“Through the launch of our in-store safe medication disposal program at CVS Pharmacy locations in California, we aim to help remove unused prescription medications from medicine cabinets where they could be otherwise diverted or abused,” said Tom Davis, vice president of professional services for CVS Health. “We are also pleased to support the work of four community health centers here in California and their work to promote addiction recovery, which directly aligns with our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.”
The $330,000 from the CVS Health Foundation is being distributed to four California community health centers focused on increasing access to opioid addiction treatment and recovery services.
The La Maestra Family Clinic in San Diego will use a nearly $85,000 grant to implement a SBIRT (screening, brief intervention, referral and treatment) approach for patients to increase the number of patients receiving medication-assisted treatment and group therapy.
“Substance abuse services are vital to La Maestra patients because of the increasing need for services,” said Javier Rodriguez, MD, chief medical officer at La Maestra Family Clinic, Inc. “By fully implementing SBIRT at all primary care sites, there has been an increase in referrals to treatment. Since 2015, La Maestra has increased SBIRT screening rates by 408%. With the support of CVS Health, La Maestra is improving access to quality substance use disorder services in some of San Diego’smost underserved communities.”
AltaMed Health Services in Los Angeles will use an $85,000 grant to implement a pilot that will help integrate medication assisted treatment (MAT) into its primary care services. The support will help the clinic increase access to substance abuse services for over 11,000 adult patients in high need areas by the end of 2018.
“The opioid epidemic in our country has had far-reaching consequences that have destroyed lives, broken apart families and has had devastating effects on the communities we live in,” said Dr. Shawn Hamilton, regional medical director at AltaMed Health Services. “We’re proud to join CVS Health in its nationwide effort to expand access to opioid and substance abuse treatment to help the communities we serve recover and lead productive, healthy lives. Through this pilot program, AltaMed’s Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), will provide patients with a multidisciplinary team approach to address the complicated disease of addiction.”
An $85,000 grant to Marin City Health & Wellness Center in Marin City will support the creation of new programs and safe spaces for people in the Marin County community to start the process of recovery from substance abuse. With the new support, the clinic will add a psychiatric nurse practitioner to implement exercise, nutrition and pain management education, peer support recovery programming to reach more people utilizing MAT services and new technology to improve recovery support and evaluation.
“This very important funding will allow us to expand our efforts to reach some of the most critically affected opioid users,” said JayVon Muhammad, chief executive officer, Marin City Health & Wellness Center. “We have already had much MAT program success across Marin County, and staffing and programs funded specifically by this grant will focus on building trust among residents of Marin City who struggle with opioid use and the stigma around trauma and behavioral health.”
The Sacramento Native American Health Center will use a more than $76,000grant to support patients dealing with substance abuse issues by introducing new and expanded treatment options like MAT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and integrative or holistic therapy to help improve patient outcomes.
“As we have seen in our health center and throughout the media in recent months, the opioid epidemic has had broad effects, crossing gender, race, and class boundaries. Patients seeking care in the federally qualified health center system are at the highest risk for opioid overdose,” said Britta Guerrero, CEO, Sacramento Native American Health Center. “Seeing the very personal struggles of our patients and the impacts of addiction on individuals and families in our community, we are proud to partner with CVS to expand access through targeted case management and coordinated care.”
CVS Health’s safe medication disposal efforts supplement the company’s giving to support opioid addiction recovery. The company has installed 62 medication disposal units inside CVS Pharmacy locations across the state. These kiosks will supplement the 15 units CVS Health has previously donated to police departments in California. Nationwide, the company has donated more than 900 units to police departments, collecting more than 350,000 pounds of unwanted medication.
The expansion of safe medication disposal to a total of 750 CVS Pharmacy locations across the U.S. was included among the enhancements to the company’s strategy to address and prevent opioid abuse announced in September 2017. As part of that effort, the company also said it would enhance opioid utilization managementaligned with CDC Guideline for CVS Caremark clients and members, complementing measures already in place.
This work builds on ongoing programs the company operates including the Pharmacists Teach program, which brings CVS Pharmacists to local schools to talk to teens and parents about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs, with more than 61,000 teens and parents in California having already participated in the program. CVS Health has also worked to expand access to the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone in 46 states, including California.
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