CVS Health has been named a 2020 honoree of The Civic 50 by Points of Light, one of the world’s largest organizations dedicated to volunteer service. This marks the fourth consecutive year that CVS Health has been named to The Civic 50.
The award recognizes CVS Health as one of the 50 most community-minded companies in the United States. The Civic 50 provides a national standard for superior corporate citizenship and showcases how companies can use their time, skills and resources to impact their communities.
The Civic 50 honorees are public and private companies with U.S. operations and revenues of $1 billion or more, and are selected based on four dimensions of their U.S. community engagement program, including investment, integration, institutionalization and impact.
“Our positive impacts are possible because of the tremendous work of our CVS Health colleagues,” said Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility & Philanthropy and Chief Sustainability Officer for CVS Health. “Our colleagues are living our purpose every day by giving back their time to improve the health of our communities.”
In 2019, CVS Health employees donated more than $12 million worth of volunteer time. From team service projects to serving on boards as mentors and company hosted volunteer activities, employees participated in thousands of volunteer events representing CVS Health in their local communities.
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.
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.
When Erin Wright’s daughter was born 15 weeks premature, she weighed 1 pound, 5 ounces and had to stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for 16 weeks.
When leaving the hospital to bring their daughter home for the first time, Erin’s husband turned to her and said, “We are going to give back to this place because this place gave us our daughter.”
That’s exactly what Erin and her husband have done thanks in part to the CVS Health Foundation Volunteer Challenge Grant Program. The program helps colleagues like Erin, a healthcare category manager, provide even more support to the causes that matter to them.
Grants, which range from $500 to $5,000, are awarded directly to the organization on the colleague’s behalf.
“We hear all the time from the organizations that receive challenge grants that they really rely on those funds,” says Joanne Dwyer, CVS Health Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability. “They're critical in helping them advance their mission.”
Along with Erin, watch the video to see how the program is supporting colleagues like CVS Pharmacy intern Willie Dunnam. Willie is working with the underserved population in Mobile through a student-run free health clinic, which recently used $1,000 from the program to purchase an AED (automated external defibrillator).
“Everybody has a chance to volunteer,” says Willie. “It shows you what you can do.”
Working part-time, Maria Martinez does her best to support her two kids, but sometimes it’s not enough to make ends meet. After falling behind on her gas bill, she needed help.
That’s when she attended a “Keep the Power On” utility clinic and connected with a group of CVS Health lawyers working pro bono to help Hartford residents struggling to pay their utility bills — just one example of how we’re making communities stronger by encouraging employees to volunteer their time, talent and resources to local organizations.
“Being a lawyer, you are an advocate, so instead of advocating for the company, I'm now advocating for an individual,” says Jen Corvo, CVS Health counsel. “Pro bono programs like this are great because we are meeting people at something that really does affect their daily life.”
Watch the video to see how we’re reaching out and helping community members like Maria.
Our colleagues care deeply about the health of the planet and support our sustainability efforts through volunteerism and every day actions to embed sustainability at home and at work. Their passion to create a healthier, more sustainable planet, along with their insights and ideas, have helped ignite some of our key initiatives.
Cleaning Up Our Coastline
CVS Health is a proud partner of Ocean Conservancy and is a member of the Trash Free Seas Alliance. Through our partnership and colleague participation in the International Coastal Cleanup, we have helped remove more than 2 million pieces of tobacco-related trash from coastlines in 2018. Cigarettes butts are the most commonly found items littering our shorelines, and hundreds of CVS Health colleagues across the country joined cleanup events in their local communities to support these efforts.
Going Green through Action and Education
To inspire our colleagues to make more sustainable choices on a daily basis, we established a 2020 target for colleagues to log 10,000 green actions on our online volunteer portal, CVS Health Community Crew. Green actions, such as recycling at home, turning off water while brushing teeth or switching to online bill pay, reduce personal environmental impacts. Since establishing this target, colleagues have logged more than 6,000 green actions in Community Crew. Collectively, colleague green actions have saved 3 million gallons of water, avoided 224,000 metric tons of carbon emissions, saved 225,000 kilowatts of energy and avoided 45,000 pounds of waste.
Our GreenTeam Colleague Resource Group (CRG) promotes awareness, provides education and works to make environmental sustainability a relevant part of every colleague’s role and responsibility. Today, the GreenTeam has more than 1,000 members across the country, a 45-percent increase over 2017, and continues to grow.
To learn more about the ways we’re working to protect our planet, read our 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Report.
CVS Health colleagues are committed to giving back to their local communities, whether volunteering at a community health center to offer medical screenings, serving on a nonprofit board, or talking to local students about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
To extend this spirit of volunteerism and as part of our commitment to increase our engagement around environmental sustainability among our colleagues, we developed the new GreenTeam Colleague Resource Group (CRG). The goal of the GreenTeam is to harness this enthusiasm and engage colleagues across the organization in supporting the health of the environment.
“When launching the GreenTeam CRG, our goal was to inspire and drive passion among colleagues regarding environmental sustainability,” says Nadine King, Manager, Corporate Environmental at CVS Health and Enterprise Co-Chair for the GreenTeam. “A lot of people who aren’t in the corporate environmental department at CVS Health still want to do something for the greater good, and together we can have a big impact.”
The GreenTeam was formally launched in 2016, and has hosted events throughout early 2017 to engage colleagues in green initiatives and grow membership. The GreenTeam has garnered support from senior leaders including its Executive Sponsor, Eileen Howard Boone, SVP of Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy. By early 2017, more than 150 colleagues had joined the first chapter at CVS Health’s Rhode Island headquarters. The GreenTeam has plans to expand nationwide; colleagues across the country have indicated interest in forming new chapters.
The GreenTeam’s mission is to make environmental sustainability a relevant part of every colleague’s role and responsibility. “We hope the GreenTeam will bring together colleagues from diverse backgrounds, perspectives and business areas,” says Caitlin O’Donnell, Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility at CVS Health and Enterprise Co-Chair for the GreenTeam. “This should help us develop innovative ideas that can be implemented across our business units.”
Incorporating colleague feedback
Colleague feedback is vital to sustaining membership, and the team takes member opinions into consideration when planning events and communications. The group will serve as a forum for information about CVS Health sustainability initiatives, offer tips about how colleagues can make an impact outside the office, and host events that support the environment and health of local communities.
“In our daily operations and even with special events, like the CVS Health Charity Classic, we strive to be mindful of the environment and think of ways to reduce our impact,” King says.
Setting a model for other chapters, the Rhode Island chapter will organize three or four volunteering events each year, such as cleanups at beaches and parks.
“By coming together, we can help promote sustainability not only for the company, but for ourselves, our families and our local communities,” O’Donnell says.
Stepping up to bat in iconic Fenway Park would be a dream come true for any Boston Red Sox fan. For nearly two-hundred children that dream became a reality this summer at CVS Health Batting Clinic.
For 14 seasons, CVS Health, in partnership with the Boston Red Sox, has held camps throughout the summer that bring youth baseball teams from across New England to Fenway for a full day of events, including batting practice with team coaches. The program reflects CVS Health’s commitment to supporting children of all abilities as well as healthy initiatives for our community.
This summer, 180 children, who all play in either the Little League Challenger Division® or Miracle League, attended nine separate clinics. Each group worked one-on-one with Boston Red Sox Hitting Coach Tim Hyers and Assistant Hitting Coach Andy Barkett before taking to the field for batting practice, followed by photos in front of the Green Monster and lunch in the Red Sox dugout.
The day’s activities also included a visit from Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster, a VIP tour of Fenway Park, early entry to the Red Sox batting practice and tickets to that evening’s game in the CVS Pharmacy Family section.
The Little League Challenger Division® was founded in 1989, and is Little League’s adaptive baseball program for individuals with physical and intellectual challenges. Any individual with a physical or intellectual challenge may participate. The division accommodates players ages 4 to 18; or up to age 22 if still enrolled in school.
The Miracle League of Massachusetts is an all volunteer, non-profit organization that gives children with disabilities a chance to play baseball as part of a team in an organized league at no cost to their family.