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CVS Health Foundation announces grant awards to curb youth tobacco use

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — The CVS Health Foundation, a private foundation created by CVS Health, has announced the first four grant recipients in its "Making the Next Generation Tobacco-Free" grant program — a five-year, $5 million partnership with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

This announcement coincides with Kick Butts Day, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids' national day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and mobilize their communities. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids strives to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world.

"We're excited to celebrate Kick Butts Day by showing our commitment to helping young people lead tobacco-free lives in partnership with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids," stated Eileen Howard Boone, president of the CVS Health Foundation. "We are proud to support the dedicated work of these grantees who share our goal to educate young people about the dangers of tobacco in the hopes of making the next generation tobacco-free."

Every day, more than 2,800 kids under the age of 18 nationwide try smoking for the first time, and 2.7 million high school students in the United States still smoke. Through the "Making the Next Generation Tobacco-Free" grant program, the CVS Health Foundation and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids aim to reduce youth tobacco use, especially among at-risk populations, educate the public about the problem of and solutions to youth tobacco use in local communities and increase youth engagement in tobacco-prevention activities. The first group of 2015 grants awarded today includes:

BREATHE California of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles


BREATHE California plans to reach approximately 8,000 third- to eighth-grade students throughout Los Angeles County as part of the "No to Tobacco" prevention program, which focuses on underserved populations. The program includes educational modules on lung health, the cost of tobacco, and providing youth with the confidence and skills they need to lead a tobacco-free life.

California School-Based Health Alliance, Oakland, Calif. 


California School-Based Health Alliance will increase the capacity of school-based health centers to implement youth-led tobacco prevention programs and educate kids throughout California. Currently, 10.5% of high school students in California smoke and 21,300 kids under the age of 18 become daily smokers each year. With this grant, California School-Based Health Alliance plans to provide training for SBHC staff and reach 2,000 youth with tobacco-prevention education.

Health Promotion Council of Southeastern PA, Philadelphia 


Health Promotion Council of Southeastern PA plans to expand its Advocacy Institute, which provides training for youth-led public health advocacy. The expansion will bring the AI into additional counties in southeastern Pennsylvania, increase membership in the AI Alumni Network, and allow the council to host a Youth Leadership Summit that will train additional youth on tobacco prevention and control.

Ohio Public Health Partnership, Columbus, Ohio


Ohio Public Health Partnership plans to educate lawmakers and the public to support an increase in the Ohio tobacco tax, equalize the tax on other tobacco products, and designate 12 cents of every $1 of the proposed tax increase for tobacco-use prevention and cessation. In Ohio, 15.1% of high school students smoke and an additional 12,500 kids under the age of 18 become daily smokers each year. To help resolve this issue, OPHP will implement tobacco-prevention and cessation programs that target youth, pregnant women and other high-priority individuals.

"We know that most adult smokers began smoking at a very young age. Through our partnership with the CVS Health Foundation, we're one step closer to our shared mission to make the next generation tobacco-free," stated Matthew Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "With the support of these grants, community partners will be able to expand the tobacco prevention resources they're able to offer local youth and activate youth to reduce tobacco-use."

Last year, CVS Health announced that all CVS/pharmacy locations across the country would stop selling tobacco products and launched a smoking cessation program that has since helped more than 67,000 patients quit smoking. In addition, since the company's tobacco announcement, CVS Health has announced more than $1 million in grants to tobacco-cessation organizations and launched a five-year, $5 million partnership with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids through the CVS Health Foundation. 

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Kroger names new president of its Columbus division

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI —  Kroger on Tuesday announced Joe Grieshaber has been named president of Kroger's Columbus Division, replacing Bruce Macaulay, who is retiring after 42 years with Kroger.
 
"Joe is an accomplished leader with a diverse background and expertise in our fresh departments," said Mike Ellis, Kroger's president and COO. "His strong values and engagement with our associates will ensure continued growth and success in our Columbus division. We are looking forward to Joe's continued leadership."
 
Grieshaber, 57, began his career with Kroger in 1983 as a store management trainee in Nashville, Tenn. He has served in a variety of leadership roles with Kroger, including meat merchandiser, district manager and as VP merchandising for the Columbus division. In 2003, he was named group VP perishables merchandising and procurement, where he was responsible for fresh and natural foods throughout Kroger's family of stores. He has served in his current role as president of Dillons since 2010.
 
Grieshaber has actively supported community organizations throughout his career. He serves on the boards of the Hutchinson Regional Health Care System, state and local Chambers of Commerce, and the local United Way. He and his wife Vickie have three grown daughters.
 
Grieshaber joined Ellis and the Kroger family in wishing Macaulay all the best in retirement. "Bruce's passion for our associates, customers and the community have contributed to Kroger's growth in countless ways. While his knowledge, compassion and guidance will be missed, Bruce's legacy will continue within our industry, company and the community," he said. 
 
Grieshaber's successor will be named at a later date, Kroger stated. 
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Meijer kicks off Skechers concept shop pilot

BY Michael Johnsen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Meijer announced Tuesday that it's continuing to up its fashion game with the spring launch of a Skechers concept shop inside the Knapp's Corner Meijer, roughly one year after the retailer unveiled a fresh approach to lure grocery customers across the center aisle to its apparel offerings.
 
"Our customers have realized just how serious we are about providing on-trend fashion items at the right price," stated Peter Whitsett, EVP merchandising and marketing for Meijer. "As one of the largest retailers of Skechers across the Midwest, this project strengthens our commitment to customers and gives families a convenient place to shop for shoes together."
 
Meijer has offered the Skechers shoe brand for more than a decade and hopes to enhance the shoe-buying experience for its trend-savvy customers. The 804-sq.-ft. Skechers concept shop at the Knapp's Corner Meijer is a pilot project that may be incorporated into select future store remodel or new store plans. It is also the newest — and largest — shop of its kind within a retailer nationwide with more than 200 of the latest shoe styles for men, women and children on display.
 
"Meijer has been a strong Skechers partner for many years, so we're thrilled to expand our retail presence in their stores with this new shop in shop concept," Skechers SVP domestic sales Rick Graham said. "It will showcase the Skechers brand with impactful visual displays, and create an accessible environment that is easy for customers to shop in. Working with great partners like Meijer has elevated our business and we're excited to experience the positive results from this store remodel."
 
The Skechers concept shop will feature four video screens to present product information and lifestyle news, including celebrity endorsements of Skechers shoes. A grand opening celebration will be held at the concept shop from noon to 4 p.m. March 21 and will include giveaways, shoe experts from Meijer and Skechers, and photos with mascots Crash from the Grand Rapids Whitecaps and Griff from the Grand Rapids Griffins.
 
"Skechers remains a very popular national shoe brand for our customers, who are looking for style and fit at an affordable price," said Glen Reinart, divisional merchandise manager of shoes, jewelry and accessories for Meijer. "Their designs and technology are kept fresh and appeal to all ages. This new concept shop is a perfect way for our customers to easily find the Skechers style and fit that matches their lifestyle."
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