CVS Health to provide $750K to California Harm Reduction Coalition

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CVS Health to provide $750K to California Harm Reduction Coalition

By Sandra Levy - 12/16/2019

CVS Health has committed $750,000 over the next three years to the Harm Reduction Coalition, or HRC, to improve the health and wellness of California residents impacted by prescription opioid misuse and abuse.

HRC is a national capacity-building and advocacy organization that promotes the health and dignity of individuals and communities affected by drug abuse and drug related policies and provides a critical voice for those in the most vulnerable communities. The new funding from CVS Health will help support HRC as they tackle critical health issues faced by the California community related to prescription opioid misuse and abuse.

"We can help improve the health outcomes of our communities by strengthening our local support and empowering local organizations that are developing innovative solutions," said Kristen Miranda, California market president for Aetna, a CVS Health company. "We know that so many communities across the country including in California have been impacted by widespread prescription opioid misuse and abuse. Our work with the HRC will support their efforts to address several elements of this significant public health issue in California and help local residents on their path to better health."

The funding will support HRC's Community Engagement Network to Expand Resources, or CENTER Initiative, a three-year, state-wide effort designed to expand, develop and deepen harm reduction services throughout California.

CENTER will be focused on convening diverse stakeholders to address drug-related stigmas, supporting syringe services programs with training and technical assistance, hosting state and national conferences and developing culturally relevant resources as a means to be better equipped to respond to the needs of people who misuse and abuse prescription drugs, their families, and impacted communities in California.

"We have over 25 years of experience preventing overdose and drug-related harms through resources and education that are rooted in evidence and compassion," Taeko Frost, HRC senior director of innovation and strategy. "We know that harm reduction programs have been operating on shoestring budgets for years, only reaching the people most at risk of overdose. The CENTER Initiative will allow us to strengthen those programs through training and capacity building, to build partnerships with other local programs, including health care providers and drug treatment access points, and to create a comprehensive statewide network for providers who can meaningfully engage with at-risk community members."

This grant is part of CVS Health's commitment to investing in California's health care delivery system, reflected in the November 2018 agreement between CVS Health and California's Department of Managed Health Care.


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