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CVS Caremark awards more than $1M in ‘Innovations in Community Health’ grants

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, a private foundation created by CVS Caremark Corporation has announced the recipients of the “Innovations in Community Health” grants, which have been awarded to community health centers nationwide through a partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers.

The grants will help community health centers increase access to health care and produce better health outcomes while reducing costs for patients and healthcare systems.

The grants, which total more than $1 million, have been awarded to 21 community health centers to 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.

“Chronic diseases impact everyone and the number of people living with a chronic disease is expected to increase over the next decade. The results from the ‘Chronic Disease Awareness Survey’ show that many of us do not know the contributors of the most common chronic diseases,” stated Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark. “Community health centers play a critical role in both helping to educate the public on health-related issues and increasing access to high quality healthcare services that can help manage and prevent chronic diseases.”

More than half of Americans suffer from one or more chronic diseases every year and chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. The newly released “CVS Caremark Chronic Disease Awareness Survey” reveals the public’s misconception and understanding of chronic diseases, with the majority of respondents admitting that they are not doing as much as they could to stay healthy. Twenty-eight percent of respondents think there is little they can do to prevent most chronic diseases, yet modifiable health risk behaviors, including lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption, contribute most to the exacerbation of chronic diseases. Additional insights include:

  • Nearly 40% of people think what they eat has little to do with whether they get a chronic disease; and
  • Approximately 32% of people think smoking does not have an effect on chronic diseases beyond lung cancer.

The survey also showed that while a majority of people agree that reducing stress, exercising, improving their diet or regularly visiting a doctor can help prevent chronic diseases, more than half of people admit they are not doing much to prevent them.  

  • Sixty percent of respondents are aware they should take steps to reduce stress in their daily lives but do not;
  • Nearly 65% of people are aware they should exercise regularly, but they do not; and
  • More than half of people admit they do not take the steps they should to improve their diet.

“Through our partnership with NACHC, we are providing much-needed funding to support affordable community-based healthcare models that are producing innovative programming in the area of chronic disease management,” added Eileen Howard Boone, president of CVS Caremark Charitable Trust. “The programs will use a variety of methods to help people manage their chronic disease and improve health outcomes — including the use of tele-medicine, nurse practitioners to monitor at-risk patients and wellness circles that bring people together who are living with and working to manage the same chronic disease.”


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Target to remodel, upgrade 25 school libraries in 2013

BY Alaric DeArment

MINNEAPOLIS — Target Corp. will renovate libraries at more than two dozen schools in need across the country this year under a program that will also include book donations and technology upgrades, as well as the option to have a Target-supported food pantry built, the mass merchandise retailer said Wednesday.

Target said each of the 25 libraries would get 2,000 new books, iPads, interactive white boards and more as part of the Target School Library Makeover program. Every student and his or her siblings will receive seven new books to take home at the unveiling of each library.

"The Target School Library Makeover program is part of our commitment to give $1 billion for education by the end of 2015," Target president of community relations Laysha Ward said. "By reimagining school libraries and transforming outdated spaces into state-of-the-art learning centers, Target hopes to ignite a love of learning and put more children on the path to high school graduation."

Target will enlist its design and construction teams on a pro bono basis and partner with The Heart of America Foundation for the project.

Each school that gets a library remodel will also have the option to have a Target Meals for Minds food pantry, where the retailer will work with Feeding America to provide students and their families with more than 22 pounds of fresh produce and staple foods each month.


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The Foundation for Health Smart Consumers’ Inspire Program to launch at RCEC

BY Antoinette Alexander

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. — The Foundation for Health Smart Consumers has announced a major expansion of its smoking cessation initiative through the Inspire Program, which will launch at the annual Retail Clinician Education Congress held in May in Las Vegas. The initial phase of Inspire will continue through 2014.

The initiative, led by John Delfs, senior fellow at The Foundation for Health Smart Consumers and primary investigator for the Inspire Continuing Education program, is made possible by a national grant awarded to The Foundation by the Pfizer Independent Grants for Learning & Change and the support of the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center.

The Foundation for Health Smart Consumers currently provides a patient counseling education program for clinicians in retail-based clinics on a wide range of topics, including, but not limited to, smoking cessation. The grant enables the foundation to “significantly” expand the public health effort.

The Inspire Program, which includes the expanded smoking cessation resources, will reach additional nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other healthcare professionals who provide care at retail clinics. A core component of the program is a patient counseling toolkit available to clinicians online to increase the quantity and frequency of smoking cessation interventions in the convenient care setting. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that even brief advice from a clinician about smoking cessation can increase quit rates by up to 66%.

The Foundation is implementing the program in collaboration with the Convenient Care Association, the national trade association of companies and healthcare systems that provide consumers with healthcare in retail-based locations, and in cooperation with their member clinic organizations.

“Working together, the CCA and The Foundation for Health Smart Consumers will provide clinicians in retail clinics with access to training and proven tools for smoking cessation through the Inspire program. Our shared goal is to increase clinician confidence and interventions which will lead to more consumers successfully stopping smoking,” stated Tine Hansen-Turton, executive director of the CCA.

The program is commended by Walgreens Take Care Clinics, which operates more than 370 retail clinics within select Walgreens locations. Sandy Ryan, chief nurse practitioner officer, stated, “Take Care Clinics look forward to working in collaboration with the Inspire program by providing outreach to our clinicians and sharing smoking cessation education materials to improve clinician interactions with patients.”

RCEC, sponsored by Drug Store News, is the only educational conference focused solely on the retail clinician. Wayne Bennett, DSN publisher and RCEC conference organizer, added, “RCEC is committed to having the Inspire program offered as a clinical session each year. Our goal is to have retail clinicians understand the importance of — and embrace their role in — smoking cessation because every clinician intervention is progress on the path to smoke-free living.”

“Smoking is a public health issue which affects 1-in-5 adults and also 1-in-5 high school students. We are delighted at this opportunity to work with retail clinicians who, by using the Inspire approach, can save a life with an intervention of three minutes or less. Retail clinicians can have a major impact on reducing illness and increasing quality of life through smoking cessation interventions,” Delfs stated.


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