Heart At Work: Helen Volf

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During the early months of COVID-19, Karen, a Type 1 diabetic patient called her CVS Pharmacy in tears, afraid she couldn’t get her life-saving insulin. Pharmacist Helen Volf diligently went to work to resolve the issue. Months later when Helen and Karen finally met there were tears again, but this time, tears of gratitude. Watch the video. 

Thank you, Helen. Your concern and follow-through for your patient provided relief when it was desperately needed. #CVSHeartAtWork  

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Heart At Work: Nancy Simonelli

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Bill Steel, an 83-year-old living in The Villages, a 15,000-person retirement community in Lady Lake, Florida, likes a lot of things about his local CVS Pharmacy. It’s clean and well stocked. That makes for one-stop shopping instead of multiple trips elsewhere – especially important since he’s in the most vulnerable age group for COVID-19 and Florida has seen a huge resurgence of cases in recent weeks. 

“CVS Pharmacy prices are competitive to what I pay at the supermarket. I use my ExtraCare card and that saves me too,” explains Bill, who visits two to three times weekly. “The staff is always friendly and helpful and Nancy always takes time to talk.” 

Nancy is Nancy Simonelli, a retail store associate who has been a CVS Health colleague for more than 20 years. She knows Bill and many other customers by their first name and makes sure their shopping trips include friendly small talk. A fellow retiree and member of the community, she understands that for some seniors those quick chats may be the only conversation they have that day.   
   
“They’ll come in for their medications, talk to the pharmacist, and then visit with us,” Nancy says. “They’re glad to see you and you’re glad to see them.” 

Those small interactions can make a big difference. Many seniors, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic began, are dealing with social isolation, a condition studies have shown can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. 

As Christopher Ciano, President of Medicare for Aetna, reminds us, it’s even more important that our aging loved ones don’t feel they’re alone during this time. 

Nancy understands. A New Jersey native, she moved to Central Florida with her husband after retiring and knows the community.  She understands customers, like Bill, may have lost a spouse and do their own shopping. Family may live far away. 

“I’ll learn about their children and grandkids.” Sometimes she’ll hear a familiar accent and ask, “What part of New Jersey are you from?” 

Like other CVS Pharmacy locations, things have changed. Colleagues and customers alike are required to wear masks. Where once there was a handshake, or a pat on the back, now there are air high-fives.  

What hasn’t changed is colleagues like Nancy and the social connection their friendly chats provide customers like Bill. Thank you – and a big “air high-five” – for bringing your heart to work, Nancy. 
 

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Heart At Work: Motria Lusk

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"When our patients are lost, it is our job to help them find their way to better health," says Pharmacist Motria Lusk

Ten years ago, Jennie and Eric Maike’s three-month-old son Christian had open heart surgery. They were discharged from the hospital with six prescriptions and were at a loss for how to give Christian, who has Down Syndrome, the correct dosages.

Jennie explains, “I realized the dosages were in milligrams, not milliliters.  Exhausted and scared, I went to our CVS Pharmacy for help. Pharmacist Motria Lusk converted all of the dosages for me. I can’t even begin to tell you the emotional state I was in. Motria was my saving grace that day.” 

With Christian’s health issues, there are many times Jennie’s been nervous about his medications or she needs help determining insurance coverage. She is so grateful for Motria and her team in Sylvan Lake, Michigan, that she has twice sent emails of appreciation to CVS.

A family photo of Noah, Eric, Jennie and Christian Maike.
The Maike family appreciates its CVS Pharmacy team. From left, Noah, Eric, Jennie and Christian.

In response, Motria says, “Jennie is my hero. She is so calm. She never complains and has tremendous courage. She puts a smile on my face.” 

A few years ago, Jennie was diagnosed with breast cancer. “Again, I go to my pharmacy with a handful of prescriptions after my first oncology appointment. I remember handing them to Motria, she read them, and walked out from the counter to hug me. I tear up thinking of her kindness,” Jennie recalls.

Motria noticed that the combination of new medications would create an issue with one of Jennie’s current prescriptions. Jennie admits she had forgotten to tell the oncologist about this medication. Jennie adds, “If Motria hadn’t noticed, it could have caused some nasty complications. I know this is the job of a pharmacist, but the way Motria makes her customers feel is just incredible.”

Motria insists this is how she, Pharmacy Manager Helene Little and all the pharmacists and pharmacy techs at her store treat every patient. 

Helene explains, “Motria is very nurturing toward our patients and our techs. We always explain to the techs why people may act a certain way and why we do certain things in our jobs. We are a team and a family.”

“When our patients are lost, it is our job to help them find their way to better health,” Motria concludes.

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Heart At Work: Victor Hendrix

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“Every time we leave CVS, I realize that one of the employees has taken time to talk with me and help me. I use these as teaching moments for my teenage sons. I point out that they can have a positive impact on others through a few simple words,” explains Erika Page White, a TV actress and stay-at-home mom.

About six months ago she met Victor Hendrix, a cashier in Store #6394, located in Brentwood, Tennessee. She says, “I couldn’t find my $5 coupon. I went to the ExtraCare coupon center and couldn’t work it. Seeing that I was stressed, Victor helped me. His calmness made me calm.”
Erika describes, “Victor is super joyful and so kind in greeting everyone. He and his co-workers have become a part of our community and this makes me feel comfortable.”

Store manager Sean Bock says, “Victor is outgoing, bubbly and never seems to have a bad day. He brings a smile to everyone’s face.”

Victor was shocked when he learned that someone tweeted about him to CVS Health. “He deserves the recognition,” adds Sean. “So we gave him a little party at work with balloons and everything. Customers know him by name, and he knows all of them by name, too. When Victor is working, the shift is always more upbeat.”

TV actor Erika Page White, pictured with her son, Justin, husband, Bryan, and son, Jackson (left to right).
"CVS thank you for being a light in our community,” says TV actor Erika Page White, pictured with her son, Justin, husband, country artist, singer, songwriter, Bryan White and son, Jackson (left to right). Photography by Daniel C. White Photography

Victor joined what has become the CVS Pharmacy family about 36 years ago. He was a cashier with SuperX, which was purchased by RevCo and is now CVS Pharmacy. “I was surprised to learn about Erika’s tweet. What she said about me is just how I treat everyone. It did make me feel good that someone took the time to appreciate me, and that my manager and team gave me a party in the store.”

Erika asked about the source of Victor’s joy. He explained, “My joy and caring come from my heart, from God and my mother. She was a strong believer in God and always told me to trust in God. She also said to treat people the way they should be treated.”

“We are big CVS fans. We use it as our one-stop shopping. From snacks for my teenagers who play sports, to beauty products for me, and the drive-thru is super helpful. We also greatly appreciate the follow-up messages about our prescriptions. CVS thank you for being a light in our community,” Erika concludes.

Victor Hendrix, store cashier at CVS Pharmacy.
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Heart At Work: Janeika Knight

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Aetna HealthSpire sales manager Janeika Knight finds great fulfillment managing a team of 10 who assist Medicare beneficiaries. She’s also a National Guard medic on the frontline who supports the state of Tennessee by conducting crucial COVID-19 testing in underserved rural communities.

Thank you, Janeika, for bringing your heart to work as a respected and caring manager and for aiding your country at a time when it needs you most. #CVSHeartAtWork

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Heart At Work™, #CVSHeartAtWork. Anthony Cocuzza, Store Manager, New York, NY.

Heart At Work

Celebrating our CVS Health® heroes

Every day, CVS Health heroes across the country bring their hearts to work to help people on their path to better health. They share a smile, an assuring voice, a helping hand. They are your neighborhood pharmacists, store managers, MinuteClinic® providers and so many more.

Read their stories, watch their videos, and celebrate our amazing heroes along with us.

The sounds of CVS Health hearts at work

Do you hear it? It’s part of our colleagues’ everyday routine, but it’s far from ordinary. Listen closely. It’s a sound we’ll never take for granted.

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Helen Volf

Recognizing our heroes

Do you know a CVS colleague who brings their heart to work to help people on their path to better health? We want to hear from you.

Nominate a colleague

Coronavirus is here, and we stand ready to help.

We encourage you to visit our COVID-19 resource center to learn more about what we are doing to help you manage your health during this time.

Learn more

Heart At Work: Megan Chesnet

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She’s 24, a pharmacy tech and administering desperately needed COVID-19 testing in her Phoenix, Arizona pharmacy.

It’s 8:30 AM and already a humid 92 degrees in Phoenix, Arizona where pharmacy technician Megan Chesnet is at the window ready to greet the first of nearly 60 patients who will drive through for COVID-19 testing. 

“We test approximately one patient every 10 minutes. We’re booked solid.” Megan explains.

In the past weeks, Arizona has been named one of the nation’s Coronavirus hotspots seeing a huge surge in cases just weeks after relaxing safety measures. Schools will now be delayed. Gyms, movie theaters and water parks once open, have been shuttered. Hospital beds are filling, in some areas to capacity. The testing CVS Health and Megan provides is desperately needed.

“When COVID-19 began in March, a lot of people here didn’t take it seriously, they didn’t wear masks and didn’t social distance. Now, they’re scared,” says Megan. “We’re helping people of all ages, even entire families.”
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Already a six-year veteran at CVS, at 24, Megan is remarkable. She easily connects with and comforts patients. And although she can’t hold their hands, she patiently walks them through the testing steps: How to apply the nasal swab, keep it in one nostril for 15 seconds, move it to the next nostril for another 15 seconds, then carefully seal it in a vile and deposit it in a container. “Nothing ever comes back into the pharmacy. I don’t touch anything. I honestly feel safer here than going to the grocery store,” she says.

Most of Megan’s patients are anxious, their symptoms make them feel uncomfortable. They’re worried about next steps and if needed whether hospital beds will be available. “I try to make the process stress free. I tell them we’re in this together,” offers Megan. “I really do care for our patients and I believe they know that care is genuine.”

Megan Chesnet coaches a patient, from behind the window at a CVS Pharmacy drive-thru location, about how to administer a COVID-19 nasal swab test.
Megan tests approximately one patient every 10 minutes.

“Megan was the first in her pharmacy to learn how to administer coronavirus testing and she’s taken the lead on training dozens of pharmacists and pharmacy techs in the region,” explains Region Director Tobin Zdarko. When she graduates from Arizona State University, she hopes to be a CVS Pharmacist.

“Being able to provide testing makes me feel part of something bigger than my work as a pharmacy tech,” shares Megan. “It’s been so positive for me to be involved in my community, to know I’m helping.”

Thank you, Megan, for putting others at ease with your big Heart At Work.

Meagan Chesnet, a CVS Pharmacy Technician, in her Phoenix, Arizona store.
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Heart At Work: Jun Park

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Our pharmacists bring their hearts to work every day.

They provide sound information that helps their patients stay on their medications, and create beautiful human connections when they’re needed most. You’ll see what we mean when you watch the story of one high school student, Casey, and his pharmacist, Jun Park.

“Casey was born with Cerebral Palsy. Jun is our pharmacist and we love him dearly. He’s been with us all 17 years,” says Beth Roher, Casey’s mom.

Beth Roher and Jun Park talking in the consultation area inside of a CVS Pharmacy.
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Heart At Work: Jackie DeJesus

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Jackie DeJesus, wearing a headset and working on a laptop computer in her home office.

Undaunted by COVID-19, Jackie used the reach of CVS to get our member the medication he needed. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, LorenName changed for privacy purposes. thought he would be OK if he just followed the CDC guidelines and stayed home. Even though Loren never contracted COVID-19, his health was eventually impacted by the pandemic. Luckily, his case manager, Jackie, came to his rescue and quickly worked across CVS Health to provide a solution.

Loren has a history of psoriatic arthritis, among other health concerns, and was taking hydroxychloroquine to control his painful symptoms. He had been using his local pharmacy to fill his medications. But after hydroxychloroquine was named as a potential treatment for COVID-19, his pharmacy told him that they had exhausted their supply and couldn’t get any more. Not knowing what else to do, Loren began rationing his medication and eventually ran out too.

Jackie DeJesus, a registered nurse case manager on the Clinical Services Care Management team reached out to Loren because she saw he was prescribed hydroxychloroquine and heard there were shortages. “He was so happy to hear from us. He was very worried that his arthritis and skin conditions would quickly worsen and, because of the pandemic, didn’t feel like he had any choices,” said Jackie. “Loren didn’t feel safe shopping around for his medication since he was following quarantine protocols, and even if he located the medication at another pharmacy, he was concerned about the safety of leaving his community.”

Jackie explained to Loren that we had dedicated CVS pharmacists who can help. She worked with Caremark customer service to not only locate the medication, but also set up a 90-day mail order delivery right to his home.

Within 48 hours, Loren started taking his prescribed dosage and was better able to control his painful symptoms. He’s now aware of the Caremark mail order option and is excited to use it for all his medications during the pandemic and beyond. He is also thrilled to have Jackie as his personal contact.

Karen Lynch said, “The Aetna case managers provide a tremendous opportunity to connect with our members and identify solutions even when they don’t know those options exist. In this case, we not only helped a member overcome physical pain, we worked across CVS Health to simplify his access to care.”

Thank you, Jackie, for bringing your heart to work to help your patients when they need it most.

Jackie DeJesus, wearing a headset and working on a laptop computer in her home office.
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Heart At Work: Paul Cubita

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Pharmacist Paul Cubita’s patients love and trust him not only for his expertise but because they know he genuinely cares.

Paul Cubita always brings his medical expertise as a pharmacist to his job, but he also radiates a special calm and kindness that endears him to his Savannah, Georgia patients. When they are anxious, he offers solutions. They trust him and say they are beyond grateful he’s looking after them during these challenging times.

Thank you, Paul, for bringing your heart to work to help people on their path to better health.

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