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

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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).
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Heart At Work: Megan Chesnet

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She’s 24, a pharmacy tech and administering desperately needed COVID-19 testing in her Phoenix, Arizona pharmacy.

It’s 8:30 AM and already a humid 92 degrees in Phoenix, Arizona where pharmacy technician Megan Chesnet is at the window ready to greet the first of nearly 60 patients who will drive through for COVID-19 testing. 

“We test approximately one patient every 10 minutes. We’re booked solid.” Megan explains.

In the past weeks, Arizona has been named one of the nation’s Coronavirus hotspots seeing a huge surge in cases just weeks after relaxing safety measures. Schools will now be delayed. Gyms, movie theaters and water parks once open, have been shuttered. Hospital beds are filling, in some areas to capacity. The testing CVS Health and Megan provides is desperately needed.

“When COVID-19 began in March, a lot of people here didn’t take it seriously, they didn’t wear masks and didn’t social distance. Now, they’re scared,” says Megan. “We’re helping people of all ages, even entire families.”
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Already a six-year veteran at CVS, at 24, Megan is remarkable. She easily connects with and comforts patients. And although she can’t hold their hands, she patiently walks them through the testing steps: How to apply the nasal swab, keep it in one nostril for 15 seconds, move it to the next nostril for another 15 seconds, then carefully seal it in a vile and deposit it in a container. “Nothing ever comes back into the pharmacy. I don’t touch anything. I honestly feel safer here than going to the grocery store,” she says.

Most of Megan’s patients are anxious, their symptoms make them feel uncomfortable. They’re worried about next steps and if needed whether hospital beds will be available. “I try to make the process stress free. I tell them we’re in this together,” offers Megan. “I really do care for our patients and I believe they know that care is genuine.”

Megan Chesnet coaches a patient, from behind the window at a CVS Pharmacy drive-thru location, about how to administer a COVID-19 nasal swab test.
Megan tests approximately one patient every 10 minutes.

“Megan was the first in her pharmacy to learn how to administer coronavirus testing and she’s taken the lead on training dozens of pharmacists and pharmacy techs in the region,” explains Region Director Tobin Zdarko. When she graduates from Arizona State University, she hopes to be a CVS Pharmacist.

“Being able to provide testing makes me feel part of something bigger than my work as a pharmacy tech,” shares Megan. “It’s been so positive for me to be involved in my community, to know I’m helping.”

Thank you, Megan, for putting others at ease with your big Heart At Work.

Meagan Chesnet, a CVS Pharmacy Technician, in her Phoenix, Arizona store.
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Heart At Work: Jun Park

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Our pharmacists bring their hearts to work every day.

They provide sound information that helps their patients stay on their medications, and create beautiful human connections when they’re needed most. You’ll see what we mean when you watch the story of one high school student, Casey, and his pharmacist, Jun Park.

“Casey was born with Cerebral Palsy. Jun is our pharmacist and we love him dearly. He’s been with us all 17 years,” says Beth Roher, Casey’s mom.

Beth Roher and Jun Park talking in the consultation area inside of a CVS Pharmacy.
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Heart At Work: Jackie DeJesus

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Jackie DeJesus, wearing a headset and working on a laptop computer in her home office.

Undaunted by COVID-19, Jackie used the reach of CVS to get our member the medication he needed. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, LorenName changed for privacy purposes. thought he would be OK if he just followed the CDC guidelines and stayed home. Even though Loren never contracted COVID-19, his health was eventually impacted by the pandemic. Luckily, his case manager, Jackie, came to his rescue and quickly worked across CVS Health to provide a solution.

Loren has a history of psoriatic arthritis, among other health concerns, and was taking hydroxychloroquine to control his painful symptoms. He had been using his local pharmacy to fill his medications. But after hydroxychloroquine was named as a potential treatment for COVID-19, his pharmacy told him that they had exhausted their supply and couldn’t get any more. Not knowing what else to do, Loren began rationing his medication and eventually ran out too.

Jackie DeJesus, a registered nurse case manager on the Clinical Services Care Management team reached out to Loren because she saw he was prescribed hydroxychloroquine and heard there were shortages. “He was so happy to hear from us. He was very worried that his arthritis and skin conditions would quickly worsen and, because of the pandemic, didn’t feel like he had any choices,” said Jackie. “Loren didn’t feel safe shopping around for his medication since he was following quarantine protocols, and even if he located the medication at another pharmacy, he was concerned about the safety of leaving his community.”

Jackie explained to Loren that we had dedicated CVS pharmacists who can help. She worked with Caremark customer service to not only locate the medication, but also set up a 90-day mail order delivery right to his home.

Within 48 hours, Loren started taking his prescribed dosage and was better able to control his painful symptoms. He’s now aware of the Caremark mail order option and is excited to use it for all his medications during the pandemic and beyond. He is also thrilled to have Jackie as his personal contact.

Karen Lynch said, “The Aetna case managers provide a tremendous opportunity to connect with our members and identify solutions even when they don’t know those options exist. In this case, we not only helped a member overcome physical pain, we worked across CVS Health to simplify his access to care.”

Thank you, Jackie, for bringing your heart to work to help your patients when they need it most.

Jackie DeJesus, wearing a headset and working on a laptop computer in her home office.
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CVS Health announces 500 new Chandler jobs on Price Corridor

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit Aetna One Advantage careers to learn more.

About CVS Health

CVS Health employees are united around a common goal of becoming the most consumer-centric health company in the world. We're evolving based on changing consumer needs and meeting people where they are, whether that's in the community at one of our nearly 10,000 local touchpoints, in the home, or in the palm of their hand. Our newest offerings – from HealthHUB® locations that are redefining what a pharmacy can be, to innovative programs that help manage chronic conditions – are designed to create a higher-quality, simpler and more affordable experience. Learn more about how we're transforming health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

About the City of Chandler

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

Media contacts

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

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

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Heart At Work: Paul Cubita

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Pharmacist Paul Cubita’s patients love and trust him not only for his expertise but because they know he genuinely cares.

Paul Cubita always brings his medical expertise as a pharmacist to his job, but he also radiates a special calm and kindness that endears him to his Savannah, Georgia patients. When they are anxious, he offers solutions. They trust him and say they are beyond grateful he’s looking after them during these challenging times.

Thank you, Paul, for bringing your heart to work to help people on their path to better health.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A practitioner consults a female adult patient with a child via video call during a telemedicine visit.
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Heart At Work: Steve Normandy

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Store Manager Steve Normandy is bent over stocking toothpaste on a shelf. As always, his store in Tewksbury, Massachusetts looks orderly and welcoming, but there are notable differences from a few short months ago. Front Store and Pharmacy teams wear gloves and masks, plexiglass stands as a protective barrier at counters and red floor arrows direct customers and patients along a one-way path.

“We’re doing everything we can to keep people safe, including ourselves,” says Steve, his gray hair and easy smile apparent. “We’re making things as normal as possible.”

Steve has been with the company 31 years. When asked if he knows he’s called the “grandfather” of store managers, he responds with a large baritone laugh. “I guess you could say I’ve worked for CVS Health longer than many managers have been on the planet.” Humor is one of Steve’s hallmark traits.

As any good grandfather would do, Steve has been a reassuring presence since the Coronavirus turned lives upside down. Protecting his staff, he encourages them to take vacation time, recharge their batteries even drink more fluids.

“I’ve implemented shorter shifts to minimize their exposure. I also ask them to stay off social media and get their news from reliable sources – there’s so much misinformation,” he says. “Like our customers, they have fears about this pandemic.”

Steve says these days he’s less task-oriented and more empathetic. “All of us need to be,” he suggests. That empathy for his team carries over to his customers. “We’re walking in their shoes and they’re counting on us.”

Steve Normandy and Dr. Ed Colozzi talk in a store aisle of CVS Pharmacy.
Steve Normandy catches up with customer Dr. Ed Colozzi. “There’s a sense of authentic care because of Steve. I feel welcome and safe,” says Ed.

“What’s really impressive is the consistency of authentic care in everyone here, no matter their age or whether they work in the store or pharmacy,” offers Dr. Ed Colozzi, a regular customer. “That really goes a long way to make you feel welcome and safe despite Coronavirus. I think it has a lot to do with the way Steve manages. He really leads from the heart and it translates to his staff.”

“There’s a pandemic going on and plenty of unease but when I walk into Steve’s store people are smiling and happy,” notes District Leader Jay Fregeau. “It’s amazing to see but it’s just a regular day for Steve. He’s going to be pretty embarrassed to have this attention.”

Thank you Steve, for bringing your heart to work as you look after your team and your customers with a grandfather’s touch.

Steve Normandy standing in an aisle of the CVS Pharmacy in which he works.
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Coram nurses rise to the challenge during COVID-19 pandemic

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A global pandemic cannot stop Coram nurses from doing what they do best: providing critical patient care in the home or at one of our ambulatory infusion suites, helping patients avoid and prevent hospital stays, giving them the autonomy to administer their own medications, and providing emotional support. Infusion nurses not only provide important nursing care, they support, educate and reassure patients and caregivers who may be scared, anxious, and overwhelmed — something increasingly common during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This National Nurses Month, we're proud to feature a few of our over 1,000 Coram nurses here.

Jeannie Collazo-Torres

Jeanette (Jeannie) Collazo-Torres

Jeanette (Jeannie) Collazo-Torres understands what it takes to support patients with complex conditions requiring IV-therapy — a former Coram nurse, she now works for CVS Specialty focusing on pulmonary arterial hypertension, and is also supporting the Coram team during the COVID-19 pandemic. Though she is familiar with administering and educating patients about complex therapies (called ‘teaches’), Jeannie notes that new safety guidelines, personal protective equipment (PPE), and social distancing have made patient care more complicated. "We wear the full equipment: N95 masks, gowns, gloves, and goggles," Jeannie explains. "We talk with the patients, but we can't be close to them and it can be harder to provide emotional support."

Jeannie recently met with a COVID-19 patient who had been discharged from the hospital. She could see that both the patient and family members were scared. "It can be intense and scary for patients and families, but I try to come in and set everyone's minds at ease. As a nurse I have to sense what is needed." Sometimes that's a sense of humor, she explains, and sometimes it's someone to talk to or pray with.

Martha Silverspring

Martha Silverspring

A nurse for over 35 years, Martha Silverspring has been working in IV home care since 1992. She enjoys home care nursing because every day is different, and she loves people and the relationships she has built over the years. "In IV home care nursing, you work toward a common goal, and nothing breaks down barriers like working together towards a common goal."

Her home visits may look a little different during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Martha credits Coram and CVS Health for helping her continue doing her job while staying safe. "I keep hearing about shortages of PPE elsewhere, but we've had access to what we needed from the beginning."

Chris Keller

Chris Keller

Nurse manager Chris Keller loves the challenge he describes as "air traffic control" — coordinating arrival of a delivered medication from the branch to the patient, ensuring a nurse trained in administering the specific medication can be at the patient's home after delivery, etc. "It's a lot of logistics and juggling, but I have a fantastic team of support that helps get it all done."

Chris and his team were recently put to the test when a cruise ship with several COVID-19 patients onboard arrived in his hometown of San Diego. Coram was asked to help hospital patients who needed to be discharged quickly to make room for the quarantined passengers, and Chris and his team jumped right in. "Everyone stepped up. I'm fortunate to oversee an excellent team of nurses who said 'let's do it.' We got PPE equipment delivered to our branch, packaged it up, mailed to our nurses’ homes by the next day."

Jeannie, Martha and Chris are just a few of the dedicated Coram nurses providing exceptional care and support during this unprecedented time. We thank all of our Coram nurses for their courage and commitment to helping patients get and stay well.

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The Year of the Nurse — and COVID-19

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When the World Health Organization selected 2020 as Year of the Nurse, they didn’t know nurses would be on the frontlines of a global pandemic.

But like health care professionals around the world, CVS Health and Aetna nurses are working through the challenges of COVID-19, redefining the way health care is delivered and putting people on a path to better health.

“It's really a true opportunity to show our commitment, our effort and our skill in order to help other people.” — Todd Clair, RN, MSN
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“This is when we, as nurses, are needed the most,” says Todd Clair, a nurse and Care Manager for Aetna One® Advocate. “And it's really a true opportunity to show our commitment, our effort and our skill in order to help other people.”

Watch the video to see how our nurse practitioners, registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses and licensed practical nurses are showing that commitment every day.

A nurse helps a patient with improving his mobility.
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