LTC COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics Completed: Congrats and Thank you
By Jim Love, President, Omnicare
From the start of this pandemic, our top priority at Omnicare, a CVS Health company, has been ensuring the health and safety of our customers and one of our country’s most vulnerable populations: the residents and staff of long-term care facilities. Less than 1% of the country’s population resides in long-term care facilities, yet this group has accounted for roughly 34% of the U.S. COVID-19 deaths1. Since the first round of vaccination clinics began in late December, however, there has been a 97% decrease in the number COVID-19 cases and an 94% decrease in the number of COVID-19 deaths, according to data put forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.2
Today, I am happy and humbled to share that Omnicare and CVS Health have completely fulfilled our commitment to the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care program, in partnership with the CDC. In total, we have administered over 4.6 million vaccines to residents and staff at more than 40,000 LTC facilities, bringing them hope for a brighter and healthier future.
Since the launch of the first round of clinics, we have remained focused on getting shots into arms as quickly as possible, in the most efficient and safest way we can. It has been extremely rewarding to see smiles returning to faces and hope returning to family and friends as they plan to reunite with their loved ones. Most recently, federal officials have provided updated guidelines for nursing homes, allowing indoor visits citing vaccinations and a decrease in infection numbers for these policies.3
With the Federal LTC Pharmacy Partnership completed, Omnicare will continue to prioritize and support customers through our operational footprint and provide the best service for long-term care facilities in the fight against COVID-19. Our focus now is on supporting our customers’ access to COVID-19 vaccinations through two offerings, both aimed at the unique needs of LTC staff and resident populations. First, we have launched a partnership with CVS Pharmacy where ambulatory residents and staff members from Omnicare-supported facilities can get access to in-store vaccination appointments through a facilitated concierge service. Second, we will soon be communicating details about our vaccine distribution model that will enable our LTC customer partners to administer vaccines directly to their residents and staff members. Together, we are confident that these two solutions offer the flexibility to address the local and unique needs of our customers, and further expand Omnicare’s position as a key partner to them in the fight against COVID-19.
This milestone wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and dedication from colleagues across the entire CVS Health enterprise. Thank you to all of my CVS Health colleagues for making these clinics a success and providing hope and a sense of relief for so many. We look forward to continuing to serve our Omnicare customers for all their pharmacy needs.
And, just like so many of you, we look forward to happier days ahead. While there is still much more work ahead as the general population gets vaccinated and all of us examine the long-lasting impact the pandemic has had on our lives, I remain optimistic and confident. On a personal level, this first year leading the Omnicare team has taught me that anything is possible, and how critical it is to prioritize flexibility, speed and service when it comes to working with LTC facilities to help them do what needs to be done as efficiently as possible, so they can focus on the many other demands of patient care. When I think about the long term care industry as a whole, and our unique vantage point as the largest provider of pharmacy services to this sector, I am grateful that Omnicare has the resources and expertise of our colleagues throughout CVS Health to better understand the health care journey that each and every American embarks on. My team is focused on continuing to help our clients emerge from this crisis with actionable insights, operational efficiencies, and renewed commitments to help restore confidence among the millions who rely on LTC facilities for themselves and their loves ones. The pandemic has brought many challenges to healthcare, but those obstacles have turned into opportunities for widespread innovation and better, safer care. There will be countless moments for reflection and learning in the days ahead, but today I also remind those involved in this undertaking to pause for a moment of gratitude and pride. We mobilized quickly, we met every challenge, and we accomplished what we set out to do. Thank you to each and every individual who made it possible.