WOONSOCKET, R.I. — The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, a private foundation created by CVS Caremark, has announced the recipients of nearly 70 grants awarded to free and charitable clinics, school-based health centers and community health centers as part of a $5 million commitment to increase access to health care in communities nationwide through partnerships with the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, the School-Based Health Alliance and the National Association of Community Health Centers.
The grant recipients will help increase access to health care and coordinated care to improve health outcomes for people of all ages across the country, the company stated.
CVS Caremark also commited to data sharing and providing insight into community health by launching a Community Health Barometer that will unveil the state of health care for underserved populations nationwide. The barometer will survey grant recipients and their patients on a quarterly basis to identify challenges in patient care, to monitor progress and the impact of health care services, uncover best practices in smoking cessation, to discover key trends in health care access and to develop an understanding of the evolving health care needs in local communities.
"As the delivery of health care services evolves with an emphasis on better health outcomes, reducing chronic disease and controlling costs, it's essential that we work closely with our community health partners, including free and charitable clinics, school-based health centers and community health centers, to help ensure that thousands of adults and children have access to health services right in their local communities," stated Troyen Brennan, EVP and chief medical officer for CVS Caremark. "As a pharmacy innovation company that is committed to helping people on their path to better health, we are reinforcing our commitment to understand the state of community health and to identify where support is needed most and share insights on community health innovations that are creating positive health outcomes."
In alignment with CVS Caremark's commitment to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at its more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy locations by Oct. 1, the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust is supporting organizations that are providing cessation and anti-tobacco programs, including the following.
"Now more than ever, pharmacies are on the front lines of health care, becoming more involved in chronic disease management. All of these conditions are made worse by smoking which is the leading cause of illness and death in the United States with more than 480,000 deaths annually," added Eileen Howard Boone, SVP of corporate social responsibility and philanthropy for CVS Caremark and president of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust. "We are proud to be the first national pharmacy chain to take this step in support of the health and well-being of our patients and customers and are committed to working with the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics, the School-Based Health Alliance and the National Association of Community Health Centers that all share our commitment to help people who smoke to stop, and those who don't to never start."
The funding from the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust in partnership with NAFC will enhance coordinated care models at free and charitable clinics to help improve the quality of care and health outcomes.
The funding to school-based health centers will help ensure that kindergarteners through high school students can receive routine medical care, such as a flu shot, annual physical, eye exams, dental screenings, or speak to a mental health counselor.
The second year of the "Innovations in Community Health" grant program in partnership with NACHC will support the development of innovative, community-based programs and initiatives that focus on the treatment and management of chronic illnesses, specifically heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and asthma as well as programs that are helping patients who have a co-morbidity of depression.