Addressing systemic racism and inequality

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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

Supplier diversity

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. 

Workforce initiatives

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.

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CVS Health commits nearly $600 million to address racial inequality

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced it will invest nearly $600 million over five years to advance employee, community and public policy initiatives that address inequality faced by Black people and other disenfranchised communities. The investment follows a commitment from President and CEO Larry Merlo to evaluate how the company operates and how it can use its influence to be a force for good in communities across the country.

"Our nearly 300,000 employees are a microcosm of America, and a reflection of the diversity that is foundational to who we are as a country," said Merlo. "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."

CVS Health's investment will focus on improving the employee experience, supporting communities the company serves, and influencing public policy. Collectively the company will invest nearly $600 million in the following areas to build on its longstanding commitment to diversity:

  • Mentoring, sponsorship, development and advancement of diverse employees;

  • Company-wide training and corporate culture programs, with a focus on promoting inclusion;

  • Workforce initiatives, including building on the company's highly successful partnerships to provide employment services and training to underserved communities;

  • Social determinants of health, with a particular emphasis on increasing access to affordable housing, which is inextricably linked to health;

  • Access to health care, including expanding Project Health and other investments that address health disparities; and

  • Partnerships with civil rights and social justice organizations to support shared goals.

CVS Health 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.

"The private sector must take action to get to the heart of institutional racism," Merlo continued. "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."

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.

Media contact

Erin Britt
erin.britt@cvshealth.com

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

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

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Get the right care for you – even during a pandemic

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By Dr. Garth Graham, MD, MPH, Vice President, Community Health & Impact, CVS Health, and Oliver T. Brooks, MD, President, National Medical Association

This story was also featured in U.S.News & World Report.

We have all seen the devastating impact that COVID-19 has had in communities across the country. And as we’ve watched the case numbers and death toll rise, we’ve seen an unsurprising trend: The virus began to level a disproportionate blow to minority and underserved populations.

This trend has continued, with Black and Hispanic communities across the United States showing more significant effects from COVID-19 compared with other demographic groups, whether through greater financial impacts, higher rates of infection or higher rates of death. When age is taken into account, the death rate for Black Americans is 3.6 times that of whites, and Hispanics' is 2.5 times higher, according to recent research from the Brookings Institution

While elected leaders, public health officials and the business community have worked together to reach into communities with expanded testing and other resources, we know we’re treating a symptom of a larger issue. One in 2 Americans have a chronic disease, and it is well-documented that members of underserved communities face higher rates of conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that young Black Americans are living with diseases more common at older ages, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke. Hispanic and Latino Americans have a 50% chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

We are working to address these racial and ethnic disparities in treatment and care that public health experts have known about for years, and that the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare. Today, that mission is more critical than ever before as both of these crises converge to create another negative consequence of the pandemic: Many people with chronic conditions are delaying care due to fear of contracting COVID-19 in a health care setting. 

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, nearly half of Americans said either they or someone in their household has skipped or delayed needed medical care because of the coronavirus. Alarmingly, a significant share of those who postponed care reported that they or their family member's condition worsened as a result.  According to a New York Times editorial by leaders of the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic, cancer diagnoses are down by 45 percent, and reports of heart attack and stroke are down by 38 and 30 percent, respectively – all indicating that individuals are not seeking care for acute emergencies or getting regular screenings.

While much is still unknown about COVID-19, the impacts of these devastating conditions are well-known, and treatment and preventive care protocols are well-established. It is absolutely critical for those suffering or at risk to continue regular doctor visits and seek treatment in the event of a medical emergency such as a stroke or heart attack. Aetna, a CVS Health company, is using data analytics to identify members with chronic conditions who may be at higher risk for COVID-19 and providing support to not only keep them from contracting the disease, but also to make sure they are continuing to receive the care they need for their existing health issues. 

Health care professionals across the country understand this issue and are making themselves more readily available for health issues not related to COVID-19, while at the same time creating protocols to keep their patients safe. Telehealth has experienced a huge surge in adoption over the past few months, allowing patients and providers to connect virtually without risk of exposure to the virus. In fact, the utilization of telemedicine for virtual visits through CVS Health MinuteClinic is up by nearly 600% compared with the first quarter of 2019. 

Yet even though the ability to see patients virtually can be a huge advantage in helping limit the spread of COVID-19, there are certain health issues that benefit from being addressed in a person-to-person setting. Making sure that people know it is safe to receive care in a clinical setting if it is needed is absolutely essential to maintaining the overall health of the population, particularly for individuals with chronic diseases.

While it is an uncertain time for our nation’s health, and we’re only beginning to see the ripple effects of gaps in treatment for chronic diseases, our aim is always to care for the patients we serve, especially the most vulnerable. That’s why we’re trying to help educate all Americans about the importance of maintaining treatment for chronic disease, dispel fears preventing people from going to the hospital or doctor’s office, and provide key resources and tools for patients and health care providers alike. The National Medical Association and other community-focused organizations can serve as trusted resources and deliver this message to underserved populations.

We all have a role to play in combating the health inequities that have plagued our underserved communities for many years. The impacts of COVID-19 have placed a bright light on that mission over the last few months and have made that work even more important.

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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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Developing Bilingual Pharmacists to Break Down Barriers

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A Hispanic pharmacist fills a prescription.

Ashley Mendez’s family fled Cuba in the wake of Fidel Castro’s rise to power and settled in Miami, rebuilding their life from scratch — with little money, few possessions and no ability to speak English.

Watching her family, Ashley understood from a young age how difficult even the simplest tasks could be when you didn’t speak the same language as everyone else. That was particularly true for health care: Ashley and her family believe her grandmother’s death may have been caused in part by miscommunication over the painkiller she was taking for a pinched nerve.

So when it came time to choose a career, Ashley knew exactly what she wanted to do — and where she wanted to do it. She wanted to be a pharmacist and she wanted to work somewhere she could help people who didn’t speak English.

It was the way she could honor her grandmother.

“She was one of the most influential people in my life,” says Ashley. “If we had known more about what was going on, we could have helped her.”

There are many different barriers that prevent people from getting the health care they need: They may live in an area without the right providers, they may lack the transportation to travel to the right facility, they may not have enough money to afford the right treatment.

But one critical barrier that frequently gets overlooked is the language barrier.

According to the U.S. Census Department, the number of residents who speak Spanish at home has skyrocketed 130 percent since 1990, up to about 40 million. That increase has created an overwhelming demand for bilingual pharmacists — but the supply has not kept pace. While Hispanics comprise 18 percent of the nation’s population, they account for less than 5 percent of the pharmacist workforce.

Ashley, 27, is part of CVS Health’s effort to close the gap. She spent the summer of 2017 in an immersive internship program that seeks to help develop bilingual pharmacists. Interns spend 10 weeks shadowing pharmacists who are fluent in Spanish and participating in the care of Spanish-speaking patients. They learn medical terminology, study diseases prevalent in the Hispanic community, and become familiar with the over-the-counter products most popular among Hispanic customers.

The program is an illustration of the company’s belief that you can’t build healthy communities unless you have a workforce that reflects those communities.

“People are looking for a pharmacist they feel comfortable talking to,” says Alex Acuna, 26, another intern in the program, who attended the University of Texas at Austin.

Alex grew up in an El Paso neighborhood that was 80 percent Latino, and in a household where his mother regularly spoke Spanish. But although he could speak a fair amount of Spanish himself, communicating technical details to his Spanish-speaking customers was difficult. Nuances were being lost in translation. In normal conversation, those nuances could be insignificant. When talking about treatments and medication, they could be critical.

Alex knew he had to learn “pharmacy Spanish,” as he described it.

“When was first starting, my Spanish was a little broken,” he says.  “Saying something a certain way could mean something different to a patient.”

The internship program is one of several efforts from CVS Health to address the language gap. Last year, CVS Health gave the Roseman University College of Pharmacy $25,000 to fund Hispanic recruitment and outreach initiatives and establish a pipeline of Spanish-speaking students.

Alex, who earned his license in May, is working now back in his hometown of El Paso. He says he’s grateful to be able to give back to the community that raised him.

Ashley, who attended Florida State University as an undergraduate and studied pharmacy at Mercer University in Atlanta, says she’d love to go back to Miami, where she grew up and where she served her internship.

But she also knows that in Florida, she’ll be one among many Spanish speakers — and that she might do more for the Latino community by staying where she is now.

“There’s a need for Spanish speakers in Atlanta,” she says. “You can tell that the language barrier is a big issue.”

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.

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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.

To learn more about the ways we’re working to protect our planet, read our 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Report.

To stay up-to-date on the latest CVS Health Social Responsibility news and content, sign up for email news alerts.

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CVS Health Among Top Companies for Disability Inclusion

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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.
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New Workforce Innovation and Talent Center opens in Cleveland

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A group of people cut the ribbon at the Workforce Innovation and Talent Center in Cleveland.
Representatives from the CVS Health Workforce Initiatives team and the Centers for Families and Children cut the ribbon on the new Workforce Innovation and Talent Center in Cleveland.
Photo of a mock pharmacy.
The Workforce Innovation and Talent Center includes a mock pharmacy where students will receive hands-on pharmacy technician training.
Photo of a classroom.
Classroom space in the Workforce Innovation and Talent Center.
Photo of a mock retail store.
The mock retail space is where students will practice skills needed for employment as retail associates.

A new CVS Health training center in Ohio is giving underserved populations in that area increased access to jobs in health care.

The new Workforce Innovation and Talent Center, which opened in Cleveland on June 25, is located in the headquarters of the Centers for Families and Children.

The center, which will host hands-on training programs for individuals looking for meaningful employment as pharmacy technicians and retail associates, includes classroom space, as well as a mock pharmacy and mock store.

“CVS Health is committed to helping underserved populations, including individuals with disabilities, mature workers, youth, veterans and dislocated workers,” said David Casey, Vice President for Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer. “By helping connect individuals with the job skills they need to gain stable employment, we are building healthier and more thriving communities across Ohio and the country.”

The new Workforce Innovation and Talent Center is one of five training centers of its kind across the country and one of 22 workforce programs that CVS Health operates with partners in the state of Ohio.

Our nationwide training centers and other programs administered by our Workforce Initiatives team are integral to our broader effort to attract, train, hire and retain colleagues that are representative of our large and diverse base of customers and patients.

At the new Workforce Innovation and Talent Center, the Center for Families and Children will work with CVS Health to place interested individuals into the appropriate training programs.

Those who enter the program will receive classroom and hands-on training in life and job skills such as training and customer service, stocking shelves and working at the cash register. The center is installed with real equipment and participants will work closely with trained staff to learn about the roles and responsibilities of front store and pharmacy technician positions.

Participants will also have access to support services offered by the Center for Families and Children, including health care and early childhood education, to help them be successful in their new careers.

Individuals who complete the program qualify to apply for a position at CVS Pharmacy.

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