By Patricia Daddona
PBN Staff Writer
By Patricia Daddona
PBN Staff Writer
WOONSOCKET – The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, a private foundation created by CVS Caremark Corp., made a $5 million commitment in mid-December to expand access to quality health care nationwide through partnerships with the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics and the School-Based Health Alliance.
The trust is also in its second year of an “Innovations in Community Health” grant program in partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers.
Beginning in 2014, grants will be made available to free and charitable clinics, school-based health centers and community health centers nationwide to increase access to health care and coordinated care to improve health outcomes for people of all ages, across the country. The $5 million investment reinforces CVS Caremark’s commitment to support community health.
To increase access to health care for underserved populations, NAFC supports the needs of more than 1,200 free and charitable clinics and the people they serve across the United States. The School-Based Health Alliance supports more than 2,000 school-based health centers nationwide that provide health care services as well as prevention and wellness services for children, while community health centers serve more than 22 million people at more than 9,000 sites located throughout all 50 states and U.S. territories.
“While changes in our health care system will qualify millions of more people for health coverage, it's still a challenge for many, especially underserved populations, to have access to quality health care,” said Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO for CVS Caremark. “Through our partnerships … we will help ensure that thousands of adults and children throughout the country have the opportunity to benefit from health services right in their local communities that can create better health outcomes.”
The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust will support NAFC through a $1 million partnership to support the needs of free and charitable clinics nationwide. While doctors and nurses volunteer their time and expertise at local clinics, staff and partnerships with other organizations in the community are still needed to support patients. The funding from the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust will enhance coordinated care models at free and charitable clinics to help improve the quality of care and health outcomes.
Through its $1 million commitment to the School-Based Health Alliance, the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust will help ensure that kindergarteners through high school students can receive routine medical care, such as a flu shot, annual physical, eye exams, dental screenings, or speak to a mental health counselor.
The second year of the “Innovations in Community Health” grant program in partnership with National Association of Community Health Centers will award another $1 million, part of a $3 million, three-year partnership, to support community-based health care models in community health centers across the United States.
“As a pharmacy innovation company committed to helping people on their path to better health, CVS Caremark is always looking for opportunities to produce better health outcomes, especially in the communities where it’s needed most,” said Eileen Howard Boone, senior vice president of corporate philanthropy and social responsibility for CVS Caremark and president of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust.
“We’re proud to build on our commitment to provide more people nationwide with access to health care and are excited to see the positive impact of our new partnerships and of our continued partnership with NACHC and community health centers, which play a vital role in providing affordable, quality health care services to patients managing chronic disease.”