The initiative plans to invest $25 million over three years to expand COVID-19 research, increase access to vaccines and antivirals and prevent future respiratory pandemics. More than 2 million Americans have been infected with COVID-19 to date, and the more than 36 million Americans living with a lung disease are at high risk for complications from the virus.
Dern is best known for her work in films such as Jurassic Park, Wild and in series including Showtime’s Twin Peaks and more recently HBO’s Big Little Lies. She recently won the Academy Award, Golden Globe and SAG Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Marriage Story.
Dern has partnered with the American Lung Association since 2015 through its Lung Force initiative to defeat lung cancer, a cause near and dear to her heart. Her grandfather passed away from lung cancer when she was young, as did her dear family friend, actress Valerie Harper.
“I am partnering with the American Lung Association and CVS Health so that we can give hope to everyone facing COVID-19, especially those most vulnerable to the severe impacts of the infection, and help save lives,” said Dern. “If we come together, I know we can make a positive impact in the lives of the millions of people impacted by this terrible disease.”
Funds raised for the COVID-19 Action Initiative through the CVS Health campaign will help the Lung Association expand COVID-19 research within the current studies of their Airways Clinical Research Centers (ACRC) Network, as well as new coronavirus awards and grants to advance knowledge for preventive research, vaccines, antivirals and future outbreak preparedness. The initiative will also enhance key public health measures through education and advocacy, and establish an advanced network of government, private industry and public health organizations to stop future respiratory virus pandemics. These efforts will help save more lives, especially for those individuals most vulnerable to or hardest hit by the respiratory virus, including older adults, those living with a lung disease, and Black and Hispanic communities.
As a long-time partner of the American Lung Association, CVS Health has signed on as a leading sponsor of their COVID-19 Action Initiative. In addition to hosting the in-store fundraising campaign, CVS Health is now providing drive-thru COVID-19 testing at 1,000 CVS Pharmacy locations, with the goal of processing 1.5 million tests per month. These tests are being offered at no-cost to improve access and necessary care for historically underserved communities.
“Through our COVID-19 Action Initiative, we are partnering with public and private entities to end the pandemic and we know that the first step in that process is testing,” said Harold Wimmer, President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep across the globe, we are thankful to partners like Laura Dern and CVS Health for helping us save more lives.”
For more information on the COVID-19 Action Initiative, visit Lung.org/covid-19. Journalists seeking to schedule an interview with a lung health expert may contact Stephanie Goldina at Media@Lung.org or 312-801-7629.