The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, a private foundation created by CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), today announced a $5 million commitment to expanding access to quality health care nationwide through partnerships with the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NAFC), the School-Based Health Alliance and the second year of the "Innovations in Community Health" grant program in partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). Beginning in 2014, grants will be made available to free and charitable clinics, school-based health centers (SBHCs) 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 with the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics and the School-Based Health Alliance, 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 NACHC 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. "Through the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, we're able to partner with organizations like the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics and the School-Based Health Alliance that share in our mission to help adults and children live healthier lives. 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."
Through the partnerships with NAFC, the School-Based Health Alliance and NACHC, the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust is supporting a variety of programs, including:
• Health care models that promote coordinated care efforts.
• Health care models that include education, awareness and prevention and wellness programs
• Immunizations in schools.
• Partnerships with other community organizations, such as hospitals.
• Health care models that promote coordinated care for patients managing chronic diseases
• Health care models that include education and tracking methods for promoting medication adherence for patients managing chronic diseases.
• Technology and IT services that enable health care providers to more effectively plan therapies or promote communication among a network of health care providers serving collaborative care for patients managing chronic diseases.
"We believe access to health care should be a right, not a privilege," said Nicole Lamoureux, Executive Director of the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics. "CVS Caremark's goal to increase access to health care and reduce overall health care costs is closely aligned with our commitment to broadening access to affordable health care for the medically underserved. Through this new partnership with the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, we will help ensure that coordinated care models – which are critical to improving the quality of care and health outcomes – are implemented in free clinics nationwide."
"Every child and teen deserves access to quality health care," said Linda Juszczak, President of the School-Based Health Alliance. "With the support of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, school-based health centers will be able to provide routine health services, such as an annual physical, eye exams and dental screenings, to help ensure children have the resources they need to live healthier lives."