CVS opposes rule that reduces health care protections for transgender people

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Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services finalized a rule that reduces anti-discrimination protections in health care for transgender people. 

The rule changed the previous definition for covered health care entities of “[discrimination] on the basis of sex” so that the definition no longer includes gender identity. CVS Health opposed this change when it was proposed in May 2019 and does not plan to change coverage policies to scale back anything based on the new rule.

“We are proud of our long-standing commitment to eliminating discrimination in health care and health care coverage, including our commitment to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities,” says Karen S. Lynch, President, Aetna Business Unit and Executive Vice President, CVS Health. “That commitment isn’t changing; it is a part of our culture and explicit in our corporate policies.”

CVS Health remains committed to being an inclusive employer and health care company. The company does not intend to change its corporate nondiscrimination policy, which states, in part:

CVS Health is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity and takes affirmative action to recruit, hire, employ, develop, compensate, promote and advance in employment based on an individual’s job-related qualifications, abilities, and job performance. In addition, CVS Health prohibits discrimination, sexual harassment, and/or harassment against persons on the basis of ancestry, race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex/gender (including pregnancy), national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical or mental disability, medical condition, age, veteran status, military status, marital status, genetic information, citizenship status, unemployment status, political affiliation, or on any other basis or characteristic prohibited by applicable federal, state or local law. Finally, CVS Health prohibits retaliation against a colleague for filing or pursuing a bona fide prohibited discrimination or harassment claim or for participating in good faith in an investigation of a prohibited discrimination or harassment claim.

About CVS Health

CVS Health employees are united around a common goal of becoming the most consumer-centric health company. We're evolving based on changing consumer needs and meeting people where they are, whether that's in the community at one of our nearly 10,000 local touchpoints, in the home, or in the palm of their hand. Our newest offerings – from HealthHUB® locations that are redefining what a pharmacy can be, to innovative programs that help manage chronic conditions – are designed to create a higher-quality, simpler and more affordable experience. Learn more about how we're transforming health at www.cvshealth.com.

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Jeff Swallow
401-601-4116
swallowj@aetna.com

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Celebrating the achievements of women in medicine on National Women Physicians Day

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At Aetna, we’re proud to recognize each of our female Medical Directors on National Women Physicians Day. Together, they make up 49 percent of our company’s total Medical Directors. We’re sharing their stories, accomplishments and advice for the next generation of women physicians.

Thank you to our colleagues Lela Mayers, Joanne Armstrong, Amy Khan, Juliet Nevins and Deborah Johnson-Rothe for representing our female Medical Directors.

National Women Physicians Day was first observed in 2016. It commemorates the birthday of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to earn a medical degree in America. The day serves as a reminder for all physicians, both men and women, to foster a diverse and inclusive workforce.

In 1847, the all-male student body of Geneva Medical College in New York unanimously voted to admit Blackwell as a medical student. The vote was a practical joke; this was a time in U.S. history before the first women’s rights gathering. In fact, the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote, wouldn’t be ratified for another 73 years.

Blackwell went on to graduate first in her class in 1849. She trained around the world, trailblazing modern medicine fundamentals, such as preventative care and personal hygiene.

Gender equality in medicine has come a long way; for the first time, more women are enrolled in U.S. medical schools than men“More Women Than Men Enrolled in U.S. Medical Schools in 2017.” AAMCNews, 18 Dec. 2017, news.aamc.org/press-releases/article/applicant-enrollment-2017/. Women account for over one-third of all practicing physicians and continue to dominate certain specialties, including pediatrics, family medicine and psychiatry. Despite these strides, disparities still exist and some stem from the earliest stages of social development.

To demonstrate how a gender bias may still be engrained, try out the riddle below:

“A father and his son are in a car crash. The son is rushed to the hospital. Just as he’s about to undergo surgery, his surgeon says, ‘I can’t operate on this boy – he is my son!’ Explain.”

If you’re feeling stumped, you’re not alone. A Boston University studyBarlow, Rich. “BU Research: A Riddle Reveals Depth of Gender Bias | BU Today | Boston University.” BU Today, 16 Jan. 2014 found that nearly 85 percent of respondents failed to identify the right answer – the surgeon was in fact the boy’s mother.

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CVS Pharmacy named Retailer of the Year by Women’s Wear Daily

CVS Pharmacy named Retailer of the Year by Women’s Wear Daily
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A CVS Pharmacy BeautyIRL concept shop
A BeautyIRL concept shop, one of the innovations recognized by Women’s Wear Daily in naming CVS Pharmacy 2018 Retailer of the Year.

Over the past several years, we’ve worked to innovate our CVS Pharmacy beauty department to serve our customers’ needs and provide a next-generation experience, while continuing to position ourselves as an industry leader with the health and well-being of our customers in mind.

Now, we’re honored to be recognized for our strides in beauty by one of the industry’s foremost authorities, Women’s Wear Daily, which named CVS Pharmacy the 2018 Retailer of the Year at the publication’s 17th Annual Beauty Inc. Awards.

“CVS left no doubts it is serious about beauty and willing to bet big,” WWD said in its 2018 Beauty Inc. Awards issue.

Selected based on a variety of criteria, including feedback from retailers and industry analysts, sales data and coverage by WWD throughout the year, the Beauty Inc. Awards recognize the best and most innovative players in the industry.

The award was accepted by Maly Bernstein, Vice President of Beauty and Personal Care at CVS Pharmacy, during a ceremony in New York City in early December.

“My aspiration has always been to have CVS Pharmacy lead the next revolution in beauty,” Bernstein said.

Describing what made CVS Pharmacy its choice for Retailer of the Year, WWD cited the commitment we made starting in 2018 to no longer materially alter the beauty imagery we create for retail locations, marketing materials, websites, apps or social media. This initiative also included the creation of Beauty Mark, a watermark that now appears on imagery to signify that it is authentic and has not been materially altered.

Beauty Mark is part of our effort to lead positive change around transparency in beauty and to help customers differentiate between authentic and materially altered imagery.

WWD also applauded the expansion of our beauty offerings, including the introduction of more K-beauty products to our shelves, eSalon installations to bring hair services to customers, and, most recently, the reveal of our BeautyIRL pilot stores

Currently located in four CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide, the BeautyIRL shops include mini beauty services through an exclusive partnership with GlamSquad, as well as an expanded and redesigned beauty department that encourages the discovery of new brands and trends.

“We are looking for ways to engage with new, emerging brands so that we can make them more accessible to beauty enthusiasts,” Bernstein told WWD.

A CVS Pharmacy BeautyIRL concept shop
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CVS Health Recognized for Gender Equality Efforts

CVS Health Recognized for Gender Equality Efforts
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The 2019 Gender-Equality Index Seal

CVS Health was recently named to Bloomberg’s 2019 Gender-Equality Index (GEI), which recognizes companies committed to transparency in gender reporting and advancing women’s equality in the workplace.

Data used to determine inclusion on the GEI is self-disclosed and must include information about how each company promotes gender equality across four areas: company statistics, policies, community engagement and products and services. CVS Health was among 230 companies worldwide to be included on this year’s GEI.

A Focus on Diversity

With a customer and patient base that spans the country, we understand that in order to be successful, our colleagues and suppliers should reflect the demographics of the thousands of communities we serve.

We have a number of initiatives in place, as well as a team of dedicated colleagues focused on these programs, to ensure that we have diversity within our workforce and that individual groups, including women, within our workforce have the support to be successful.

Our colleague resource groups provide employees across the enterprise with the opportunity to connect with one another through a particular affinity, culture or perspective. One of these groups, the Women’s Success Network, provides individuals, but particularly women, at CVS Health, with educational, mentoring, and volunteer opportunities that promote empowerment and develop leadership and networking skills.

Additionally, our Supplier Diversity Program connects CVS Health to minority- and women-owned businesses (MWBEs) while also providing those business owners with training and guidance so that we can successfully work together. We also partner with advocacy organizations that provide education and opportunities to MWBEs, such as the Women's Business Enterprise National Council and the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Our Award-Winning Efforts

In addition to the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, we have been recognized with several other awards for our diversity efforts. We were named one of America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises (WBE) in 2017 by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.

Our other diversity-focused awards include: FORTUNE'S Most Admired Companies; Disability Equality Index’s Best Places to Work for Diversity Inclusion; Corporate Responsibility Magazine's 100 Best Corporate Citizens; Human Rights Campaign's Top Places to Work for LGBT Equality; Points of Light's The Civic 50, Military Times Best for Vets; the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index; and DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity.

For more information on our workforce and supplier diversity initiatives, visit our Diversity page

Two female CVS Health corporate colleagues walking.
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CVS Health Recognized for Support of Women-Owned Businesses

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The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) has recognized CVS Health as one of America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises (WBE) in 2017. This marks the third year in a row that CVS Health has earned the honor, which is reserved for world-class supplier diversity programs that reduce barriers and drive growth for women-owned businesses.

“WBENC’s Top Corporations set the standard for enabling women suppliers to access increased opportunities in new markets – both domestically and internationally. They have been valued partners in our 21 years of commitment to women’s business development,” said Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of WBENC, the nation’s leader in women’s business development. “WBENC-Certified WBEs in turn are able to fuel innovation, and empower communities through economic growth and job creation.”

Supplier Diversity Fuels Innovation and Economic Growth

Driven by the belief that the ability to deliver innovative, high-quality health and pharmacy services is closely tied to partnerships with diverse suppliers, CVS Health has made a concerted effort to ensure the diversity of our colleagues, customers, and communities is reflected in our diverse supplier base. CVS Pharmacy stores across the country sell a wide range of products sourced from WBEs, including disinfectants, snacks, and dog treats.

“It is an incredible honor to be recognized by WBENC three years in a row for our commitment to sourcing products from WBEs,” said Raul Suarez-Rodriguez, CVS Health Manager of Supplier Diversity/Strategic Procurement. “Working with a diverse supplier base, which includes WBEs, is a priority for CVS Health. We believe we are better able to help our customers and patients on the path toward better health by committing to supplier diversity.”

As WBENC President and CEO Pamela Prince-Eason indicated, the commitment to a diverse supplier base helps to drive growth, job creation, and innovation in local communities. The economic impact can be quantified. In 2016, CVS Health spent $2 billion with WBEs, as well as minority-owned, veteran-owned, and LGBT-owned businesses. This spending generated an additional $1.4 billion in supply chain spending, supported more than 21,145 jobs, and led to $1.7 billion in spending in local communities.CVS Health. “Supplier Diversity Impact Report: An Analysis of CVS Health’s Supplier Diversity Program on the U.S. Economy.” https://cvshealth.com/sites/default/files/cvs-health-supplier-diversity-impact-report-2016.pdf

Support for WBEs Beyond Spending

Support for WBEs and supplier diversity should extend beyond just spending. As part of its commitment to supplier diversity, CVS Health has partnered with Roger Williams University on the Executive Learning Series for Diverse Suppliers. This training program is intended to help business owners and executives representing diverse suppliers to improve management skills. Two-thirds of the class completing the training program in November 2017 came from WBEs.

For more information about CVS Health’s Supplier Diversity programs, visit our Supplier Diversity hub on CVSHealth.com.

WBENC’s America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) award logo
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