2020: A year like no other

2020: A year like no other
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Danielle Taylor, a CVS Pharmacy District Leader in New Orleans told us, “2020 is one for the books!” In addition to battling with COVID-19, they’ve had an unforgiving run of hurricanes. Danielle has had quite the year herself, as both a daughter and a mother, navigating this pandemic up close and personal. We first met her and her team back in May.

As you’ll see, for this episode of Healthy Communities News, we’re bringing you updates from the inspiring stories we’ve covered over the past year — people rising to meet unprecedented challenges, together.

In this episode of the podcast (below), we’ll take you from Atlanta’s Westside, where its civil rights history still inspires today’s movements; to Boston, where a gutsy nonprofit that’s been using food as medicine for 30 years has reinvented itself in the face of the coronavirus. As well as Miami-Dade County where Branches is equipping students in new ways to keep learning. And downtown Houston, Texas, where the San José Clinic seems to have been preparing for a healthcare crisis just like the one we find ourselves in… since 1922.

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Listen to Healthy Communities News on the go using your favorite podcast platform.

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Celebrating our impact

Celebrating our impact
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As we reflect on 2020, we’re incredibly grateful for the contributions of our nearly 300,000 colleagues.

Whether they were in our stores, virtual offices or in the community, our colleagues rose to the challenge to support our customers and members when they needed us most.

A CVS Health employee, wearing a face mask, smiles and assists a member with COVID-19 testing.
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CVS Health Live: Preparing for a COVID-19 vaccine

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CVS Health leaders discuss the latest on COVID-19 vaccines including the science behind the vaccines in development, who will receive vaccines first and what to expect once vaccines are available to the general public.

For more information and up-to-date news, please visit our COVID‑19 resource center.

Dr. Sree Chaguturu, M.D.
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Coming together during COVID-19

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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed every aspect of how we live and work, including the ways we give back in our communities.

CVS Health colleagues are so dedicated to lending their time and talents to help others that even throughout the pandemic they have found ways to support their local community.

Watch the video above to learn about some of the ways CVS colleagues are having an impact in their local communities and what drives them to give back.

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Healthy Conversations, Episode 4: Diabetes

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Welcome to Healthy Conversations, an open discussion among healthcare professionals about the latest innovations, what we’re learning on the front lines of the healthcare industry, and how it’s changing in real-time. So much of our attention has been focused on the pandemic, but chronic illness continues to compound the effects of COVID-19.

In this episode, we’ll focus on one of America’s most widespread chronic diseases: diabetes. November is American Diabetes Month, and we spoke with the CEO of the American Diabetes Association, Tracey Brown, about her own experience and how her organization is working to transform diabetes care. You can hear Tracey’s extended interview in the podcast episode below.

We also connected with Dr. Kenneth Snow about innovative technologies like CGM (continuous glucose monitors), early detection, and the fine line between giving patients more autonomy and the risk of overwhelming them. Lastly, we’ll hear from Rebecca Rice, pharmacist and educator, about the evolving role she plays in the life of chronic care patients via the unique HealthHub model.

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Tune in to Healthy Conversations wherever you listen to all your favorite podcasts.

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Healthy Conversations
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San José Clinic: Serving Houston for 98 years, and going strong

San José Clinic: Serving Houston for 98 years, and going strong
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The San José Clinic has been tucked into the middle of Houston for 98 years, serving more than 4,000 uninsured patients each year, with a small staff and a dedicated crew of volunteers. They are a shining example of how to build healthy communities.

For many residents of Harris County, getting sick can be a real financial crisis yet US News & World Report ranks Harris County among the top 30 counties in Texas for population health.

COVID-19 has exposed a lot of fault lines and disparities across the country, as well as some unforeseen strengths. With help from the CVS Health Foundation, the San José Clinic was quick to adapt — turning their pharmacy into a drive-thru, launching telehealth services, and more. In addition to the people featured in the video, our podcast (below) provides in-depth interviews with Maureen Sanders, President and CEO; Pharmacy Director Adlia Eibed; and Randall Flores, who spent a year with San José Clinic for his clinical pharmacy residency.

Tune in and subscribe to our podcast

Listen to Healthy Communities News on the go using your favorite podcast platform.

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A team of dental professionals working on a patient, part of the outreach of the San José Clinic of Houston, Texas.
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Path to Better Health Study 2020: Increasing appetite for technology-enabled care

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The use of technology across the health care continuum has been rising at a rapid rate. As a result of COVID-19, the pace of technological transformation will only quicken and greatly influence the future of care delivery.

Read the full Path to Better Health Study 2020.

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Path to Better Health Study 2020: Importance of accessibility and affordability

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Delivering accessible, high-quality care at any time is a key health care priority — and has become even more significant during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to our study, consumers agree, with 92% indicating that it was very or somewhat important that health care be convenient.

Read the full Path to Better Health Study 2020.

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CVS Health’s response to COVID-19 delivers solutions for current and future customer needs

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At the 2020 HLTH virtual conference, CVS Health President and Chief Executive Officer Larry J. Merlo and Karen S. Lynch, CVS Health Executive Vice President and President of its Aetna business unit, who led our COVID-19 response, discussed how the organization quickly mobilized, operationalized and scaled its resources to ensure our 300,000 employees, 22 million medical members and millions of customers received the care they needed whether in their community, their home or the palm of their hand.

Debra Richman, Karen S. Lynch, and Larry Merlo speaking via video conference during the HLTH 2020 virtual conference.
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Tobacco-free for five years

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Five years ago, we made the bold decision to eliminate tobacco products from all of our CVS Pharmacy stores nationwide, and we’re still the only national pharmacy to do so.

Not only did our decision lead to 100 million fewer packs of cigarettes being sold in the first year since their removal, but we also took our efforts beyond our stores, helping 228 colleges and universities become tobacco free over the past five years and committing $50 million to deliver the first tobacco-free generation through our Be The First initiative.

And with the significant rise in teen e-cigarette use, we’re now working to combat vaping, too, including a $10 million commitment in 2019 to support youth smoking and e-cigarette prevention strategies and education in partnership with Discovery Education and CATCH Global Foundation, and our pledge earlier this year not to work with advertising or public relations agencies who work with tobacco and e-cigarette companies.

cvs heart

In 2014, we quit tobacco.

Nearly 65%

of Americans agree that our decision to stop selling tobacco reduces the risk of chronic diseaseStatistics from an August 2019 Morning Consult poll of 2,200 adults

62%

of adults agree that retailers have an obligation to limit access to tobacco and e-cigarette productsStatistics from an August 2019 Morning Consult poll of 2,200 adults

81%

of adults support improving community education about the dangers of smokingStatistics from an August 2019 Morning Consult poll of 2,200 adults

Beyond tobacco: Taking steps to transform health care

But our decision to eliminate tobacco was just the start. As a health care company now combined with Aetna, we’re taking even bolder steps to transform the consumer health care experience and help lead our customers, patients and the communities we serve on a path to better health.

On our shelves, customers now have access to more health-focused products and services than ever before. And we recently became the first and only national retailer to require that all vitamins and supplements undergo third-party testing to confirm they meet our high standards.

We’re also removing chemicals like parabens and phthalates from our store brand products and we took SPF less than 15 off our shelves.

At the local level, we’re building healthier communities with a $100 million investment in health and wellness, which includes programs aimed at helping people manage the most prevalent chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Moving into 2020, we will expand our focus on tobacco cessation and prevention, particularly within the Medicaid program where smoking rates are considerably higher than among all adults. We’ll be working with Aetna Better Health managed Medicaid plans and together with CVS Caremark clients interested in creating or expanding smoking cession efforts for their Medicaid members.

At CVS Health, we know that health is a personal journey. And from tobacco removal to our many other health-focused services and offerings, we’re committed to navigating that journey hand-in-hand with our customers and patients to ensure that the future of care is one in which everyone can achieve their best health.

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