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Support and passion when it’s needed most

March 24, 2021 | Community

A young father lays on the floor to use his tablet while his son climbs on his back.

Managing life with complex and rare conditions — sometimes requiring life-long treatments — can be challenging for both patients and their caregivers.

An estimated 20,000 people in the US are living with hemophilia, a rare, genetic bleeding disorder where those affected have low levels of a blood protein involved in the clotting process, sometimes causing spontaneous bleeds

Eric Drake is one of those people, and he shared how CVS Specialty’s patient representatives have supported him and made his experience better.

“My representatives have always been there when I needed them, whether it’s helping find assistance paying for my medications or insurance carriers when I was without coverage,” Eric said.

While symptoms vary by individual, Eric has been prone to joint bleeds, which meant undergoing urgent episodic treatment, which impacted his quality of life. He explained that the patient representative he’s worked with for over 10 years, Pat Morgan, introduced him to prophylactic therapy — intended to prevent bleeding episodes before they occur.

“She got the conversation started. I had never heard of preventive injections. I talked to my doctor and got going on them,” Eric explained. “Prophylactic therapy has allowed me to stay more active.”

Pat is one of over 30 CVS Specialty advocates dedicated to hemophilia and related disorders. These colleagues support patients across the country, connecting the dots throughout what can be a complex journey.

“We visit our patients, connect them with resources including our own nurse educators, and work across internal teams to get their questions answered,” Pat explained.

“All of us have a passion for what we do — it’s not just me. I want to make that clear,” Pat said of her colleagues, including fellow patient advocate Brittney Deloach.

“We reach out to patients proactively to help keep a pulse on their individual situations,” Brittney said, explaining that they point patients in the direction of resources they may not even be aware of.

Brittney DeLoach and Sales Manager Robb Williamson at the National Hemophilia Foundation 2017 Annual Meeting. Robb is dressed up as “FactorMan,” a character created by CVS Health to educate children on bleeding disorders – including the role of proteins called “clotting factors” responsible for normal blood clotting function.

“I’m working with one patient right now who didn’t qualify for a cost savings program — I got him connected to a temporary resource and we’re working on a long-term solution. I’m just thankful to be able to help."

Pat and Brittney’s passion for working with patients isn’t just professional — it’s in the family.

“I made a career move later in my life to join CVS and serve these patients. When my grandson was diagnosed with severe hemophilia three years later — I knew exactly why,” she said. Pat also shared that her son and daughter are both living with bleeding disorders.

“Two of my three sons have severe hemophilia. You get this feeling of ‘congratulations, you’re a new mom, and by the way: your son has a rare bleeding disorder’ and it can be overwhelming. I just want to support my patients the way I was supported,” Brittney shared.

CVS Health is also proud to help support advocacy groups such as Hemophilia Federation of America, The Coalition for Hemophilia B, Hope for Hemophilia, and numerous state and local hemophilia organizations helping to advance research and support patients across the nation.