CVS Health® Invests $3M+ in Phoenix Health Improvement

CVS Health® (NYSE: CVS) has unveiled a significant investment of over $3 million in new grants aimed at supporting various organizations in Phoenix. These grants are designed to enhance equitable access to healthcare, address social determinants of health, and educate the community about the impact of air pollution on health.

The announcement of these grants was made during a Project Health event held in Phoenix, where CVS Health leaders, community organizations, and local officials came together to discuss and celebrate these initiatives.

Sheryl Burke, Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and Chief Sustainability Officer at CVS Health, emphasized the importance of tailoring initiatives to meet the unique needs of different communities. She stated, “No two communities are the same. That’s why we are constantly looking for ways to pull together all our community-based and sustainability efforts — like here in Phoenix — to make a meaningful impact and collaborate with organizations who know the community best to address the unique barriers to improving health outcomes.”

The investment in Phoenix includes efforts to bridge critical gaps in healthcare and social systems. With statistics showing that 65% of South Phoenix residents are overweight or obese and that 80% of healthcare costs are due to preventable chronic diseases, CVS Health saw an opportunity to address these challenges. The company’s Health Zones initiative in Phoenix aims to tackle high levels of diabetes and hypertension by investing $2.1 million over three years in organizations like Valleywise Health, Home Assist Health, and Advance. These funds will support integrated diabetes management services, including home health and monitoring, medically tailored food boxes, and educational resources. By encouraging collaboration and coordination among these organizations, CVS Health hopes to simplify the care navigation process and improve health outcomes for vulnerable populations.

Dr. Michelle Barker, Senior Vice President of Ambulatory Services and Chief Executive Officer of FQHC Clinics at Valleywise Health, highlighted the transformative potential of these investments. She stated, “We believe that the right resources can transform health outcomes for individuals, families, and communities, greatly reducing or eliminating generational health inequities for improved quality of life for patients in the Greater South Phoenix community.”

In addition to addressing chronic diseases, CVS Health is collaborating with the American Lung Association to educate the community about air pollution. Phoenix ranks among the most polluted cities in the U.S. for ozone and particulate pollution, affecting one in three Americans who live in areas with unhealthy air levels. CVS Health is investing $3.5 million over four years nationwide to combat this issue, with Phoenix being the pilot location. This initiative includes distributing funds to support local healthcare providers and organizations working to expand educational resources, increase access to care, and leverage local air quality data to raise awareness of pollution hotspots.

Harold Wimmer, President and CEO of the American Lung Association, stressed the importance of addressing climate change’s impact on lung health, particularly in communities like Phoenix. He expressed gratitude for the partnership with CVS Health in tackling this critical health issue.

Furthermore, CVS Health has allocated a $100,000 grant over two years to support the Phoenix Indian Center’s Suicide-Safer Communities project. This initiative aims to expand suicide prevention services for Native Americans in Phoenix, acknowledging the pressing need to improve mental health services in under-resourced communities.

In conjunction with these grants, CVS Health will offer free health screenings to the Phoenix community through its Project Health program, starting in March. These screenings, conducted at CVS Pharmacy locations and other local venues, include biometric tests such as blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose levels, and body mass index assessments. The screenings also include a mental health assessment to identify individuals who may need further evaluation for depression. This initiative underscores CVS Health’s commitment to making healthcare accessible and addressing health disparities in the community.

Overall, CVS Health’s multi-million-dollar investment in Phoenix reflects a comprehensive approach to improving community health outcomes, addressing social determinants of health, and fostering partnerships to create a healthier future for all residents.

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