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CVS to launch free health checks in D.C. area

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — As part of its "To Your Health" community wellness program, CVS/pharmacy plans to begin offering free health screenings in the Washington, D.C., area this weekend.

The drug store chain said Thursday that about 100 events are planned at CVS pharmacy stores in Washington, Maryland and Virginia starting June 12 and running through early September.

Catering to residents in urban and African-American communities, the events will offer free comprehensive health risk assessments and screenings to help improve access to preventive care, according to CVS.

Diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol and osteoporosis screenings will be available, and people also can be examined for oral care and receive referrals for mammograms and pap smears. Doctors also will be on hand to help patients interpret results and provide counsel on their next steps.

CVS said the health risk assessments and screenings are valued at $150.

Dr. Ian Smith, a nationally recognized doctor, author and diet expert, also is slated to appear at one of the first To Your Health events in the D.C. area on Saturday, June 12.

"Preventive care is an important part, if not the most important part, of staying healthy and curbing the onset of chronic diseases like diabetes," Smith said in a statement. "I am excited to be working with CVS/pharmacy as a partner of The 50 Million Pound Challenge and applaud their efforts to make preventive care services more accessible to the people of Washington, D.C., and beyond. The screenings To Your Health offers will provide citizens with a snapshot of their health based on blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels which is key in determining potential risk for serious health conditions."

CVS kicked off the To Your Health program in Atlanta in mid-April. The health events are slated to launch in Philadelphia later this month.

The company said that through the program, it hopes to address critical health issues among African-Americans, who often have higher rates of diabetes and high blood pressure.

Last year, CVS added, more than 195,000 people were screened at similar free health fairs for the Hispanic community — dubbed "A Su Salud" (To Your Health) — held nationwide. Of those screened, a number of health concerns were discovered, including 33% with high cholesterol, 36% with a high to moderate risk of developing osteoporosis, 28% with hypertension and 22% with diabetes (more than half of whom were diagnosed with diabetes for the first time).


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