WOONSOCKET, R.I., Oct. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Caremark today announced that it has awarded a $50,000 grant to Special Olympics to help expand the organization's Healthy Young Athletes program, which provides healthcare services and support, early childhood intervention, and preventative education to children with intellectual disabilities aged 2-7 years old. Funding for the program was provided through the CVS Caremark All Kids Can program, which supports organizations that are helping all children on their path to better health.
Demonstrating CVS Caremark's continued commitment to health and wellness and to children with disabilities and their families; the funding will help Special Olympics expand Healthy Young Athletes into new geographies, doubling the number of Healthy Young Athletes events in the United States in 2013-2014.
"We are thrilled about this new partnership with CVS Caremark that will increase the reach and impact of our Healthy Young Athletes programming," shared Darcie Mersereau, Special Olympics' Vice President of Health Programs. "In our health program for older athletes, we often find significant preventable and treatable conditions that have gone undetected and unaddressed. Through this generous support, CVS Caremark is allowing us to identify and address health concerns at an earlier age. For athletes with intellectual or developmental disabilities, this can help minimize additional developmental delays."
The funding from CVS Caremark All Kids Can will also support the development of a valuable toolkit of resources that will be distributed to all Special Olympics programs. Additionally, new protocols for two health disciplines – FUNfitness (physical therapy) and Health Promotion (nutrition, sun safety) – will be added to the existing protocols in Healthy Young Athletes: Special Olympics-Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes® (vision), Healthy Hearing (audiology) and Special Smiles® (dental) disciplines.
"We are proud to support the expansion of Special Olympics' Healthy Young Athletes program and to provide more children with access to important health care screenings that can help them on their path to better health," said Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President of Corporate Philanthropy and Social Responsibility at CVS Caremark and the President of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust. "As we strive to build healthier communities, Special Olympics and CVS Caremark share a commitment to help improve the quality of life for children of all abilities and help them to be the best that they can be."
Healthy Young Athletes events will take place throughout the country, including in Arizona, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Wisconsin.
CVS Caremark All Kids Can supports organizations that increase access to specialized medical and rehabilitation services and provide inclusive opportunities for physical activity, play and social enrichment. To date, All Kids Can has committed more than $60 million in support of nonprofit organizations that provide innovative programs and services focused on helping kids to be the best they can be, and has helped make a positive impact in the lives of nearly 20 million people.
About CVS Caremark
CVS Caremark (CVS) is dedicated to helping people on their path to better health as the largest integrated pharmacy company in the United States. Through the company's more than 7,500 CVS/pharmacy stores; its leading pharmacy benefit manager serving more than 60 million plan members; and its retail health clinic system, the largest in the nation with more than 650 MinuteClinic locations, it is a market leader in mail order, retail and specialty pharmacy, retail clinics, and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans. As a pharmacy innovation company with an unmatched breadth of capabilities, CVS Caremark continually strives to improve health and lower costs by developing new approaches such as its unique Pharmacy Advisor program that helps people with chronic diseases such as diabetes obtain and stay on their medications. Find more information about how CVS Caremark is reinventing pharmacy for better health at info.cvscaremark.com.
About Special Olympics
Special Olympics is an international organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports every day around the world. Through work in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics addresses inactivity, injustice, intolerance and social isolation by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities which leads to a more welcoming and inclusive society. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more than 4.2 million athletes in 170 countries. With the support of more than one million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics is able to deliver 32 Olympic-type sports and more than 70,000 competitions throughout the year. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org. Engage with us on: Twitter @specialolympics; fb.com/specialolympics; youtube.com/specialolympicshq, and specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com.
Christy White, Special Olympics
Joanne Dwyer, CVS Caremark
Brianna Schneider, for CVS Caremark
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