CVS Health plans to double its COVID-19 drive-thru test sites to a total of more than 4,000 across the country

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Company has administered three million COVID-19 tests since March

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced plans to add more than 2,000 new COVID-19 drive-thru test sites at select CVS Pharmacy locations across the country to support the company's ongoing efforts to increase access to testing and help slow the spread of the virus.

CVS Health currently manages the largest number of independently run COVID-19 test sites in the country, and with these new locations the company expects to have more than 4,000 operating by mid-October. The new locations will open in waves over the next several weeks and build on the company's ability to support testing in 33 states and Washington, DC, beginning with the opening of more than 400 sites this Friday.

"Since opening our first test site in March, we've been able to quickly adapt to the changing landscape in order to make it easier for people in the communities we serve to access testing," said Jon Roberts, Chief Operating Officer, CVS Health and acting President, CVS Pharmacy. "We recognize the critical role testing plays in helping to manage the spread of the virus and are incredibly proud of how our teams have responded to this need while continuing to take care of our customers, clients and patients."

Self-swab tests are no cost to patients and available to individuals meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria.COVID-19 tests are no cost to patients with insurance or through a program for the uninsured funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Patients must register in advance at CVS.com to schedule an appointment. A parent or legal guardian must complete the online registration for all minor patients, and patients 12 15 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when they come to be tested.

When arriving for testing, patients are asked to follow signage or the instructions of the staff onsite. Procedures vary by location and patients may be directed to stay in their cars and proceed to either the pharmacy drive-thru window or a parking space or tent located in the parking lot or, in very limited locations, to enter a CVS store. Patients will be provided with a test kit and given instructions, and a CVS Pharmacy team member will observe the self-swab process.

Currently, most test results from specimens collected at CVS test sites across the country will be available within 2 to 3 days.

A complete list of CVS Pharmacy drive-thru test sites can be found here.

More information on steps CVS Health has taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic is available at the company's frequently updated COVID-19 resource center.

For downloadable COVID-19 testing media assets, including photos and video, please visit the Media Resource Center.

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

Joe Goode
401-378-5220
Joseph.Goode@CVSHealth.com

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CVS Health makes COVID-19 testing available for children 12 years and older at its more than 2,000 drive-thru test sites

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Company adding more than 120 new test sites at select CVS Pharmacy locations

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — As part of its comprehensive effort to increase access to COVID-19 testing in order to help slow the spread of the virus, CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced that children age 12 years and older are eligible for testing at the more than 2,000 test sites located at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thru testing locations, starting Friday, September 11. In addition, more than 120 new test sites will open Friday at CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations across the country.

"With schools opening across the country, there's an urgent need to make testing for minors more readily available," said Troyen Brennan, MD, Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. "In response, we've implemented a system that allows parents or guardians to register and accompany their children for a self-swab test close to home."

In recent weeks, CVS Health has expanded its network of independent third-party lab partners in an effort to help improve turnaround time for the delivery of test results. As a result, the majority of test results from specimens collected at CVS test sites across the country will generally be available within 2 to 3 days.

Self-swab tests are no cost to patients and will be available to individuals meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria.COVID-19 tests are no cost to patients with insurance or through a program for the uninsured funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Patients must register in advance at CVS.com to schedule an appointment. Minors ages 12 and older are now eligible for COVID-19 testing at CVS Pharmacy drive-thru sites. A parent or legal guardian must complete the on-line registration for all minor patients, and patients 12 to 15 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when they come to be tested. Parents or guardians seeking testing for children under the age of 12 should consult with a pediatrician to identify appropriate testing options.

When arriving for testing, patients are asked to follow signage or the instructions of the staff onsite. Procedures vary by location and patients may be directed to stay in their cars and proceed to either the pharmacy drive-thru window or a parking space or tent located in the parking lot or, in very limited locations, to enter a CVS store. Patients will be provided with a test kit and given instructions, and a CVS Pharmacy team member will observe the self-swab process.

To date, CVS Health has administered more than three million COVID-19 tests since launching its first test site in the parking lot of a CVS Pharmacy location in Shrewsbury, Mass. in March.

A complete list of CVS Pharmacy drive-thru test sites can be found here.

More information on steps CVS Health has taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic is available at the company's frequently updated COVID-19 resource center.

For downloadable COVID-19 testing media assets, including photos and video, please visit the Media Resource Center.

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

Joe Goode
401-378-5220
Joseph.Goode@CVSHealth.com

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Building patient engagement by connecting local communities to a cohesive health care network

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Leaders and consumers across the country are speaking out about the ways the pandemic has highlighted failures in health care. But health care was broken long before COVID-19, and millions suffer as a result of the industry’s failure to meet and respond to the needs of individuals and patients: according to the CDC, 60% of Americans live with one or more chronic condition. We are seeing the consequences of this failure play out in real time. 

The need to reimagine health care is urgent, and CVS Health is in the proper position to tackle the challenge. In our mission to help people on their path to better health, we understand that health and wellness is a very personal journey, and we are creating a more connected network of support to respond to individuals’ immediate and chronic health care concerns. 

Our unique and extensive health care experience is transforming the industry. Unlike traditional health care companies, CVS Health is embedded in communities, often a routine part of daily life. We work to know our customers personally — their challenges, common questions, needs, and aspirations. Sitting at the intersection of institutional health care and personal, daily life, CVS Health has unique insight into the health of local communities as well as the gaps in the patient experience. As a result, our approach to health care is holistic, accessible, responsive, and highly personalized.

By combining the data, services, and capabilities of our providers, health plans, community partners, health technology, and pharmacists, we unlock new avenues for proactive, preventive, and personalized care. In our model, new and meaningful channels for health care offer individualized, daily support. Our HealthHUB® locations provide an example of this approach, representing a new, critical health care channel for communities.

Launched in 2018, HealthHUB locations combine expanded in-store clinical services, upgraded virtual care and telehealth, personalized guidance, and individual pharmacy recommendations with community resources, offering a supportive network that addresses both the clinical and social determinants of health. At a HealthHUB location, every customer is seen and treated as a unique individual, and personalized guidance is customized to each person’s schedule, budget, and needs. 

The personalized in-store HealthHUB experience is coupled with integrated care management and health plan benefits optimization, resulting in continuous support, regardless of whether an individual is in-store or at home. The resources available through a HealthHUB mean that patients can access everything they need to manage their health whenever and wherever is right for them, keeping them on track with care plans and offering new resources for support. This is especially powerful for those managing the arduous daily demands of one or more chronic conditions.

By offering a patient-centered engagement model for care, our HealthHUB locations can improve individual health outcomes, leading to the successful management of chronic conditions, fewer out-of-pocket costs, and avoided medical procedures and emergency services. Ultimately, these individual successes have an aggregate effect, uplifting the health of entire communities. In this way, CVS Health is helping individuals, families, and communities stem the tide of preventable and reversible chronic conditions. 

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CVS Health expands COVID-19 testing capabilities by adding 77 additional drive-thru test sites in Florida

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CVS Health now has a total of 298 drive-thru test sites across the state

Company adds new independent third-party laboratory partners to help improve lab turnaround time for the delivery of COVID-19 test results

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — In an ongoing effort to help slow the spread of the virus, CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today expanded its COVID-19 testing program by deploying 77 additional test sites at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations across Florida. The opening of these new test sites on Friday, August 21 add to the 221 locations previously opened in Florida.

The 77 additional test sites opening across the state this week are among the more than 1,900 locations CVS Health has opened since May and expand the company's overall testing capacity.

In addition to increasing the number of drive-thru sites, CVS Health has expanded its network of independent third-party lab partners in an effort to help improve turnaround time for the delivery of test results. Given the steps CVS Health has taken, the majority of test results across the country will generally be available within 2 to 5 days.

"Our national scale and local community presence enable us to uniquely expand people's access to safe and effective COVID-19 testing options and respond to a need for increased testing capacity," said Emmanuel Kolady, Senior Vice President, CVS Health. "We remain grateful to our frontline colleagues who make these testing sites possible and whose dedication has allowed us to keep our stores and MinuteClinics open for customers seeking supplies and patients who need care."

Self-swab tests are no cost to patients and will be available to individuals meeting CDC criteria, in addition to state and age guidelines.COVID-19 tests are no cost to patients with insurance or through a program for the uninsured funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Patients must register in advance at CVS.com to schedule an appointment. Patients will be required to stay in their cars and will be directed to the pharmacy drive-thru window or a location in the parking lot at a few stores, where they will be provided with a test kit and given instructions, and a CVS Pharmacy team member will observe the self-swab process to ensure it is done properly.

Testing will not take place inside any retail locations, and CVS Pharmacy, HealthHUB and MinuteClinic will continue to serve customers and patients.

The additional testing sites in Florida include:

  • CVS Pharmacy, 277 West State Road 436, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714

  • CVS Pharmacy, 24800 South Tamiami Trail, Bonita Springs, FL 34134

  • CVS Pharmacy, 12080 South Jog Road, Boynton Beach, FL 33437

  • CVS Pharmacy, 5403 University Parkway, Bradenton, FL 34201

  • CVS Pharmacy, 5310 45th Street East, Bradenton, FL 34203

  • CVS Pharmacy, 909 East Lumsden Road, Brandon, FL 33511

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1003 Santa Barbara Boulevard, Cape Coral, FL 33991

  • CVS Pharmacy, 700 W. Norvell Bryant Highway, Citrus Hills, FL 34442

  • CVS Pharmacy, 4405 US Highway 27, Clermont, FL 34711

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1640 US Highway 27, Clermont, FL 34714

  • CVS Pharmacy, 4550 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek, FL 33073

  • CVS Pharmacy, 4650 West Hillsboro Boulevard, Coconut Creek, F 33073

  • CVS Pharmacy, 49581 Highway 27, Davenport, FL 33837

  • CVS Pharmacy, 39902 Highway 27, Davenport, FL 33837

  • CVS Pharmacy, 2920 Davie Road, Davie, FL 33314

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1891 LPGA Boulevard, Daytona Beach, FL 32117

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1995 North C.R. 19A, Eustis, FL 32726

  • CVS Pharmacy, 24450 State Route 44, Eustis, FL 32726

  • CVS Pharmacy, 11300 State Road 82, Fort Myers, FL 33905

  • CVS Pharmacy, 9170 Daniels Parkway, Fort Myers, FL 33912

  • CVS Pharmacy, 7581 Winkler Road, Fort Myers, FL 33908

  • CVS Pharmacy, 16961 Alico Mission Way, Fort Myers, FL 33908

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1081 Beal Parkway, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547

  • CVS Pharmacy, 2303 SW 75th Street, Gainesville, FL 32607

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1621 SW 13th Street, Gainesville, FL 32608

  • CVS Pharmacy, 800 North Orange Avenue, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043

  • CVS Pharmacy, 901 North Federal Highway US Rt 1, Hollywood, FL 33109

  • CVS Pharmacy, 28740 South Dixie Highway, Homestead, FL 33033

  • CVS Pharmacy, 24799 SW 112th Avenue, Homestead, FL 33032

  • CVS Pharmacy, 9509 San Jose Boulevard, Jacksonville, FL 32257

  • CVS Pharmacy, 900 East Main Street, Lake Butler, FL 32054

  • CVS Pharmacy, 283 SW Baya Drive, Lake City, FL 32025

  • CVS Pharmacy, 2536 US Highway 92, East Lakeland, FL 33801

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1005 South Ohio Avenue, Live Oak, FL 32064

  • CVS Pharmacy, 5590 North Wickham Road, Melbourne, FL 32940

  • CVS Pharmacy, 12650 SW 88 Street, Miami, FL 33186

  • CVS Pharmacy, 2393 SW 67th Avenue, Miami, FL 33155

  • CVS Pharmacy, 5748 SW 40th Street South, Miami, FL 33155

  • CVS Pharmacy, 3700 NW 199 Street, Miami Gardens, FL 33169

  • CVS Pharmacy, 16001 Miramar Parkway, Miramar, FL 33027

  • CVS Pharmacy, 8901 Miramar Parkway, Miramar, FL 33025

  • CVS Pharmacy, 5585 Golden Gate Parkway, Naples, FL 34116

  • CVS Pharmacy, 6800 Collier Boulevard, Naples, FL 34114

  • CVS Pharmacy, 7380 Davis Boulevard, Naples, FL 34104

  • CVS Pharmacy, 11500 Ridge Road, New Port Richey, FL 34654

  • CVS Pharmacy, 6042 SW Highway 200, Ocala, FL 34476

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1720 W Highway 326, Ocala, FL 34475

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1551 County Road 220, Orange Park, FL 32073

  • CVS Pharmacy, 13960 Landstar Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32824

  • CVS Pharmacy, 7001 Old Winter Garden Road, Orlando, FL 32835

  • CVS Pharmacy, 9975 Lake Underhill Road, Orlando, FL 32825

  • CVS Pharmacy, 7665 West Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32818

  • CVS Pharmacy, 3502 Edgewater Drive, Orlando, FL 32804

  • CVS Pharmacy, 4974 North Alafaya Trail, Orlando, FL 32806

  • CVS Pharmacy, 8981 Conroy Windemere Road, Orlando, FL 32835

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1030 Lockwood Boulevard, Oviedo, FL 32756

  • CVS Pharmacy, 4500 Donald Ross Road, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33401

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1701 North University Drive, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024

  • CVS Pharmacy, 5301 North Palafox Street, Pensacola, FL 32505

  • CVS Pharmacy, 3 S Pompano Parkway, Pompano Beach, FL 33069

  • CVS Pharmacy, 7120 Ridge Road, Port Richey, FL 34668

  • CVS Pharmacy, 2873 SW Port St. Lucie Blvd., Port St. Lucie, FL 34953

  • CVS Pharmacy, 3724 84th Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34243

  • CVS Pharmacy, 7563 SE Maricamp Rd., Silver Springs Shore, FL 34472

  • CVS Pharmacy, 301 3rd Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

  • CVS Pharmacy, 3426 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL 33711

  • CVS Pharmacy, 5345 66th Street North, St. Petersburg, FL 33709

  • CVS Pharmacy, 845 4th Street North, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

  • CVS Pharmacy, 17817 SE 109th Avenue, Summerfield, FL 34491

  • CVS Pharmacy, 5670 N Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301

  • CVS Pharmacy, 10004 W. McNab Road, Tamarac, FL 33321

  • CVS Pharmacy, 6900 North University Drive, Tamarac, FL 33321

  • CVS Pharmacy, 2725 North MacDill Avenue, Tampa, FL 33607

  • CVS Pharmacy, 3102 West Gandy Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33611

  • CVS Pharmacy, 15499 North Dale Mabry, Tampa, FL 33618

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1820 Cheney Highway, Titusville, FL 32780

  • CVS Pharmacy, 6846 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach, FL 33411

A complete list of CVS Pharmacy drive-thru test sites can be found here.

More information on steps CVS Health has taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic is available at the company's frequently updated COVID-19 resource center.

For downloadable COVID-19 testing media assets, including photos, video and interviews with CVS Health executives, please visit the Media Resource Center.

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

Tara Burke
646-765-4971
BurkeT1@aetna.com

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COVID-19 testing for vulnerable populations

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Over the past several months as COVID-19 has hit communities across the country, many people have been asked to stay at home.  But for certain populations, like those who many not be able to afford to stay home from work, essential workers, and people without a permanent home address, quarantining is an even more difficult task.

In some cases, taking public transportation to work or family housing dynamics in homes or apartments may make it more difficult to socially distance or quarantine, which could lead to an increase in possible exposure to COVID-19. There are varying types of barriers that individuals in underserved communities may face that make it difficult to follow all of the public health guidelines recommended to combat the pandemic.  At the same time, lack of access to testing for COVID-19 for some populations can make the pandemic an even greater challenge.

As part of CVS Health’s expansion of COVID-19 testing, we have partnered with community-based organizations to provide testing solutions to at-risk and underserved populations. This includes working with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) in Phoenix, Arizona, an organization dedicated to feeding, clothing, housing and healing low-income families.

Beginning in May, CVS Health partnered with St. Vincent de Paul to provide COVID-19 testing at the nonprofit’s Virginia G. Piper Medical & Dental Clinic for the uninsured. Because of the population the clinic serves, the CVS Health and SVdP teams worked together to quickly adjust many standard practices – such as waiving the need for a home address and working with the state of Arizona to ensure people who test positive are given resources and next steps on safely quarantining. Signage and discharge papers are provided in Spanish and English, and most of the on-site CVS Health staff is bilingual, to ensure that patients feel comfortable talking about their health care needs and next steps in their preferred language.

“We’ve seen an amazing response from our community-based testing site in Phoenix,” said Dr. Garth Graham, Vice President of Community Health and Chief Community Health Officer, CVS Health. “We’ve been able to rely on St. Vincent de Paul’s strong presence in the local community and build on CVS Health’s commitment to supporting underserved populations.”

Regular patients of the St. Vincent de Paul clinic who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 are referred to the testing center within the clinic. Patients receive their results within 15 minutes which allows the on-site team to act quickly on next steps and provide them with the added resources they need to safely quarantine and get on their path to recovery.

"We're extremely grateful to CVS Health for helping bring COVID-19 testing to the uninsured patients we serve at St. Vincent de Paul," said Dr. Maurice Lee, SVdP's chief medical officer. "Not only are we increasing access for people who might otherwise go without medical diagnosis, but we're also gaining a better understanding of the spread happening within vulnerable populations and in our community as a whole."

Find no cost COVID-19 testing in your community.

CVS Testing Center associate with swabs
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It’s ‘Time for Care’

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Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, nearly 60 percent of Americans have skipped a health care appointment, according to a June survey from conducted by Morning Consult and CVS Health. To ease fears and encourage Americans to prioritize preventative health, CVS Health launched Time for Care to provide guidance on how to smartly and safely seek in-person care.

To help individuals stay safe in the months ahead, Garth Graham, M.D., MPH, vice president of Community Health and Chief Community Health Officer for CVS Health, weighs in with helpful tips for resuming in-person care.

Dr. Garth Graham, M.D., MPH, Vice President of Community Health and Chief Community Health Officer, CVS Health
Dr. Garth Graham, M.D., MPH, Vice President of Community Health and Chief Community Health Officer, CVS Health

How can Americans prepare for the pandemic’s next phase?

Certain interventions have been shown to be effective on a population level and decrease personal risk: Wash your hands, stay home if you’re sick, maintain social distance and, if you’re going out, just wear a mask. Equally important are monitoring health symptoms that are concerning and having a good relationship with a primary care provider.

We also continue to have a flu vaccine that we know reduces morbidity and mortality, so certainly getting vaccinated and reducing your risk of flu is going to be important.

What precautions would you advise for children back to school?

Given the challenges around making decisions about school, having your own family plan for these different issues and challenges is important.

Familiarize yourself with CDC guidelines for individuals and understand how adherent your school is to CDC guidelines on school re-openings. Also, pay attention to what’s happening locally: This is a local pandemic and what is occurring in one county and in one state is not necessarily the same as what’s occurring in another state.

What questions can people ask their health care providers to help them evaluate whether it’s safe to resume in-person care?

Start off by asking what kinds of safety precautions are in place for your visit. The other thing is to ask about anything that concerns you. Your doctor is there for you and being able to talk about anything that relieves your anxiety is important.

Don’t let fear be an overriding factor for your decisions. Understand the facts. Many institutions have put in place really good protocols, per the Centers of Disease Control’s guidelines, to decrease the potential transmission of COVID-19. Hearing about that directly from your health care providers can help to re-instill your faith that they care about your safety just as much as you do.

Read the full Associated Press Q&A with Dr. Graham.

Helping you prepare for your in-office visit

Talk to your doctor about your concerns. Together, you can decide whether an in-person visit makes sense for you. If so, here are some of the questions you can ask:

  • What should I expect when I arrive at the office?

  • Do I need to bring my own mask?

  • Are staff and patients required to wear masks?

  • Is your staff being tested for COVID-19?

  • How often are the waiting rooms and offices cleaned?

  • Are there separate waiting areas for symptomatic and asymptomatic patients?

  • What should I do if I have had a cough or fever in recent days, recently traveled, or been in contact with someone who has tested positive?

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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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Testing Atlanta’s Westside

Testing Atlanta’s Westside
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Atlanta’s Westside has a long history of civil rights activism. The neighborhood was home to leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Julian Bond. Systemic racism has marginalized communities throughout the United States. The consequences can be measured in the health outcomes of people who live in moderate to high need areas like Vine City, where the life expectancy is 13 years shorter than communities only 20 miles away. CVS Health is working to close that gap, alongside the staff at Good Samaritan, a local health center that is now providing free COVID-19 testing to those in the community who need it most.


The importance of testing, the power of community

In the podcast, we explore these topics even more deeply with Breanna Lathrop. We also caught up with Dr. Bill Warren, the visionary who founded Good Samaritan some 21-and-a-half years ago. John Ahmann is the president of the Westside Future Fund and an Atlanta native who brings an historical perspective to the discussion before closing the loop with Makeda Johnson, director and founder of the Sisters Action Team, who draws from her faith and the power of collective action over individualism in supporting her community.

Several people walking into a CVS Health community test center in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Creating safer pregnancies through preeclampsia prevention

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A new, first-of-its-kind initiative designed to prevent the devastating impacts of preeclampsia in pregnant members launched today as part of the Aetna Maternity Program. Building on the enterprise’s long-standing commitment to support expectant mothers on a path to better health, the initiative is focused on preventing this condition, a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death that accounts for 15 percent of all preterm births in the U.S.https://www.preeclampsia.org/faqs

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. is one of the only high-income countries where deaths related to pregnancy or childbirth are on the rise. This crisis also disproportionately affects Black women.https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr69/nvsr69_02-508.pdfhttps://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternal-mortality/ And, in recent months, the COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges, as many expectant moms may be attending fewer in-person prenatal care visits that could help detect preeclampsia risks.

“Alarmingly, women today are 50 percent more likely to die in childbirth than their mothers were, and Black women are at an even higher risk. We must do more to address this public health crisis and keep moms and babies healthy,” says Daniel Knecht, M.D., CVS Health’s vice president of clinical products. “The goal of this initiative is to help empower our members to have productive discussions with their providers throughout their pregnancy journey.” 

Empowering safer pregnancies

Amidst the COVID-19 landscape, pregnant women may be attending fewer in-person prenatal care visits and in turn be at higher risk for developing complications that go undetected.

Read the infographic

By leveraging Aetna claims data, the program identifies high-risk pregnant members for individualized outreach and subsequently sends them an engaging, personalized prenatal care kit. Each kit contains educational materials about preeclampsia, along with an 81 mg bottle of low-dose aspirin, an intervention that can substantially reduce the risk for developing the condition. Members also receive an appointment reminder card encouraging them to have informed conversations with their obstetrician about the potential benefits of low-dose aspirin.Note: Pregnant women should always talk to their doctor before starting an aspirin regimen.

Although preeclampsia has no cure, taking one low-dose aspirin a day has been proven to be a low-cost, safe medication that can significantly cut the risk of the condition and some of its complications.https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1704559?query=recirc_curatedRelated_article Despite compelling evidence, providers and patients are largely unaware of aspirin’s effectiveness, highlighting the important need for continued education.

“CVS Health is well-positioned to improve both access to and outcomes of maternal and neonatal health care, including for causes of severe maternal morbidity that is disproportionately experienced among minority women,” noted Joanne Armstrong, M.D., CVS Health enterprise head of women’s health and an OB/GYN. “We have delivery channels that can bring critical information and resources, such as low-dose aspirin, right to members’ doorsteps. This outreach is coupled with a care management program featuring highly trained and dedicated nurses to support the personalized needs of pregnant members.”

The initiative is an exciting and simple way that CVS Health and Aetna are empowering safer pregnancies and connecting expectant mothers with preventative care that meets their unique needs. As part of the Aetna Maternity Program’s efforts, all pregnant members will receive a letter and flyer from the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine informing them about preeclampsia and its signs and symptoms.

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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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