By David Casey, Vice President, Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer, CVS Health
CVS Health’s Project Health initiative, known as Proyecto Salud in Spanish, helps connect residents in multicultural communities to preventive health care. To reflect our company’s broadening commitment to health care, CVS Health expanded the annual campaign this year. Instead of the usual 10 multicultural markets, we recently offered the program in 27 markets. We included not only communities with large numbers of multicultural residents, but also large numbers of uninsured or underinsured individuals.
Far too many multicultural and underserved populations have difficulty making their health a priority. Whether they are struggling to access and afford quality care or they are simply unaware of the risk factors they may be facing, we believe that ensuring these patients receive preventive care is imperative to helping them on their path to better health. That’s why Project Health, while open to everyone, is focused in areas where known disparities in health care access exist. The goal is to reach people who may not otherwise see a health care provider and encourage them to see our pharmacies and pharmacists as accessible health care resources.
Project Health provides customers the opportunity to receive an array of free comprehensive health risk assessments, including blood pressure, Body Mass Index (BMI), glucose and total cholesterol screenings. In 2015, the events also featured our new comprehensive and uniquely personalized smoking cessation program and offered participants information about their health insurance options throughout the open enrollment period. Participants received on-site consultations with bilingual nurse practitioners and CVS pharmacists, and referrals to nearby no-cost or low-cost medical facilities if follow-up care was needed.
Over 700,000 patients have received health screenings and risk assessments through Project Health since its inception in 2006. In January and February of 2015 alone, Project Health served nearly 67,000 people at more than 650 events. The screenings detected that 55 percent of patients were found to be obese, 41 percent had abnormal blood pressure readings, 29 percent had abnormal glucose readings, and 40 percent had abnormal cholesterol levels. These results demonstrate the need for and importance of the Project Health screenings, which will be held again this fall.
Improving access to care for our customers is important to ensuring their long-term health. By holding our Project Health events in communities that are home to people from a variety of cultures and socio-economic groups, we are helping patients who may not have had access to high-quality care receive an important health assessment, putting them on their path to better health and helping them live healthier lives for years to come.
You can learn more about Project Health at www.cvs.com/projecthealth.