Providing access to food in Boston

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While the City of Boston has created food access points to help address food insecurity caused by COVID-19, for many in the city, limited mobility or lack of transportation means that these resources are still out of reach. Boston Medical Center recognized that for their most medically fragile patients, alternatives would be necessary to ensure they received nutritious food appropriate for their specific dietary needs. With support from CVS Health, they developed a COVID-19 Emergency Social Services Fund to help support this vulnerable population.

One family helped by this program were connected with the fund after both parents were admitted to Boston Medical Center for inpatient COVID-19 care, leaving their oldest son, just a teenager, to take care of his younger siblings as they quarantined at home. Unable to leave the house, they were in dire need of food. A volunteer was able to work quickly with food pantry staff to pack a box of food for delivery and bring it to the family’s home. Since the volunteer couldn’t hand the box directly to the family, to ensure they received it safely, she instead left it on their doorstep and waited in her car while they collected it.

Funding from CVS Health allowed Boston Medical Center to provide no-cost meals to over 2,000 low-income individuals, many of whom are hourly wage earners without paid sick leave or who are unable to work due to the pandemic. All told, the program has distributed 17,000 meals so far, providing support and security to families in need.

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Helping local students thrive

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As COVID-19 closed schools across the country, parents and educators were forced to figure out how to transition students to remote learning. While teachers adjusted syllabi and schools invested in education software, a more basic need quickly became apparent in households across the country: not every student that needed a computer with internet access had one.

In our hometown of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, CVS Health was prepared to help. When the Rhode Island Foundation issued a challenge to businesses and individuals in the state to support the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), we responded with a $150,000 donation to provide 750 Chromebook laptops to students in grades three through five.

This donation helped to close the technology gap for Woonsocket students by providing pre-k through grade 12 students in the district the technology they needed to succeed at remote learning.

“Seeing Rhode Islanders come together to generously support our students and our teachers is inspiring. By focusing on the tools that make Distance Learning possible for every student, we are making equitable learning opportunities possible during this public health crisis,” said Rhode Island Foundation President and CEO Neil D. Steinberg.

“CVS Health has been an incredible partner in our state’s response to this pandemic, and I am so appreciative of their support of Woonsocket students,” said Angélica Infante-Green, RI Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. “Access to technology can make all the difference between making school happen and preventing students from all participation. This donation will have an incredible impact to close the tech gap and help Woonsocket students make the most of their distance learning experience.”

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Aetna Announces the 2019 Voices of Health Competition Winners

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HARTFORD, Conn. Aetna, a CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) company, today announced the winners of the 2019 Voices of Health competition, a celebration of grassroots non-profit organizations across the country that are working to address social determinants of health in their communities.

The 102 participating non-profits promote health and well-being by addressing a wide range of community issues such as childhood obesity, access to affordable prescriptions and health care services, and providing food to the homeless, just to name a few. Each organization launched an online voting campaign – soliciting votes via their social media channels as well as through other marketing strategies - in their respective communities to compete for a $20,000 prize, among other prizes. In total, Aetna awarded $410K in grants to community organizations through the 2019 Voices of Health competition.

“The purpose of this competition is to support local non-profits and their missions to improve health and well-being in our communities, who go above and beyond where they can, and the winners this year do just that,” said Floyd Green, vice president of Aetna Community Affairs. “We believe that addressing health concerns outside of the doctor’s office is crucial to overall health and well-being and the reason why these organizations are singled out for their achievements. We are proud of their efforts and congratulate them all.”

The winners of the 2019 Voices of Health competition are:

  • House of Dawn, Atlanta, GA

  • New Hope Ministries, Central Pennsylvania

  • empowHERment, Charlotte, NC

  • Talbert House, Cincinnati, OH

  • Providence House, Inc., Cleveland, OH

  • Speak Project, Columbus, OH

  • Covenant Community Care, Detroit, MI

  • Exceptional Parents Unlimited Inc., Fresno, CA

  • Family Ties Family Resource Services, Houston, TX

  • Janet Goeske Foundation, Inland Empire, CA

  • The Arc Jacksonville, Jacksonville, FL

  • YouthCare, King County, WA

  • Hope Street Margolis Family Center, Los Angeles, CA

  • Home of the Innocents, Louisville, KY

  • Haitian Youth and Community Center of Florida, Inc., Miami, FL

  • Jawonio, New York, NY

  • Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center, New York, NY

  • Children Crisis Treatment Center, Philadelphia, PA

  • East End Cooperative Ministry, Pittsburgh, PA

  • Via Services, Santa Clara, CA

  • Tacoma Community House, Tacoma, WA

“The videos created by each non-profit are incredibly powerful. Each tells an insightful story,” said Green. “It’s a great reminder of how local grassroots organizations can and do have tremendous, positive social impact.”The finalists in the competition were required to develop a short video explaining how their organization is making a difference where they operate locally. Each group was responsible for soliciting votes in a number of different ways, including sharing their videos through social media and other communication channels and directing voters to www.aetnavoicesofhealth.com.

The Voices of Health program is aligned with “Destination: Health,” a series of CVS Health business programs with an enhanced focus on helping people improve their health outside of a clinical setting.

About Aetna

Aetna, a CVS Health business, serves an estimated 39 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental and behavioral health plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers' compensation administrative services and health information technology products and services. Aetna's customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, visit www.aetna.com and explore how Aetna is helping to build a healthier world. @AetnaNews

Media Contact

Katherine Wetzel
404-859-0703
wetzelk@aetna.com

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Batting Clinic is a Home Run for Local Children

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Clinic participants pose for photos in front of the Green Monster.
Clinic participants pose for photos in front of the Green Monster.
Red Sox Batting Coaches Tim Hyers and Andy Barkett ran this year’s clinics.
Red Sox Batting Coaches Tim Hyers and Andy Barkett ran this year’s clinics.
Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster also made an appearance at this year’s clinics.
Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster also made an appearance at this year’s clinics.

Stepping up to bat in iconic Fenway Park would be a dream come true for any Boston Red Sox fan. For nearly two-hundred children that dream became a reality this summer at CVS Health Batting Clinic. 

For 14 seasons, CVS Health, in partnership with the Boston Red Sox, has held camps throughout the summer that bring youth baseball teams from across New England to Fenway for a full day of events, including batting practice with team coaches. The program reflects CVS Health’s commitment to supporting children of all abilities as well as healthy initiatives for our community.

This summer, 180 children, who all play in either the Little League Challenger Division® or Miracle League, attended nine separate clinics. Each group worked one-on-one with Boston Red Sox Hitting Coach Tim Hyers and Assistant Hitting Coach Andy Barkett before taking to the field for batting practice, followed by photos in front of the Green Monster and lunch in the Red Sox dugout. 

The day’s activities also included a visit from Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster, a VIP tour of Fenway Park, early entry to the Red Sox batting practice and tickets to that evening’s game in the CVS Pharmacy Family section.

The Little League Challenger Division® was founded in 1989, and is Little League’s adaptive baseball program for individuals with physical and intellectual challenges. Any individual with a physical or intellectual challenge may participate. The division accommodates players ages 4 to 18; or up to age 22 if still enrolled in school. 

The Miracle League of Massachusetts is an all volunteer, non-profit organization that gives children with disabilities a chance to play baseball as part of a team in an organized league at no cost to their family.

Boy poses with Red Sox coach
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