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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CVS Health announces 500 new Chandler jobs on Price Corridor

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CHANDLER, Arizona — CVS Health announced today a new 101,000 square foot office in Chandler, Arizona. Located at 1255 South Spectrum Boulevard in the Allred Park Place development, CVS Health will employ approximately 500 workers. Job opportunities include health care advocates, care management nurses, social workers, registered dieticians, behavioral health specialists, and medical directors. Most of these jobs will be new to the region.

CVS Health completed their acquisition of Aetna in November 2018. The new office in Chandler will provide service for the Aetna One Advocate care management program. The other offices that support Aetna One Advocate are in North Carolina and Ohio, with the Chandler office now responsible for a growing base of customers.

The project includes approximately $10 million in new tenant improvements to the building, which was originally built in 2009. The first class of approximately 130 employees has already been hired for this office and are currently working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic. CVS Health is continuing to ramp up hiring in the months ahead with the next training class scheduled for August 3, 2020.

“The City of Chandler is thrilled to welcome this significant infusion of new jobs to our community from a worldwide leader in the healthcare industry,” stated Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke. “As our city and region continue to work through the challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, we are especially proud to bring these new jobs to Chandler and the entire East Valley. We would like to congratulate CVS Health on this new facility and wish them many years of success ahead.”

“We look forward to contributing to the economic growth and prosperity of the East Valley,” said Jason Clement, Vice President Aetna Clinical Services, CVS Health. “This exciting partnership with the City of Chandler to launch a new, state-of-the-art location will employ highly skilled talent for a wide range of positions and expand support for our Aetna One Advocate customers.”

“Douglas Allred Company welcomes CVS Health to Allred Park Place – Chandler’s #1 Corporate Campus,” stated CEO Dave Allred. “We are thrilled to have them join our other premier tenants and look forward to many years of a great partnership.”

Visit Aetna One Advantage careers to learn more.

About CVS Health

CVS Health employees are united around a common goal of becoming the most consumer-centric health company in the world. 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 https://www.cvshealth.com.

About the City of Chandler

Chandler, Arizona has built a reputation as a “Community of Innovation.” Life in Chandler goes beyond a thriving and dynamic business community with progressive entrepreneurship. Known for its rich diversity, the city offers an outstanding quality of life for all generations with great schools and recreational opportunities. Chandler has grown to become the state's fourth largest city with a population of more than 262,000. Chandler has been named one of the nation’s Best Places to Find a Job and Best Cities for Women in Tech. The city also is one of the safest communities in the nation and boasts AAA bond ratings from all three national rating agencies, one of only 40 communities to achieve this distinction. For more information, visit the city website, or connect with the city on social media.

Media contacts

City of Chandler
Stephanie Romero 
stephanie.romero@chandleraz.gov 
602-412-7228 

CVS Health 
Monica Prinzing 
prinzingm@aetna.com 
831-241-8294

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During Nurses Month, we salute the vital work that nurses do every day

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This year, on the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, National Nurses Month is celebrating the dedication of nurses in every interaction, every setting, every era, every day. Throughout May, CVS Health is also recognizing the thousands of nurses who work across our enterprise in this time of extraordinary challenge.

In honor of Nurses Month and in recognition of the vital work of nursing, CVS Health is making a $40,000 donation to Direct Relief to deliver protective gear and critical care medications to as many health care workers as possible.

Today, many nurses are found on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Others are contributing their expertise, experience and compassion behind the scenes. This includes some 10,000 nurses, nurse practitioners, LVNs and LPNs working for Aetna, MinuteClinic, CVS Caremark and Omnicare. All have been doing amazing work since COVID-19 began, including volunteering to oversee rapid testing in various areas or embracing new ways to treat patients during social distancing.

Sheryl Burke, Aetna Senior Vice President of Cross-Enterprise Strategic Innovation, recently praised nurses by saying, “You care for our customers and members like your own family through teaching, advocacy, listening and action. Your efforts have been nothing short of extraordinary and are well-deserving of our sincere gratitude.”

To learn more about the extraordinary work being done by our CVS Health nursing professionals, take a look at our Friday Pulse video recognizing Nurses Month. And please join us in celebrating nurses!

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve care across the nation, visit our News & Insights page and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our Leaders in Care newsletter.

A practitioner consults a female adult patient with a child via video call during a telemedicine visit.
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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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Focusing on solutions for CVS Pharmacy patients

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Saurabh Mistry’s personal motto is “Don’t focus on the obstacles, always focus and devote your energies on the solution.” It’s a mindset that was instilled in Mistry at an early age by his father while growing up in India and one that he tries to pass along to his team every day as a pharmacy manager at a CVS Pharmacy in Texas.

Mistry’s solutions-driven approach to his work is part of what earned him a 2019 Paragon Award, which recognizes the best-of-the-best among CVS Health colleagues who deliver direct care to patients and customers. Now in its 29th year, the Paragon Awards honor colleagues who embody the core values of CVS Health.

Giving back also drives much of Mistry’s work. Whether it’s returning to his home country to help his childhood community, going the extra mile to ensure his pharmacy patients are being prescribed the proper medications or proactively working to save his patients money, Mistry always strives to help others.

Watch above to learn more about the fulfillment Mistry gets from his work and why he’s always aiming to be the best and have the best team in place for his patients.

A photo of Saurabh Mistry behind the pharmacy counter.
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Keeping community at the center of care at MinuteClinic

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With approximately 1,100 locations nationwide, MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants work every day to provide patients with convenient, personalized care that’s close to home.

One MinuteClinic provider who takes that work to heart is Aimee Kleppin, a family nurse practitioner who works out of a CVS Pharmacy in Queen Creek, Arizona.

Highly motivated and community-minded in her work, Kleppin was awarded a 2019 CVS Health Paragon Award, which recognizes the best-of-the-best among CVS Health colleagues who deliver direct care to patients and customers. Now in its 29th year, the Paragon Awards honor colleagues who embody the core values of CVS Health.

Born in Puerto Rico to parents who are both pharmacists, Kleppin knew from the time that she was in high school that she wanted to be a nurse practitioner. In her years of working for MinuteClinic, Kleppin has developed a following of patients who trust her clinical knowledge and appreciate her caring approach.

Watch above to learn about Kleppin’s dedication to her local community, including a program on hygiene that she developed the local schools, and why she’s continuously inspired to help others through her work.

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Celebrating our 10-year partnership with diverse supplier WEI

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Our partnerships with small and diverse businesses are mutually beneficial: They help us ensure that our products and services evolve to meet the needs of our customers, while also providing economic opportunity to our suppliers.

In fact, in 2018, our Supplier Diversity Program contributed $5.5 billion to the U.S. economy and sustained 31,000 jobs. This success would not be possible without the partnerships we have with our suppliers like New Hampshire-based WEI.

Since partnering with CVS Health 10 years ago to provide IT consulting services and solutions, WEI has been able to increase its workforce by 80 percent, growth that Co-Founder and Vice President Leslie Rosas says has a “trickle-down effect” in allowing WEI to use more diverse suppliers in their own supply chain and to develop a more diverse workforce of their own.

On the CVS Health side, WEI has become an expansion of the IT team, filling a critical company need and ready to help whenever we need them.

Watch the video to learn more about how our two companies have worked together and contributed to each other’s growth over the past 10 years.

Visit our Supplier Diversity page to learn more about our program.

To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our Leaders in Care newsletter.

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Abilities in Abundance: Our continued commitment to inclusive employment

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With recent national unemployment rates for individuals with disabilities more than double that of people without disabilities, it’s evident that the disability community continues to face significant barriers to gaining and maintaining employment. At CVS Health, we’re addressing the national disability employment gap and helping break down the barriers faced by far too many with differing abilities. Our company’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion means that we believe in connecting individuals with disabilities with rewarding work experiences at CVS Health, which we do through our nationally recognized Abilities in Abundance program.

Led by CVS Health’s Workforce Initiatives team, Abilities in Abundance provides the tools, training, and support individuals need to build a path to better health, discover new career prospects and create a more promising future for themselves. Abilities in Abundance offers highly successful skills development programs, job training, and placement opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as those with visual impairments.

Through CVS Health’s ongoing work with partners from government organizations, community associations, and educational institutions, we’re able to find strong candidates who are often untapped sources of talent and are committed to learning the skills necessary to grow their careers. In collaboration with workforce partners and third-party organizations, we’ve been able to create effective workforce development programs aimed primarily towards job seekers from populations typically underrepresented in workplaces.

Training our Abilities in Abundance program participants

CVS Health’s invaluable relationships with state and local agencies, including the National Consortium of State-Operated Comprehensive Rehabilitation Centers (NCSOCRC) and Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR), have enabled us to help many individuals with disabilities gain meaningful employment.

For example, in collaboration with NCSOCR, we currently operate eight mock CVS Pharmacy locations, where people with disabilities receive classroom and hands-on training in life and job skills such as providing customer service, stocking shelves and working at the cash register. Each center is installed with mock equipment and participants work closely with trained staff to learn about the roles and responsibilities of front store and pharmacy technician positions.

CVS Health currently operates eight mock CVS Pharmacy locations, where people with disabilities receive classroom and hands-on training in life and job skills such as providing customer service, stocking shelves and working at the cash register.
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Our Workforce Innovation & Talent Centers (WITC), which are a part of CVS Health’s Workforce Initiatives program, also play a key role in the ongoing success of the Abilities in Abundance program, incorporating education on job skills and providing exposure to work in a retail environment. Each WITC houses a classroom, office space, a full mock pharmacy that closely resembles an active CVS Pharmacy location and is staffed by a full-time manager who facilitates relationships with internal and external partners. Many of the individuals who participate at our WITC later transition to positions within CVS Health or leverage their experience to obtain work elsewhere. Additionally, retention rates among CVS Health colleagues who participate in a WITC program are higher than for other colleagues.

Creating opportunities for individuals of all abilities

Kevin Kan, one of the many Abilities in Abundance success stories featured in the video, began his employment at CVS Pharmacy after completing the first ever mock store training program held in the New York City WITC with community partner FEGS, a nonprofit health and human services organization.

Kevin stood out among the crowd right from the beginning, as he was eager to learn all the retail store associate tasks and really strived to put his best foot forward throughout the customized employment program. Following the mock store training program, Kevin applied and interviewed for the retail store associate role, prior to even completing an in-store work experience program.

Kevin’s incredible work ethic and willingness to assist customers and his other colleagues has made him an exemplary retail employee. He has also volunteered to be a guest speaker for our mock store training program associates and has been asked on multiple occasions to join partnership meetings to share his experience with Abilities in Abundance.

To learn more about CVS Health’s employment and training programs, including Abilities in Abundance, visit the Workforce Initiatives page.

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Diverse Supplier Spotlight: Planned Packaging of Illinois

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A photo of PPOIC President and CEO Jason Robertson with members of the CVS Health team.
PPOIC President and CEO Jason Robertson (center) with members of the CVS Health team.

Our Supplier Diversity program works to integrate products and services from small and diverse businesses into our procurement processes.

These partnerships help us ensure that our products and services evolve to meet the needs of our customers, while also contributing to the economic growth of communities across the country.

In 2018, our spending with small and diverse businesses — including 398 owned by women and 373 owned by minorities — totaled $2.2 billion.

One of those businesses is Planned Packaging of Illinois (PPOIC), a worldwide distributor of shipping and packing materials that has been working with CVS Caremark, our pharmacy benefit manager, since 2007 and has since gone on to expand its support to other parts of CVS Health. Here, President and CEO Jason Robertson shares what it’s been like to be part of our Supplier Diversity program.

What services and/or products do you provide to CVS Health?
PPOIC is a just-in-time supplier of various packaging and shipping supplies, including gel packs, zip lock bags, stretch film, tape and corrugated boxes. PPOIC manages the daily inventory of these items and ships to CVS locations on an as-need basis. We store the product close to the various CVS locations to assure prompt delivery.

How has the partnership with CVS Health been beneficial to your business and the communities you serve?
The partnership has been beneficial on multiple levels, primarily that working with a Fortune 10 company lets everyone know we’re a capable supplier.

In addition, our growth with CVS Health has allowed PPOIC to expand and open two additional locations in North Carolina and Tennessee. These locations have provided jobs to primarily lower income individuals and two-strike felons who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to find employment.

PPOIC is proud to say that our North Carolina and Tennessee locations have an awesome employee retention rate, and we have seen tremendous positive impact on those employees’ lives.

Has working with CVS Health changed the way you do business?
PPOIC has had to change our internal business operations to support CVS. In doing so, we’ve become more efficient at customer care, customer response, and overall customer service. As we continue to grow together, we look forward to becoming a better, stronger, more efficient company.

Any business highlights that you attribute to working with CVS Health?
Working with the CVS Health Supplier Diversity team, PPOIC has had the pleasure of accompanying CVS Health to the White House to meet President Barack Obama in 2014, receiving a Ruby Award in 2015, and, most recently, I served as a panelist at the 2019 Rainbow Push Wall Street Project Economic Summit to talk about my company’s work with CVS Health.

CVS Health has provided visibility, credibility and a platform to promote our business unlike any other. In short, CVS Health has truly been a partner in mentoring, supporting and promoting PPOIC.

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Developing our diverse workforce

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Creating opportunities for youth

With some of the best talent in the industry, we have a unique opportunity to expose youth to a vast number of careers in health care. Our STEM enriched, nationally recognized program, myCVS Journey Pathways to Health Care Careers, introduces students to career opportunities in pharmacy services; professional management; medicine and nursing; and IT, analytics and engineering.

In 2018, more than 2,800 youth participated in the program, nearly half of whom engaged in the pharmacy track. We extended the program’s reach through a new collaboration with Job Corps, the largest free residential education and job training program for young adults that reaches more than 60,000 students per year.

Investing in job training

To strengthen our workforce and address our nation’s widening skills gap, we train highly capable individuals for meaningful careers in pharmacy care, prescription benefit management, and retail store management. In 2005, we became the first employer to launch a U.S. Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship program for pharmacy technicians. By 2022, we plan to hire 8,000 registered apprentices and provide these new colleagues with classroom and online instruction, professional mentorship, and on-the-job training, as well as pre- and postplacement retention support. At the end of 2018, we had hired more than 3,200 colleagues through this program.

We continue to identify ways to reach more prospective apprentices, and our newest program in Maryland – the state’s first for pharmacy technicians and pharmacy managers – provides structured training through our Regional Learning Centers (RLC) in Washington, D.C., and District Heights, MD.

Once apprentices complete the training, they are eligible to apply for a position at one of our more than 220 retail locations in the state.

Our RLCs serve as a hub for job training and a pipeline for new talent. Through our four, fully operational store and pharmacy training locations in Boston, Cleveland, New York City and Washington, D.C., we support the development of colleagues and partner with community agencies through a range of workforce development programs. Each RLC houses classrooms, office space and a full mock pharmacy.

In 2018, 1,400 community members participated in an RLC workforce development program, with many transitioning to positions within CVS Health. Retention rates among CVS Health colleagues who participate in an RLC program are 35 percent higher than for colleagues who have not. Current colleagues also receive training at the RLCs, with more than 11,000 people having participated in 2018.

Welcoming individuals of all abilities

We believe in breaking down employment barriers for individuals of all abilities. Since 2015, we’ve hired nearly 7,000 colleagues with disabilities, who bring valuable and diverse life experiences to their roles with CVS Health.

In 2018, we expanded on this commitment and opened seven mock pharmacies at rehabilitation centers around the country through a partnership with the National Consortium of State-Operated Comprehensive Rehabilitation Centers (NCSOCRC). Mock pharmacies provide opportunities for students that are training for roles as certified pharmacy technicians and retail sales associates to practice what they are learning in the classroom before entering the workforce. At the end of 2018, CVS Health had more than 43 of these training centers around the country, with 29 geared toward individuals with disabilities.

Two CVS Health colleagues walking down a corridor.
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