CVS Health is partnering with Uber Health to provide transportation support at no cost for people seeking access to medical care, work or educational programs. The relationship is part of Health Zones, CVS Health’s new initiative that provides concentrated local investments designed to reduce health disparities and advance health equity in high-risk communities across the country.
The Health Zones program is aimed at helping combat six social determinants of health: housing, education, access to food, labor, transportation and health care access. The initiative is active in five markets: Atlanta; Columbus, Ohio; Fresno, Calif.; Hartford, Conn.; and Phoenix. Rides with Uber Health will initially be available in Atlanta, Columbus and Hartford, with plans for further expansion this year. The program seeks to eliminate the financial barriers to care and employment opportunities that can lead to adverse health outcomes.
“Our Health Zones initiative allows us to make a real impact on the health of communities across the country by working closely with organizations that share our commitment to addressing social determinants of health,” said Eileen Howard Boone, SVP of Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy and Chief Sustainability Officer at CVS Health in a statement. “With the Uber Health platform, we’ll provide critical transportation to people within communities who need it most, giving them access to health care services so they can live healthier lives and to jobs and educational programs that can help them reach their full potential.”
Other pharmacy retailers also have been making major investments in the local healthcare space. Walgreens plans to grow its Health Corner concept, which is focused on neighborhood-centric, highly personalized care, from 47 to 100 locations over the coming year. The retailer also will co-locate VillageMD locations with at least 200 Walgreens stores by the end of 2022.