ADA turns 30: Abilities in Abundance

Bottom of the article

David L. Casey (Vice President for Workforce Strategies & Chief Diversity Officer at CVS Health) kicks off this episode with some remarkably personal stories about his family and military history, both of which fuel David’s commitment to the Abilities in Abundance program. 

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which is more important now than ever before. Recent national unemployment rates for individuals with disabilities is more than double that of abled people, so we thought it was a perfect opportunity to highlight ways people with untapped talents can thrive — even in challenging times like these.

We also connected Duane Rohr, an advisor in CVS Health’s Workforce Initiatives department and Renee Smith, a graduate of the Abilities in Abundance program and colleague at one of our CVS Pharmacy locations in Baltimore, Maryland. 

A very special thanks to Dana, Stacey Butler, The Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Rehabilitation Services and the local Workforce & Technology Center. Thank you for the wonderful and inspiring work that you do.

Image credit: ADA National Network (adata.org)

Hide Media Contacts (Sidebar)
No
Article
Hide Share
Off
"Likes" Count
6
Display Hero
Off
Assets
CSR Pillars
Audience
Narrative themes

Diversity

CVS Health serves millions of people every day. For our company to thrive, it’s important to have a workforce that reflects not only our customers, but also the communities they live in.

Celebrating diversity

We work hard to develop a diverse workforce and provide a workplace that empowers all of our colleagues, regardless of their age, ethnicity and background.

cvs heart

“CVS Health is a health care innovation company that is helping people on their path to better health. In order to achieve and sustain breakthrough innovation, we must seek out, listen to and leverage the voices of our diverse customers, clients, colleagues and communities. To me, diversity and innovation go hand in hand.”

Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Health

Programs

Our strategic approach to managing diversity touches every aspect of our business.

Equal opportunity

It is our policy to recruit, hire, train, develop and promote the best people available, based solely upon job-related qualification.

Read our policy
Supplier diversity

CVS Health strives to provide outstanding service to our customers. Diverse suppliers play a critical role in helping us achieve that goal and ensuring our company’s continued success.

Find out how we are enhancing our program
Veterans

We understand the unique skills and experience qualified veterans, current military members and military spouses possess. That’s why CVS Health is hiring them for roles across all parts of our business.

Learn about our national programs and company initiatives
Workforce initiatives

CVS Health is committed to having a workforce that’s diverse. We work to ensure that youth, mature workers, veterans and other groups that reflect our communities have a place within our company.

Learn about our core workforce programs
Multicultural products and services

Our colleagues, customers, clients and patients come from countless backgrounds and cultures, and have distinct and varied needs.

Learn about our multicultural approach

Abilities In Abundance

Americans with disabilities make up nearly one-fifth of our total population, yet the unemployment rate among them is twice that of the U.S. overall rate. Unfortunately, the rates are even higher for women and minorities with disabilities.

To help these individuals find meaningful employment opportunities, we created the Abilities In Abundance program, which helps workers with disabilities access the security and prosperity that stable jobs can provide.

Skilled, productive workers with disabilities can be brought successfully into the workforce, and can make extraordinary contributions to our economy and our society. Abilities In Abundance works to break down the employment barriers people with disabilities face, such as limited access to skills training, and, too often, unfairly low expectations.

Leading with heart

The program, led by CVS Health’s Workforce Initiatives team, has spent the past two decades developing relationships with vocational rehabilitation agencies, non-profit organizations, and schools to provide job coaching, mentoring, training and follow-up support.

These collaborations have resulted in highly successful skills development programs, job training, and placement opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as those with a visual impairment.

Abilities In Abundance programs continue to be recognized across the country, demonstrating that hiring people from diverse groups is not only the right thing to do, it makes good business sense. 

Contact the Workforce Initiatives team to learn more about Abilities In Abundance.

CVS Health celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act passing and its longstanding culture of inclusion

Bottom of the article
A graphic containing stylized text reading: We're IN for inclusion! We scored "100" on the 2020 Disability Equality Index (DEI).

Before the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, was passed in 1990, people with disabilities faced challenges in employment, transportation and other areas critical to their everyday lives. The ADA was enacted to prohibit discrimination based on disability across the United States. This month, CVS Health celebrates the 30th anniversary of ADA, and the company’s abiding work to create opportunities for meaningful employment for people with disabilities.

Fostering a culture of inclusion is a critical priority for CVS Health. The company has invested in its Workforce Initiatives and its highly successful Abilities in Abundance program, which breaks down the employment barriers people with disabilities face every day.

Over the last two decades, more than 55 Abilities in Abundance programs nationwide have helped thousands of people with disabilities find meaningful employment opportunities within CVS pharmacies and other CVS Health locations. In collaboration with the National Consortium of State-Operated Comprehensive Rehabilitation Centers, schools and non-profits, individuals with disabilities have the opportunity to work closely with trained staff to gain experience in customer service, in-store and pharmacy technician positions. Through the program, each participant receives classroom and hands-on training in mock pharmacies, which provides a holistic view of daily responsibilities.

Inclusion is deeply rooted in CVS Health’s purpose of helping people on their path to better health and continues to permeate the company’s innovation strategy. Recently, CVS Health launched Spoken Rx™, a new feature of the CVS Pharmacy app that can read a specific type of label for patients with visual impairments and those who cannot read standard print labels. Spoken Rx is the first in-app prescription reader application to be developed by a national retail pharmacy.

Additionally, 2020 was the fourth consecutive year that CVS Health earned a top score of 100 on the Disability Equality Index (DEI). The DEI, which launched in 2015 as a joint initiative between Diversity:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities, is recognized as the most extensive disability inclusion assessment tool designed and embraced by both business leaders and disability advocates.

David Casey, Vice President, Workforce Strategies & Chief Diversity Officer at CVS Health, had the opportunity to speak at this year’s Annual Disability:IN Conference to underscore CVS Health’s inclusive workplace culture and the comprehensive work the company does to support and recruit individuals with disabilities.

“I believe our diversified workforce is the cornerstone of our business, and for CVS Health to thrive, we need different worldviews, races and ethnicities, backgrounds, abilities and ages,” said Casey. “As we move forward into the next decade of our Abilities in Abundance program and beyond, we’re continually looking at other ways to break down employment barriers that individuals with disabilities continue to face.” 

A graphic containing stylized text reading: We're IN for inclusion! We scored "100" on the 2020 Disability Equality Index (DEI).
Hide Media Contacts (Sidebar)
No
Article
Hide Share
Off
"Likes" Count
5
Display Hero
Off
CSR Pillars
Audience

CVS Pharmacy introduces new app feature for reading “talking” prescription labels

CVS Pharmacy introduces new app feature for reading “talking” prescription labels
Top of the article

New Spoken Rx feature in the CVS Pharmacy app is the result of a collaboration with the American Council of the Blind

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Pharmacy announced that it has developed Spoken Rx, a new feature of the CVS Pharmacy app that can read a specific type of label for patients with visual impairments and those who cannot read standard print labels. Spoken Rx is the first in-app prescription reader application to be developed by a national retail pharmacy.

By the end of 2020, 1,500 CVS Pharmacy locations will be equipped to affix special RFID labels to prescription vials. When the RFID labels are scanned by Spoken Rx in the CVS Pharmacy app, which can be accessed by users using Siri or Google Assistant on their phones, prescription label information will be spoken out loud. This information, which is important for patient safety and adherence, currently includes patient name, medication name, dosage and directions and will be enhanced to include additional information over the months to come. Spoken Rx will be available in all CVS Pharmacy locations by the end of 2021.

Enrollment in the program is seamless and can be done either over the phone or in store where a pharmacist can ensure the patient's app is appropriately set up for the service. Spoken Rx is free to CVS Pharmacy patients and the app will read prescription label information aloud in either English or Spanish.

"The in-app feature gives patients more flexibility, providing the pertinent prescription information out loud wherever and whenever they need it," said Ryan Rumbarger, Senior Vice President, Store Operations at CVS Health. "Spoken Rx provides a more seamless experience to our patients who are visually impaired."

Today's announcement is the result of collaboration between CVS Pharmacy and the American Council of the Blind, which worked with CVS and tested the technology throughout its development.

"Spoken Rx is a positive step that offers same-day, access for prescriptions filled in CVS stores, allowing for a greater level of privacy, safety, and independence for blind and visually impaired customers of all ages," said Kim Charlson, immediate past president of the American Council of the Blind." We're pleased about this addition to the existing braille, audio, and large print accessible prescription label offerings provided by CVS Caremark and CVS.com."

For more information on Spoken Rx and a list of active stores please visit CVS.com/spokenrx

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.

About American Council of the Blind (ACB)

American Council of the Blind is a national consumer-based advocacy organization working on behalf of blind and visually impaired individuals throughout the country with members organized through seventy state and special interest affiliates. ACB is dedicated to improving the quality of life, equality of opportunity and independence of all people who have visual impairments. Their members and affiliated organizations have a long history of commitment to the advancement of policies and programs which will enhance independence for people who are blind and visually impaired. More information about ACB can be found by visiting www.acb.org.

Media contacts

Stephanie Cunha
CVS Pharmacy
Stephanie.Cunha@CVSHealth.com

Kim Charlson
American Council of the Blind
Phone: 617-501-5752
kimcharlson@acb.org

Hide Media Contacts (Sidebar)
No
Press Release
Hide Share
Off
"Likes" Count
3
Display Hero
Off
Campaign
CSR Pillars
Audience

Abilities in Abundance: Our continued commitment to inclusive employment

Bottom of the article

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.
Tweet this

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.

Hide Media Contacts (Sidebar)
No
Article
Hide Share
Off
"Likes" Count
14
Display Hero
Off
Assets
CSR Pillars
Audience

Providing Discounted Care to Special Olympics Athletes at MinuteClinic

Bottom of the article

Athletes, perhaps more than anyone else, understand the importance of being on top of their physical health.

To make it easier for some of our country’s most impressive athletes to access lower cost, high-quality care, MinuteClinic is working with Special Olympics to provide sports physicals at a discounted rate.

From now through July 31, 2020, Special Olympics athletes will be able to present a voucher at any MinuteClinic location in CVS Pharmacy or Target and receive a sport physical at the discounted rate of $49, no appointment necessary.Local state organizations may have alternate arrangements.

This promotion provides all Special Olympics athletes with access to this necessary care regardless of their insurance status or whether they have a primary care provider.

Easy-to-Access, Lower-Cost Care

Athletes aren’t the only ones who benefit from the type of proactive care that MinuteClinic offers. With 1,100 locations in 33 states and Washington, D.C., patients have access to a wide range of services at MinuteClinic, including wellness screenings, vaccinations, and chronic condition monitoring.

And when a minor illness or injury does arise, MinuteClinic’s nurse practitioners and physician assistants can often provide care for those conditions as well, including earaches, sprains, skin conditions such as rashes or poison ivy, sore throats and infections of the respiratory system or urinary tract.

At CVS Health, we’re committed to ensuring that patients have access to the quality, affordable care that will keep them in their best health and at the top of their game.

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.

Hide Media Contacts (Sidebar)
No
Article
Hide Share
Off
"Likes" Count
0
Display Hero
Off
Campaign
CSR Pillars
Audience

CVS Health Among Top Companies for Disability Inclusion

Bottom of the article
2019 DEI ‘Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion’ logo.

CVS Health has earned a top score on the 2019 Disability Equality Index (DEI). This is the third year in a row that CVS Health has been given a score of 100 on the DEI, which is based on several criteria, including culture and leadership; enterprise-wide access and supplier diversity. Top-scoring companies earn the distinction of being recognized as a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion.”

This is the fourth consecutive year that Aetna, a CVS Health business, has made the list.

Supporting Individuals with Disabilities in Our Workforce

At CVS Health, we understand the value of a diverse workforce and we have a number of programs in place to ensure that we are actively attracting, training, hiring and retaining individuals from many demographics, including those with disabilities.

Our Abilities in Abundance program, led by our Workforce Initiatives team, engages individuals with disabilities to provide job coaching and employment opportunities.

Through partnerships with community organizations nationwide, we’ve opened several training centers where individuals with disabilities can learn skills necessary for careers in retail environments, including most recently, the new Workforce Innovation and Talent Center, which opened in Cleveland, Ohio, in partnership with the Center for Children and Families.

Similarly, we operate several Regional Learning Centers, where we collaborate with government agencies, community organizations, and educational institutions to create job training programs that are often designed for individuals with disabilities.

And our Abilities Colleague Resource Group (CRG) helps to increase awareness of the important role that customers and colleagues with disabilities play in our workforce, workplace and marketplace by taking action to foster, at all levels of CVS Health, an inclusive, supportive environment.

A Comprehensive Assessment of Disability Inclusion

Launched in 2015 as a joint initiative of Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities, the DEI is recognized as the most comprehensive disability inclusion assessment tool allowing businesses to self-report their disability policies and practices.

180 companies from a diverse range of industries, including health care, technology and financial services, participated in the 2019 DEI. Of those, 113 were Fortune 500 companies.

In total, the participating DEI companies represent a workforce of more than 8.6 million, with 3.7 percent of employees identifying as having a disability.

2019 DEI ‘Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion’ logo.
Hide Media Contacts (Sidebar)
No
Article
Hide Share
Off
"Likes" Count
1
Display Hero
Off
CSR Pillars
Audience

Creating opportunities for people of all abilities

Bottom of the article
Our Workforce Initiatives team is helping people with disabilities learn valuable workplace skills.
Graduates of the CVS Pharmacy training program at WWRC celebrate with CVS Health’s Workforce Initiatives Mgr. Duane Rohr (far left); Chief Diversity Officer David Casey (third from left); and Workforce Initiatives Sr. Director Ernie Dupont (far right).

The need is clear: Americans with disabilities make up nearly one-fifth of our population. Yet the unemployment rate among them is twice that of the population overall. For women and minorities with disabilities, the rates are even higher.

CVS Health is committed to breaking down the employment barriers faced by people with disabilities, including limited access to skills training, and, too often, unfairly low expectations. That’s why our Workforce Initiatives team is working hard to provide people across our nation equal access to the security and prosperity that stable jobs and stable communities provide.

Over the past two decades, the team has developed relationships with vocational rehabilitation agencies, non-profits, and schools to provide job coaching, mentoring, training and follow-up support. These collaborations have yielded successful skills development programs, job training, and placement opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as visually impaired students.

“Innovation comes from cultivating a workforce that fosters creativity and inclusion and reflects the diversity of our customers and the communities we serve,” says CVS Health VP of Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer David Casey. “As a pharmacy innovation company, we know that skilled, productive workers with disabilities can be brought successfully into the workforce, where they can make powerful contributions to our economy and our society.”

David recently joined Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to celebrate one of our most recent examples of how CVS Health is pursuing innovative workforce strategies, a mock CVS Pharmacy store within the Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center (WWRC). The Center supports young people with disabilities and teaches them the retail and materials handling skills they need to gain meaningful employment, whether at CVS Pharmacy or another retailer.

Kayla Wayte, one of the first graduates of the program, has Asperger’s syndrome and says she has benefitted from the communications skills she built during her training. “It was my motivation in high school to get a real job, and [the program] really helped me be a good customer service person. Helping people in general is something I really, really love to do.”

In addition to our newest relationship with WWRC, CVS Health has partnered with dozens of other disability programs nationwide, including:  

  • Ken’s Krew

  • Michigan Commission for the Blind

  • Goodwill Industries

  • Workability1

  • California State Department of Rehabilitation

  • El Valor

Learn more about how our commitment to diversity is a part of everything we do at CVS Health.

Our Workforce Initiatives team is helping people with disabilities learn valuable workplace skills.
Hide Media Contacts (Sidebar)
No
Article
Hide Share
Off
"Likes" Count
0
Display Hero
Off
CSR Pillars
Audience

CVS Training Centers Simulate Pharmacy Work for People with Disabilities

Bottom of the article
CVS Health training center graduate Kaylee Merrick
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, training center graduate Kaylee Merrick, CVS Health VP of workforce strategies David Casey (Photo credit: Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services).

This article originally appeared on the Society of Human Resource Management website on January 4, 2018.

It looks like a real CVS Pharmacy, though you can't get your prescription filled there. But soon, one of the trainees in this mock store may be working at a CVS near you.

CVS Health has set up more than 30 job-training centers around the country to help people with physical, developmental or intellectual disabilities prepare for full-time employment in retail and pharmacy-technician careers.

Kaylee Merrick graduated from one of the company's newest training centers, located in Fishersville, VA. She has anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, short- and long-term memory loss, attention deficit disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. And now she is a cashier and stock clerk at a CVS store in Stafford, VA. She landed the job five months after becoming one of the Fishersville program's first graduates in 2016.

Merrick, 24, said the training center helped her develop customer service skills. But she prefers the busy atmosphere of a real store, where she works 20 to 30 hours each week.

"I love interacting with people, even the grumpy ones I try to get to smile," Merrick said.

Read the full article on the Society of Human Resource Management website.

CVS Health training center graduate Kaylee Merrick
Hide Media Contacts (Sidebar)
No
Article
Hide Share
Off
"Likes" Count
1
Display Hero
Off
Campaign
CSR Pillars
Audience