CVS Caremark Corp. is serving up free blood pressure tests as part of a series of cardiovascular health efforts in May for National High Blood Pressure Education Month and in support of the federal Million Hearts initiative.


CVS Caremark, MinuteClinic, free blood pressure tests, cardiovascular health, free blood pressure checks, National High Blood Pressure Education Month, Million Hearts, Andrew Sussman, high blood pressure, heart disease, hypertension, CVS/pharmacy, Facebook chat, CVS pharmacist, MinuteClinic nurse practitioner, Helena Foulkes, Pharmacy Advisor for chronic cardiovascular care, medication adherence, pharmacist interventions, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, Janet Wright
































































































































































































































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CVS Caremark takes aim at cardiovascular health

May 3rd, 2012

WOONSOCKET, R.I. – CVS Caremark Corp. is serving up free blood pressure tests as part of a series of cardiovascular health efforts in May for National High Blood Pressure Education Month and in support of the federal Million Hearts initiative.

The company said Wednesday that its MinuteClinic retail health clinic will be offering free blood pressure checks on a walk-in basis each Friday in May. A MinuteClinic practitioner will discuss the results and make recommendations for keeping blood pressure under control — including staying on prescribed medication and taking it as directed.

"One in three adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure, increasing their risk for heart disease and stroke," Andrew Sussman, president of MinuteClinic and senior vice president/associate chief medical officer at CVS Caremark, said in a statement. "We're pleased to support Million Hearts by screening, educating and monitoring people who, for a variety of reasons, may have difficulty accessing preventive care, which is vital when it comes to heart health."

Million Hearts, launched by the Department of Health and Human Services and led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, is a national effort to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years.

Also in support of improved heart health, CVS/pharmacy plans to host a live Facebook chat with a CVS pharmacist and MinuteClinic nurse practitioner on May 16 from noon to 1:30 p.m. The online event will be free and open to the public and can be accessed on the CVS/pharmacy Facebook page at facebook.com/cvs. The discussion will focus on what people can do to remember to take their prescriptions as directed as well as on other issues facing those managing chronic conditions, particularly hypertension.

Janet Wright, M.D., executive director of Million Hearts, noted the role that pharmacists can play in improving cardiovascular health and helping patients manage chronic conditions.

"It's so important for individuals to know they can work with their pharmacist — as well as their doctor, nurse or other health worker — to improve blood pressure control," Wright explained. "Pharmacists don't just dispense medicine. They can offer advice on how families can help people with high blood pressure remember to take their medications, schedule automatic refills, explore whether a different drug might be easier to take or share information about lower-cost options."

In addition, CVS Caremark is highlighting its Pharmacy Advisor for chronic cardiovascular care program. Launched in November, the medication adherence tool combines pharmacy benefit management insights and solutions with pharmacist interventions to help cardiovascular patients stick to their prescription drug regimens so they can achieve optimal health outcomes. CVS said Pharmacy Advisor for chronic cardiovascular care will initially focus on improving adherence for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure.

"Our support of Million Hearts underscores our belief that we can improve health outcomes through innovative ways of delivering care, including public-private partnerships," stated Helena Foulkes, executive vice president and chief health care strategy and marketing officer at CVS Caremark.

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