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.

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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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Larry Merlo at National Press Club: Improving Health Community By Community

Larry Merlo at National Press Club: Improving Health Community By Community
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Larry Merlo, President and Chief Executive Officer for CVS Health, recently addressed the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to discuss how the combination of CVS Health and Aetna has the power to enhance the way consumers engage with their health care locally and improve public health outcomes.  

As we approach a new year in health care, Merlo urged attendees to think beyond their personal health resolutions for 2019 and imagine how we can work to build healthier communities – a key focus of the CVS Health and Aetna combination.

Improving Community Health

Across the United States, there are communities where your zip code matters more than your genetic code when it comes to health. For example, Merlo highlighted how Atlanta life expectancy can differ by a decade on opposite sides of the interstate. Both CVS Health and Aetna have a deep legacy of investing in communities to help address health disparities and improve public health. 

During his address, Merlo announced the company’s new Building Healthier Communities initiative – a five-year, $100 million commitment to support not-for-profit programs. This effort will provide expanded access to free health screenings, more funding to tackle public health challenges, including tobacco and opioid use, and additional investments to address social and environmental factors. Furthermore, this initiative will build on the long-standing commitments of both CVS Health and Aetna to employee volunteer programs and partnerships with local and national community organizations.

“We will bring the energy and enthusiasm of CVS Health colleagues to deliver more volunteer hours to important community initiatives,” said Merlo. “And for national and local nonprofit partners, we will bring data, know-how and actions that make health care better at the community level.”

Humanizing Care

Our health care system was built to emphasize one-off, episodic treatments for patients instead of preventing or managing disease. As a result, consumers are currently left to navigate a complex health care system on their own. Each year, up to $300 billion of health care spending is due to ineffective coordination of medications and overall disjointed care.https://www.nehi.net/bendthecurve/sup/documents/Medication_Adherence_Brief.pdf

Merlo highlighted the importance of human interaction with providers to better coordinate care and ensure that consumers have the right tools and services to manage their conditions.

With more than four million Americans visiting a CVS Pharmacy every day, we are uniquely positioned to serve as the new front door to health care.  According to Merlo, the newly-combined company provides additional assets that help engage consumers with the care they need, when and where they need it – delivering personal connections with pharmacists, nurse practitioners and others who can walk shoulder to shoulder down the path to better health, along with digital options for those who prefer to access care in the palm of their hand.

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.

Larry Merlo speaking at National Press Club.
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A $100M Commitment to Improve Community Health

A $100M Commitment to Improve Community Health
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Building healthier communities | Dad helping child on bike inside heart logo.

Helping people on their path to better health is the purpose behind everything we do at CVS Health. And with a presence in nearly 10,000 communities nationwide, we understand that fulfilling that purpose starts locally, with care that’s both affordable and easily accessible.

By combining with Aetna, we are bringing together a unique set of capabilities and resources to improve the health of communities across the United States. We’re doing this not only through the introduction of innovative new tools and services, but also with meaningful investments at the local level.

A Focus on Community-Level Health

To help us deliver on this goal, we’ve launched the Building Healthier Communities initiative, a five-year, $100-million commitment to support critical programs and partnerships with local and national nonprofit organizations.

“Our new commitment builds upon the exemplary track records of CVS Health and Aetna in supporting community-based organizations to ensure they have the most effective tools, resources and solutions to accelerate the improvement of health care for individuals and families across the country,” said Larry Merlo, CVS Health President and CEO, who announced the initiative during a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on January 14.

Building Healthier Communities will be funded by our newly combined company, as well as the CVS Health Foundation and the Aetna Foundation and will focus on initiatives and programs in three categories:

Improving Local Access to Affordable Quality Care

Recognizing the importance of ensuring that neither cost nor location are a barrier to care, in 2006, we launched Project Health, which provides no-cost comprehensive health assessments. Since its founding, the program has delivered more than $127 million in free health care services to nearly 1.7 million Americans.

As part of the Building Healthier Communities initiative, our Project Health campaign will expand to target more underserved and underinsured communities beginning in 2019.

In addition, we will continue to invest in local community health programs and organizations, providing grant funding in 2019 to more than 100 free clinics and community health centers.

Impacting Public Health Challenges 

Chronic disease, opioid abuse and youth tobacco use are all issues that adversely affect the health of many Americans, each and every day.

The Building Healthier Communities initiative will work to tackle these public health challenges through:  

Partnering with Local Communities

Understanding and combatting public health issues and disparities that are unique to individual communities are also critical to affecting change. Through Building Healthier Communities we will:

  • Support the Healthiest Communities rankings, a groundbreaking report that evaluates the health of nearly 3,000 communities nationwide and identifies the best approaches for improvement.
  • Continue to support, through the CVS Health Foundation and the Aetna Foundation, community-based organizations that address public health.
  • Pledge a minimum $10 million in value of volunteer hours each year by CVS Health and Aetna employees to create healthier, more sustainable communities.
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CVS Health Charity Classic Adds Two-Day Food Festival to 2017 Event Series

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More than 80 local restaurants, breweries, and wineries at the Dunkin' Donuts Center

WOONSOCKET, R.I., April 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The CVS Health Charity Classic announced today it has added a two-day family friendly, food festival that will kick off the Charity Classic event series. The inaugural event, appropriately named, Crave RI, will take place the evenings of Thursday, June 15th and Friday, June 16th at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in downtown Providence.

Hosting the event in the heart of downtown Providence, families and foodies alike will be able to experience the Charity Classic in a new, fun and filling way.

"The CVS Health Charity Classic has been a staple in the Southeastern New England area for the last 18 years, bringing together non-profits, professional golfers and the local community," said Eileen Howard Boone, Tournament Chairwoman, CVS Health Charity Classic. "By adding Crave RI to the event series, even more individuals and families can take part in this great event by enjoying the Rhode Island culinary culture and helping to give back to those in need locally."

This year's Crave RI event will support nonprofits across Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, including the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and their work to reduce food insecurity in the state. According to the USDA, 12 percent of households in Rhode Island struggle to meet their basic food needs, leading to an increased risk for health problems.

Over the two-day event, more than 80 of Rhode Island's top restaurants and 100 beer and wine profiles will sample their products each night, ensuring there's something for everyone to enjoy. The event will run Thursday and Friday evening from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. preceding the golf portion of the CVS Health Charity Classic.

Crave RI will feature premier restaurants and brands from the region including Gracie's, Sam Adams, Matunuck Oyster Bar, Newport Vineyards, Milk Money, Duck and Bunny, Narragansett Brewing Co. and many more. Additional restaurant, brewery, and vineyard announcements will follow.

"We're excited to be a part of the CVS Health Charity Classic event series," said Perry Raso, owner of Matunuck Oyster Bar, Matunuck Oyster Farm and Matunuck Vegetable Farm. "We feel as though Crave RI is a great opportunity for us to showcase Matunuck Oyster Bar's Pond to Plate concept while continuing to build on our connection with the local community and charities alike."

Daily tickets to Crave RI are $20 each, plus applicable fees, and can be purchased online (www.ticketmaster.com/CharityClassic), by phone (1.800.745.3000) or at the Dunkin' Donuts Center Box Office. Each ticket provides access to food and beverage samples from participating restaurants, breweries and wineries, and demonstrations from chefs. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, April 5th.

The CVS Health Charity Classic has donated more than $20 million to area non-profits since 1999. For more information, please visit www.cvshealthcharityclassic.com.

Contact:

Jordan Borrosh, Account Executive, Octagon
Jordan.borrosh@octagon.com or 401-835-4482

About CVS Health Charity Classic

The CVS Health Charity Classic is one of Rhode Island's largest charitable event series, including a golf tournament featuring some of the world's top professional golfers and a two-day food festival highlighting local restaurants, breweries, and vineyards. Since its inception in 1999, the Charity Classic has raised more than $20 million for Southern New England nonprofit organizations that provide vital funding to a range of programs serving children and families. For additional information on the CVS Health Charity Classic, please visit www.cvshealthcharityclassic.com. Follow the Charity Classic on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates on the event as they happen.

About Dunkin' Donuts Center

Dunkin' Donuts Center, a 14,000 seat entertainment venue, is managed by SMG. Celebrating its 40th anniversary and founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 230 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theaters, performing arts centers, amphitheaters, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 15 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 1.5 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming; construction and design consulting; and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston's NRG Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering companies, currently serving more than 140 accounts worldwide. For more information visit www.smgworld.com.

SOURCE CVS Health Charity Classic

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