CVS Health expands availability of resources to prevent opioid misuse amid pandemic

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Innovative prevention efforts aim to make an impact in a time of reduced personal contact

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced new and expanded programs to help prevent opioid misuse, which come as the pandemic has presented challenges to delivering traditional drug abuse prevention programs for young people. The company's newest initiative increases access to digital prevention education resources tailored for the current learning environment.

Working with Discovery Education, CVS Health has launched a suite of no-cost digital resources that empower educators to discuss the facts about prescription and illicit drug misuse with students in either a classroom or virtual learning setting. The standards-based curriculum, called Dose of Knowledge, features Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson and U.S. Women's National Soccer goalkeeper Adrianna Franch. The initiative builds on CVS Health's successful pharmacist-led prevention education program by incorporating the perspective of several CVS pharmacists.

"The pandemic has brought new complexities to the way in which prevention and treatment services are provided, but early intervention remains as important as ever," said Troyen Brennan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. "Our work with Discovery Education accounts for the new definition of a 'classroom,' and delivers the same impactful resources to students regardless of their circumstances."

The CVS Health Foundation, a private charitable organization created by CVS Health, has also committed nearly $3 million in new grants to address opioid misuse and support treatment in local communities, including:

  • More than $1 million to the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics to support addiction treatment and other patient services in 17 states;

  • $1 million to America's Essential Hospitals to support office-based addiction treatment for more than 30 safety-net hospitals and facilitate a collaborative to share learnings with member hospitals;

  • $500,000 to Easterseals to support mental health and addiction recovery services for veterans; and

  • Nearly $100,000 to Young People In Recovery to create a digital life-skills curriculum to help young people rebuild their lives.

In addition to the impact these investments aim to have, a new report from the National Association of Community Health Centers is outlining the impact in this area of previous investments made by the CVS Health Foundation.

CVS Health is also building on its commitment to increase access to the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone, also known as Narcan. The medication has already been made available without an individual prescription, under a standing order or similar regulation, to CVS Pharmacy patients nationwide. Now, CVS Pharmacy is offering free delivery of naloxone nasal spray in all 30 states where regulations permit, as part of the company's free one- to two-day prescription delivery offering that was implemented shortly after the pandemic began.

On Saturday, October 24, CVS Health will participate in the Drug Enforcement Association's National Prescription Take Back Day, with events at select CVS Pharmacy locations. These events are just part of CVS Health's everyday efforts to reduce the availability of unneeded or unwanted controlled substances, which also include more than 2,800 CVS Pharmacy locations that offer permanent safe medication disposal kiosks. By the end of 2020, CVS Health will have installed more than 2,900 safe medication disposal units in CVS Pharmacy locations and donated more than 1,000 disposal units to local law enforcement. Together, these units have collected nearly two million pounds of unwanted medication, including opioids, removing these medications from homes where they could be diverted or abused. All CVS Pharmacy locations that do not offer in-store safe medication disposal units continue to offer no-cost DisposeRx drug disposal packets with all opioid first-fill prescriptions that can facilitate safe medication disposal at home.

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.

About the CVS Health Foundation

The CVS Health Foundation is a private charitable organization created by CVS Health that works to build healthier communities, enabling people of all ages to lead healthy, productive lives. The Foundation provides strategic investments to nonprofits throughout the U.S. who help increase community-based access to health care for underserved populations, create innovative approaches to chronic disease management and provide tobacco cessation and youth prevention programming. We also invest in scholarship programs that open the pathways to careers in pharmacy to support the academic aspirations of the best and brightest talent in the industry. Our philanthropy also extends to supporting our colleagues' spirit of volunteerism through Volunteer Challenge Grants to nonprofits where they donate their time and fundraising efforts. To learn more about the CVS Health Foundation and its giving, visit www.cvshealth.com/social-responsibility.

Media contact

Erin Shields Britt
Corporate Communications
Erin.Britt@CVSHealth.com

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CVS Health Foundation scholarships

Supporting the future education goals of students.

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Our scholarship programs

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Advance Practice Nurse and Physician Assistant schools

Our Advance Practice Nurse (APN) and Physician Assistant (PA) scholarship program is one way we are helping to mitigate the impact of the ongoing primary care physician shortage in the United States. With more Americans living longer and fewer primary care physicians, the demand for highly skilled nurse practitioners and physician assistants is only expected to increase. We’re proud to support the most promising family nurse practitioners and physician assistants of tomorrow by providing scholarships through the CVS Health Foundation to accredited Colleges of Nursing and Physician Assistants schools across the country.

Funds are distributed directly to qualified schools; scholarships are awarded to students through the institution’s internal scholarship process.

Institutions in the U.S. and Puerto Rico that are interested in applying must have Full Accreditation Status as recognized by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA).

Before submitting your application on behalf of your school, please review this important information regarding the process:

  • Organizations recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as tax exempt 501(c)(3), are invited to apply. Certain public institutions, including some public colleges and universities, are not eligible for exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the Code), because the institution is not a separately incorporated entity, is an integral part of the state government, and may have certain regulatory powers similar to a governmental entity. Such institutions are eligible for grants from the CVS Health Foundation as long as grant funds are used for charitable purposes.

  • A copy of the IRS Determination Letter will be required every year in order to validate that your institution continues to be a public charity. Please refer to this IRS letter prior to submitting the application to ensure you answer the questions properly.

  • All applications to the CVS Health Foundation must be submitted online.

  • The CVS Health Foundation Advance Practice Nurse and Physician Assistant Scholarship will review only one proposal per organization per year. Only completed proposals will be given consideration.

  • Organizations will receive an email response to verify receipt of their application if requested. Click “yes” on the application where indicated and enter your email address to receive a receipt.

  • Students enrolled in an accredited nurse practitioner or physician assistants school are not eligible to apply online for a scholarship; this grant application process is for institutional use only. Students should inquire with their respective school's scholarship committee to determine the application process and timelines.

APRN and PA school scholarships applications are available to advance practice nurse or physician assistant schools only. Applications for 2017 will be available in August and will be accepted through October.

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Pharmacy schools

Pharmacists are among the most accessible and trusted members of the health care community. With more Americans living longer and taking more medications, the demand for these highly skilled professionals is only expected to increase. That’s why we’re proud to support the most promising pharmacists of tomorrow by providing scholarships through the CVS Health Foundation to pharmacy schools across the country. Funds are distributed directly to qualified schools; scholarships are awarded to students through the institution’s internal scholarship process.

Institutions in the U.S. and Puerto Rico that are interested in applying must have Full Accreditation Status or Candidate Accreditation Status as recognized by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

Before submitting your application, please review this important information regarding the process:

  • Organizations recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as tax exempt 501(c)(3), are invited to apply. Certain public institutions, including some public colleges and universities, are not eligible for exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the Code), because the institution is not a separately incorporated entity, is an integral part of the state government, and may have certain regulatory powers similar to a governmental entity. Such institutions are eligible for grants from the CVS Health Foundation as long as grant funds are used for charitable purposes.

  • A copy of the IRS Determination Letter will be required every year in order to validate that your institution continues to be a public charity. Please refer to this IRS letter prior to submitting the application to ensure you answer the questions properly.

  • All applications to the CVS Health Foundation must be submitted online.

  • The CVS Health Foundation Pharmacy Scholarship will review only one proposal per organization per year. Only completed proposals will be given consideration.

  • Organizations will receive an email response to verify receipt of their application if requested. Click “yes” on the application where indicated and enter your email address to receive a receipt.

  • Students enrolled in an accredited college of pharmacy are not eligible to apply online for a scholarship; this grant application process is for institutional use only. Students should inquire with their respective school's scholarship committee to determine the application process and timelines.

Pharmacy school scholarships applications for 2017 will be available in August and will be accepted through October.

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Children of colleagues

Our scholarships for children of colleagues program offers children of full-time employees the opportunity to apply for a scholarship to a two- or four-year college or university. The program, funded through the CVS Health Foundation, has helped countless students achieve their goal of furthering their education.

The scholarship program for the 2021-2022 academic year will open in early 2021.

Four teen-aged students of various backgrounds and genders sit on a teal-colored sofa while smiling.

Tobacco-free resources

CVS Health remains the only national retail pharmacy to stop the sale of tobacco products. We are also committed to helping people lead tobacco free lives. Through our company and the CVS Health Foundation, we’re investing $50 million through 2020, through an initiative we call #BeTheFirst, which aims to help deliver the nation’s first tobacco-free generation.

We are working with leading anti-tobacco and youth organizations across the country to support comprehensive education, advocacy, tobacco control and healthy behavior programming. With our partners, we're working towards contributing to a 3% decline in youth smoking rate; a 10% decline in the number of new youth smokers; and doubling the number of tobacco-free colleges and universities.

As part of our initiative, we have invested in tobacco-free resources for students, parents, teachers, schools and youth organizations. These tools and curricula cover topics including the dangers of tobacco, e-cigarette use, healthy behaviors, and advocacy training. Below is a list of key resources that are available for youth-serving organizations to leverage:

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Our COVID-19 community support

As we work with our community partners to address the COVID-19 pandemic, our purpose of helping people on their path to better health is more important than ever. With many individuals and communities in need, we are focused on finding meaningful ways to strengthen the communities we serve.

A medical professional, in full personal protective equipment (PPE), inserts a swab into a vial to be processed to test for COVID-19. The vial is surrounded by a red-colored CVS Health heart outline.

Here’s a look into how we’re supporting our local communities

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Supporting relief efforts in our local communities

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.

Read more

Transform Health 2030

At the beginning of this new decade, we are reinforcing our commitment through Transform Health 2030, our new corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy focused on improving the health of the people and communities we serve, and to support the health of our business and the planet.

Read our 2019 CSR report
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Community contacts

For specific inquiries, please review the following information.


CVS Health Foundation

For more information on guidelines and requirements for applying for a grant from the CVS Health Foundation by visiting the CVS Health Foundation page. For additional information or specific questions about a Foundation grant that you received, please email cvshealthfoundation@cvshealth.com.


Aetna Foundation

Please visit the Aetna Foundation’s website for more information, including contacts.


Corporate giving and community grants

Community grants

If you are inquiring about grant funding, note that our corporate grants are focused in three key areas: Access to health care, youth tobacco prevention, and prescription drug abuse prevention.

Grant applications are by invitation only. To read more about our guidelines and requirements, please visit the CVS Health Community Grants page. For further questions, email corporategiving@cvshealth.com.

Event sponsorships

CVS Health supports a limited number of event sponsorships each year, by invitation only. We do not accept unsolicited event sponsorship requests.

Gift cards

Our gift card program offers qualifying community-based organizations the opportunity to apply for a CVS Pharmacy gift card of up to $50, which can be used to purchase items that support the organization’s work. To apply, submit a gift card application. For further questions, email giftcards@cvshealth.com.


Additional inquiries

For any inquiries not covered by the links above, please email communitymailbox@cvshealth.com.

Have a customer service question? Please visit our contact page to direct your inquiry to the appropriate department.

Helping colleges quit tobacco

Helping colleges quit tobacco
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At Healthy Communities News, we spotlight the people and places that are tackling local health challenges in impactful ways. The University of San Francisco (USF) is one of over 200 colleges and universities adopting policies to eliminate tobacco from their campuses as part of the CVS Health Foundation Tobacco-Free Campus Initiative. It’s a part of the $50 million commitment to help deliver the first tobacco-free generation launched by CVS Health soon after it quit selling tobacco products five years ago. We visited USF to see what a tobacco-free campus looks like and sat down with students, staff and our partner at the American Cancer Society for their thoughts on going 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free.


Students talk tobacco: Getting real with Temple University and Truth Initiative

With 99 percent of smokers beginning by the age of 26, college is a critical time to prevent the start of life-long addiction to nicotine and tobacco. Temple University in Philadelphia went smoke- and tobacco-free in July of 2019. We sat down with a group of their students for a candid conversation on how the program is going in its early days. We also chatted with Robin Koval, CEO and president of Truth Initiative, a national public health organization focused on youth tobacco prevention known for its edgy, award-winning “Truth” campaign.

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Addressing food insecurity in local communities

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A volunteer (wearing a face mask) loads temperature-sensitive food into an insulated bag for distribution. A woman in a red coat observes him loading the insulated bag.

Families across the country are facing significant challenges as they work to keep people safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, for many families, these health concerns are coming hand-in-hand with an unfamiliar worry: food insecurity. Lost jobs, reduced incomes and loss of access to school lunches have left many struggling with having enough to eat. Across the country, local nonprofits are stepping up with expanded services and innovative approaches to meet the sudden surge of need in their communities — and CVS Health is joining them to help. CVS Health and The CVS Health Foundation have provided more than $900,000 to organizations in local communities working to provide food to vulnerable populations, especially school-aged children, seniors, and the uninsured.

A $250,000 grant to Feeding America supported efforts to pack and deploy emergency food boxes to high-need areas across the country, including Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, New York and Washington. These boxes will help local food banks provide children, families, and seniors with the food and nutrition they need, even as the need for food assistance increases.

A volunteer arranges pre-packaged cooked meals, in sealed containers, on a tray for distribution.

Many other organizations have developed entirely new approaches to respond to the unique needs created by COVID-19 and CVS Health is proud to support this work in the communities we serve. In Kansas City, Missouri, Feed Northland Kids received a grant of $20,000 to develop Community Food Kits. With shelf-stable foods, these kits are provided to families through in-school pantries, which will help address food insecurity among school-age children. And in Austin, Texas, a $25,000 grant to the Central Texas Food Bank helped the organization shift to a drive-through model to allow clients to still receive food while ensuring safety for clients, staff, and volunteers. Safety is a top concern at many nonprofits; Community Servings in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, used a $15,000 grant to streamline operations and continue to distribute more than 2,000 food boxes in April, even without the assistance of the as many as 75 volunteers they previously relied on each day.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented need and continues to present unique challenges in meeting that need. At CVS Health, we’re proud to support the local organizations that are rising to the challenge to continue to feed their communities.

To stay up-to-date on the latest CVS Health Social Responsibility news and content, sign up for email news alerts.

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Meeting the nutritional needs of at-risk populations

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A female volunteer pushes a cart full of food donation while wearing a face mask.

People facing serious illnesses often have specific dietary needs to support their health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, those needs are compounded in many ways. CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation are working to support local nonprofit organizations across the country to address the challenges presented by the pandemic, with a particular emphasis on organizations helping people on their path to better health by meeting their unique nutritional needs. We have awarded nearly $200,000 in grants to support 13 community organizations across the country, providing medically-tailored meals for individuals with serious illnesses.

One such organization is God’s Love We Deliver in New York City, a community particularly hard-hit by the pandemic. Through a grant of $15,000, our support will help them continue to deliver their medically tailored meals directly to clients’ homes while accommodating the changing needs created by COVID-19. CVS Health also awarded $100,000 to the California Food is Medicine Coalition, repurposing a portion of its three-year, $40 million commitment to invest in California’s health care delivery system to respond to the pandemic. This grant will support six local sites across the state as they expand their meal services in response to the pandemic.

A female volunteer, wearing a red coat, delivers a box containing food donations to female senior citizens, who is smiling while standing in the doorway of her house.

“The grant from CVS Health enables the six California Food is Medicine Coalition (CalFIMC) agencies to increase their services — delivering thousands of nutritious meals to low-income and medically fragile Californians who are sheltered in-place and at great risk of contracting COVID-19 and more vulnerable to complications and death,” said Ann Thrupp, Director of CalFIMC. “We greatly appreciate the support CVS Health has provided CalFIMC to help respond to urgent community food needs for highly vulnerable people during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Funding for these organizations, and others like them in highly impacted areas, meet a critical need. With the support of CVS Health, these local nonprofits will continue to navigate these challenges and ensure that nutritious food gets to the members of their communities who need it most.

To stay up-to-date on the latest CVS Health Social Responsibility news and content, sign up for email news alerts.

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COVID-19 local community support

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COVID-19 Response Fund


Food boxes and/or nutritional support


Local community support


Medically tailored meals


Senior services and food boxes

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Supporting relief efforts in our local communities

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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.

Read the full list of our partners supporting communities in need.

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