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CVS Health Funding to Support Veteran Access to Healthcare

The deal will expand veteran access to healthcare, address social needs, and support smoking cessation programs across the country.

veteran access to healthcare

Source: Thinkstock

By Sara Heath

- CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation have awarded $580,000 in grant funding to Easterseals organizations across the country to improve veteran access to healthcare and smoking cessation programs.

The awards, granted in honor of Veterans Day, will also benefit veteran family caregivers.

Six Easterseals programs will receive $10,000 in funding each to support programs that meet veteran and veteran family needs in different cities. These programs range from community outreach programs to emergency mental health supports.

These community grant awards will benefit:

  • Easterseals Greater Cincinnati
  • Easterseals Serving DC MD VA
  • Easterseals Greater Houston
  • Easterseals North Carolina
  • Easterseals New Hampshire
  • Easterseals Maine

Both New Hampshire and Maine programs partner with Easterseals Vermont, the organization said.

Most of these state- and region-wide Easterseals programs include emergency services for veterans.

In Texas, funds will help address veterans and veteran family members who can benefit from mental and behavioral healthcare but who are currently not accessing that type of care. Similar projects will be underway for Easterseals Serving DC MD VA.

The New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont services will address how social factors – including housing security, employment, and family stability – affect emergency physical and behavioral health issues.

Easterseals Greater Cincinnati will focus on its Community One Source Program, which helps veterans and their family members better navigate a complicated healthcare landscape. This will help patients better access the appropriate type of care when needed.

The North Carolina Easterseals project will focus on the family caregivers themselves, offering better care coordination services that meet caregivers’ health needs.

CVS Health awarded the remaining $450,000 grant funds toward Easterseals programs that address smoking problems within the veteran community. These awards will benefit Easterseals in Alabama, Maine, Ohio, Colorado, and Washington, where programs address smoking cessation in veterans. Similar programs in New Jersey and Iowa have received grant funding as well.

Easterseals New Hampshire, Michigan, and New York have received part of the grants to continue their interventions on substance abuse disorder among veterans and their family members. These substance abuse disorder programs address smoking cessation programs, the organizations said.

"CVS Health and Easterseals share a commitment to the health and well being of all Americans," said Eileen Howard Boone, senior vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility for CVS Health and president of the CVS Health Foundation.  "As Veterans Day approaches, we're proud to honor our nation's Veterans with support to a partner like Easterseals which offers community-based services for Veterans and their families."

CVS Health has a history of aiding veteran access to healthcare. Earlier this year CVS Health and MinuteClinic signed a deal with VA to expand patient care access to MinuteClinic locations throughout Arizona. The partnership will leverage many of the logistics of the Veterans Choice Program.

The Phoenix VA Health Care System will be able to refer patients to MinuteClinic for treatment of minor illnesses and ailments. This will expand access to healthcare for the 120,000 veterans living in the Phoenix area. Patients will not have access to care in the 24 MinuteClinics in the region.

The program will also leverage care coordination technology to ensure providers at both MinuteClinic and VA will have access to patient health information when necessary.

After visits to the MinuteClinic, the patient health record will update for the next treating physician. TriWest, which currently serves as a partner with VA, will oversee this health information exchange undertaking.

This is a positive step for veterans, according to Arizona Senator John McCain.

"This new public-private collaboration between CVS, TriWest and the VA is an important step forward in enhancing choice and flexibility in Veterans' health care," Senator McCain said in a statement about the deal.

"I've long believed that Veterans in need of routine health care services should not have to wait in line for weeks to get an appointment when they can visit community health centers like MinuteClinic to receive timely and convenient care.”

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