MCALLEN, Texas, July 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- El Milagro Clinic today announced it has launched rapid COVID-19 testing, together with CVS Health, at its clinic in the Rio Grande Valley. CVS Pharmacists and pharmacy employees will staff the testing operation. Testing will be provided at no cost to patients.
"We are very excited to be teaming up with CVS Health to increase the much-needed COVID-19 testing services in our region." said Marisol Resendez, Executive Director, El Milagro Clinic. "This collaboration comes at a most appropriate time as we are experiencing an exponentially increasing amount of positive COVID-19 cases. We know that it is the uninsured and underserved in our community that are at a higher risk from getting severely ill from this virus, and this partnership highlights our commitment to providing healthcare services to the most vulnerable. We are grateful for CVS Health's vision to expand access to testing to those that need it most."
Testing at the El Milagro Clinic, located at 901 E. Vermont Avenue in McAllen, will be open to the public by appointment beginning Friday, July 17. Patients will need to pre-register in advance by calling 956-213-6400, to schedule a time slot for testing. Testing at the site is conducted inside the clinic; a personal vehicle is not required and results will be provided on-the-spot. To be eligible for testing, patients will need to meet criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in addition to age guidelines.
"Working with partners like El Milagro Clinic is an important part of our comprehensive strategy to increase access to COVID-19 testing," said Dr. Garth Graham, Vice President, Community Health and Chief Community Health Officer, CVS Health. "This joint effort allows us to tap into the network of a trusted organization with strong community ties to further expand testing in areas of greatest need."
The CVS Health Foundation, a charitable entity associated with CVS Health, has a longstanding relationship with the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics, providing more than $9 million over the last six years to help clinics nationwide, like El Milagro Clinic, to increase access to care for underserved populations.
"Accessible, abundant, efficient and accurate testing is critical to reining in the surge of COVID-19 in South Texas," said Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15). "CVS Health will be an enormous resource and expand access to testing for our vulnerable populations. I am grateful for CVS Health for stepping up and answering our community's call for help."
El Milagro Clinic has provided comprehensive primary, disease prevention and behavioral health care services to Rio Grande Valley residents who are medically indigent since 1996.
"Hidalgo County has been identified as one of the nation's hotspots for COVID-19 with more than 7,000 known positive cases. Testing is essential to contain the spread of the virus," said Roberto M. Garcia, El Milagro Clinic Board Chair. "Mass testing is taking place at several locations throughout the county; however, these efforts are presently overwhelmed. We welcome the opportunity to partner with CVS Health for COVID-19 testing in the battle against the spread of this virus in our community."
In addition to offering testing together with several community partners across the country, CVS Health is offering drive-thru testing at more than 1,400 CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide. Nearly sixty percent of these CVS Pharmacy test sites serve communities with significant need for support, as measured by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Social Vulnerability Index.
Monica Prinzing, (831) 241-8294
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SOURCE CVS Health