CVS Health increases access to flu vaccines in communities of need

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced it is supporting a nearly $3 million commitment to increasing access to flu vaccines for underserved communities throughout the country. Through its Project Health initiative, CVS Health is contributing $2 million to the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) to help distribute flu vaccines to those who may otherwise not have access. Additionally, the company is working with Bank of America and General Motors to support increased access to flu vaccines in even more communities nationwide.

"Underserved communities have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19, so supporting flu prevention in these communities is even more important," said Eileen Howard Boone, SVP of Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy, CVS Health. "Through our work with Free Clinics, and in teaming up with Bank of America and General Motors, we aim to expand our reach to individuals who may not otherwise have access to flu vaccines."

CVS Health's Project Health flu initiative will support free and charitable clinics in areas across the country, helping clinics increase capacity to provide flu vaccinations. Clinics in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas will receive support. These grants extend the mission of Project Health which aims to break down the barriers for people to access quality and affordable health care.

"We are grateful to CVS Health for their continued commitment to supporting the work of Free and Charitable Clinics which provide access to needed health care services to underserved communities throughout the country," said Nicole Lamoureux, NAFC President and CEO. "This program will allow clinics to distribute needed flu vaccines to people in their communities that otherwise might not have access to vaccinations."

In addition to contributing to the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, CVS Health is working with Bank of America and General Motors to reach even more individuals in these areas of significant need. Bank of America is funding vouchers for free flu vaccines, redeemable at CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations in seven select cities: Boston, Detroit, Dallas, Jacksonville, Oklahoma City, Phoenix and Greater Washington, D.C. Additionally, General Motors is funding vouchers for free flu vaccines, redeemable at CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations in the Los Angeles area and across southern California.

"We are committed to working with the public and nonprofit sectors as one global community to address this health crisis and to provide the necessary resources to protect our most vulnerable populations," said Andrew Plepler, head of Environmental, Social and Governance at Bank of America. "Offering access to free flu prevention complements our other health-focused efforts including supplying PPE, supporting community-based testing and care, addressing food insecurity and providing access to mental health resources."

Flu prevention is critical during the COVID-19 pandemic so hospitals are not overwhelmed with cases of both COVID-19 and flu. And with seasonal flu outbreaks beginning as early as October and lasting as late as May, it is never too late to get a flu shot as it is the best defense against getting the flu. Getting a flu shot is one way to help protect individual health, especially for those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illnesses and people with certain chronic health conditions, like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

"We are proud to collaborate with CVS Health to increase access to flu vaccines for underserved communities in the Los Angeles area and across southern California," said Dr. Jeffery Hess, General Motors Chief Medical Director. "Now more than ever, it is important to be protected with a flu shot to help reduce flu illnesses and prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. So many communities are enduring multiple crises during this difficult time, and we are grateful to be able to provide this support."

About CVS Health

CVS Health is a different kind of health care company. We are a diversified health services company with nearly 300,000 employees united around a common purpose of helping people on their path to better health. In an increasingly connected and digital world, we are meeting people wherever they are and changing health care to meet their needs. Built on a foundation of unmatched community presence, our diversified model engages one in three Americans each year. From our innovative new services at HealthHUB locations, to transformative programs that help manage chronic conditions, we are making health care more accessible, more affordable and simply better. Learn more about how we're transforming health at www.cvshealth.com.

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Courtney Tavener
401-712-3698
Courtney.Tavener@CVSHealth.com

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CVS Health to invest in affordable housing and expand no-cost preventive health screenings in Orlando

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Company will invest $8.7 million in Mercy Drive neighborhood and expand its Project Health program as part of its nearly $600 million commitment to address racial inequality

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced it will invest in 116 units of affordable housing and expand its no-cost preventive health screening program to Orlando as part of the company's commitment of nearly $600 million over five years to address racial inequity and social determinants of health in Black communities.

"Increasing access to housing and services like preventive screenings put people in a better position to take care of their health or manage chronic disease," said David Casey, Chief Diversity Officer, CVS Health. "As part of our commitment to address social justice and racial inequity, we're addressing social determinants of health like housing and access to health care at the community level, which is where we can make a meaningful and lasting impact."

CVS Health will invest $8.7 million to help build a new 116-unit affordable housing complex in the Mercy Drive neighborhood of Orlando, Florida. The Fairlawn Village development is part of the City of Orlando's Mercy Drive Vision Plan. Data compiled as part of that plan indicate approximately 83% of Mercy Road area residents identify as African American. Additionally, almost half of the area's households are below the poverty income threshold, with a median household income of $17,846. About 55% of area households pay greater than 30% of their income on housing.

The development will include three buildings, a community center, playgrounds, on-site laundry facilities and onsite management offices. All residents will have access to on-site supportive services including adult literacy, employment assistance and financial management programs. Of the 116 units, 20 will be designated as permanent supportive housing with casework services for people experiencing homelessness, survivors of domestic violence, people with a disability or youth aging out of foster care. Local nonprofit Community Assisted and Supported Living, Inc., or CASL, will provide support to formerly homeless residents who move in to the supportive housing units.

"The City of Orlando is committed to ensuring that every person who lives in Orlando feels equally valued and has equal access to opportunity and this includes having equal access to safe, high quality housing they can afford," said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. "As part of the Mercy Drive Vision Plan, residents envisioned new housing to complement the existing neighborhood. We're grateful to the incredible partnership with Blue Sky Communities and the investment of CVS Health in the 116-unit Fairlawn Village which will be a thriving new community for our residents to call home."

Additionally, the company plans a 2021 expansion to Orlando of its no-cost preventive screening program, Project Health. This program offers free biometric screenings at CVS Pharmacy locations to help identify chronic conditions before they become life-threatening illnesses. Worth over $100 in value, screenings measure body mass index, blood pressure, glucose and total cholesterol. The screenings can detect early risks for chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.

"As we expand Project Health to Orlando in 2021, we anticipate being able to reach thousands of people locally and provide hundreds of thousands of dollars in free medical services in the first year alone," said Eileen Howard Boone, SVP of Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy, CVS Health.

Following the screening, event participants receive an individual health access plan with suggestions related to clinical targets for screening measures as well as nutrition and fitness. Participants will have the opportunity to consult with CVS pharmacists and MinuteClinic nurse practitioners who can help explain the risks of certain measures from each screening, how to take the appropriate next steps with a provider. These clinicians can also provide smoking cessation counseling and diabetes resources, if appropriate.

The company will hold the Project Health events at select CVS Pharmacy locations in areas of greater Orlando with higher populations of uninsured and underinsured people, including locations nearby the Mercy Drive neighborhood.

As it works to address social determinants of health in the Orlando area, the company is also exploring opportunities to expand its national workforce initiatives program in greater Orlando to provide employment services and training to the community, focused on empowerment and building local relationships that will help community members achieve meaningful employment opportunities.

About CVS Health

CVS Health employees are united around a common goal of becoming the most consumer-centric health company. We're evolving based on changing consumer needs and meeting people where they are, whether that's in the community at one of our nearly 10,000 local touchpoints, in the home, or in the palm of their hand. Our newest offerings from HealthHUB locations that are redefining what a pharmacy can be, to innovative programs that help manage chronic conditions are designed to create a higher-quality, simpler and more affordable experience. Learn more about how we're transforming health at www.cvshealth.com.

Media contact

Courtney Tavener
401-712-3698
Courtney.Tavener@CVSHealth.com

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Lynn University engages CVS Health for on-site rapid result COVID-19 testing

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At Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, campus life is different this semester. Masks are required everywhere; signs are posted all around — even by the pool — discouraging close or crowded gatherings. “And you're not allowed to have anyone in your dorm room, aside from your roommate,” says Rorie Good, a second-year psychology student.

She’s been living on campus since late August and says several factors played into her decision to return in person, which included Lynn’s plan for COVID-19 testing on campus.

“I decided to come to this school for a reason,” she says. “A lot of it had to do with having the full college experience — being on campus in person. After weighing the risks and feeling like Lynn was handling it pretty well, I decided that it would be good to come back.”

A nationwide challenge

The challenges colleges and universities face this year are clear: COVID-19 outbreaks have become a public health threat on and off campuses. In September, 19 of the nation’s 25 worst outbreaks occurred in communities with large numbers of college students, USA Today reported.

Eighteen- to 25-year-olds also represent around 26% of new COVID-19 infections — more than any other group — according to Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.https://www.cnn.com/webview/politics/live-news/fauci-senate-hearing-09-23-20/h_d81e99c6d98ad5e568f7658a17f8547d And while young people are less likely to become seriously ill than older people, they can still spread the virus, he says.

“The main challenge … is balancing safety and health with the expectations of students to still have an academic experience that reflects what college life is all about.” 

– Christian Boniforti, Chief Strategy and Technology Officer, Lynn University

At Lynn University, Chief Strategy and Technology Officer Christian Boniforti spent the spring and summer weighing all of these issues with the needs of his university community in mind.

“The main challenge that I think is unique to colleges and universities is balancing safety and health with the expectations of students' desires to still have an academic experience that reflects what college life is all about,” he says. “Making sure that we had testing was critical, and that's where CVS Health came in with a critical component for us.”

Public health experts say that when a communicable disease outbreak occurs, testing is key. Early identification of cases, quick treatment and immediate isolation are what prevent spread.

Lynn University makes a plan

Lynn University’s leadership team, including Boniforti, took a community approach to the challenge, talking to many stakeholders and drafting a reopening plan that included having fewer students on campus, scheduling classes to accommodate social distancing, limiting use of common spaces and creating new sanitation protocols. The university also asks all students and employees to perform a daily COVID-19 self-check.

The plan also includes an on-campus rapid testing program for those who report COVID-19 exposure or symptoms.

“We have a great student health center here on our campus, but they're not experts in conducting COVID-19 testing,” Boniforti says. “We quickly realized that we needed a professional partner who knew how to conduct the testing and make sure that it's regulated and that proper communication to the Department of Health is done.”

So Lynn signed on with Return Ready™, a fully-configurable, scalable COVID-19 testing solution provided by CVS Health for college campuses and businesses.

It allows Lynn students and employees to schedule a test anytime, at no cost, and get results in minutes. “If a person tests positive on campus, we notify individuals who may have been exposed,” Boniforti says.

The Return Ready program also allows Lynn to do surveillance testing when there are positive cases — a particular residence hall, classroom, or sport, for instance. “Because the testing results are done so quickly, it allows us to make decisions earlier, which ultimately helps control outbreaks and reduce the quarantine times.”

For student Rorie Good, the continued testing has been essential to feeling safe on campus. “If you feel like you could've been exposed or you're anxious about it, you can always get the test. You can always know where you're at in terms of your health, and so that is very, very comforting,” she says. Also comforting: Seeing how seriously fellow students are taking the guidelines and wearing masks.

CVS Health’s testing initiative for colleges and businesses

The Return Ready program, designed for employers and colleges and their specific needs for safely returning to work sites or campuses, builds on CVS Health’s nationwide community-based COVID-19 testing infrastructure. The company has administered more than five million COVID-19 tests since March and has about 4,000 testing sites across the country.

With Lynn — as with every Return Ready partner — they started with a consultation, says Sree Chaguturu, M.D., chief medical officer, CVS Caremark, and senior vice president, CVS Health, to answer: Where do you want to test? Which tests do you want to use? Who do you want to test and how frequently?

The program can make use of CVS Health’s nationwide retail network for testing, bring testing on-site or use a combination. “We also work with a client to ensure that all of the reporting and analytics are provided to local and state health authorities as needed for regulatory compliance, as well as reporting back to the client so that they have timely analytics to help them understand testing trends,” Dr. Chaguturu says.

Return Ready also works with businesses, offering clinical consultation, end-to-end testing and workforce analytics to help offices.

“Return Ready has allowed us to become more proactive … to focus our efforts on continuing to provide a safe learning environment for student activities and education.”

– Christian Boniforti, Chief Strategy and Technology Officer, Lynn University

To meet the various needs of each college and business, the program prioritizes flexibility. “For example, as we worked with an airline, we recognized there is an inherent unpredictability with schedules and operations.  In order to accommodate for fluctuations, we configured the workflows, number of hours and testing machines,” Dr. Chaguturu says.

At Lynn University, Boniforti says they’ve had some positive cases — as expected — but have avoided an outbreak, thanks in large part to testing protocols. The Return Ready program immediately notifies the student health center when there is a positive case on campus so that person can begin isolating on campus or at home.

“Return Ready has allowed us to become more proactive because we don’t have to schedule the testing, conduct the testing, report on the testing and make sure that staff are there to do the testing,” Boniforti says. “Having a partner to do those things really allows us to focus our efforts on continuing to provide a safe learning environment for student activities and education.”

Start planning your return.

Let us partner with you to implement your organization’s testing strategy. Contact us today to get started.

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Keeping students safe

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At Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, campus life is different this semester. Masks are required everywhere; signs are posted all around — even by the pool — discouraging close gatherings. 

Second-year psychology student Rorie Good says several factors influenced her return, including a chance to have the full college experience — and Lynn’s plan for COVID-19 testing. “After weighing the risks and feeling like Lynn was handling it pretty well, I decided that it would be good to come back,” she says.

Colleges and universities face clear challenges this year: Across the country, COVID-19 outbreaks have become a public health threat on and off campuses. Eighteen- to 25-year-olds also represent around 26 percent of new COVID-19 infections — more than any other group — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lynn University Chief Strategy and Technology Officer Christian Boniforti says his school’s main challenge is balancing safety and health issues with students’ expectations for an academic experience that reflects college life. 

Lynn University Chief Strategy and Technology Officer Christian Boniforti wearing a mask in conversation with a woman wearing a mask and social distancing.
Chris Boniforti says Lynn University has avoided a COVID-19 outbreak in part because of testing protocols

Testing was critical, so Lynn signed on with Return Ready, a customizable, scalable COVID-19 testing solution provided by CVS Health for college campuses and businesses. It allows students and employees to schedule a test anytime, at no cost, with results in minutes. The program also allows Lynn to do surveillance testing when positive cases arise.

“Because the testing results are done so quickly, it allows us to make decisions earlier, which ultimately helps control outbreaks and reduce the quarantine times,” Boniforti says.

Return Ready builds on CVS Health’s nationwide community-based COVID-19 testing infrastructure. The company has administered over five million COVID-19 tests since March and has about 4,000 testing sites across the country.

With Lynn — like every Return Ready partner — they started with a consultation, says Sree Chaguturu, M.D., chief medical officer and senior vice president for CVS Caremark. “We also work with a client to ensure that all of the reporting and analytics are provided to local and state health authorities as needed for regulatory compliance, as well as reporting back to the client so that they have timely analytics to help them understand testing trends,” he says.

While Lynn University had some positive cases, Boniforti says the school has avoided an outbreak, thanks in large part to testing and protocols: “Having a partner to do those things really allows us to focus our efforts on continuing to provide a safe learning environment for student activities and education.”

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Branches in Miami supports students and their families amid COVID-19

Branches in Miami supports students and their families amid COVID-19
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The coronavirus has touched all of our lives in one way or another. Children, in particular, are in an ongoing state of flux. Many classes in schools and colleges across the country have been upended. We did find an oasis in South Florida where an organization called Branches has been working diligently for over 25 years to serve the neighborhood’s youth and their families.

For the podcast (below) we spoke with executive director Brent McLaughlin and Kim Torres, Director of Student Services, and Branches partner Rosa Santiago — as well as students Kelson Baptiste, Vicshonda “Vicky” Bellany, and Melvin Amaya.

Aetna Better Health®, a Medicaid managed care plan in Florida, has a long-standing relationship with Branches as a community partner.

Tune in and subscribe to our podcast

Listen to Healthy Communities News on the go using your favorite podcast platform.

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CVS Health encourages patients to pick up medications and supplies as Hurricane Sally approaches

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Across CVS Health, we’re actively preparing for Hurricane Sally’s landfall in the Gulf Coast region. Our priority is the safety of our employees, customers, and members, and we’re committed to providing our communities access to the products and services they need to prepare for the storm.  Our stores comply with all local evacuation orders and we’ll re-open any closed stores as soon as it is safe to do so. If a store is forced to close for two or more days, the pharmacy’s phone lines will be rerouted to a nearby open CVS Pharmacy so patients may continue to access their prescriptions.

As Hurricane Sally approaches, CVS Pharmacy has been reaching out to its patients via text message and email where possible to remind them to refill prescriptions. In addition, through CVS Caremark, CVS Health’s pharmacy benefit manager, the company has activated a process to provide one-time emergency refills of a 10-day supply of medication for plan members in impacted areas. Patients within the emergency area taking specialty medications filled by CVS Specialty will be contacted to discuss alternate delivery arrangements, if needed. And through our Aetna Business Unit, our clinical response teams have expanded their engagement with Medicare and Commercial members in potentially impacted counties in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida to ensure member safety, access to emergency services and continuity of care.

CVS Health also offers the following tips for assuring prescription needs are met for those potentially impacted by Hurricane Sally:

  • Follow local evacuation orders. Get to a safe location first and refill your medications at the nearest pharmacy. This allows you to avoid potentially long lines at your local pharmacy, and you won’t need to needlessly delay your evacuation.

  • Take a waterproof bag with your current medication – even if the bottle is empty. The information on the prescription label will help pharmacy staff with refill requests. Heat, humidity and sunlight can degrade the effectiveness of medicine, so try to protect it from extreme weather conditions.

  • Keep a written record of your current prescriptions in your valuable papers files. If you are taking several prescription drugs, it’s an especially good idea to keep a record of your current dosage and doctor’s contact information.

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Aetna Medicaid backed study finds school pantry programs help with food insecurity

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Aetna Better Health of Florida’s School Pantry Program collaboration with Feeding South Florida played a key role in addressing the growing trend of food insecurity in the communities it serves

As National Hunger Action Month kicks off this month, it’s important to note that one in four children struggle with hunger every day.https://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/child-hunger-facts And kids struggling to get enough to eat are more likely to have problems in school and are often affected by other social determinants of health including lack of access to quality health care, economic instability and living in neighborhoods with fewer resources that promote health such as grocery stores, parks and recreational facilities.https://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/impact-of-hunger/hunger-and-nutrition,https://frac.org/wp-content/uploads/hunger-health-impact-poverty-food-insecurity-health-well-being.pdf, https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/he/schoolfoodpantries.asp Identifying and addressing the social determinants affecting children are key components in improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities.

For many children and their families, schools serve communities as trusted resources. Teachers, administrators and school staff are often aware of a family’s struggles with social determinants of health, including food insecurity. A school pantry can provide low-income students and their families access to nutritious food.Food Pantries in Schools, California Department of Education, https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/he/schoolfoodpantries.asp,School Pantry Program, Feeding America, https://www.feedingamerica.org/our-work/hunger-relief-programs/school-pantry This is especially true in South Florida where families that were already struggling were also faced with additional hardships as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.This Southern metro area has become the epicenter of the coronavirus — and food insecurity, NBC News online, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/southern-metro-area-has-become-epicenter-coronavirus-food-insecurity-n1233903

A partnership is born

In 2018, Aetna Better Health of Florida® (ABHFL) donated $125,000 to Feeding South Florida (FSF). FSF is the sole Feeding America food bank serving Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. The one-year funding donation was part of the health plan’s strategy to address the growing trend of food insecurity in the communities they serve. A portion of the donation established a farmer’s market-style School Pantry Program (SPP) for 130 families with students at Melrose Elementary School in the Brownsville section of Miami. The twice-monthly SPP provides nutritious items such as fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as a true pantry with shelf-stable foods that are available on an as-needed basis for families with urgent requests.

It is widely known that without proper nutrition, children cannot concentrate or perform well in school. Children who have poor nutrition often experience stunted development, this can cause chronic health issues and impact the capacity for academic achievement and future success. Evidence shows the health of students is strongly associated to their academic achievement.Santos R, Huerta G, Karki M, Cantarero A. Social Determinants of Overweight and Obesity Rates by Elementary School in a Predominantly Hispanic School District. J Pediatr Nurs. 2017;37:8-12. doi:10.1016/j.pedn.2017.08.02,Jyoti DF, Frongillo EA, Jones SJ. Food insecurity affects school children’s academic performance, weight gain, and social skills. Journal of Nutrition 2005;135(12):2831–2839.,Johnson AD, Markowitz AJ. Associations Between Household Food Insecurity in Early Childhood and Children’s Kindergarten Skills. Child Dev. 2018;89(2):e1-e17. doi:10.1111/cdev.12764,https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/health_and_academics/pdf/health-academic-achievement.pdf Published May 2014

As such, partnering with an organization like FSF, and supporting food distribution programs in high-need communities, gives Aetna the ability to better understand the social determinants of health issues facing members in specific at-risk communities. Having this information, helps case managers provide members with the most appropriate local social services, allowing families to focus more on education instead of worrying about where they will get their next meal.

That’s why it was important from the get-go for the health plan to engage the Florida Institute for Health Innovation (FIHI). Running alongside the program, FIHI used pre- and post-survey data and focus groups to conduct an independent, qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the Melrose SPP on students’ health, behavior in school, and performance in the classroom through the collection of survey and focus group data.

Access to nutritious food: A catalyst for student success?

The post-survey data suggests that almost 20% of household groceries for respondents came from the SPP, demonstrating a significant contribution to household food security. Respondents were also asked if the SPP allowed them to “meet their food needs for the month.” Fifty-one percent (51%) answered ‘Yes’ and 74% shared that the program increased their ability to eat nutritiously. Of the parents that participated in the pre- and post-survey, there was a 12% increase in parent’s self-reporting their child’s overall health as “excellent.” This emphasized the qualitative evidence from the focus group, in which one parent shared that her children were no longer pre-diabetic after participating in the SPP.

Overall, participants in both the surveys and focus groups underscored the impact of the SPP on behavioral outcomes, reducing familial stressors associated with hunger, and improving their child’s health. When asked about the SPP in relation to students’ performance in school, participants noted that having access to food was a catalyst towards ensuring their children could focus on school without worrying about eating.

“I have five children at home, and it has been hard sometimes to tell them that there wasn’t any milk,” said one parent. 
Another parent shared how their children’s behavior changes when they become concerned about access to food, stating, “They get nervous when they see the refrigerator getting empty.”

Next steps

Since the conclusion of Aetna’s one-year SPP funding contract and the FIHI study, ABHFL has maintained its collaboration with FSF through a $120,000 grant for FSF’s new Mini-Mobile Farmacy (MMF). The MMF is a mobile grocery store that goes directly to at-risk populations and provides nutritious food, interactive public health programming, and a food “farmacy” that personalizes the link between food and wellbeing for food insecure individuals with chronic health concerns.

“Aetna has brought a tremendous amount of recognition and respect to the SPP,“ said Sari M. Vatske, executive vice president of Feeding South Florida. “As a result of our collaboration, FSF’s Feeding Futures School Pantry Program was able to extend the Melrose SPP through an official partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools and received an additional year of funding with the help of County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson.”

About National Hunger Action Month

September is Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month, a month where people all over America stand together to support food banks and to spread the word to act on the hunger crisis and dedicate ourselves to a solution.

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Heart At Work: Nancy Simonelli

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Bill Steel, an 83-year-old living in The Villages, a 15,000-person retirement community in Lady Lake, Florida, likes a lot of things about his local CVS Pharmacy. It’s clean and well stocked. That makes for one-stop shopping instead of multiple trips elsewhere – especially important since he’s in the most vulnerable age group for COVID-19 and Florida has seen a huge resurgence of cases in recent weeks. 

“CVS Pharmacy prices are competitive to what I pay at the supermarket. I use my ExtraCare card and that saves me too,” explains Bill, who visits two to three times weekly. “The staff is always friendly and helpful and Nancy always takes time to talk.” 

Nancy is Nancy Simonelli, a retail store associate who has been a CVS Health colleague for more than 20 years. She knows Bill and many other customers by their first name and makes sure their shopping trips include friendly small talk. A fellow retiree and member of the community, she understands that for some seniors those quick chats may be the only conversation they have that day.   
   
“They’ll come in for their medications, talk to the pharmacist, and then visit with us,” Nancy says. “They’re glad to see you and you’re glad to see them.” 

Those small interactions can make a big difference. Many seniors, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic began, are dealing with social isolation, a condition studies have shown can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. 

As Christopher Ciano, President of Medicare for Aetna, reminds us, it’s even more important that our aging loved ones don’t feel they’re alone during this time. 

Nancy understands. A New Jersey native, she moved to Central Florida with her husband after retiring and knows the community.  She understands customers, like Bill, may have lost a spouse and do their own shopping. Family may live far away. 

“I’ll learn about their children and grandkids.” Sometimes she’ll hear a familiar accent and ask, “What part of New Jersey are you from?” 

Like other CVS Pharmacy locations, things have changed. Colleagues and customers alike are required to wear masks. Where once there was a handshake, or a pat on the back, now there are air high-fives.  

What hasn’t changed is colleagues like Nancy and the social connection their friendly chats provide customers like Bill. Thank you – and a big “air high-five” – for bringing your heart to work, Nancy. 
 

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CVS Health expands COVID-19 testing capabilities by adding 77 additional drive-thru test sites in Florida

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CVS Health now has a total of 298 drive-thru test sites across the state

Company adds new independent third-party laboratory partners to help improve lab turnaround time for the delivery of COVID-19 test results

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — In an ongoing effort to help slow the spread of the virus, CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today expanded its COVID-19 testing program by deploying 77 additional test sites at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations across Florida. The opening of these new test sites on Friday, August 21 add to the 221 locations previously opened in Florida.

The 77 additional test sites opening across the state this week are among the more than 1,900 locations CVS Health has opened since May and expand the company's overall testing capacity.

In addition to increasing the number of drive-thru sites, CVS Health has expanded its network of independent third-party lab partners in an effort to help improve turnaround time for the delivery of test results. Given the steps CVS Health has taken, the majority of test results across the country will generally be available within 2 to 5 days.

"Our national scale and local community presence enable us to uniquely expand people's access to safe and effective COVID-19 testing options and respond to a need for increased testing capacity," said Emmanuel Kolady, Senior Vice President, CVS Health. "We remain grateful to our frontline colleagues who make these testing sites possible and whose dedication has allowed us to keep our stores and MinuteClinics open for customers seeking supplies and patients who need care."

Self-swab tests are no cost to patients and will be available to individuals meeting CDC criteria, in addition to state and age guidelines.COVID-19 tests are no cost to patients with insurance or through a program for the uninsured funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Patients must register in advance at CVS.com to schedule an appointment. Patients will be required to stay in their cars and will be directed to the pharmacy drive-thru window or a location in the parking lot at a few stores, where they will be provided with a test kit and given instructions, and a CVS Pharmacy team member will observe the self-swab process to ensure it is done properly.

Testing will not take place inside any retail locations, and CVS Pharmacy, HealthHUB and MinuteClinic will continue to serve customers and patients.

The additional testing sites in Florida include:

  • CVS Pharmacy, 277 West State Road 436, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714

  • CVS Pharmacy, 24800 South Tamiami Trail, Bonita Springs, FL 34134

  • CVS Pharmacy, 12080 South Jog Road, Boynton Beach, FL 33437

  • CVS Pharmacy, 5403 University Parkway, Bradenton, FL 34201

  • CVS Pharmacy, 5310 45th Street East, Bradenton, FL 34203

  • CVS Pharmacy, 909 East Lumsden Road, Brandon, FL 33511

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1003 Santa Barbara Boulevard, Cape Coral, FL 33991

  • CVS Pharmacy, 700 W. Norvell Bryant Highway, Citrus Hills, FL 34442

  • CVS Pharmacy, 4405 US Highway 27, Clermont, FL 34711

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1640 US Highway 27, Clermont, FL 34714

  • CVS Pharmacy, 4550 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek, FL 33073

  • CVS Pharmacy, 4650 West Hillsboro Boulevard, Coconut Creek, F 33073

  • CVS Pharmacy, 49581 Highway 27, Davenport, FL 33837

  • CVS Pharmacy, 39902 Highway 27, Davenport, FL 33837

  • CVS Pharmacy, 2920 Davie Road, Davie, FL 33314

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1891 LPGA Boulevard, Daytona Beach, FL 32117

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1995 North C.R. 19A, Eustis, FL 32726

  • CVS Pharmacy, 24450 State Route 44, Eustis, FL 32726

  • CVS Pharmacy, 11300 State Road 82, Fort Myers, FL 33905

  • CVS Pharmacy, 9170 Daniels Parkway, Fort Myers, FL 33912

  • CVS Pharmacy, 7581 Winkler Road, Fort Myers, FL 33908

  • CVS Pharmacy, 16961 Alico Mission Way, Fort Myers, FL 33908

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1081 Beal Parkway, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547

  • CVS Pharmacy, 2303 SW 75th Street, Gainesville, FL 32607

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1621 SW 13th Street, Gainesville, FL 32608

  • CVS Pharmacy, 800 North Orange Avenue, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043

  • CVS Pharmacy, 901 North Federal Highway US Rt 1, Hollywood, FL 33109

  • CVS Pharmacy, 28740 South Dixie Highway, Homestead, FL 33033

  • CVS Pharmacy, 24799 SW 112th Avenue, Homestead, FL 33032

  • CVS Pharmacy, 9509 San Jose Boulevard, Jacksonville, FL 32257

  • CVS Pharmacy, 900 East Main Street, Lake Butler, FL 32054

  • CVS Pharmacy, 283 SW Baya Drive, Lake City, FL 32025

  • CVS Pharmacy, 2536 US Highway 92, East Lakeland, FL 33801

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1005 South Ohio Avenue, Live Oak, FL 32064

  • CVS Pharmacy, 5590 North Wickham Road, Melbourne, FL 32940

  • CVS Pharmacy, 12650 SW 88 Street, Miami, FL 33186

  • CVS Pharmacy, 2393 SW 67th Avenue, Miami, FL 33155

  • CVS Pharmacy, 5748 SW 40th Street South, Miami, FL 33155

  • CVS Pharmacy, 3700 NW 199 Street, Miami Gardens, FL 33169

  • CVS Pharmacy, 16001 Miramar Parkway, Miramar, FL 33027

  • CVS Pharmacy, 8901 Miramar Parkway, Miramar, FL 33025

  • CVS Pharmacy, 5585 Golden Gate Parkway, Naples, FL 34116

  • CVS Pharmacy, 6800 Collier Boulevard, Naples, FL 34114

  • CVS Pharmacy, 7380 Davis Boulevard, Naples, FL 34104

  • CVS Pharmacy, 11500 Ridge Road, New Port Richey, FL 34654

  • CVS Pharmacy, 6042 SW Highway 200, Ocala, FL 34476

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1720 W Highway 326, Ocala, FL 34475

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1551 County Road 220, Orange Park, FL 32073

  • CVS Pharmacy, 13960 Landstar Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32824

  • CVS Pharmacy, 7001 Old Winter Garden Road, Orlando, FL 32835

  • CVS Pharmacy, 9975 Lake Underhill Road, Orlando, FL 32825

  • CVS Pharmacy, 7665 West Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32818

  • CVS Pharmacy, 3502 Edgewater Drive, Orlando, FL 32804

  • CVS Pharmacy, 4974 North Alafaya Trail, Orlando, FL 32806

  • CVS Pharmacy, 8981 Conroy Windemere Road, Orlando, FL 32835

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1030 Lockwood Boulevard, Oviedo, FL 32756

  • CVS Pharmacy, 4500 Donald Ross Road, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33401

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1701 North University Drive, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024

  • CVS Pharmacy, 5301 North Palafox Street, Pensacola, FL 32505

  • CVS Pharmacy, 3 S Pompano Parkway, Pompano Beach, FL 33069

  • CVS Pharmacy, 7120 Ridge Road, Port Richey, FL 34668

  • CVS Pharmacy, 2873 SW Port St. Lucie Blvd., Port St. Lucie, FL 34953

  • CVS Pharmacy, 3724 84th Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34243

  • CVS Pharmacy, 7563 SE Maricamp Rd., Silver Springs Shore, FL 34472

  • CVS Pharmacy, 301 3rd Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

  • CVS Pharmacy, 3426 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL 33711

  • CVS Pharmacy, 5345 66th Street North, St. Petersburg, FL 33709

  • CVS Pharmacy, 845 4th Street North, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

  • CVS Pharmacy, 17817 SE 109th Avenue, Summerfield, FL 34491

  • CVS Pharmacy, 5670 N Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301

  • CVS Pharmacy, 10004 W. McNab Road, Tamarac, FL 33321

  • CVS Pharmacy, 6900 North University Drive, Tamarac, FL 33321

  • CVS Pharmacy, 2725 North MacDill Avenue, Tampa, FL 33607

  • CVS Pharmacy, 3102 West Gandy Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33611

  • CVS Pharmacy, 15499 North Dale Mabry, Tampa, FL 33618

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1820 Cheney Highway, Titusville, FL 32780

  • CVS Pharmacy, 6846 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach, FL 33411

A complete list of CVS Pharmacy drive-thru test sites can be found here.

More information on steps CVS Health has taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic is available at the company's frequently updated COVID-19 resource center.

For downloadable COVID-19 testing media assets, including photos, video and interviews with CVS Health executives, please visit the Media Resource Center.

About CVS Health

CVS Health employees are united around a common goal of becoming the most consumer-centric health company. We're evolving based on changing consumer needs and meeting people where they are, whether that's in the community at one of our nearly 10,000 local touchpoints, in the home, or in the palm of their hand. Our newest offerings from HealthHUB locations that are redefining what a pharmacy can be, to innovative programs that help manage chronic conditions are designed to create a higher-quality, simpler and more affordable experience. Learn more about how we're transforming health at www.cvshealth.com.

Media contact

Tara Burke
646-765-4971
BurkeT1@aetna.com

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Community joins forces to live healthy in Miami’s Little Havana

Community joins forces to live healthy in Miami’s Little Havana
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Much like the neighborhood for which it is named, the Live Healthy Little Havana program is a mix of many different elements. It’s a community-led initiative, a partnership with the government, a collaboration with health organizations and an effort to improve resident/police relations — all rolled into one.

To really know what a community needs, you have to live there. Talk with your neighbors over the back fence. See the issues with your own eyes. That’s what makes the Live Healthy Little Havana program a success.

Neighborhood residents, working as community liaisons, are at the heart of the work to improve life for those in the community. And everyone’s got a seat at the table, from government representatives to health workers to lifelong residents. It’s a model that’s driving change — and one that other communities can replicate.

Live Healthy Little Havana participants are working on multiple fronts toward a single goal — to improve life for the residents of this storied community. We showed up at one of their events to hear about how it’s working — and watched as kids from the neighborhood vied to be the first to get the local police commander into the dunk tank.

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