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CVS Health Invests $1.74M to Address Maternal Health Disparities

Funding to support initiatives that support safe pregnancies, childbirth
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
CVS Health Invests $1.74M to Address Maternal Health Disparities
As part of Biden-Harris Maternal Health Call to Action Day, CVS is committing $1.74 million to help address maternal health disparities nationwide.

Dec. 7 marked the first-ever White House Maternal Health Day of Action to help reduce maternal mortality and morbidity. As part of this Biden-Harris Administration call to action, CVS Health is investing $1.74 million to help address maternal health disparities. The funding will support initiatives led by America’s Essential HospitalsEvery Mother Counts, and the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Black women in the United States are three times more likely to die due to pregnancy-related causes compared with Caucasians. Overall, the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed countries; 60% of those deaths are likely preventable.

We have an unwavering commitment to addressing the maternal health crisis that our country is facing – one of which disproportionally impacts Black women,” said Joneigh Khaldun, MD, MPH, and chief health equity officer at CVS Health. “We fully support the Administration’s efforts to address racial inequities in pregnancy and childbirth and to improve maternal health outcomes. We will continue to do our part by investing in community-based programs that help reduce maternal mortality so that all birthing people receive the high-quality care they need and deserve.

CVS Health’s funding will support the following initiatives:

  • Every Mother Counts: “Choices in Childbirth” ($650,000):
    A series of educational videos and resources that will empower expecting parents through their maternal care journey, with the goal to improve maternal health and birth equity in the United States. The materials will become available on Jan. 1, 2022.
  • America’s Essential Hospitals: “Improving Obstetric Outcomes for Black Maternity Patients in Essential Hospitals” ($847,000 grant from the CVS Health Foundation):
    A new learning collaboration by America’s Essential Hospitals to reduce morbidity and mortality for women and improve their obstetric outcomes. It will include 12 hospitals across the country that have maternal mortality rates above the national average, especially among Black patients. The learning collaboration will launch in January 2022.
  • National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics: Pre-eclampsia Prevention Initiative for Black Women ($250,000 grant from the CVS Health Foundation):
    A program implemented in nine clinics across the country that provides educational and clinical training for providers to help identify women at risk for pre-eclampsia, high blood pressure that comes on suddenly during pregnancy. Pre-eclampsia, which is 60% more common in Black women versus Caucasians, is a leading preventable cause of severe maternal morbidity, maternal death, preterm birth and low birthweight.

CVS Health is also donating 1,000 blood pressure monitoring machines to health care systems in counties that have some of the highest maternal mortality and morbidity numbers in the country. This donation is expected to affect 10,000 mothers each year that the new machines are in use. 

In other CVS news, the retailer recently formed a strategic alliance with Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft Corp. to support its quest in reimagining personalized care and accelerating digital transformation. By combining data-driven information from different areas across the company with high agility, CVS will enhance its omnichannel pharmacy capabilities and deliver customized health recommendations when and where consumers need them. CVS will also scale up retail loyalty and personalization programs that use advanced machine-learning models running on the cloud computing service Azure.

With its CVS Pharmacy subsidiary operating almost 10,000 locations nationwide, Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Health is No. 7 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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