CVS/pharmacy renews ‘A Su Salud’ Hispanic health fairs program with plans for 800 events in 2010

WOONSOCKET, RI – CVS/pharmacy will host more than 800 health fair events starting Saturday as part of its massive Latino-focused initiative called “A Su Salud.”   The community wellness program offers free comprehensive health risk assessments and screenings to help people in underserved areas with early detection and disease prevention.  Events are scheduled for cities including Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas/Fort-Worth, Houston, Corpus Christi, San Francisco, Sacramento and Fresno.

A Su Salud is part of an effort by CVS/pharmacy to improve access to preventative care and ensure that cost is not a barrier to important health services like screenings. The fairs provide diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol and osteoporosis screenings, and also examine patients for oral care, provide referrals for mammograms and pap smears, and offer consultations with doctors and pharmacists.  In 2009, CVS/pharmacy provided free and low-cost medical screenings and services valued at $49 million to the community through the “A Su Salud” program and direct referrals from the events.

“This recession has made it more critical than ever for people to have access to adequate and affordable healthcare,” said Troy Brennan, M.D., and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Caremark.  “Hispanics are disproportionately affected by chronic diseases like diabetes and we are pleased to help make these health services more accessible to help aid in early detection and lower their risk levels for disease and complications.”

Last year, over 195,000 people were screened during the events, underscoring the importance of access to these services. Of the individuals screened, many health concerns were discovered, including:

—  33 percent had high cholesterol
—  36 percent had a high to moderate risk of developing osteoporosis
—  28 percent had hypertension
—  22 percent had diabetes, with more than half being diagnosed with diabetes for the first time

In addition, many of the health fairs included cancer screening for women where over 16,000 women across the country were referred to these free services. This year, CVS/pharmacy will again partner with local and state agencies to host mobile units offering low-cost and no-cost cancer detection services for women, including mammograms and pap smears.

Once screened, CVS/pharmacy helps patients through on-site consultations with bi-lingual (Spanish/English) physicians who analyze the results and refer patients to no-cost, low-cost medical facilities within that neighborhood or to their primary care physician should additional follow-up be required.