Supporting causes that matter to our employees

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When Erin Wright’s daughter was born 15 weeks premature, she weighed 1 pound, 5 ounces and had to stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for 16 weeks.

When leaving the hospital to bring their daughter home for the first time, Erin’s husband turned to her and said, “We are going to give back to this place because this place gave us our daughter.”

That’s exactly what Erin and her husband have done thanks in part to the CVS Health Foundation Volunteer Challenge Grant Program. The program helps colleagues like Erin, a healthcare category manager, provide even more support to the causes that matter to them.

When leaving the hospital to bring their daughter home for the first time, Erin’s husband turned to her and said, “We are going to give back to this place because this place gave us our daughter.”
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Grants, which range from $500 to $5,000, are awarded directly to the organization on the colleague’s behalf.

“We hear all the time from the organizations that receive challenge grants that they really rely on those funds,” says Joanne Dwyer, CVS Health Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability. “They're critical in helping them advance their mission.”

Along with Erin, watch the video to see how the program is supporting colleagues like CVS Pharmacy intern Willie Dunnam. Willie is working with the underserved population in Mobile through a student-run free health clinic, which recently used $1,000 from the program to purchase an AED (automated external defibrillator).

“Everybody has a chance to volunteer,” says Willie. “It shows you what you can do.”

A photo of Erin Wright in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UMass Memorial Health Care.
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NAFC grant spotlight: Broad Street Clinic

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A photo of the exterior of the Broad Street Clinic in North Carolina.

CVS Health Foundation has partnered with the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NAFC) on a multi-year program, awarding grants to increase access to care, improve health outcomes and lower overall health-care costs across the country.

Among the 2019 NAFC grant recipients is the Broad Street Clinic, a North Carolina-based clinic that was founded in 1993 by a group of local physicians and is dedicated to providing care to the uninsured and low-income members of its Morehead City community.

The Communities Served by the Broad Street Clinic

Broad Street Clinic (BSC) serves Carteret County and the surrounding areas. Currently, BSC serves 850 patients with about 3,000 visits annually for adult primary and specialty care. The majority of BSC patients are employed by the local commercial fishing, hospitality and tourism industries.

Community-Focused Chronic Disease Care

BSC provides free medical and pharmaceutical services to uninsured and underinsured, low income people with certain chronic illnesses, including diabetes, hypertension, thyroid disease, pulmonary and cardiovascular disease, and hepatitis C. BSC also provides gynecological and limited dental and vision services.

How the CVS Health Foundation Grant is Helping

BSC has been using the CVS Health Foundation grant to provide health coaching for diabetic patients. By learning to use the clinic’s electronic health records reporting, clinic providers have been able to target patients with diabetes and then further check A1C levels and last testing dates.

Since receiving the CVS Health Foundation grant, Broad Street Clinic has held two diabetes workshops. Participants have gotten to know one another and are sharing personal tips and tricks for managing their condition.
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These patients are encouraged to attend diabetic workshops held at the clinic to learn more about the disease and how to manage it. Clinic nurses and diabetic educators work with patients to teach them about healthy lifestyle changes and to develop their individual self-care plans.

A Group Effort to Better Manage Diabetes

Since receiving the CVS Health Foundation grant, BSC has held two diabetes workshops, with plans for more in the works. At each, participants got to know one another and share personal tips and tricks for managing their condition. They also filled out self-management goal worksheets, which they placed in self-addressed envelope to be mailed a month later so that they can check their own progress.

In addition, each participant received a pair of support stockings to help with leg and foot circulation and reduce swelling, a common symptom of diabetes. One woman, a cashier, called the clinic to report that the stockings helped her to feel more comfortable while on her feet all day.

To stay up-to-date on the latest CVS Health Social Responsibility news and content, sign up for email news alerts.

A photo of the exterior of the Broad Street Clinic in North Carolina.
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New ‘Be Vape Free’ Initiative to Tackle Youth Vaping Epidemic Through Schools

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Initiative leverages evidence-based CATCH My Breath program to empower educators to promote healthy choices among youth

Silver Spring, Md. — This week Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K – 12 classrooms nationwide, in partnership with CATCH Global Foundation, a public charity dedicated to the development and dissemination of evidence-based health programs, and the CVS Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of CVS Health, launched Be Vape Free, a nationwide initiative to provide standards-aligned, no-cost, e-cigarette prevention resources for educators teaching grades 5 – 12. Be Vape Free will serve to expand the use of CATCH My Breath, a proven effective vaping prevention program, to combat the growing vaping epidemic by arming educators, parents, and communities with easy-to-use tools that will help students make smart, informed, and healthy choices for life. The CVS Health Foundation is providing a $3 million commitment to fund this multi-year collaboration.

According to newly released data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey, vaping among youth continued its upward trend in 2019 with nearly one in four high school students reporting vaping in the past 30 days. “It’s more important than ever that students know the risks behind e-cigarettes and that educators and parents are provided with the tools to ensure that those who haven’t started never will,” said Duncan Van Dusen, Founder and CEO of CATCH Global Foundation.

CATCH My Breath, a program created by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health and disseminated by CATCH Global Foundation, is an evidence-based program for grades 5 – 12 that has been shown to nearly halve the number of kids who go on to try e-cigarettes within the next year. Educators are encouraged to download the new 5th grade CATCH My Breath Core Program Bundle developed as part of Be Vape Free, which features classroom lessons and activities that identify the health risks of e-cigarettes alongside the benefits of being tobacco-free, expose vaping and tobacco marketing tactics, and help students develop, practice and demonstrate refusal skills. With a classroom guide and ready-to-use PowerPoint presentation, educators have the tools at their fingertips to provide students with the knowledge and skills that will help them make informed decisions about their health and well-being. CVS Health has also provided a three-year grant to provide the CATCH My Breath program free of charge to schools across the country.

“It is clear that we all have an important role to play in providing young people with factual information related to their health and the potential risks associated with vaping,” said Judy Uhrig from Mount Tabor High School, Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools. “Resources like those found in the CATCH My Breath Core Program Bundle will be vital to helping educators start these conversations in the classroom, while aligning lessons to core curriculum.” 

“We’ve all seen the news of vaping-related lung illnesses and other health risks,” said Lori McFarling, President of Corporate Partnerships, Discovery Education. “This partnership between Discovery Education, CATCH Global Foundation and the CVS Health Foundation will expand access to turnkey materials to aid educators in supporting the fight against this growing epidemic.” 

Be Vape Free also features two Supplementary Lesson Bundles for CATCH My Breath, with resources that can be introduced into everyday 5th grade classroom curricula. These lessons offer an interdisciplinary approach, tying to social studies, math, language arts, and other subjects to teach students about state laws regarding cigarettes and e-cigarettes, and the toxic chemicals found in both. 

“Since CVS Pharmacy pulled cigarettes from its shelves more than five years ago, the CVS Health Foundation has worked to help create the first tobacco free generation through our Be The First initiative,” said Eileen Howard Boone, President, CVS Health Foundation. “We know that young people who vape are at a higher risk of becoming cigarette smokers, which is why we are so proud to work with the CATCH Global Foundation and Discovery Education to bring these meaningful prevention resources to classrooms across the country.”

The Be Vape Free initiative will help ensure that everyone—students, parents, educators, and other community members—has access to no-cost, preventative resources to help educate and empower young people. Additional community resources are scheduled to be released in 2020, along with expanded resources for the existing versions of the CATCH My Breath middle and high school program.

With the support of educators and all community members, the Be Vape Free initiative is on a mission to foster the first vape-free generation.  For more information visit BeVapeFree.com.

About the CATCH Global Foundation

CATCH Global Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity founded in 2014. Our mission is to improve children’s health worldwide by developing, disseminating and sustaining the CATCH platform in collaboration with researchers at UTHealth. The Foundation links underserved schools and communities to the resources necessary to create and sustain healthy change for future generations. https://www.catch.org

About the CVS Health Foundation

The CVS Health Foundation is a private charitable organization created by CVS Health that works to build healthier communities, enabling people of all ages to lead healthy, productive lives. The Foundation provides strategic investments to nonprofit partners throughout the U.S. who help increase community-based access to health care for underserved populations, create innovative approaches to chronic disease management and provide tobacco cessation and youth prevention programming. To learn more about the CVS Health Foundation and its giving, visit www.cvshealth.com/social-responsibility.

About Discovery Education 

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K–12 classrooms. Through award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia resources, and the largest professional learning network of its kind, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning and improving academic achievement around the globe. Discovery Education’s services are available in approximately half of U. S. classrooms and primary schools in the U. K. and reach over 5 million educators and 51 million students in more than 90 countries. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to empower teachers with customized solutions that support the success of all learners. Explore the future of education at DiscoveryEducation.com.

Media Contacts

CATCH Global Foundation
Brooks Ballard
brooks@catch.org

CVS Health Foundation
Erin Shields Britt
Erin.Britt@cvshealth.com 

Discovery Education
Jackie Kavege
jkavege@discoveryed.com

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Tobacco-free for five years

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.

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.

In 2014, we quit tobacco. Nearly 65% of Americans agree that our decision to stop selling tobacco reduces the risk of chronic disease. 62% of adults agree that retailers have an obligation to limit access to tobacco and e-cigarette products. 81% of adults support improving community education about the dangers of smoking.

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U.S. News & World Report: The Power of Community to Improve Health

U.S. News & World Report: The Power of Community to Improve Health
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This op-ed authored by Karen Lynch, Executive Vice President, CVS Health and President, Aetna Business Unit, was originally published by U.S. News & World Report on March 26, 2019.

When it comes to better health, the power of real change lies within our communities. Health issues, such as obesity and opioid dependency, are widespread problems that have a tremendous impact on the physical, emotional and financial health of our nation.

While certain programs are successful in reducing the prevalence of such health issues and are scaled and replicated whenever possible, we must recognize that there are going to be elements of these problems that are as diverse and unique as the communities they impact. It is therefore critical that we not only share best practices, but also provide communities with the support and flexibility they need to create local solutions that have the power to affect real change and improve public health. 

Our Commitment for Better Health

Being able to support community-driven solutions and then share them with organizations across the country is the core element of CVS Health’s new “Building Healthier Communities” initiative. As part of this effort, CVS Health and its affiliates have committed a combined $100 million over the next five years to making community health and wellness central to the company’s charge for a better world. By using the combined capabilities of both CVS Health and Aetna, as well as the philanthropic giving of the CVS Health Foundation and the Aetna Foundation, we can deliver a measurable impact on the health of communities across the United States.

The Aetna Foundation’s collaboration with U.S. News & World Report on the Healthiest Communities rankings is part of our larger strategy, providing us with data-based insight on communities across the country and helping us to see changes in community health over time. In addition to assessing which communities offer their citizens the greatest opportunity to live a productive, healthy life, the project serves as a tool to inform residents, health care leaders and elected officials about policies and best practices that help drive better health outcomes.

While this marks only the rankings’ second year, both CVS Health and Aetna have an outstanding and long-established history of community investment. Even though it typically takes public health programs time to make an impact, some of our most recently implemented programs are already creating long-lasting improvements in community health.

Better Health Is Powered Locally  

CVS Health and Aetna support organizations throughout the country, but two programs in different parts of North Carolina demonstrate the potential impact of engaging with local communities to provide the support they need to create unique, targeted solutions.

Mecklenburg County is the most heavily populated county in the state and includes one of its most prominent cities, Charlotte. Here, the African-American population is disproportionately impacted by cardiovascular disease compared to their white counterparts.

To combat this, Village HeartBEAT — one of the grand prizewinners of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge — activated more than 60 local faith-based organizations to help over 20,000 local residents access health resources to reduce cardiovascular risk. As a result, VHB reduced the smoking rate in the community from 17.4 percent to 13.9 percent and obesity rates from 70 percent to 64.7 percent. Beyond the numbers, you can see and hear the passion from residents who are participating in this program and realize that they are improving the health of their community.

We've found that in rural communities in North Carolina, friends and neighbors have become the frontline defense against opioid overdose deaths. To address this issue, we are helping the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition give individuals the tools they need to recognize and respond to an overdose in order to save more lives. The results have been impressive. In 2018, coalition outreach workers distributed 6,408 naloxone kits to high-risk opioid users in five targeted rural counties, with 554 overdose reversal reports.

We believe the path to better health can be reached by creating a whole new health care model that's more local, affordable and easier to use. Strengthening our local support and community engagement is a key part of this approach. By empowering organizations and residents to implement local solutions, we have an incredible opportunity to improve the physical, emotional and economic well-being of the country, one community at a time.

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CVS Health Foundation Announces Grant to Increase Access to Provider Education and Diagnosis Program for Alzheimer's Disease

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First-year results demonstrate program's meaningful impact

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Dec. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The CVS Health Foundation today announced a $550,000 commitment to the Alzheimer's Association, extending its support for a new program to enhance disease diagnosis and assessment with clinicians while also educating them about care and support programs available to help families following a diagnosis. The grant is being shared with six local Alzheimer's Association chapters and brings the Foundation's total contribution to more than $1 million since 2016.

"The CVS Health Foundation is proud to support the Alzheimer's Association in its effort to ensure that patients and caregivers receive the resources they need following an Alzheimer's diagnosis and are able to maintain a high-quality of life," said Eileen Howard Boone, president of the CVS Health Foundation. "We've seen significant results following the first year of the program and look forward to working with the Alzheimer's Association to continue to fulfill our program's mission."

The new charitable commitment builds upon support from the CVS Health Foundation for a new program established in 2016 to increase diagnosis, disclosure and education for Alzheimer's disease. The six local chapters that have benefited from this support have all shown significant progress toward their goals of partnering with health care providers to enhance their ability to detect, diagnose, and care for individuals living with the disease and their caregivers, including:

  • Broadened Physician Knowledge Over 7,000 clinicians were educated on prevention, diagnosis, therapeutics and research related to Alzheimer's disease. The education was conducted both in person and virtually in the form of micro-learnings, CME events, office visits, staff trainings and multimedia campaigns.
  • Increased Patient Referrals for Support Services - The six chapters increased patient referrals to the Alzheimer's Association's care and support resources from clinical health care professionals by 61 percent following diagnosis.
  • Expanded Capacity Each local chapter was able to expand their internal capacity through hiring of new staff, increased training for existing staff and better utilizing volunteers. As a result, the chapters were able to reach more clinicians, patients and caregivers affected by Alzheimer's disease.

Through the additional support of the CVS Health Foundation, the Central and North Florida, Desert Southwest, Greater Illinois, Massachusetts/New Hampshire, Northern California/Northern Nevada and Greater Missouri chapters will continue their work to expand health care provider outreach and expand automatic referral process for education and care consultations, with the goal of increasing the number of people in each chapter with access to care.

"The Alzheimer's Association greatly appreciates CVS Health Foundation's generous support of the Diagnose, Disclose, and Direct Connect Pilot Grant program," said Beth Kallmyer, Vice President, Care and Support, Alzheimer's Association. "The grants have been instrumental in launching innovative programs that are influencing provider behavior in terms of detecting and diagnosing dementia as well as educating physicians about the programs available for individuals and families impacted by this devastating disease."

The number of people living with Alzheimer's disease is expected to rise from over 5 million people today to more than 16 million by 2050, and costs are expected to rise as high as $1.1 trillion. Research shows effective health care provider outreach and education are essential for helping people with Alzheimer's disease achieve their best quality of life.

About the Alzheimer's Association

The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit the Alzheimer's Association at alz.org or call the 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900.

About the CVS Health Foundation

The CVS Health Foundation is a private charitable organization created by CVS Health that works to build healthier communities, enabling people of all ages to lead healthy, productive lives. The Foundation provides strategic investments to nonprofit partners throughout the U.S. who help increase community-based access to health care for underserved populations, create innovative approaches to chronic disease management and provide tobacco cessation and youth prevention programming. We also invest in scholarship programs that open the pathways to careers in pharmacy to support the academic aspirations of the best and brightest talent in the industry. Our philanthropy also extends to supporting our colleagues' spirit of volunteerism through Volunteer Challenge grants to nonprofits where they donate their time and fundraising efforts. To learn more about the CVS Health Foundation and its giving, visit www.cvshealth.com/social-responsibility.

Media Contact: Mary Gattuso, (401) 770-9811, mary.gattuso@cvshealth.com

SOURCE CVS Health Foundation

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NAFC Grant Spotlight: Health Brigade

NAFC Grant Spotlight: Health Brigade
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Health Brigade logo

CVS Health Foundation has partnered with the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NAFC) on a multi-year program of awarding grants to increase access to care, improve health outcomes and lower overall health care costs across the country.

One of the 2018 grantees is Health Brigade, a Richmond, Virginia-based clinic that has been providing services to the community for nearly 50 years.

The Communities Served by Health Brigade

Health Brigade patients are typically uninsured or significantly underinsured and do not earn more than 200 percent of the federal poverty level. In 2017, the clinic provided primary care services to more than 1,600 patients over the course of more than 5,700 visits. These included treatment for chronic illnesses, women’s health services, and preventive care.

Health Brigade is also committed to aiding marginalized populations, including people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and those who have recently been incarcerated. In 2017, the clinic connected with more than 18,500 individuals in these populations through various outreach activities.

As part of Health Brigade’s efforts to treat the “whole person,” the clinic has made efforts to increase the accessibility and quality of mental health services available to low-income patients. At the clinic, mental health and wellness patients have access to individual and group counseling, behavioral health services, smoking cessation services, and various specialty services.

Addressing the Health Care Needs of the “Whole Person”

To help balance access to health care and address the realities of poverty, Health Brigade has adopted a patient-centered health-care model for low-income adults, offering access to affordable, comprehensive health services. This model seeks to address the needs of the “whole person.” Primary care patients with both physical and mental health needs are treated by a multi-disciplinary team of primary care, mental health and public health providers who collaborate in real time to deliver care, educate patients and provide support services necessary to improve and maintain health.

How the CVS Health Grant Has Helped

The CVS Health Foundation grant given to Health Brigade is helping the clinic enhance access to and coordination of care by enabling the hiring of a medical social worker to join the integrated care team. The medical social worker assists patients in navigating health care and social service systems and links patients to crucial resources, such as safe housing, healthy foods, employment and transportation that can significantly influence a patient’s overall health and health behaviors. 

One Health Brigade Patient’s Story

Hope, a 47-year-old African American woman with three children and one grandchild, arrived at Health Brigade through a referral from a shelter for individuals who have experienced domestic violence, sexual violence or human trafficking. At her initial appointment, Hope was afraid to be in the waiting room, particularly around men, and to disclose information about her past.

When the Health Brigade medical social worker met with Hope, she described years of abuse, homelessness, financial insecurity and toxic relationships. Hope hid from the outside world and came out of her home only for health care appointments. Over the course of an initial assessment that lasted more than an hour, it was discovered that Hope did not have access to food, housing, money or her needed prescriptions.

The medical social worker provided intensive case management for Hope for more than a year. Hope now receives disability, Medicaid and nutrition assistance. She is in an apartment with her daughter and is able to go out in public without fear. Since receiving Medicaid, Hope was linked to a therapist and a psychiatrist in the community and receives regular ongoing therapy. She no longer has to rely on free clinic services for her health and mental health care. For every patient like Hope who obtains stable services in the community, Health Brigade frees capacity for the many still needing aid. 

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Tackling the Opioid Epidemic at the Community Level

Tackling the Opioid Epidemic at the Community Level
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With a presence in nearly 10,000 communities across the United States, CVS Health recognizes the importance of fighting the opioid epidemic at the local level, with local solutions.

That’s why, among the many ways CVS Health is working to mitigate the epidemic, we have committed funding to organizations across the country to support prevention, treatment and recovery efforts.

Supporting Community Health Centers Nationwide

In September 2017, CVS Health announced an enterprise-wide, multi-pronged approach to help find solutions to the national opioid abuse epidemic. Those efforts included the nationwide expansion of our drug disposal collection program, an increase in the availability of naloxone without a prescription and the enhancement of our pain medication utilization management program to ensure prescription opioids are used properly.

Also included was a $2-million commitment by the CVS Health Foundation, to the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), to increase access to medication-assisted treatment and other recovery services at community health centers around the country. To-date, we have funded more than 20 community health centers through this program.

Among the recipients of that grant support were:

  • Total Health Care in Baltimore, a community health center dedicated to supporting opioid addiction recovery was awarded $85,000 to develop and implement a trauma informed care model which will increase participation in its substance abuse treatment program.

  • The Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, in Lawrence, Massachusetts, received $80,000 to develop a protocol to train their team on the screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) approach to addiction. SBIRT is an evidence-based practice used to identify, reduce and prevent misuse and abuse of alcohol and drugs.

  • Four California community health centers received a total of $330,000 to increase access to opioid addiction treatment and recovery services.

Expanding Community-Level Support

In addition, CVS Health has awarded grants to several other non-profit organizations nationwide that are tackling this public health challenge.

These grant recipients include:

  • Three New Hampshire non-profit organizations received $60,000 in grants to address and prevent opioid abuse.

  • New Jersey-based Morris Country Prevention Is Key was given funding from CVS Health to host two peer recovery specialist training cohorts. The training provided 55 specialists the opportunity to share knowledge in one-on-one, group, emergency room and correctional facility interventions, as well as become law enforcement response assistants throughout the state.

  • In Ohio, two clinics – Neighborhood Family Practice in Cleveland and Rocking Horse Children’s Health Center in Springfield – received a total of $100,000 for programs supporting patients and families struggling with substance abuse.

  • Two Arizona non-profit organizations, ICAN and El Rio Health, received a total of $115,000 from CVS Health to support their prevention and medication education programs.

  • And in CVS Health’s home community of Rhode Island, where the company’s corporate headquarters are located, opioid-related grants have been awarded to the United Way, Community Care Alliance, the Rhode Island Disaster Medical Assistance Team, RI PBS, and Bradley Hospital.

CVS Health is committed to helping put an end to the national opioid abuse epidemic, in part by connecting those who are struggling with addiction with the resources they need to regain good health. In supporting community partners through grants like these, CVS Health is working to expand access to the community-level prevention, treatment and recovery programs that serve as the frontline in this crisis.

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Connecting Patients to Care in the Community

Connecting Patients to Care in the Community
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Health care truly begins at the community level, and it’s more than simply visiting a health care professional or taking a prescription. In fact, data show that 60 percent of patients’ overall health and well-being is driven by behavioral and social factors, like housing, education, food and family.https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20171025.721263/full/ To meet the unique needs of patients at the community level, CVS Health offers a variety of easily accessible health resources and touchpoints to care locally. 

Commitment to Building Healthier Communities

At CVS Health, we are committed to improving health community by community, which is why we launched the Building Healthier Communities initiative – a five-year, $100 million commitment providing expanded access to free health screenings, increased funding to address public health challenges, and additional investments to address social and environmental factors

This initiative builds on our long-standing commitments to employee volunteer programs and bolsters our partnerships with local and national community organizations to help improve health care at the community level.

Serving as a Front Door to Health Care

With more than 10,000 locations nationwide, CVS Health serves as a front door to health care for more than four million patients every day. At CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic, trusted health care professionals answer questions and provide information to help patients manage their care. Furthermore, by coupling the community footprint of CVS Health with Aetna’s health data, we can engage patients on a more personal level. Through this combination, we’ll be there more frequently to provide patients with the support they need.

Today, CVS Health pharmacists are moving from behind the counter to engage with patients at a deeper level. Our 30,000 pharmacists provide a human touch to health care locally, whether counseling patients on their medications or administering preventive health services like health screenings and immunizations.

Complementing Access to Primary Care

Through our local presence in the community, our pharmacists and health practitioners are uniquely positioned to fill gaps in care and support a more connected health care system. While a patient might see a physician four or five times a year, they are likely to visit their local pharmacy as many as 18 to 24 times in the same year. These frequent interactions with trusted health care professionals help patients navigate and stay on their care plans between their doctor visits. 

In addition to support at the pharmacy counter, our 1,100 MinuteClinic locations offer quality health care services ranging from acute care to chronic disease management. By sharing visit information with patients’ care teams, MinuteClinic is ensuring that all providers along the care continuum have access to a complete view of the patient’s prescription and medical records, which can help facilitate more informed health care decision-making.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve access to quality care across the nation, visit our Quality & Access information center and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.

 

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Making Recovery Resources More Accessible with United Way

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United Way of Rhode Island’s 2-1-1 Outreach RV

Since 2007, the United Way of Rhode Island (UWRI) has operated a 2-1-1 hotline to help connect state residents with resources for assistance with housing, food, health care and more. Now, with help from the CVS Health Foundation, UWRI has added access to opioid misuse resources to that list. 

A 24/7 Connection to Resources

Communities in every state across the country, including Rhode Island, have been impacted by the opioid epidemic. To help increase access to treatment and recovery resources, the CVS Health Foundation awarded a grant of more than $50,000 to UWRI to expand its 2-1-1 capabilities to include services specifically for individuals struggling with opioid abuse.

“We hope to make it easier for patients, family members, and caregivers to find resources in our home state of Rhode Island,” said Eileen Howard Boone, President of the CVS Health Foundation.

Funds from the CVS Health Foundation have enabled a partnership between UWRI and Anchor Recovery, a comprehensive substance abuse treatment organization. This partnership allows 2-1-1 call center specialists to connect callers with Anchor Recovery substance abuse counselors via three-way calling. The 2-1-1 service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

In addition to three-way calling capabilities with Anchor Recovery, UWRI has launched a web page with information and a list of resources that may be helpful to individuals struggling with opioid misuse. 2-1-1 call center specialists will receive specialized training to answer addiction-related calls and will be able to point callers in the direction of UWRI’s online list of resources and others. 

UWRI will also bring its mobile 2-1-1 Outreach RV to locations throughout the state, including visits to CVS Pharmacy stores, to raise awareness of the opioid epidemic and to conduct free, confidential, in-person screenings. 

“The opioid epidemic has harmed Rhode Island families, damaged our communities, and destroyed lives. Now, more than ever, we must support our neighbors and help each other heal. Thanks to CVS Health, United Way’s 2-1-1 can help the community heal by helping those struggling with opioid addiction find the care they need,” said Cortney Nicolato, President and CEO of United Way Rhode Island. 

Our On-Going Efforts to Fight the Opioid Epidemic

Our support for UWRI is one of many steps we have taken to tackle the opioid epidemic, both nationally and in Rhode Island, where our company is headquartered

In September 2017, we announced a multi-pronged, enterprise-wide strategy that included enhanced support for addiction recovery programs and opioid utilization management criteria for prescriptions. More recently, at an event at the White House, we announced the expansion of two of our signature programs: our safe drug disposal program and Pharmacists Teach.

The CVS Health Foundation has also awarded grants to several community health centers and other nonprofits that are working on this public health challenge

United Way of Rhode Island’s 2-1-1 Outreach RV
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