WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Pharmacy is set to launch its annual free health screening campaign, Project Health.
CVS said Wednesday that from Sept. 7 to Dec. 17, it plans to hold 450 Project Health wellness events and provide more than $5 million of free health services at CVS Pharmacy locations in 10 multicultural communities with a large number of uninsured or underinsured Americans.
CVS Project Health wellness event venues include CVS Pharmacy locations in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., as well as selected CVS Pharmacy stores in Puerto Rico. The events will be held from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
CVS noted that Project Health events slated to be held in Houston are postponed because of the massive flooding and recovery efforts in the area from Hurricane Harvey. The company said it plans to reschedule the free health and wellness events when it’s safe to do so and the community will have greater access.
“Project Health is part of CVS Health’s commitment to improve access to health care and ensure that cost isn’t a barrier to important preventive services,” CVS Health chief medical officer Troyen Brennan said in a statement. “Our free health screenings can help identify health concerns or risk factors for participants who may not have access to care otherwise.”
Health assessments at CVS Project Health events include blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), glucose and total cholesterol screenings, which CVS said can help detect risk for chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. Once screened, patients have access to on-site consultations with bilingual nurse practitioners or physician assistants, who will analyze results and can refer patients needing additional care and follow-up to no-cost or low-cost medical facilities nearby or to their primary care doctor.
Attesting to the value of preventive care, CVS cited Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research finding that one in two Americans has at least one chronic illness, and 85% of U.S. health care dollars spent annually on care for these diseases.
CVS said last year’s Project Health events detected high rates of specific treatable conditions among participants, with 49% found to be overweight or obese, 39% having abnormal blood pressure readings, 31% having had abnormal glucose readings and 38% found to have abnormal cholesterol levels.
“These chronic conditions, which can often be life-threatening, can be treated very effectively when identified early, helping to improve a patient’s health and well-being, as well as reducing costs for both the patient and the overall health care delivery system,” according to Brennan.
This year, CVS is partnering with YMCAs in Houston, Atlanta and Los Angeles to urge their members to participate in Project Health screenings. “The Y shares CVS Health’s goal to deliver preventive care, like screenings, in places where access is a barrier,” commented Kevin Washington, president and chief executive officer of YMCA of the USA. “Taking health care out of clinical settings and putting it into our neighborhoods can save lives, reduce costs and make our communities stronger.”
Since its inception in 2006, Project Health has provided more than $117 million in free health care services to over 887,000 people, many of whom lack access to preventive care services, CVS said.