For years, our purpose of helping people on their path to better health has guided us and remains the North Star on our journey to transform health care. Today, our purpose is more important than ever, as we work to address the most critical public health challenge in our lifetime — the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many individuals and communities in need and we are finding meaningful ways to support our employees, patients, customers and partners nationally and in the communities we serve.
With investments of more than $50 million in philanthropic support through CVS Health and the CVS Health and Aetna Foundations, we have focused our efforts on supporting the needs of the most vulnerable populations: school-aged children and their families, frontline workers, seniors, those who are underinsured or uninsured and, of course, our own colleagues. Our comprehensive approach includes:
COVID-19 resource action funds: CVS Health is providing local support grants, working with key leaders and partners at the local level to identify priority areas and organizations who can help with community resiliency efforts.
Food insecurity investments: As a result of the pandemic, many are struggling to access basic needs, including food and personal hygiene products. CVS Health has made $1 million in investments to address food insecurity and other community needs by distributing much-needed funds to local shelters and food banks. In addition, we’re making nearly $40M in product donations to community organizations around the country.
Outreach to underserved communities of color: African Americans have higher rates of underlying health conditions and chronic disease and data show COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting this community. CVS Health has launched a multi-faceted public education and awareness campaign aimed at closing the gap on misinformation and lack of information in minority communities, tapping into communications and marketing channels to help increase access to relevant resources and ensure more members of this at-risk community are informed and able to access the care they need.
Increasing telehealth and at-home health services: With shelter-in-place orders throughout the country, access to health care remains an important concern for all populations, but in particular those who are underinsured or uninsured. In response, the CVS Health Foundation is investing $2 million to support telehealth and expand capacity for free health clinics and community health partners to make these services more available and reliable for patients.
Frontline support: From health care workers and first responders to essential retail colleagues keeping store operations running each day, the safety and security of those on the frontline is critical.
Support for health care workers: CVS Health and the Aetna and CVS Health Foundations are donating nearly $2 million to support health care and clinical professionals access much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) and behavioral health services. Grants to Americares, the American Nurses Foundation and Direct Relief will support access to PPE for health care professionals, including those in free clinics and community health centers around the country. In addition, these grants and additional funding for the Crisis Text Line will support behavioral health and mental wellbeing for frontline workers.
Workplace and employee support: We have committed to dedicate $1 million in value of colleague volunteerism to address the crisis to support services including clinical work, behavioral health support and peer-to-peer counseling. We also made a commitment to match up to $2 million in employee, board member and business partner contributions to the CVS Health Employee Relief Fund, which will make grants of up to $1,000 available to employees to address qualifying emergency needs related to the pandemic.