CVS Health Offering No Cost "Know Your Numbers" Heart Health Screenings As Part of Its National Support of American Heart Association's Go Red For Women Movement

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Screenings to be offered at no-cost to patients every Wednesday in February, including Valentine's Day, at MinuteClinic locations nationwide

Customers can also support life-saving cardiovascular research and education with a donation at CVS Pharmacy or online

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Feb. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its continued support of the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women movement, CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today extended its commitment to women's health by offering no cost "Know Your Numbers" heart health screenings at MinuteClinic, the company's retail medical clinic, every Wednesday in February.

According to a recent national poll, commissioned by CVS Health, women in the U.S. are increasingly aware of the dangers of heart disease and recognize it as the #1 killer of women, however few acknowledge their personal risk factors that contribute to heart disease.

As a leading health care company committed to addressing complex chronic conditions like heart disease, CVS Health is also creating an opportunity for customers to give the gift of heart health by making a donation to life-saving cardiovascular research and education at the register at CVS Pharmacy stores through February 17.

"Cardiovascular diseases kill nearly one in three women each year and their effects have touched many of our colleagues and customers," said Lisa Bisaccia, Chief Human Resources Officer, CVS Health, and incoming national volunteer chair for Go Red For Women. "By supporting Go Red For Women, we are creating an easy way for people to take the steps they need to prevent heart disease and to show their support for family, friends and neighbors who are affected."

Customers can visit their local MinuteClinic on February 7, 14, 21, and 28 and receive a heart health preventive screening at no-cost to learn the five key personal health numbers that can help them determine their risk for heart disease total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index. MinuteClinic is a convenient and affordable destination for preventive care all year long, with 1 in 2 Americans living within 10 miles of a MinuteClinic.

"Knowing your numbers is more important than ever, following recently updated guidelines from the American Heart Association that indicate nearly half of Americans are at risk for major health problems as a result of high blood pressure," said Angela Patterson, DNP, FNP-BC, NEA-BC, and Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer at MinuteClinic.

"Knowing the numbers that may indicate risk not only allows someone to assess risk for heart disease and stroke, but it can determine what actions, if any, are needed to manage your risk," Patterson added.

The screenings at MinuteClinic are sponsored by Bayer Aspirin, in recognition of CVS Health's support of Go Red For Women. For a list of MinuteClinic locations, visit www.minuteclinic.com/locations.

In 2017, CVS Health announced a broad-based commitment to Go Red For Women, a national movement to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke in women and to empower women to take control of their health. As part of that commitment, the company pledged to raise a minimum of $10 million through 2019 to support life-saving cardiovascular research and education.

CVS Pharmacy customers can support Go Red For Women by making a $1, $3 or larger donation at the register at CVS Pharmacy stores nationwide or online at www.cvshealth.com/GoRed through February 17. Additionally, for every pack of Extra Gum sold at CVS Pharmacy this February, CVS Pharmacy will donate $1 to Go Red For Women up to $100,000. Every dollar raised helps fund lifesaving research and awareness that adds more time to women's lives.

About CVS Health

CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,700 retail locations, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 90 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, expanding specialty pharmacy services, and a leading stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, the company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contact

Mary Gattuso
1-401-770-9811

SOURCE CVS Health

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Managing heart health with help from pharmacists and nurse practitioners

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Cardiovascular disease causes one of every four deaths in America, and continues to be a major health concern for every gender, race, ethnicity and geography.https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm Women are especially affected, with more than 90 percent having at least one risk factor for heart disease or stroke.https://www.goredforwomen.org/about-heart-disease/facts_about_heart_disease_in_women-sub-category/statistics-at-a-glance/ The warning signs can differ between women and men, so knowing individual risk factors and taking a proactive approach to heart health management are crucial. Early action can save lives.

Managing Risk Factors

Some of the key risk factors for heart disease are high blood pressure, high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and smoking. The CDC reports that about half of Americans (47%) have at least one of these risk factors.https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm Yet, according to the findings from a recent CVS Health poll, many respondents are unaware of their own personal indicators of heart health, such as cholesterol level.

Pharmacists can be a key source of support for individuals looking to manage their heart health. Many of the conditions that increase the risk of heart disease require medication to treat, and taking those medications as prescribed can help reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event. Pharmacists can assist individuals in creating medication adherence plans, tracking progress and answering questions. Furthermore, pharmacists are some of the most accessible health care providers in the community. 

Accessing Heart Health Resources

Beyond responsible medication management, regular screenings can also help to identify and curtail risk factors. Our poll data show that individuals value a few key qualities when considering a heart health screening – including a trusted provider (91%), affordability (86%) and convenience (86%). 

With 1 in 2 Americans living within 10 miles of a MinuteClinic location, most individuals can access convenient and affordable heart health screenings close to home. Our nurse practitioners and physician assistants provide high-quality care and counseling for Americans looking to maintain and improve their heart health. Among the services MinuteClinic offers are cholesterol and diabetes screenings, blood pressure monitoring, and blood sugar tests. And during American Heart Month, in February, customers can go to any one of our 1,100+ MinuteClinic locations to receive a “Know Your Numbers” heart health screening every Wednesday at no cost.  

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve pharmacy care, visit our Health Care Delivery & Innovation information center and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. And to stay informed about the most talked-about topics in health care, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.

Nurse Practitioners can help patients manage heart health
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Supporting women’s heart health

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Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women, but it doesn’t have to be. Up to 80 percent of heart disease can be prevented through education and lifestyle changes,American Heart Association https://www.goredforwomen.org/fight-heart-disease-women-go-red-women-official-site/get-involved/national-wear-red-day/ and groundbreaking research is helping those already affected by cardiovascular disease.

Despite this progress, there is still much to be done to raise awareness and funds in support of women’s heart health. This February, CVS Health is making a major commitment to this critical health issue as a new national sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women® movement, an annual campaign designed to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke and to empower women to take charge of their heart health.

Raising funds and awareness

Over the next three years, we have pledged to raise $10 million to support life-saving cardiovascular research and education. In addition, Helena Foulkes, President of CVS Pharmacy, has been named as the inaugural National Chair for Go Red For Women.

“I am honored to serve as National Chair for Go Red For Women,” said Foulkes. “We know many of our colleagues, customers and communities have been touched by heart disease and stroke and we are encouraging them to help us inspire action and support the work of the American Heart Association by ‘going red’ and as part of our company’s broader commitment to helping people on their path to better health.”

Free heart health screenings at MinuteClinic

Cardiovascular diseases and stroke cause nearly one in three deaths each year —one every 80 seconds — and there are five key numbers that affect risk for heart disease:

  • Total cholesterol

  • HDL (good) cholesterol

  • Blood pressure

  • Blood sugar

  • Body mass index  

To help consumers stay informed, MinuteClinic is offering free “Know Your Numbers” heart screenings at more than 1,100 locations nationwide on Valentine’s Day (February 14, 2017).

“Ninety percent of women in the U.S. have one or more risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Knowing your personal health numbers helps you and your health care provider better determine your risk for developing future problems,” said Angela Patterson, DNP, FNP-BC, NEA-BC, and Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer at MinuteClinic.

CVS Health is making a major commitment to supporting women’s heart health.
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Helping young moms thrive

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CVS Health program participant Lisdany Arteaga

When Lisdany Arteaga, 19, first learned about a free, eight-week pharmacy technician training program offered to young mothers, she was skeptical. “I thought, look at us — we’re young, pregnant teenagers. Who’s going to want to help us?”

But the program surprised Arteaga, who was seven months pregnant when she began her training. Jon DaSilva, CVS Health Regional Learning Center Manager in Boston and his team built the partnership with Roca, a nonprofit organization that helps high-risk youth find meaningful work. Arteaga was one of eight young mothers who graduated last summer from the first pharmacy technician training session through this partnership. Working both online and in stores, trainees learn how to interact with patients and ensure that prescriptions are filled promptly and accurately.

DaSilva and his team did more than offer training, Arteaga says: They supported her as she transformed from a pregnant teen to a confident working mother. Born to a family of Colombian immigrants, Arteaga dropped out of high school in the tenth grade. She obtained her GED, took some classes at a local community college and worked as a restaurant hostess, but found it hard to find a job that could support a family after she got pregnant. She was in her final months of pregnancy when she enrolled in the pharmacy technician training and started work at a CVS Pharmacy near Boston University at the program’s completion.

When her daughter Jahaira was born, she took time off and was granted a request to transfer to a CVS Pharmacy closer to home. Her managers let her start working part-time and increased her hours as her daughter got older. “They were really understanding,” she says. “I am able to see Jahaira at daycare on my breaks; she’s just five minutes away.”

Now, Arteaga’s income helps support not only her and her daughter but also her father and little brother. And she has big plans: earning a national pharmacy technician license, going back to school to become a pharmacist or a psychologist, and maybe even writing a book.

Whatever she does, she’ll have her job at CVS Pharmacy as a strong foundation. “This is steady,” she says. “I can support my family and I couldn’t be more grateful to have had this program and the opportunities it has brought me.”

“The young mothers we have met through Roca are passionate, hard-working and eager-to-succeed prospective employees,” DaSilva says. “The young women who completed the program shared personal experiences that help to shape CVS Health’s story.”

“With growth comes new markets, new pharmacies and, of course, new employees,” adds David Casey, Vice President of Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer for CVS Health. “To find the best employees, CVS Health doesn’t limit itself to traditional talent sources. Instead, a set of programs and community partnerships brings in talented workers from previously untapped pools to the world of pharmacy.”

CVS Health program participant Lisdany Arteaga
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Five numbers predict heart disease risk

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“Do you know your numbers?” This is the question CVS Health is asking during February’s American Heart Month.

Five personal health numbers can help patients determine their risk for heart disease: total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index. The tests to determine these numbers are simple, and the results provide patients with the information they need to take steps toward improving their health, especially their cardiovascular health.

“Knowing your numbers is more important than ever, following recently updated guidelines from the American Heart Association that indicate nearly half of Americans are at risk for major health problems as a result of high blood pressure,” said Angela Patterson, DNP, FNP-BC, NEA-BC, and Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer at MinuteClinic. “Many patients who may not have needed intervention before, may now be instructed to adopt lifestyle changes or even prescribed medication.”

Convenient access to screenings

To make it easy and convenient for patients to know their numbers, our more than 1,100 MinuteClinic locations offer comprehensive health screenings year-round. This year, MinuteClinic is offering no cost “Know Your Numbers” screenings every Wednesday in February, including Valentine’s Day. The no cost MinuteClinic screenings are being sponsored by Bayer, in recognition of CVS Health’s support of Go Red For Women®.

"Cardiovascular diseases kill nearly one in three women in the U.S. each year," added Patterson. "During the screenings, patients will receive vital information about their health and will be counseled on ways to reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke. Most importantly, our providers will be arming them with the tools they need to take charge of their health."

Go Red For Women

The no cost “Know Your Numbers” heart screenings are inspired by our sponsorship of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement, a national campaign to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke in women and to empower women to take charge of their heart health. As part of our support for Go Red For Women, we have pledged to raise a minimum of $10 million through 2019 to support life-saving cardiovascular research and education.

Through February 17, 2018, CVS Pharmacy customers can support Go Red For Women by making a $1, $3 or larger donation at the register at 7,900 CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide or online at heart.org.

Originally published February 14, 2017, updated January 29, 2018.

Simple tests can determine risk of heart disease.
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CVS Pharmacy launches BeautyIRL concept shops

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First interior shot of a BeautyIRL shop
The new BeautyIRL shops feature an expanded and redesigned beauty department and mini beauty services through GlamSquad.
Second interior shot of a BeautyIRL shop
The new BeautyIRL shops feature an expanded and redesigned beauty department and mini beauty services through GlamSquad.
Third interior shot of a BeautyIRL shop
The new BeautyIRL shops feature an expanded and redesigned beauty department and mini beauty services through GlamSquad.

For today’s health-focused customer, beauty is more than skin deep: it’s part of overall self-care and well-being.

As one of the nation’s largest health and beauty retailers focused on helping people on their path to better health, CVS Pharmacy recognizes that within the evolving beauty landscape customers are looking for a shopping experience that is inspiring, interactive and speaks to their current needs.

That’s why CVS Pharmacy has launched BeautyIRL (IRL is “In Real Life” in social-media speak), a shop-in-shop that features an expanded and redesigned beauty department and mini beauty services through an exclusive partnership with GlamSquad, a technology-driven beauty services company and community of beauty professionals.

Currently at four CVS Pharmacy locations - Andover, Massachusetts; Stamford, Connecticut; and Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, Florida – the BeautyIRL shops not only encourage the discovery of new brands and trends, but deliver next-generation experiences and services driven by Glamsquad’s beauty-focused expertise and capabilities.

Walking into a BeautyIRL concept store, customers will notice many additions to the expanded beauty department, including:

  • A K-Beauty Shop
  • Brand boutiques highlighting the iconic brands CVS Pharmacy customers know and love
  • A “Now Trending” wall that highlights trend-forward indie and socially driven brands, like NYX, e.l.f. and Peripera
  • A “Mini Must-Have” boutique where customers can create their own bag of mini beauty products
  • An accessories shop featuring on-trend jewelry, bags and other items
  • A bath cart where customers can shop bath bombs and other products in the shape of ice cream, donuts and other sweet treats, all displayed in a playful shopping cart set-up

CVS BeautyIRL stores also have space exclusively dedicated to more than 30 indie beauty brands, including

  • Storybook Cosmetics
  • Karity
  • Crème Shop
  • Zoella

To encourage the discovery of new products and trends, customers are able to sample a variety of makeup and skincare items. In-store Hygiene Bars have several stations with mirrors and disposable applicators, and CVS Beauty Consultants will be on hand to advise on products and ensure tester products are being used properly.

Mini beauty services, including dry hairstyling, a 30-minute makeup refresh, skincare and manicures (in Florida locations only), will also be available. Eventually, services will be expanded to include a hair color mixing station by eSalon.

Currently, there are plans to expand CVS BeautyIRL to more stores in 2019.

An interior shot of a BeautyIRL shop
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CVS Health Recognized for Support of Women-Owned Businesses

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The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) has recognized CVS Health as one of America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises (WBE) in 2017. This marks the third year in a row that CVS Health has earned the honor, which is reserved for world-class supplier diversity programs that reduce barriers and drive growth for women-owned businesses.

“WBENC’s Top Corporations set the standard for enabling women suppliers to access increased opportunities in new markets – both domestically and internationally. They have been valued partners in our 21 years of commitment to women’s business development,” said Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of WBENC, the nation’s leader in women’s business development. “WBENC-Certified WBEs in turn are able to fuel innovation, and empower communities through economic growth and job creation.”

Supplier Diversity Fuels Innovation and Economic Growth

Driven by the belief that the ability to deliver innovative, high-quality health and pharmacy services is closely tied to partnerships with diverse suppliers, CVS Health has made a concerted effort to ensure the diversity of our colleagues, customers, and communities is reflected in our diverse supplier base. CVS Pharmacy stores across the country sell a wide range of products sourced from WBEs, including disinfectants, snacks, and dog treats.

“It is an incredible honor to be recognized by WBENC three years in a row for our commitment to sourcing products from WBEs,” said Raul Suarez-Rodriguez, CVS Health Manager of Supplier Diversity/Strategic Procurement. “Working with a diverse supplier base, which includes WBEs, is a priority for CVS Health. We believe we are better able to help our customers and patients on the path toward better health by committing to supplier diversity.”

As WBENC President and CEO Pamela Prince-Eason indicated, the commitment to a diverse supplier base helps to drive growth, job creation, and innovation in local communities. The economic impact can be quantified. In 2016, CVS Health spent $2 billion with WBEs, as well as minority-owned, veteran-owned, and LGBT-owned businesses. This spending generated an additional $1.4 billion in supply chain spending, supported more than 21,145 jobs, and led to $1.7 billion in spending in local communities.CVS Health. “Supplier Diversity Impact Report: An Analysis of CVS Health’s Supplier Diversity Program on the U.S. Economy.” https://cvshealth.com/sites/default/files/cvs-health-supplier-diversity-impact-report-2016.pdf

Support for WBEs Beyond Spending

Support for WBEs and supplier diversity should extend beyond just spending. As part of its commitment to supplier diversity, CVS Health has partnered with Roger Williams University on the Executive Learning Series for Diverse Suppliers. This training program is intended to help business owners and executives representing diverse suppliers to improve management skills. Two-thirds of the class completing the training program in November 2017 came from WBEs.

For more information about CVS Health’s Supplier Diversity programs, visit our Supplier Diversity hub on CVSHealth.com.

WBENC’s America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) award logo
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Promoting Mental Health Awareness with Girls Inc.

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We need you to join us in our cause of eradicating the stigma of mental illness and bringing hope for our fellow girls into light.

CVS Health is proud to be a partner of Girls Inc. and a supporter of Girls Inc. Week, which is being held May 7 to May 11. We recently spoke with Judy Vredenburgh, Girls Inc. President & CEO about the organization and what Girls Inc. Week is all about.

Tell us a little about Girls Inc. and your mission.

Girls Inc. is the nonprofit organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. We teach girls  to value themselves, take risks, and discover their strengths so they can develop them. We want girls to grow up healthy, educated and independent. Our network of local Girls Inc. affiliates serves girls ages 6-18 at more than 1,400 sites and close to 400 cities in the United States and Canada. 

What is Girls Inc. Week and the #DearGirl campaign?

Every year, the Girls Inc. network hosts Girls Inc. Week to draw attention to a particular issue that affects girls. The focus this year is on mental health and the importance of well-being and its criticality at every stage of a girl’s life.

On May 10, we are issuing an open letter written by the Girls Inc. Girls Action Network to girls everywhere that reminds them they are not alone and it is ok to experience negative feelings and look for help coping with these feelings. There is a certain stigma surrounding mental health, so the goal of this campaign is to begin chipping away at that stigma, to start a discussion about mental health, and to encourage girls to seek the health care services they need.

Why did you choose to focus on mental health?

There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that more and more young women are struggling with mental health conditions, yet not receiving adequate treatment. For instance, the rate of severe depression in youth rose from less than 6 percent in 2012 to more than 8 percent in 2015. Around three-quarters of these youth are not receiving adequate treatment.“The State of Mental Health in America 2018.” Mental Health America. http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/issues/state-mental-health-america

Unfortunately, high school girls are about twice as likely as their male peers to consider committing suicide. Several factors likely play a role in this discrepancy. For instance, girls are more likely to experience sexual harassment and assault, to be the subject of cyberbullying, and to encounter media messaging and imagery that promotes body dissatisfaction. These can have a variety of harmful effects on mental health.

We know that mental health is important at every stage of life and is critical for a girl’s success, and it has a huge impact on girls and young women and their ability to lead healthy, fulfilling, and meaningful lives. Helping to eradicate the stigma of mental illness, depression, anxiety and stress will bring hope to girls and let these girls know that it is ok to feel what they are feeling - that there is a bigger community of people who care. That it’s ok to seek help.

How can people get involved and help spread the word about #DearGirl?

We want to build a community that shows commitment to girls’ mental health, so we are asking our partners and supporters to craft their own #DearGirl messages - whether in the form of letters, poems, videos, or pictures. We want you to share these messages on your own social media accounts using the hashtags #DearGirl and #InHerCorner and to reshare other poignant messages from the community that reinforce the idea that girls have the right to be safe, to pursue healthy lifestyles, and to access essential health care services and support.

How can readers get involved with Girls Inc.?

We offer supporters various opportunities to become involved, whether they are interested in advocating for policies that support girls, fundraising, donating themselves, or working with a local affiliate.

05.07.18

#DearGirl hashtag
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Embracing Differences and Diversity in All Girls and Young Women

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Eileen Howard Boone, CVS Health’s Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy and President, CVS Health Foundation, shares her thoughts on body image issues among girls and young women at recent Girls Inc. Luncheon - Celebrating Women of Achievement, inspired by the recognition and her recent conversation with Girls, Inc. National Scholar Le'Nericka Beasley. CVS Health was honored by for our recent announcement about the CVS Beauty Mark initiative, which requires transparency for beauty imagery that has been materially altered.

Attendees at Girls, Inc. Luncheon - Celebrating Women of Achievement

Everyone needs support systems and role models for guidance and encouragement. For many girls and young women, that has been Girls Inc., which teaches the importance of embracing differences among people and celebrating individuality. Support offered by organizations like these can help young women like Le’Nericka overcome body image issues and move past negativity seen on social media and through in-person exchanges.

The Importance of Role Models for Girls and Young Women

My mom has been a great role model and positive influence on my life. Even as she took care of our family of eight people, she made time to give back to our community. Mentoring and encouraging girls and young women was important to her. Through active participation in our local Girls Scouts organization, she helped coach many girls and young women to be the best that they could be.

By watching my mom, I knew that I could achieve anything. I was very lucky to have that type of role model, and I try to offer a similar presence to many people in my life, but not everyone has this sort of guidance.

As both a mom myself and in my role at CVS Health, I am alarmed by some of the statistics on women and body image:

  • Two-thirds of women strongly agree that the media has set an unrealistic beauty standards.
  • 42 percent of girls in first, second, and third grades want to be thinner.
  • 90 percent of girls aged 15 to 17 want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance.
  • Only 4 percent of women globally consider themselves beautiful.

This is more than just a media literacy problem. This is a health issue that has led the American Medical Association to identify propagation of unrealistic beauty standards as a cause of body image issues.   

CVS Health Promotes Realistic Standards of Beauty

As one of the largest beauty retailers in the country, we believe we have an opportunity and a responsibility to think about the messages we send to our customers, including girls and young women. Moving forward, we have made a commitment to use only authentic beauty imagery in our stores, on our websites, and in our marketing material. This means CVS will not materially alter or change a person’s shape, size, proportion, skin or eye color, wrinkles, or other individual characteristics for any of the beauty imagery we create. 

CVS Health is honored to have been recognized by Girls Inc. and we hope that the CVS Beauty Mark initiative will help to fuel the movement that Girls Inc. is leading, helping to empower girls and young women.

Attendees at Girls, Inc. Luncheon - Celebrating Women of Achievement
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Seven tips from the American Heart Association to reduce risk for heart disease

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Society has made significant strides in the fight against heart disease. Mortality from cardiovascular diseases reduced by 71.1 percent from 1968 to 2016.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2016 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released December, 2017. Data are from the Multiple Cause of Death Files, 1999-2016, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Accessed at http://wonder.cdc.gov/ucd-icd10.html; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Morbidity and Mortality: 2012 Chart Book on Cardiovascular and Lung Diseases. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health; 2012. However, there is more work to be done. Cardiovascular diseases, which includes stroke, claim the life of a woman about every 80 seconds. 

Many women unaware of personal heart health risk factors

Most women recognize the high stakes associated with heart disease, but many are unaware of their own risk. More than 90 percent of women responding to a recent Morning Consult survey, commissioned by CVS Health, indicated that they believed heart-related conditions are a serious issue. However, only 1 in 6 were aware of their cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, body mass index, or waist circumference. These personal health numbers, along with blood pressure, have important implications for heart health. 

To help promote heart health, CVS Health is a national sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women® movement to empower women to take charge of their heart health. In recognition of CVS Health’s support of Go Red For Women, Bayer® Aspirin is sponsoring no cost “Know Your Numbers” heart health screenings at each of our more than 1,100 MinuteClinic locations every Wednesday during the month of February, which is American Heart Month. During these screenings, women will get to know their numbers and learn how they affect risk for heart disease. 

Steps to take to reduce risk for heart disease

In addition to learning about personal risk for heart disease, women can take steps to reduce their risk for heart disease and to promote overall health. To reduce heart disease risk, the American Heart Association recommends abiding by “Life’s Simple 7.”American Heart Association. “Life’s Simple 7.” https://www.goredforwomen.org/

Get active

Routine physical activity delivers numerous health benefits, including reduced risk for heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends adults engage in moderate exercise for at least 150 minutes per week or vigorous exercise for at least 75 minutes per week (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity). Thirty minutes a day, five times a week is an easy goal to remember.

Eat better

A healthy diet incorporates a variety of nutrient-rich foods from all of the food groups. Such a diet should emphasize fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, and nuts and legumes. It should limit foods high in saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, and sugar. 

Control cholesterol 

Too much low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol can promote the development of plaque in veins and arteries, which create blockages that can lead to heart disease and stroke. Lowering LDL cholesterol levels can be accomplished by working with a doctor or healthcare provider, and making lifestyle changes, like eating well, staying physically active, and not smoking. 

Lose weight

Excess weight can burden the heart, as well as contribute to unhealthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Using a body mass index (BMI) calculator can help to determine whether a particular weight is healthy or not. 

Manage blood pressure

The damage to blood vessels from undetected or uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to heart attack, stroke, heart failure and other serious health threats. High blood pressure levels can be managed by eating a well-balanced, low-sodium diet, getting regular physical activity, managing stress, limiting alcohol intake, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking. 

Reduce blood sugar 

When blood sugar levels are too high, this often indicates diabetes or pre-diabetes. While diabetes can be managed, it does increase risk for heart disease. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, such as losing weight, eating healthy and increasing physical activity, can help prevent or delay the onset of diabetes or keep it under control.

Stop smoking

Smoking significantly increases risk for coronary heart disease, damaged arteries, blood clots, and aneurysms. These problems, in turn, significantly increase risk for coronary heart disease and stroke. For smokers, quitting can be one of the best ways to reduce risk for heart disease. 

Learn more about CVS Health’s support of the American Heart Association‘s Go Red For Women® movement.

Activity such as bike riding is can reduce the risk of heart disease.
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