our supplier diversity program.

In 2020, we will be taking innovative approaches to maintain our engagement, utilizing virtual engagements to ensure the success of each of our programs.

Contact the Supplier diversity team for more information
Councils and affiliations

Becoming certified as a diverse supplier is one of the most important things your company can do to prepare to do business with CVS Health.

Learn more about organizations that can help you find the resources you need
Contact us

Supplier Diversity office

One CVS Drive
Mail Code 2250
Woonsocket, RI 02895

Email us

Diversity

CVS Health serves millions of people every day. For our company to thrive, it’s important to have a workforce that reflects not only our customers, but also the communities they live in.

Celebrating diversity

We work hard to develop a diverse workforce and provide a workplace that empowers all of our colleagues, regardless of their age, ethnicity and background.

cvs heart

“CVS Health is a health care innovation company that is helping people on their path to better health. In order to achieve and sustain breakthrough innovation, we must seek out, listen to and leverage the voices of our diverse customers, clients, colleagues and communities. To me, diversity and innovation go hand in hand.”

Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Health

Programs

Our strategic approach to managing diversity touches every aspect of our business.

Equal opportunity

It is our policy to recruit, hire, train, develop and promote the best people available, based solely upon job-related qualification.

Read our policy
Supplier diversity

CVS Health strives to provide outstanding service to our customers. Diverse suppliers play a critical role in helping us achieve that goal and ensuring our company’s continued success.

Find out how we are enhancing our program
Veterans

We understand the unique skills and experience qualified veterans, current military members and military spouses possess. That’s why CVS Health is hiring them for roles across all parts of our business.

Learn about our national programs and company initiatives
Workforce initiatives

CVS Health is committed to having a workforce that’s diverse. We work to ensure that youth, mature workers, veterans and other groups that reflect our communities have a place within our company.

Learn about our core workforce programs
Multicultural products and services

Our colleagues, customers, clients and patients come from countless backgrounds and cultures, and have distinct and varied needs.

Learn about our multicultural approach

CVS Health celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act passing and its longstanding culture of inclusion

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A graphic containing stylized text reading: We're IN for inclusion! We scored "100" on the 2020 Disability Equality Index (DEI).

Before the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, was passed in 1990, people with disabilities faced challenges in employment, transportation and other areas critical to their everyday lives. The ADA was enacted to prohibit discrimination based on disability across the United States. This month, CVS Health celebrates the 30th anniversary of ADA, and the company’s abiding work to create opportunities for meaningful employment for people with disabilities.

Fostering a culture of inclusion is a critical priority for CVS Health. The company has invested in its Workforce Initiatives and its highly successful Abilities in Abundance program, which breaks down the employment barriers people with disabilities face every day.

Over the last two decades, more than 55 Abilities in Abundance programs nationwide have helped thousands of people with disabilities find meaningful employment opportunities within CVS pharmacies and other CVS Health locations. In collaboration with the National Consortium of State-Operated Comprehensive Rehabilitation Centers, schools and non-profits, individuals with disabilities have the opportunity to work closely with trained staff to gain experience in customer service, in-store and pharmacy technician positions. Through the program, each participant receives classroom and hands-on training in mock pharmacies, which provides a holistic view of daily responsibilities.

Inclusion is deeply rooted in CVS Health’s purpose of helping people on their path to better health and continues to permeate the company’s innovation strategy. Recently, CVS Health launched Spoken Rx™, a new feature of the CVS Pharmacy app that can read a specific type of label for patients with visual impairments and those who cannot read standard print labels. Spoken Rx is the first in-app prescription reader application to be developed by a national retail pharmacy.

Additionally, 2020 was the fourth consecutive year that CVS Health earned a top score of 100 on the Disability Equality Index (DEI). The DEI, which launched in 2015 as a joint initiative between Diversity:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities, is recognized as the most extensive disability inclusion assessment tool designed and embraced by both business leaders and disability advocates.

David Casey, Vice President, Workforce Strategies & Chief Diversity Officer at CVS Health, had the opportunity to speak at this year’s Annual Disability:IN Conference to underscore CVS Health’s inclusive workplace culture and the comprehensive work the company does to support and recruit individuals with disabilities.

“I believe our diversified workforce is the cornerstone of our business, and for CVS Health to thrive, we need different worldviews, races and ethnicities, backgrounds, abilities and ages,” said Casey. “As we move forward into the next decade of our Abilities in Abundance program and beyond, we’re continually looking at other ways to break down employment barriers that individuals with disabilities continue to face.” 

A graphic containing stylized text reading: We're IN for inclusion! We scored "100" on the 2020 Disability Equality Index (DEI).
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20 U.S. cities and counties pledge to improve local systems and policies to advance health equity with $2 million in grants from the Aetna Foundation

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APHA, NACo and Healthy Places by Design to collaborate on capacity-building efforts to accelerate community change

WASHINGTON — The Aetna Foundation, together with the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the National Association of Counties (NACo), today announced the organizations selected to receive a grant as part of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge to support communities that are changing the way they work together across sectors to reduce disparities in chronic disease outcomes. This grant program will award a total of $2 million to teams of organizations that will work together to change the food access and health care systems in their communities and engage community residents as leaders in their work.

"Access to health care and healthy food can significantly impact rates of chronic disease and other health outcomes, with average life spans varying by up to 20-30 years in communities that are just a few miles apart," said Aetna Foundation President Eileen Howard Boone. "We are proud to partner with APHA and NACo to support the work of the teams taking on the Healthiest and Cities & Counties Challenge to drive change and address these social determinants of health work that is now more important than ever, given the COVID-19 pandemic."

The Challenge teams will each receive $100,000 to implement multi-year projects to advance health equity in communities where individuals are disproportionately impacted by health disparities. In addition to the funding, Challenge teams will participate in one-on-one technical assistance provided by APHA and NACo and co-create a supportive peer-learning network led by Healthy Places by Design over the course of the two years.

The project teams are located in the following cities and counties:

  • Chula Vista, California

  • Tompkins County, New York

  • Collier County, Florida

  • Cumberland County, North Carolina

  • Deerfield Beach, Florida

  • Wilkes County, North Carolina

  • Dougherty County, Georgia

  • Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Cumming/Forsyth County, Georgia

  • Cleveland, Ohio

  • Perry County, Kentucky

  • Cambria County, Pennsylvania

  • New Brunswick, New Jersey

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Paterson, New Jersey

  • Kerrville, Texas

  • Orange County, New York

  • Greenbrier County, West Virginia

  • Rochester, New York

  • Wheeling, West Virginia

"There is no one-size-fits-all approach to achieving health equity," said APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD. "Successful, lasting change comes from cross-sector partnerships and engaging affected individuals and communities, which is why this challenge is so powerful. Together, communities in the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge will be able to achieve enduring transformations to public health."

Added NACo President Mary Ann Borgeson, "Counties play an essential role in protecting, promoting and improving health in our communities across the country. The Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge recognizes the positive impact of cross-sector partnerships and offers opportunities for counties to develop innovative approaches to meet residents' health needs."

The project teams intend to use what they learn over the next two years to produce models and resources that can inform work in other similarly sized cities and counties across the country. Challenge communities have proposed strategies including:

  • Increasing access points for purchasing fresh produce and receiving health care;

  • Leveraging local schools as partners;

  • Addressing barriers to transportation;

  • Building more equitable models for food procurement and distribution;

  • Increasing coordination and data-sharing across organizations;

  • Improving health care referral systems;

  • Developing community advisory boards; and

  • Informing local policies.

An expert review panel selected the teams following a rigorous review process, which looked at a variety of factors including: level of innovation of their proposed approaches; intended impacts on systems and policy change; and alignment of diverse partners around common priorities.

The Aetna Foundation, which first launched the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge in partnership with APHA and NACo in 2016, is an independent, charitable and philanthropic affiliate of CVS Health.

The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public's health.

Contact

Erin Britt
CVS Health
401-318-3962

APHA Media Relations
202-777-3913

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Addressing systemic racism and inequality

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CVS Health is investing nearly $600 million over five years to advance employee, community and public policy initiatives that address inequality faced by the Black community and other disenfranchised communities. The company will also use its position to advocate for public policy that addresses the root causes of systemic inequalities and barriers, including efforts to address socioeconomic status, education, and access to health care.

“While we know that CVS Health alone cannot erase the toll that 400 years of institutionalized racism and discrimination has taken on the Black community, we recognize that we have a role to play in living up to the potential the future holds.”

— David Casey, Chief Diversity Officer, CVS Health

CVS Health’s investment will focus on improving the employee experience, supporting communities the company serves and influencing public policy. The company’s nearly $600 million investment will build on its longstanding commitments to foster diversity in its workplace, including the following areas:

Colleagues and corporate culture

These investments will support the company’s commitment to ensuring that colleagues have fair and equitable access to opportunities for advancement and development at all levels, including senior-level positions. CVS Health will be working to ensure its mentoring, sponsorship and employee development programs support the advancement of employees, with a heightened focus on the experience of our Black colleagues. And the company will focus on corporate culture programs and company-wide training that promotes active and purposeful inclusion.

“The private sector must take action to get to the heart of institutional racism. As we learn from the perspectives of our Black colleagues and the diverse communities we serve, we’ll use that input to inform our advocacy agenda going forward.”

— Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Health

Supplier diversity

Investments in CVS Health’s supplier diversity program will further the company’s focus on sourcing products from Black-owned and other diverse businesses by connecting, engaging, and networking with diverse suppliers, advocacy organizations, and corporate partners. The company will also continue working with national organizations to identify and develop diverse businesses. By working with business units across the company to integrate supplier diversity into procurement activities, CVS Health is able to continue to expand business opportunities for these diverse businesses. And as part of the company’s commitment to the Black community, it will create additional opportunities and development programs for its diverse suppliers. This work will build on the program’s success in creating jobs and increasing economic opportunities for the people and local businesses in the communities CVS Health serves. 

Workforce initiatives

Investments to bolster CVS Health’s Workforce Initiatives will build on the company’s highly successful relationships to provide employment services and training to underserved communities. Through these programs, CVS Health works with local, state and federal workforce agencies to provide employment services and training to underserved communities. Through work with schools, universities, community colleges, faith-based and community organizations, these programs have helped thousands of people access meaningful employment opportunities.

“Our more than 300,000 employees are a microcosm of America, and a reflection of the diversity that is foundational to who we are as a country. The strategic agenda we’re laying out today will harness the strength of that diversity and focus on the areas where we can have the greatest impact.”

— Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Health

Addressing health disparities

Health care is local. Addressing health disparities in the community is critical to addressing racial inequality, which is why CVS Health will expand its Project Health initiative and make other investments to increase access to health care. Project Health provides free health screening events at select CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide, focused within communities with large multicultural and uninsured populations. Project Health offers an array of free comprehensive health assessment screenings, including body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, glucose and total cholesterol screenings, which can help detect risk for chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, which disproportionately impact Black people and other communities of color. The screening events also feature further information on weight management, diabetes resources, and smoking cessation programs. Increased investments in Project Health will strengthen CVS Health’s continued commitment to improve access to health care and help prevent cost from being a barrier to important preventive services.

Social determinants of health

Because studies have shown that your zip code can have as much impact on your health as your genetic code, CVS Health will focus on social determinants of health in Black and underserved communities. This work will have a particular emphasis on increasing access to affordable housing, which is inextricably linked to health. Since 1997, CVS Health and Aetna, a CVS Health company, have invested more than $1 billion in affordable housing and community initiatives. In 2019, the company invested $67 million in affordable housing across the country and the company plans to exceed that amount over the next five years to help address housing insecurities and promote community health improvement. Investments in affordable housing, as well as collaborations with community groups in these areas, help provide support to those who need it most.

An African-American woman gazes out of a window in her modern home office, smiling.
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CVS Health commits nearly $600 million to address racial inequality

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced it will invest nearly $600 million over five years to advance employee, community and public policy initiatives that address inequality faced by Black people and other disenfranchised communities. The investment follows a commitment from President and CEO Larry Merlo to evaluate how the company operates and how it can use its influence to be a force for good in communities across the country.

"Our nearly 300,000 employees are a microcosm of America, and a reflection of the diversity that is foundational to who we are as a country," said Merlo. "The strategic agenda we're laying out today will harness the strength of that diversity and focus on the areas where we can have the greatest impact."

CVS Health's investment will focus on improving the employee experience, supporting communities the company serves, and influencing public policy. Collectively the company will invest nearly $600 million in the following areas to build on its longstanding commitment to diversity:

  • Mentoring, sponsorship, development and advancement of diverse employees;

  • Company-wide training and corporate culture programs, with a focus on promoting inclusion;

  • Workforce initiatives, including building on the company's highly successful partnerships to provide employment services and training to underserved communities;

  • Social determinants of health, with a particular emphasis on increasing access to affordable housing, which is inextricably linked to health;

  • Access to health care, including expanding Project Health and other investments that address health disparities; and

  • Partnerships with civil rights and social justice organizations to support shared goals.

CVS Health will also use its position to advocate for public policy that addresses the root causes of systemic inequalities and barriers, including efforts to address socioeconomic status, education, and access to health care.

"The private sector must take action to get to the heart of institutional racism," Merlo continued. "As we learn from the perspectives of our Black colleagues and the diverse communities we serve, we'll use that input to inform our advocacy agenda going forward."

About CVS Health

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.

Media contact

Erin Britt
erin.britt@cvshealth.com

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