Advancing Diversity in the Workplace: 3 Takeaways with Carlton A.

November 29, 2018 | Express Scripts

Carlton Adams is the Vice President of Pharma Revenue and Invoicing at Express Scripts. Involved with the community through several nonprofits, he is a fitness enthusiast, a proud father and husband, and has recently rekindled his “love affair” with the bass guitar after a long hiatus.

My career has led me to some incredible opportunities at some of the best brands in the country: Caterpillar, Peabody Energy, MasterCard, and now Express Scripts.

Here, I manage all aspects of our pharma invoicing program which includes strategic planning, operations, and auditing. As a skilled leader, I work closely with associates to improve engagement and optimize performance.

But no matter which company I’m at, one important item remains at the top of my list, near and dear to my heart: Equality in the workplace.

What is your opinion of Express Scripts’ focus on Diversity & Inclusion (D&I)?

The culture at Express Scripts is fast-paced, results-oriented, collaborative and collegial. Given that mindset, we are more than fortunate to have a D&I team that I’m continually impressed with. Their articulate commitment to building an inclusive culture values people and their authenticity. This is a destination, of course, and there are many signposts of success already. One great example is our Employee Resource Group (ERG) network.

Our culture is so moving: Every time we value someone that brings their authentic self to work, it’s an inspiration, and the D&I team has helped develop that for our company.

What initiatives/events that the D&I team have implemented have you been involved with?

I’ve been honored to be involved with Experience Diversity Summit (a day of enlightening speakers, music, thought leadership and networking), Check Your Blind Spots (a mobile museum whose goal is to identify diversity-related “blind spots”), Cultural Connections Power Brunch (an opportunity to network with one another and celebrate the different cultures that make up our ERGs, recruit at the Consortium Orientation Program, and ERG meetings as well as their Development Dash (an event geared towards career development).

How do you work to advance D&I in your department/team?

Honestly? I feel I need to do more. We’ve been good about getting the best candidates to fill vacancies and we do see diversity in those hires.

I’m also having an all hands meeting to discuss the value of ERGs, as I believe our leaders have the message, but I want to make sure we continue to live the values.

One piece of advice I would give future leaders trying to advance diversity in their company is this: You already know it’s the “right thing to do”, so reject fear and do the right thing! If you don’t have any ideas, use your network and the D&I team. No excuses. It’s 2018. I have learnings I have passed along to my own children about diversity: Value your humanity over your ego, pedigree, or other transient measures. That’s always the best comparator.

Interested in furthering your career with an opportunity at Express Scripts? Check out our career site for a full list of open positions.

« Going the Extra Mile (in Mere Minutes)|

Going the Extra Mile (in Mere Minutes)

October 30, 2018 | Express Scripts

Jonathan O. started at Express Scripts in Oct. 2006 in Boston, Massachusetts as a shipping technician, He is currently a production supervisor providing workflow solutions in daily operations.

In my role at Freedom Fertility Pharmacy, an Express Scripts subsidiary, time and reliability are essential. For those who may be unfamiliar, Freedom Fertility is America’s leading fertility pharmacy, responsible for providing medication compounding, expedited delivery, and patient support. For the patients we serve, missing even one dose of their medication can have heartbreaking consequences, so we do everything in our power to ensure they have the medicine they need when they need it.

Earlier this year, my team and I were in the pharmacy doing our routine inventory count when one of our on-duty pharmacists received an urgent call from a patient. She was in a panic because her doctor had just told her she was at the end of her fertility cycle. Based on her test results, she needed an injection of medication by 12:30 p.m.

Did I mention it was 11:15 a.m.?

Our pharmacy is located in Byfield, Massachusetts, near Boston. The patient lived 53 miles away, on the other side of the city. There is a lot of traffic in the area; and on a regular day, the trip to her home would take well over an hour. And because of it being a holiday weekend, courier services were unable to help us on such a short notice.

By now it was 11:35 a.m. After a quick discussion to determine our plan of action, I was asked if I’d drive the medicine to the patient’s home. Of course I would do it. At 11:40 a.m., I had the medicine and was in my car driving   down Interstate 95.

I’m not sure how it happened, but by some miracle I didn’t encounter any traffic during the trip. I pulled up to her house at 12:26 p.m. As I parked, I realized that if I wasn’t at the right address, I’d be too late to help the patient. There was no time for errors.

Even before I opened the car door, a woman ran out of her house and started banging on my window.

“Yep, this is the right place,” I thought.

After a quick thank you, she ran back inside with the medicine and I was on my way home.

Our pharmacist reached out to the patient on Monday to ask how she was doing. To our relief, the injection had worked.

It was a crazy day, but I enjoyed being part of it. Even when the task seems almost impossible, going the extra mile for our patients is literally what it’s all about.

Are you interested in a career that allows you to go the extra mile? Check out our career site for a full list of open positions.

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Using Data to Solve Problems – and Save Lives

October 25, 2018 | Express Scripts

Sam A. is a data scientist on the Enterprise Data Science team at Express Scripts, using data to help save lives.

Believe it or not, I found my way to Express Scripts through a Google search. I looked up the list of current Fortune 500 companies and found Express Scripts at number 25. I had never heard of Express Scripts before, but my curiosity led me to read more about the company and the critical services it provides to patients.

After learning more about Express Scripts’ mission to put medication within reach of patients and make healthcare more affordable and accessible, I knew it was the right place for me. I had always wanted a way to help serve my community, and Express Scripts offered the opportunity to help others on a daily basis. I was also impressed by the numerous ways Express Scripts uses technology in the healthcare space.  I wanted to be part of the process and application of technology to change the healthcare industry.

Before making the switch to healthcare, I worked in the utility sector, first as a management information systems officer at the Electricity Company of Ghana and then as a Geospatial Analyst at Petrogulf, an oil and gas company in West Virginia. However, my love for data has always been a common thread no matter where I worked. I enjoy using data to help answer difficult questions, so the Enterprise Data Science team at Express Scripts is a great fit.

I have been in my role at Express Scripts for about three years now. I focus primarily on geospatial analysis, the practice of applying location information – such as zip codes, states, etc. – to inform decision-making. For example, I use geospatial analysis to help identify areas of low medication adherence in order to design programs to help improve patients’ ability to take their medication on time and avoid medical complications and costs.

Another large part of my job is assisting with pilot project analysis. Of the many interesting and unique projects that I’ve worked on during my time here, I think my favorite has been visualizing the opioid abuse risk model scores – which helps to identity areas with high risk of opioid abuse. The opioid epidemic is a serious issue and I feel this is one of the ways I’m able to help solve it.

Express Scripts is a fast-paced but fun environment where everybody is truly collaborative. On my team, we are always looking for new algorithms and technology that can help improve healthcare. Teamwork is very valued and every member of my team is always happy and willing to help. Mutual respect is outstanding and the dedication of each employee is infectious.

Outside of the work I do on my team, I drum in a band (look out for a concert soon!), play soccer, swim, and participate in Cultural Connection, one Express Scripts’ six Employee Resource Groups (ERG). Cultural Connection works to foster a culturally competent workforce and create cultural awareness through educational and networking opportunities. I have had the opportunity to develop my professional network thanks to many of the ERG’s informative and exciting programs. I have also become more open-minded and learned more about cultures other than my own.

I’m really lucky in that my desk is right by a huge 103” screen monitor that gets a lot of foot traffic. This allows me to network with countless people who come through the office and I have made a lot of friends that way. The incredible employees I’ve met here, the collaborative atmosphere and the innovative approach we take to each project are what keep me coming back to work day after day.

Interested in finding out what a career at Express Scripts could look like for you? Check out our career site for a full list of our open positions.

 

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Fostering an Inclusive Environment with Express PossAbilities

October 11, 2018 | Express Scripts

Kyle M., is a Senior Project Manager supporting our Enterprise Value Office and Express PossAbilities Membership Lead.

It’s no secret that diversity and inclusion is a major initiative in companies across the world. But while many simply boast about their diverse and inclusive culture, Express Scripts truly places importance on fostering programs and partnerships that ensure employees feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work every day. The program I’m closest to is Express PossAbilities, one of Express Scripts’ six Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), that promotes an inclusive workplace environment and culture for employees of all abilities.

I first became involved with Express PossAbilities in 2016, when I helped plan a disability expo in partnership with the Starkloff Institute, a St. Louis non-profit dedicated to helping people with disabilities participate fully and equally in all parts of society. The expo took place in October, which is Disability Education & Awareness Month, and showcased technologies that assist people with a wide range of disabilities. It also gave participants the opportunity to experience what it’s like to have low or no vision and to navigate a wheelchair through doors or into a bathroom stall. It was an eye-opening experience for all participants.

Since getting involved with Express PossAbilities, I’ve held a number of roles: Event Coordinator, Communications Lead, and now Membership Lead. The sole focus of my current position is growing our total membership by 10% and increasing our membership in Express Scripts locations outside of our St Louis office.

One of the reasons I’m passionate about fostering an inclusive environment is because my youngest daughter, Brooklyn, 8, was born with a rare condition called Poland Syndrome. This condition affects girls less than boys, so it’s even rarer that she was born with it. Poland Syndrome has a wide range of effects, from minor to severe, and Brooklyn’s falls more on the minor end of the spectrum. The condition can affect either the right or left side of the person who has it, but the primary impact of Poland Syndrome is the absence of the pectoral muscle on the affected side. The severity of the condition comes into play with other issues that accompany the missing pectoral muscle. In some severe cases, an individual could have a shorter forearm, smaller hand, webbed fingers – or perhaps no fingers, or only a few present – spinal issues, or rib cage issues on their affected side.

In the case of my daughter, she is right side-affected; she has a slightly smaller right hand and some webbing between her pointer and middle finger, which both slightly curve in. Due to her smaller right hand, she tends to use her left hand more often, but still has full use of her right hand and uses it for some activities, like playing piano.

Even though my daughter’s disability is primarily an invisible one, she still carries it with her. It will affect her self-image, it will affect whether she feels accepted or not, and I think it’s important to realize that lots of people come to work with hidden disabilities—as well as visible ones. What I really like about Express PossAbilities is that we’re not only focusing on education and awareness, but we’re also influencing change in hiring practices, workplace accommodations, and even how we serve our members with disabilities. We’re also helping drive changes to our lab and carefully thinking through our products and how to make them accessible to people with disabilities so they can access, refill, manage, and change their prescriptions. I am proud to do my part in building a corporate America where people of all abilities can bring their whole selves to work, without shame, apprehension, or fear.

Interested in working for a company that encourages employees to bring their whole selves to work every day? View our career site for a full list of open positions.

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Paying It Back to My Military Family

October 9, 2018 | Express Scripts

Juan R., pictured here teaching Bahrain Army, is a Sr. Recruiter on the Corporate Team, supporting Sales and Account Management, Marketing, and Legal.

I’ve lived all my life with the military around me in some way. My grandfather served in the Army, my uncle retired from the Air Force and my stepdad — the man I called my father — retired from the Army. I also retired from the Army after serving 23 years, spending 16 years as a Combat Medic and seven as a Center Commander and Recruiter for Healthcare Professionals.

My father always told me, “When you retire, pay it back.” I do this whenever I can by mentoring and helping my brothers and sisters in arms– even if it involves spending a Sunday afternoon volunteering outside in 90-degree St. Louis heat.

In August, St. Louis hosted the PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) Secretary’s Cup, which introduces golf to Veterans with disabilities, with the goal of enhancing their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. The Secretary’s Cup is a gold tournament that matches veterans with PGA professionals.

When I heard Express Scripts was the exclusive sponsor for the event, I quickly volunteered.

Golf is a great game for veterans because of the many parallels between the sport and what they’re going through. Golf is a game of struggle; you have to train and practice many skills to be successful. It builds self-confidence, self-discipline, self-esteem, awareness, teamwork and communication skills.

Veteran players were from various branches of the military, which – I’m not going to lie – contributed to a little branch-to-branch trash talking and a lot of laughs. We all talked freely with people who understood where we came from, where we had been and what we had been though.

During the event, I was assigned to support Team NJ, which stood for Team New Jersey. I helped the team where I could by holding flags, watching where balls went and doing anything else they needed. My team and I became instant comrades with a special bond. And to cap off the day, Team NJ won!

It was a special day for me and one of my proudest moments as an Express Scripts employee. I was grateful to be part of another network that can reach more veterans, and it was thanks in part to Express Scripts sponsoring this event. I want to also send a special thank you to my Express Scripts peers who volunteered that day. Words cannot express how proud I was to be part of a company that is investing in my military family.

Interested in a career at Express Scripts? Check out our career site for a list of open positions that fit your experience

Juan R. retired from the Army after serving 23 years, spending 16 years as a Combat Medic and seven as a Center Commander and Recruiter for Healthcare Professionals. 

 

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