Hemophilia Then and Now: A Look at How Far We’ve Come
May 30, 2018 | Express Scripts
Andy B. is a customer relations specialist working at Accredo, Express Scripts’ specialty pharmacy.
In my role with Accredo, I help our customers with bleeding disorders like hemophilia, overcome any obstacles to care, and connect them to financial and community resources. For those who may be unfamiliar, hemophilia is a genetic condition that keeps blood from clotting properly. People with bleeding disorders can have significant internal bleeding from a simple injury, like bumping a knee or an elbow. A large part of my job involves not only providing information to patients, but also offering them support and understanding. You see, I have a special connection to these patients because I also have hemophilia.
Hemophilia runs in my family, so when my mother was expecting my twin brother and me, she told her doctor, and we were tested as newborns. Our hemophilia was classified between moderate and mild, and we were encouraged to play and have fun. We both played soccer and were typical, active boys. After all, studies showed that hemophilia patients who were more active strengthened the muscles around their joints, which could help decrease the effects of a bleed when one occurs.
Until the late 1960s, life expectancy of people with hemophilia was much shorter than average, because there wasn’t an effective treatment. That changed when clotting factor, a new medication that could control clotting, started being produced. Finally, bleeding could be controlled! This meant that people with hemophilia, like my brother, Steven, and me, had the prospect of living longer lives.
To make a batch of this new clotting factor, manufacturers used the plasma of up to 60,000 donors. While it was an efficient way to make a lot of medicine, the blood and plasma supply wasn’t as safe as it is now, causing around 10,000 people with hemophilia to contract HIV.
During this time, education about AIDS wasn’t as advanced as it is today, causing a negative stigma to be attached to hemophilia. You may remember a boy named Ryan White, who had hemophilia and was diagnosed with AIDS in 1984 following treatment with clotting factor. Since little was known about AIDS at the time, Ryan gained national attention as he fought a lengthy court case to regain admittance to his school, where officials, teachers, parents and students believed he could transmit HIV by casual contact. Sadly, Ryan died just one month before his high school graduation. This event had a personal significance for me as my brother passed away from side effects of HIV when we were both 19 years old.
Over the years as medicine and research advanced, so did treatments for hemophilia. Newer advancements led to the creation of new treatments that required fewer weekly infusions. Throughout my life and during my 26 years working with hemophilia patients at Accredo, I’ve been able to experience firsthand just how far we’ve come with treatment, and the knowledge and acceptance of hemophilia and HIV.
Successful management of bleeding disorders includes independent administration of the intravenous clotting factor. This can be a huge obstacle for a parent or a young person to overcome! Luckily, bleeding disorder summer camps operate in nearly every state, and help promote this crucial skill. I support the community by volunteering at several of the summer camps, where the amazing medical and support staff encourage young people to explore what it means to be medically and physically independent.
As the industry recognized World Hemophilia Day on April 17, I’m proud of the progress we’ve made. And, I know my brother would be, too.
Looking for a career where you can make a positive difference in patient lives? View a full listing of our open jobs on our career site.« Coding Hobby Turned Career Change|
Coding Hobby Turned Career Change
May 15, 2018 | Express Scripts
Bobby Adashev is an associate programmer analyst working to create technology that helps members save money on their prescriptions.
Bobby’s path to working in technology has been anything but traditional. As a journalism and economics major, he began working in film and television production after graduating from college. The next 5 years of his career were spent editing and producing videos at CNBC, NBCUniversal, and NBC News.
“I’ve always had an affinity for tech and computers, but I was a bit intimidated by programming until about a year after graduating college,” Bobby said. “That’s when I decided to give Codeacademy a try.” For those that may be unfamiliar, Codeacademy is an online platform that offers free coding classes in 12 different programming languages. Hours of tutorials, tinkering, and testing later, Bobby turned his coding hobby into a career change.
When Bobby heard about a technology opening at Express Scripts, he decided to look into the company. “What really drew me to Express Scripts was the ability for me to take my tech obsession to the next level. It’s one thing to code and work on your own, but it’s an entirely better experience to have people around that can teach and guide you.”
Currently, Bobby works on a team tasked with developing software that decides whether medications can be switched from one drug to another, more cost effective drug when appropriate. Improvements Bobby and his team make not only save consumers money on their medications, but make the drug determination process much quicker.
While Bobby has only been in his role for a little over a year, the amount he’s learned is unmatched. “The one reason I really love working at Express Scripts, is the open and supportive culture,” said Bobby. “Senior developers and managers are always open to answer questions and teach me about the business side of the organization, not just the technology side.”
Bobby’s advice for anyone thinking about making a switch to the technology field is to choose a structured online program and stick with it. “Also, building a portfolio is extremely important,” said Bobby. “Portfolios are a way to show and not just tell other people what you can do.”
Thinking about turning your technology hobby into a career? Check out our career site for a full list of our open positions.« I’m Only One Call Away…I’ll Be There to Save your Day| Hemophilia Then and Now: A Look at How Far We’ve Come »
I’m Only One Call Away…I’ll Be There to Save your Day
February 28, 2018 | Express Scripts
Teresa H. is a patient care advocate working to research and resolve problems for both internal and external customers surrounding their benefits and medications.
When people ask me what I do for a living, they’re usually confused when I say I’m a Patient Care Advocate (PCA). And I get it; PCA is a pretty ambiguous title. But, let me try to explain it to you.
Finding My Fit
After starting with Express Scripts back in 2011, I spent the first five and a half years working in the Memphis call center assisting members with questions about their medications and benefits. I learned a lot during that time, and in April 2016, had the opportunity to take on more of a research role supporting the call center. I would best describe this position as a liaison for the company and my peers. When a member request is flagged as unresolved, I review the call, confirm where the breakdown took place, and then research how we can resolve the situation. I’m a very analytical person and I find the process fascinating.
In my experience, most breakdowns occur because of a misunderstanding. Healthcare is an incredibly complex industry, which makes it difficult to navigate and understand. That’s why I believe communication is the key to getting all parties on the same page. I make it my mission to look at every unresolved member situation as if it’s personally happening to me so I can best explain to patients how we can resolve their problem.
Keeping My Skills Sharp
Though I’m no longer on the phones on a daily basis, I occasionally take calls when I have the opportunity, to keep my skills sharp. I’m always available to jump on a call with one of my peers when they have a question or need help fulfilling a customer request. To stay up-to-date on healthcare trends, I read everything I see about the industry and Medicare. At my location, I sit with the call center team so I stay educated on difference processes. And, above all else, I continually ask questions.
I’m very proud of the eight years I’ve spent at Express Scripts. I initially looked into joining the company because my younger sister worked here, and I’ve continued to stay because I believe healthcare is an industry that is forever. (In fact, my sister and I have both stayed together – she’s nearing her eleventh year at Express Scripts.) Leaders demonstrate every day that we are employees and not just numbers without a voice. My role allows me the flexibility to have nights and weekends off to be home with my family, which is different from the previous customer service roles I’ve held. I strive every day to do my best and help others realize their potential. I believe in making the world a better place and I believe my role allows me to do just that.
Interested in a role where you can make a difference? Visit our career site for a full list of our open positions.« I Am Alive Thanks to Thrive| Coding Hobby Turned Career Change »
I Am Alive Thanks to Thrive
February 16, 2018 | Express Scripts
Laurie B. is a staff pharmacist working to provide excellent care for specialty patients.
It was a fall day in September 2016 and I had finally gotten around to scheduling a preventive wellness visit with my primary care physician. Truth be told, I was doing it because of Express Scripts’ well-being program, Thrive. If I completed the visit before the end of September, I would receive $225 toward my Health Savings Account.
At the appointment, my doctor handed me a form to schedule a mammogram. I had put off getting this screening in the past, but something inside me told me it was probably time I did it.
Little did I know that this defining moment would ultimately be credited toward saving my life.
The results of the mammogram were devastating. I found out there was an area of concern that was highly suggestive of malignancy and I needed to undergo a lumpectomy for further diagnosis. Ultimately, the pathologist confirmed that it was indeed malignant and triple negative, an aggressive form of breast cancer.
No one prepares you for this kind of result. After processing the news, I quickly turned to action. I underwent a second lumpectomy and had a port implanted so I could complete nearly five months of chemotherapy. After that, I had 33 rounds of radiation, which I’m happy to report are now finished. While we continue to monitor my situation carefully, I am currently cancer free.
Last month, I enrolled in a clinical trial for a drug designed to help teach my immune system to recognize cancer cells so that if this aggressive form of breast cancer returns, my immune system will take charge and kill the mutated cells before they have a chance to grow.
I continue to stay positive and focus on my treatment and recovery. I feel so blessed that I work for a company that cares about their employees’ health and well-being. If I had not participated in the Thrive program and incentives it offers, I would not have caught this silent killer at such an early stage.
My advice to you is to look up the health and well-being benefits offered at your own company and begin taking advantage of them.
And, if you’re currently in the job search process, make health and well-being benefits an important search criteria. Thanks to well-being programs, like Thrive, many preventive screenings are covered at no out-of-pocket cost to you, and they are designed to detect underlying concerns you might not have otherwise have noticed. This allows you to act earlier and more effectively. In addition, completing well-being activities through programs like Thrive can help you earn points, getting you closer to earning rewards like $500 in your Health Reimbursement Account of or Health Savings Account.
I celebrated my 50th birthday this year. It was a special celebration for me — not only because it gave me closure to a grueling year, but it also reminded me that with my health on track, I have so many things to look forward to. I truly don’t take one day for granted because every day is a chance to thrive!
Interested in a career with Express Scripts? Check out our career site for a full list of open positions.« Spotlight on Site: An Update on Austin 365(ish) Days Later| I’m Only One Call Away…I’ll Be There to Save your Day »
Spotlight on Site: An Update on Austin 365(ish) Days Later
January 31, 2018 | Express Scripts
Since opening our Austin office in October 2016 (more information on that, here), the site has flourished – adding more than 60 new team members working in User Experience, Web Development and more. To get an update on what’s going on in Austin, we sat down with site leader and Director of UX and Web Development Strategy, Igor Krasnykh, who shared his thoughts on the office evolution and what’s on the horizon at the Austin site.
Here’s what Igor had to say:
How has office culture evolved since its opening?
It’s no secret that as an office or a company continues to grow, the ability to maintain an amazing culture becomes more and more challenging. The entire team has embraced this challenge. We not only focus on working hard and having fun every day, but also organizing ways to give back to our community. We believe doing good deeds for others and the community is a good way to strengthen our culture and continue to build the morale. As an example, our office has participated in numerous Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in the community and volunteered at local homeless shelters.
What “big wins”/projects has your office had a critical role in completing?
One of our biggest wins was the launch of InsideRx, a new, partially owned subsidiary of Express Scripts, that leverages our unique position in the market to deliver pharmacy savings for patients in need. It was a true cross-functional effort; starting from the claims process and verification of eligibility, to setting up and building various business portals, conducting usability studies, adopting the new design language for the brand, and building a new marketing website. Not all participating teams were based at the Austin office location, but we conquered it, as a team.
When we first spoke, you talked about how the office has a ping pong table and the ability to play video games when employees need to reset their minds. Has there been any recent “perks” added to the office?
So far, table tennis and the video game consoles have been a big hit. We’ve also been able to add to the “fun factor” by adding giant JINGA, a foosball table, nerf guns, and some light sabers for our Star Wars room.
Our goal for adding these “perks” is to create an environment where people don’t just clock in, clock out and go home. Instead, we want to create an environment for employees to feel comfortable and challenged to not only do great work, but also be able to recharge when they need a break.
What is your vision for the office in years to come?
Austin continues to grow at a rapid pace and the job market follows that growth. First and foremost, we are looking forward to building a stronger presence at this location in the years to come. Second, we continue to get feedback from candidates who all say our working environment is very rare for the corporate world. I foresee us maintaining same culture as our numbers continue to grow.
Does the office host any events for candidates to engage with or get to know the team?
Yes, we’ve hosted a few recruiting events this year. We participated in a job fair at the University of Texas and we had a booth at the SXSW conference in Austin. We also visited the Turing School of Software and Design, a local academy, and co-hosted an event to let the general public try their hand at coding for a day.
Currently, we are piloting an employee job shadowing program. This allows candidates to come to the office, spend a day with our team, and experience our culture and working environment before joining the organization.
What are your hiring goals for the next few years?
We have over twenty positions available today, ranging from leadership positions to roles within UX research. We anticipate more openings later in the year and ongoing, as we continue to build a stronger presence in Austin. So, if you just stumbled upon this article, or have been debating whether or not to apply, come visit us. We would love to talk to you and show you firsthand what it would be like to working as part of a great team with a winning culture.
Interested in learning more about the Austin office? Check out a list of open positions on our career site!« Going the Extra Mile for Troops Far From Home| I Am Alive Thanks to Thrive »