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CVS wellness project to give heads-up on health reform
September 5th, 2013
WOONSOCKET, R.I. – CVS/pharmacy is midway through its annual Project Health campaign and plans to hold hundreds more free wellness events in major cities over the next few months, with changes brought by health care reform being a key focus.
The drug chain said Thursday that more than 375 Project Health events — Proyecto Salud in Spanish — will be held at CVS stores during September, October and November in 10 cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
Several events will also be held across Ohio in October. Project Health events will also be held at select CVS/pharmacy locations in Puerto Rico.
By the end of 2013, more than 770 Project Health events will have taken place, delivering more than $15 million of free health screenings to multicultural communities nationwide since the initiative's launch in March.
Focused on promoting preventive health care, Project Health offers a range of free health risk assessments, including blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), blood glucose and cholesterol screenings, as well as smoking cessation counseling. Children age 7 and older can participate in screenings with parental consent.
CVS said that in September, representatives from Get Covered America will be available at Project Health events to inform consumers about the new health insurance marketplaces and their coverage options under the Affordable Care Act health reform law. Health insurance experts will also be available at Project Health events in October and November.
"We know that our Project Health events are a great way to reach customers who may not have health insurance. In fact, about 45% of past attendees were uninsured," Helena Foulkes, executive vice president and chief health care strategy and marketing officer for CVS Caremark, said in a statement. "As a pharmacy health care provider, we have a responsibility to help our patients make informed decisions about their health care, including the new health care coverage options available to them. Increased access to health care coverage will improve health outcomes and is in line with our purpose of helping people on their path to better health."
After Project Health participants are screened, CVS then helps them through on-site consultations with bilingual (Spanish/English) nurse practitioners or physician assistants, who analyze results and refer those requiring further medical attention to no-cost or low-cost medical facilities nearby or to their primary care physician if follow-up care is needed. CVS pharmacists also are available to conduct one-on-one medication reviews and answer patient questions.
Last year, about 160,000 people were screened through Project Health events, according to CVS.
"By increasing access to vital preventive care through Project Health events," Foulkes added, "we are not only helping patients identify chronic conditions they may be at risk for, we are also arming them with the tools they need to take charge of their health and ultimately lead healthier lives."