The CVS Health Foundation — a private charitable organization created by CVS Health — in partnership with the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NAFC) has awarded grants to Reidsville’s Free Clinic of Rockingham County, Elkin’s Grace Clinic of Yadkin Valley, and Raleigh’s Alliance Medical Ministry to support their community wellness programs with a focus in diabetes care.
The CVS Health Foundation recently extended its commitment to the NAFC with $1 million in new grants. The North Carolina clinics are three of 49 free clinics across the country receiving funding as part of the Foundation’s ongoing effort to make quality healthcare convenient and affordable for more Americans.
“The rising cost of healthcare can make finding quality and affordable care harder to come by for many Americans,” said Eileen Howard Boone, president of the CVS Health Foundation. “Through our support of the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics, we’re able to increase access to quality care, improve chronic disease management and care coordination to help improve health outcomes for the most vulnerable patients and reduce health care costs in the communities we serve.”
A $20,000 grant will allow Grace Clinic of Yadkin Valley (Elkin) to implement additional patient communication tactics for its diabetic patients, with a goal of improving health outcomes and patients’ health literacy. Twenty-three percent of the clinic’s patients have diabetes, and the additional funds will allow the clinic to provide diabetes education to help patients understand their type of diabetes and how to adopt their own self-management care plan.
“Patients should fully understand the complete health risks associated with diabetes and that their health care requires a collaborative effort between patients and their medical providers. This CVS Health Foundation grant has allowed our clinic to perform more one-on-one diabetic teaching with patients and their families, as well as purchasing supplies. We are also supplying patients with free testing glucometers, strips, and syringes,” said Betty Taylor, executive director, Grace Clinic of Yadkin Valley.
The Free Clinic of Rockingham County (Reidsville) received a $20,000 grant to support Bridges to Health, an interdisciplinary drop-in medical program that focuses on proactive care management for low-income, uninsured patients who have had uncontrolled diabetes or hypertension. The program promotes coordinated team-based care — including a physician, nurse case manager, behavioral health provider and a physician’s assistant — who work together to remove barriers to care by helping patients manage their treatment and applying evidence-based disease management protocols.
“The CVS Health Foundation grant is helping us fund a revolutionary program, Bridges to Health, which is changing the way we deliver care. We can offer people in the community much needed flexibility with their health needs. Many clinics are booked out months in advance and the ability to offer drop in appointments will allow patients the flexibility to take ownership of their health,” said Kim Rider, executive director of the Free Clinic of Rockingham County.
Alliance Medical Ministry (Raleigh) will use its $20,000 grant to expand its chronic disease management programming, including regular and frequent visits with staff physicians, accessing affordable prescription medication and on-site specialty care. The grant will also support its wellness programming to provide hands-on opportunities to help patients better manage their chronic illnesses and develop healthy lifestyle habits through cooking classes, exercise and garden education.
“The grant from the CVS Health Foundation is supporting our staffing efforts which is different at Alliance Medical Ministry. We emphasize continuity of care and ensure patients see the same provider each time they come to the clinic. For example, a volunteer physician who has been with Alliance Medical Ministry for the past 15 years has been able to consistently work with some of the same patients throughout the entire 15 years. The fact that they get to know one another is remarkable and important for health outcomes,” said Kathryn Holding, director of Development and Communications at Alliance Medical Ministry.
The new funds bring the Foundation’s total contribution to NAFC to more than $4.5 million since 2015. To date, CVS Health and its Foundation has contributed almost $200,000 consisting of grants, event sponsorships, foundation scholarships, gift cards and product donations, among other initiatives and items, to nonprofits in the state of North Carolina that align with the company’s purpose of helping people on their path to better health.
For more information on how the Free and Charitable Clinics will be utilizing their grants to improve community health, please visit www.cvshealth.com/NAFC.