CVS Health is set to build healthier communities in Ohio
US pharmaceutical giant CVS Health has announced its aim to improve the health and wellness of local communities in Ohio. Over $150,000 in grants will work to support Ohio non-profits mitigate prescription drug abuse and expand access to quality, convenient and affordable care across the state.
Focusing on critical health care needs and target underserved populations in Ohio, the grants will work to support a number of organisations.
A Family Practice in Cleveland has received a $50,000 grant to support the training and implementation of motivational interviewing for primary care providers, nurses and behavioural health clinicians to use as a coaching method for patients dealing with substance abuse. The new support will be used to conduct motivational interviewing training and to ensure appropriate use of this method across the health centre.
Additionally, a $50,000 grant will be used by Rocking Horse Children's Health Center in Springfield to develop the SAFE (Substance Abuse and Family Education) programme, which will identify and provide support and psychological education to individuals, children and families at the community health centre and surrounding areas impacted by the opioid crisis and other drug related issues.
"We are committed to making meaningful investments in the communities we serve to support our colleagues and customers," said Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy, CVS Health.
"The organisations we are partnering with are helping us deliver on our purpose of helping people on their path to better health and are truly dedicated to helping those who need it the most."
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Additionally, the company will be providing a total of $50,000 to four clinics which form part of the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics. The grant will work to support the clinics' ability to have medication available to their patients in medically underserved areas of the community. The clinics are Viola Startzman Clinic in Wooster, Open M Medical Clinic in Akron, St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy in Cincinnati and Beacon Charitable Pharmacy in Canton.
"This effort, along with others, is a priority locally and in the state legislature," added State Senator Bob Hackett. "We must continue to work hard to combat the opioid crisis facing our state and provide resources in our communities that will help people on the road to recovery get their lives back."
In addition, CVS Health is supporting the Well Being Collaborative of Northeast Ohio's annual Wellness Conference, where CVS pharmacists will talk about the importance of safe medication disposal and the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
Through its employee volunteer program, CVS Health colleagues logged more than 3,000 volunteer hours last year in Ohio in support of local community causes throughout the state.
The company’s $69bn merger with health insurance juggernaut Aetna will aim to further revolutionise patient care as the industry continues to gain the interest of technology leaders.
Advances in health "must ensure self-sovereign identity"
The UK government has announced that from September onwards COVID-19 vaccine passports will be necessary to gain entry into places with large crowds, such as nightclubs.
This has reignited the debate between those who believe having proof of vaccinations will enable people to gather in public places and travel safely, and those who view the digital certificates as an attack on personal freedom.
The arguments have increased in intensity since the recent announcement to drop COVID-19 restrictions in England, in a move to reopen the economy that has attracted fierce criticism both domestically and overseas.
Cross-party ministers are set to defy the government’s latest plans to introduce vaccine passports over civil liberties concerns. A number of MPs have already signed the Big Brother Watch declaration against “Covid status certification to deny individuals access to general services, businesses or jobs” in recent months.
However Mark Shaw, CEO of Tento Applied Sciences, says the Big Brother Watch campaign is based on false assumptions. “Big Brother Watch puts forward a compelling argument based around civil liberties, but some of the assumptions they make are simply incorrect” he says.
“For example, the BBW campaign claims that all Covid passes are discriminatory, counterproductive and would lead to British citizens having to share personal health information with anyone in authority, from bouncers to bosses. However, there are already privacy-first digital wallets that give individuals the freedom to store and share anonymised medical documents, work credentials and other types of documentation quickly, simply, and securely.
“I wholeheartedly agree that individuals should not be required to share their own personal health information with unknown third parties or with anyone in authority who demands it" Shaw adds. "But I strongly disagree with the suggestion that ‘events and businesses are either safe to open for everyone, or no one’. It creates a false dichotomy that either everyone is safe, or nobody is safe. If employers or event organisers don’t take action to properly manage workplace or venue safety, then they risk curtailing the safety and freedom of movement for the majority."
The subject of personal health data is under scrutiny in the UK at the moment, following controversial plans for the NHS to share patient data with third parties. These have been put on hold following public criticism.
Meanwhile a new report has found that the majority of the British public is willing to embrace digital healthcare tools such as apps and digital therapies prescribed by a trusted healthcare professional.
Shaw adds: “The vital point to make is this: innovations in health technology must ensure self-sovereign identity. This means the data held about an individual is owned by the individual and stored on their device. And, in the case of medical data, that data can be delivered from healthcare professionals to the device in an encrypted format, and the user chooses how they share their information."