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CVS Health Announces $2.5 Million in New Funding to Help Build Healthier Communities in Ohio

Investments will support key initiatives across the state including increasing access to health care, preventing prescription opioid misuse and supporting tobacco-free living for at-risk populations

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Oct. 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its commitment to building healthier communities, CVS Health (CVS) today announced it and its private charity will be donating more than $2.5 million in Ohio over the next three years to improve the health and wellness of Ohioans across the state.

CVS Health (PRNewsFoto/CVS Health)

The new funding from CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation will help support Ohio nonprofits as they tackle critical health issues that the state is currently facing. Grants to a number of different organizations will focus on mitigating prescription opioid abuse and misuse, expanding access to health care for underinsured and uninsured populations, and helping people to quit smoking. The company is also committed to expanding its workforce presence and training programs within Ohio.

"We can help improve the health outcomes of our communities by strengthening our local support and empowering local organizations that are developing innovative solutions," said Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy, CVS Health. "The organizations we are working with are truly dedicated to addressing the key public health issues in the state of Ohio and can help people on their path to better health."

Expanding access to affordable, quality care

Through a new $1.5 million donation over three years to the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, CVS Health will help provide convenient access to care for more than 52,000 underserved Ohioans each year. The new grant program will allow the more than 60 free clinics across the state to increase capacity through additional staffing support, education and training for clinic teams. The funds will also be used to create new programming that will do more to support chronic disease management and address social determinants of health.

Helping to combat opioid misuse and abuse

To help veterans impacted by opioid misuse, the CVS Health Foundation has made a $100,000 grant to Easterseals of Cincinnati, over two years, to provide immersive community-based care, including mental health and recovery services for veterans.

CVS Pharmacy, the retail business of CVS Health, has also expanded its Safe Medication program in Ohio to 82 new locations during 2019, bringing the total number of in-store and community medication disposal units across the state to nearly 200. CVS Pharmacy has also expanded its successful Pharmacists Teach program to engage more than 500 Ohio youth and their parents on the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

Delivering the first tobacco-free generation

As part of the company's $50 million, Be The First initiative to help deliver the first tobacco-free generation, CVS Health is also committing $500,000 to the American Lung Association to help Ohioans quit smoking. The new donation will provide more than a quarter million Ohio Managed Medicaid plan members access to tobacco cessation services in 2019 and 2020 – especially important, since it is estimated that nearly 32 percent of all Medicaid patients nationwide smoke. Through the new partnership with the American Lung Association, participants will receive a one-year membership to the successful Freedom from Smoking program, which includes online cessation modules and access to the Lung Help Line.

Additionally, CVS Health is providing the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics with a $30,000 grant to incorporate a youth tobacco screening tool to assist health care providers in identifying adolescent smoking/vaping behavior and smoke exposure, and to equip health care providers with resources to share with their patients and caregivers.

In addition to supporting local nonprofits, CVS Health is also committed to expanding and enhancing its workforce programs in the state of Ohio to help find meaningful employment for veterans, individuals with disabilities, as well as youth and mature workers. The company recently opened a new WITC (Workforce Innovation & Talent Center) in Cleveland (video available), and this year has opened six other training sites across the state in Cleveland, Youngstown, Middleburg Heights, Cincinnati, Painesville, and Lewis Center. CVS Health will also continue to work with community partners, such as Centers for Families and Children, Goodwill Industries, Baldwin Wallace University and local high schools across the state, to support the growing needs of the Ohio workforce.

"Our continued investments to local non-profits and our workforce are key to making a meaningful impact on the lives of the people of Ohio," said David Casey, Vice President, Workforce Strategies, and Chief Diversity Officer, CVS Health. "We are committed to working with these organizations to expand the delivery of care and build healthier communities across the state."

About CVS Health

CVS Health is the nation's premier health innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Whether in one of its pharmacies or through its health services and plans, CVS Health is pioneering a bold new approach to total health by making quality care more affordable, accessible, simple and seamless. CVS Health is community-based and locally focused, engaging consumers with the care they need when and where they need it. The Company has approximately 9,900 retail locations, approximately 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 102 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year and expanding specialty pharmacy services. CVS Health also serves an estimated 38 million people through traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including rapidly expanding Medicare Advantage offerings and a leading standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. The Company believes its innovative health care 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.

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 nonprofit partners 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.

Contact: Ethan Slavin, (860) 273-6095, SlavinE@aetna.com

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