Ten years ago, Jennie and Eric Maike’s three-month-old son Christian had open heart surgery. They were discharged from the hospital with six prescriptions and were at a loss for how to give Christian, who has Down Syndrome, the correct dosages.
Jennie explains, “I realized the dosages were in milligrams, not milliliters. Exhausted and scared, I went to our CVS Pharmacy for help. Pharmacist Motria Lusk converted all of the dosages for me. I can’t even begin to tell you the emotional state I was in. Motria was my saving grace that day.”
With Christian’s health issues, there are many times Jennie’s been nervous about his medications or she needs help determining insurance coverage. She is so grateful for Motria and her team in Sylvan Lake, Michigan, that she has twice sent emails of appreciation to CVS.
In response, Motria says, “Jennie is my hero. She is so calm. She never complains and has tremendous courage. She puts a smile on my face.”
A few years ago, Jennie was diagnosed with breast cancer. “Again, I go to my pharmacy with a handful of prescriptions after my first oncology appointment. I remember handing them to Motria, she read them, and walked out from the counter to hug me. I tear up thinking of her kindness,” Jennie recalls.
Motria noticed that the combination of new medications would create an issue with one of Jennie’s current prescriptions. Jennie admits she had forgotten to tell the oncologist about this medication. Jennie adds, “If Motria hadn’t noticed, it could have caused some nasty complications. I know this is the job of a pharmacist, but the way Motria makes her customers feel is just incredible.”
Motria insists this is how she, Pharmacy Manager Helene Little and all the pharmacists and pharmacy techs at her store treat every patient.
Helene explains, “Motria is very nurturing toward our patients and our techs. We always explain to the techs why people may act a certain way and why we do certain things in our jobs. We are a team and a family.”
“When our patients are lost, it is our job to help them find their way to better health,” Motria concludes.
People in underserved communities often have trouble getting the job skills they need to find stable employment. That’s why CVS Health launched the Workforce Innovation and Talent Center in Cleveland. The Center provides hands-on training and other resources – like transportation, childcare and housing – to help people find meaningful employment in the health care industry. By helping keep people financially healthy, CVS Health is also helping to build healthier communities across the country.
Workforce Innovation Center’s support takes single mom from homeless to hopeful
In this episode’s podcast, we meet Carrie Robinson, who is a 28-year-old single mom living outside of Cleveland, Ohio. She’s a pharmacy technician — but not too long ago, she and her five kids found themselves homeless. She shared her story about how CVS Health’s Workforce Innovation and Talent Center changed her life. The centers provide people in under served communities with the training, resources and support network they need to be successful. Like Carrie.
CVS Health is a national leader in building partnerships that prepare youth for the world of work, school, and life success. At the core of this work is myCVS Journey Pathways to Health Care Careers, a nationally recognized program that introduces students of all ages to career opportunities in:
Medical and Nursing
IT, Analytics, and Engineering
This STEM-enriched program is designed to engage young people (aged 5 to 24) in age-appropriate awareness, exploration, and preparation for health care careers. This school-to-career model begins in elementary grades and continues through high school with opportunities to learn about careers with CVS Health in pharmacy, professional management, nursing, and information technology.
Building careers across the country
With more than 320 active youth partnerships across the country, we are able to provide:
On-the-job training and skills building
School-based career days
Work-based learning programs
Exploration of post-secondary educational opportunities
Interview training and resume assistance
School or community-based organization representatives
If you are a school or community-based organization representative interested in CVS Health’s myCVS Journey partnership opportunities for your students, please contact the Workforce Initiatives team to be connected with your local CVS Health representative.
If you are interested in participating in the myCVS Journey program, please contact your school or community-based organization’s representative.
Download the myCVS Journey program brochure for more information.
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
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.”
CVS Health is investing nearly $600 million over five years to advance employee, community and public policy initiatives that address inequality faced by the Black community and other disenfranchised communities. The company will also use its position to advocate for public policy that addresses the root causes of systemic inequalities and barriers, including efforts to address socioeconomic status, education, and access to health care.
“While we know that CVS Health alone cannot erase the toll that 400 years of institutionalized racism and discrimination has taken on the Black community, we recognize that we have a role to play in living up to the potential the future holds.”
— David Casey, Chief Diversity Officer, CVS Health
CVS Health’s investment will focus on improving the employee experience, supporting communities the company serves and influencing public policy. The company’s nearly $600 million investment will build on its longstanding commitments to foster diversity in its workplace, including the following areas:
Colleagues and corporate culture
These investments will support the company’s commitment to ensuring that colleagues have fair and equitable access to opportunities for advancement and development at all levels, including senior-level positions. CVS Health will be working to ensure its mentoring, sponsorship and employee development programs support the advancement of employees, with a heightened focus on the experience of our Black colleagues. And the company will focus on corporate culture programs and company-wide training that promotes active and purposeful inclusion.
“The private sector must take action to get to the heart of institutional racism. As we learn from the perspectives of our Black colleagues and the diverse communities we serve, we’ll use that input to inform our advocacy agenda going forward.”
— Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Health
Investments in CVS Health’s supplier diversity program will further the company’s focus on sourcing products from Black-owned and other diverse businesses by connecting, engaging, and networking with diverse suppliers, advocacy organizations, and corporate partners. The company will also continue working with national organizations to identify and develop diverse businesses. By working with business units across the company to integrate supplier diversity into procurement activities, CVS Health is able to continue to expand business opportunities for these diverse businesses. And as part of the company’s commitment to the Black community, it will create additional opportunities and development programs for its diverse suppliers. This work will build on the program’s success in creating jobs and increasing economic opportunities for the people and local businesses in the communities CVS Health serves.
Investments to bolster CVS Health’s Workforce Initiatives will build on the company’s highly successful relationships to provide employment services and training to underserved communities. Through these programs, CVS Health works with local, state and federal workforce agencies to provide employment services and training to underserved communities. Through work with schools, universities, community colleges, faith-based and community organizations, these programs have helped thousands of people access meaningful employment opportunities.
“Our more than 300,000 employees are a microcosm of America, and a reflection of the diversity that is foundational to who we are as a country. The strategic agenda we’re laying out today will harness the strength of that diversity and focus on the areas where we can have the greatest impact.”
— Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Health
Addressing health disparities
Health care is local. Addressing health disparities in the community is critical to addressing racial inequality, which is why CVS Health will expand its Project Health initiative and make other investments to increase access to health care. Project Health provides free health screening events at select CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide, focused within communities with large multicultural and uninsured populations. Project Health offers an array of free comprehensive health assessment screenings, including body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, glucose and total cholesterol screenings, which can help detect risk for chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, which disproportionately impact Black people and other communities of color. The screening events also feature further information on weight management, diabetes resources, and smoking cessation programs. Increased investments in Project Health will strengthen CVS Health’s continued commitment to improve access to health care and help prevent cost from being a barrier to important preventive services.
Social determinants of health
Because studies have shown that your zip code can have as much impact on your health as your genetic code, CVS Health will focus on social determinants of health in Black and underserved communities. This work will have a particular emphasis on increasing access to affordable housing, which is inextricably linked to health. Since 1997, CVS Health and Aetna, a CVS Health company, have invested more than $1 billion in affordable housing and community initiatives. In 2019, the company invested $67 million in affordable housing across the country and the company plans to exceed that amount over the next five years to help address housing insecurities and promote community health improvement. Investments in affordable housing, as well as collaborations with community groups in these areas, help provide support to those who need it most.
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — In recognition of the essential role CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) employees are playing as the country faces the COVID-19 pandemic, the company is awarding bonuses to employees who are required to be at CVS facilities to assist patients and customers in this time of unprecedented need. Bonuses will range from $150 to $500 and will be awarded to pharmacists and certain other health care professionals on the frontlines, store associates and managers, and other site-based hourly employees.
"Our colleagues have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to providing essential goods and services at a time when they're needed most," said Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Health. "As they continue to be there for the individuals and families we serve, we're taking extra steps to provide some peace of mind and help them navigate these uncertain times."
CVS Health is also embarking on the most ambitious hiring drive in the company's history, with plans to immediately fill 50,000 full-time, part-time and temporary roles across the country. Roles include store associates, home delivery drivers, distribution center employees and member/customer service professionals. The company will utilize a technology-enabled hiring process that includes virtual job fairs, virtual interviews and virtual job tryouts. Many roles will be filled by existing CVS Health clients who have had to furlough workers, including Hilton and Marriott.
An influx of talent will help manage capacity for existing employees, who will also benefit from the following changes:
CVS Health will launch a new offering to help employees with both child and elder or adult dependent care needs. Working with the Bright Horizons network of national in-home and center-based daycare providers, employees will be able to take advantage of up to 25 fully covered days of backup care. This benefit will begin in early April for both full- and part-time employees.
Full-time CVS Health employees have always had access to paid sick leave. Effective March 22, CVS Health has made 24 hours of paid sick leave available to part-time employees for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. This paid sick leave is in addition to the 14-day paid leave the company is providing for any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 or needs to be quarantined as a result of potential exposure.
Employee safety has been a focus for CVS Health from the start, and the company has been prioritizing distribution of protective gear to the hardest-hit areas.
"The health and wellbeing of our colleagues has always come first. We've been working around the clock to increase availability of supplies and update protocols to ensure our stores are safe for colleagues and customers alike," Merlo stated.
In addition to the measures announced today, CVS Health employees have several resources available to help address financial hardships in times of crisis. This includes access to the Employee Relief Fund, which provides short-term, immediate financial relief in the form of tax-exempt grants.
More information on steps CVS Health has already taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic including waiving charges for home delivery of prescription medications and making diagnostic testing and Aetna-covered telemedicine visits available with no co-pay is available at the company's frequently updated COVID-19 resource center.
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 http://www.cvshealth.com.
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.
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.
Support for our country’s veterans and members of the military is central to the work we do at CVS Health, whether it’s through our Workforce programs or our efforts to connect this population with easily accessible, high-quality care.
Since 2016, through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), CVS Health has provided health care services to more than 4,000 veterans at select MinuteClinic locations.
Now, through the enactment of the VA MISSION Act, we have been able to expand that care to all of our 1,100 MinuteClinic locations nationwide.
“Our participation in the MISSION Act will give deserving veterans across the country greater access to quality health care when and where they need it while ensuring they are still linked into the Veterans Health Administration,” said Sharon Vitti, President of MinuteClinic. “We’re proud to be able to support the VA on such a meaningful and impactful program.”
Care for veterans through the MISSION Act
Under the MISSION Act, veterans can now access urgent care and walk-in medical services under their VA benefits without pre-authorization. Veterans who meet certain eligibility criteria can receive care at any MinuteClinic location, including treatment for minor illnesses, minor injuries and skin conditions. Following the visit, MinuteClinic is able to make the full record of medical services provided available to the VA with the patient’s consent.
The expansion builds upon our previous pilot programs with the VA, which gave veterans the option to receive care at MinuteClinic locations in Corpus Christi, Texas; Palo Alto and Santa Clarita, California; and Phoenix, Arizona.
Our history of support for veterans
Our support of the MISSION Act is one example of the many ways we stand with veterans, active military and their families.
We have several Workforce Initiatives programs dedicated to recruiting, hiring, training and retaining veterans to build a pipeline of workforce talent. Since 2015, CVS Health has hired almost 15,000 people with military experience and more than 5,000 military spouses.
In addition, we provide charitable support to military and veteran-focused organizations, including the National Guard, Operation Reinvent and the USO. And colleagues can connect through the CVS Health Colleague Resource Group BRAVE, which is comprised of nearly 1,400 members with a passion to serve those who have served our country.
We were recently recognized for our efforts to support veterans and military members.
In May, Military Times named CVS Health to its 2019 list of best companies for veterans seeking a civilian job.
And four CVS Health managers were recently honored with 2019 Patriot Awards from the Rhode Island Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (RI ESGR) for their support of three colleagues serving in the National Guard and Reserve.
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.