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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Heart At Work: Steve Normandy

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Store Manager Steve Normandy is bent over stocking toothpaste on a shelf. As always, his store in Tewksbury, Massachusetts looks orderly and welcoming, but there are notable differences from a few short months ago. Front Store and Pharmacy teams wear gloves and masks, plexiglass stands as a protective barrier at counters and red floor arrows direct customers and patients along a one-way path.

“We’re doing everything we can to keep people safe, including ourselves,” says Steve, his gray hair and easy smile apparent. “We’re making things as normal as possible.”

Steve has been with the company 31 years. When asked if he knows he’s called the “grandfather” of store managers, he responds with a large baritone laugh. “I guess you could say I’ve worked for CVS Health longer than many managers have been on the planet.” Humor is one of Steve’s hallmark traits.

As any good grandfather would do, Steve has been a reassuring presence since the Coronavirus turned lives upside down. Protecting his staff, he encourages them to take vacation time, recharge their batteries even drink more fluids.

“I’ve implemented shorter shifts to minimize their exposure. I also ask them to stay off social media and get their news from reliable sources – there’s so much misinformation,” he says. “Like our customers, they have fears about this pandemic.”

Steve says these days he’s less task-oriented and more empathetic. “All of us need to be,” he suggests. That empathy for his team carries over to his customers. “We’re walking in their shoes and they’re counting on us.”

Steve Normandy and Dr. Ed Colozzi talk in a store aisle of CVS Pharmacy.
Steve Normandy catches up with customer Dr. Ed Colozzi. “There’s a sense of authentic care because of Steve. I feel welcome and safe,” says Ed.

“What’s really impressive is the consistency of authentic care in everyone here, no matter their age or whether they work in the store or pharmacy,” offers Dr. Ed Colozzi, a regular customer. “That really goes a long way to make you feel welcome and safe despite Coronavirus. I think it has a lot to do with the way Steve manages. He really leads from the heart and it translates to his staff.”

“There’s a pandemic going on and plenty of unease but when I walk into Steve’s store people are smiling and happy,” notes District Leader Jay Fregeau. “It’s amazing to see but it’s just a regular day for Steve. He’s going to be pretty embarrassed to have this attention.”

Thank you Steve, for bringing your heart to work as you look after your team and your customers with a grandfather’s touch.

Steve Normandy standing in an aisle of the CVS Pharmacy in which he works.
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Heart At Work: Denise Zachmann

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The kindness behind the mask

You could call it the kindness behind the mask. Since 2008, a sewing team has been meeting regularly within Aetna headquarters in Hartford, Connecticut. Their basement location is equipped with supplies, sewing machines and sergers — sophisticated sewing machines generally used to make quilts. Beginning with a core group of five volunteers, the team has grown to 40 volunteers led by 24-year employee and Aetna Volunteer Coordinator Denise Zachmann (who runs about 40 volunteer projects a year and holds down her job as an executive assistant in Government Marketing).

Usually volunteers focus on head scarves for cancer patients, scent cloths for premature babies and themed pillow cases for children attending the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. During the COVID-19 crisis, volunteers are sewing face masks at home. Masks go to multiple area hospitals and medical centers where the need is great. When it comes to supplies Denise needs to be resourceful. She re-allocates fabric from other projects. Elastic is scarce, so the team uses ribbon, bias tape and shoe laces.

Volunteer Bo Hallowell has been with Aetna for 23 years. Her “day job” involves project management for Government Marketing, but lately she’s also putting in dozens of personal hours sewing masks for first responders in her Windsor, Connecticut, community. “I’ve got it down to a science,” she says with a smile. A flood of material donations, says Bo, “is a beautiful example of a community coming together.” For Bo the work is personal: her daughter is a part-time EMT, her sister is a pharmacist and two cousins are police officers. They are on the frontlines serving the public and she’s helping to keep them safe so they can do their jobs.

Bo Hallowell, making face masks using a sewing machine.
Sewing protective masks is personal for Bo Hallowell. Her family includes health care providers and police officers.

Says Denise, “Bo has taken up the gauntlet — sewing about 150 masks a week and distributing them to local organizations meaningful to her, including the Granby, Connecticut, Police and nearby hospitals.

The sewing team receives support from Community Affairs, which connects with Aetna’s 56 plus volunteer councils. “Their work is a prime example of Aetna’s commitment to be local,” explains Floyd W. Green III, Vice President, Community Affairs. “The cost to Aetna is minimal, but the elevation of our reputation is priceless.”

The Hartford sewing team is determined to do what they can to help others during this challenging time. We thank them for their skill and their immense generosity of heart to help their communities.

Denise Zachmann, wearing a face mask.
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Heart At Work: Katie Rutt

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Answering the call for testing

On a cold, drizzling day in March, dozens of CVS colleagues gathered in the Shrewsbury, Massachusetts CVS Pharmacy parking lot. Suited up in protective gear, they included pharmacists, MinuteClinic providers and Omnicare nurses — all specially trained to serve at the nation’s first retail drive-through COVID-19 testing site for first responders, law enforcement and health care workers.

Among them is Katie Rutt, a MinuteClinic Family Nurse Practitioner and Senior Practice Manager. Katie is accustomed to treating patients but this day would be different. The dire need for testing, especially for first responders, was being answered and Katie, without hesitation, had volunteered.

“We’re providing a much needed service to the community, and I’m so proud to be here,” offered Katie, who had woken up hours earlier – leaving her new 6-month-old baby and 3-year-old toddler tucked safely in bed.

Katie with her husband Mike and children Michael and Kealey.
Katie with her husband Mike and children Michael and Kealey.

Katie’s decision, and that of other CVS Health colleagues, to be on the frontline made a big impression on Dale Coulter. A nurse at a detox hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts, Dale was among the first to be tested that day. “I just want to get well and return to work,” she explained, struggling to speak clearly through flu-like symptoms. “My patients’ needs are great and CVS has given me a chance to get peace of mind.”

Dale Coulter completes coronavirus testing: “CVS has given me a chance to get peace of mind.”
Dale Coulter completes coronavirus testing: “CVS has given me a chance to get peace of mind.”

“Katie always goes above and beyond for every patient, treating them with kindness and compassion. She makes them feel like they are family,” explains Tara Allain, a MinuteClinic Senior Practice Manager, who also played an instrumental role at the first CVS Health-run testing site.

As the first day of CVS Health-assisted testing wraps up, it’s nearly dark and workers are tired and ready to head home to rest for the next day. Katie looks forward to hugging her little ones. In the days to come, Katie will be part of the CVS Health team in Lowell, Massachusetts, providing up to 1,000 a day on-the-spot COVID-19 testing to the public.

“I don't think any of us in a million years could have anticipated this pandemic,” she says as she carefully doffs her medical gown. “My strength, energy, and inspiration come from the people I surround myself with,” she says, pointing to the team nearby. “They inspire me.”

And you inspire us, Katie. Thanks to you and all the CVS Health colleagues who bring their hearts to work to help others as we face the challenges of COVID-19 together.

Katie Rutt
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