Fostering an Inclusive Environment with Express PossAbilties

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.

« Paying It Back to My Military Family|

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. 

 

« From Math Teacher to Provider Strategist at Express Scripts| Fostering an Inclusive Environment with Express PossAbilties »

From Math Teacher to Provider Strategist at Express Scripts

October 3, 2018 | Express Scripts

Antonio B. started with Express Scripts as an intern and recently transitioned into a full-time role in Provider Strategy & Consultation, working on provider strategy.

Throughout my school-aged years, teachers always had a positive impact on my life. I was born in Croatia, but my family and I came to the United States in the late 1990s and took up residence in Tennessee. I truly believe I wouldn’t have the same opportunities today without the teachers who were there for me throughout school. In fact, my microeconomics professor at the University of Tennessee – where I attended college –inspired my passion for economics and ultimately influenced my career path. He had a way of making a complex, difficult subject seem very straightforward and applicable to real life.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 2014, I wanted to have the same impact on someone’s life as my teachers had on mine. I put my degree to use teaching eighth grade math at an underprivileged school in St. Louis with Teach for America. During my time as a teacher in a low-income community, I saw firsthand how a lack of access to healthcare can impact an individual’s opportunities. When my students were too sick to attend class and didn’t have the resources to obtain proper healthcare, they missed vital information critical to their future success.

After two years of teaching, I decided to pursue a full-time MBA at Washington University in St. Louis. The summer before I began my MBA, I attended the Orientation Program for the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, the nation’s largest diversity network that connects top-tier students, MBA programs and corporate partners. There, I had the chance to learn about Express Scripts. After my exposure to the lack of access to healthcare, I was immediately drawn to Express Scripts’ mission of making care safer, more affordable and accessible. After Consortium, I applied to the 2017 Express Scripts Internship Program and was offered a position on the Provider Strategy & Consultation team within supply chain.

During my time as an intern, I was tasked with developing solutions to create additional value for our clients through retailer partnerships. I was given the freedom to think creatively and own my work, and I received a full-time offer when the internship ended. After completing my MBA in May 2018, I started in my position as a senior manager on the Provider Strategy & Consultation team.

In this role, I help develop network strategies to win and retain clients, as well as retail network process improvement initiatives, and government affairs support. The amount of work that goes on behind the scenes is incredible and my time here has been an amazing opportunity for me to learn from and add value to already meaningful work. I’ve had the chance to come up with real solutions that advance healthcare. The culture is fast paced and highly cross-functional, so I’m able to learn about all parts of the business.

My advice to current and future Express Scripts interns would be to network. Express Scripts has a wide array of incredible people to learn from and you should take time to hear from them. Everyone has always been open to sharing their experiences with me and one-on-one coffee chats with people across the organization have been invaluable learning opportunities.

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

« From Patient Care Advocate to Senior Manager: How a Lifelong Passion for Healthcare Led to an MBA| Paying It Back to My Military Family »

From Patient Care Advocate to Senior Manager: How a Lifelong Passion for Healthcare Led to an MBA

September 13, 2018 | Express Scripts

Syed Ali is a Sr. Manager – Strategic Performance Solutions/#1HD Business Communications, based out of Dublin, Ohio and currently a member of Express Scripts’ Professional MBA Program.

As a proud graduate of The Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!), Express Scripts is my first (and only) full-time employer. In fact, I celebrated my 20th anniversary on September 8, 2018!

My Express Scripts adventure started in 1998 when I was looking for a summer job. I attended a career fair and was overwhelmed by all of the options. I wasn’t totally sure what the opportunity with Express Scripts would entail when I filled out the application; however, I was called in for an interview and soon offered a position as a Patient Care Advocate.

Though I started the job thinking it would be something I could do for the summer, I fell in love with it my very first week. I made friends and recognized that Express Scripts was where I belonged. I even met the love of my life at Express Scripts: my wife, Laura, works as a Sr. Clinical Analyst in our PBM Services Benefit Operations organization. We are now happily married with two kids, Ryan and Layla.

Over the years, I’ve changed roles and departments several times. Currently, I work in our Strategic Performance Solutions organization, which is responsible for the design, development, and delivery of training and communications solutions across Operations. Most recently, I was asked to lead our new #1HD Business Communications team. My team and I are focused on delivering communications to our employees across our Member Services and Home Delivery organization that support strategic initiatives, align with performance needs, and cultivate employee engagement.

Some of my best days on the job are when I’m able to help others recognize how they’re making a difference. From my days as a Training Supervisor, to various roles leading Operations and Training teams, I’ve been able to see the impact that I can create when I can help others connect to our company’s mission around patient care. It truly is my purpose in my professional life.

I’ve always been a bit of a “geek.” I read healthcare blogs, I’m a member of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), and I attend conferences and webinars every chance I can. And when the opportunity to further my education came along, I jumped at the chance.  Just before I turned 40, my leader nominated me to take part in Express Scripts’ Professional MBA Program. This is a joint program with the University of Missouri-St. Louis that allows participants to take courses on campus and earn an MBA degree in just 21 months.

Since being accepted into the PMBA program, I find myself recognizing application possibilities every week. From increasing my financial acumen (I can attend an earnings call and not feel overwhelmed by terms like “EBITDA”!) to developing a greater appreciation for supply chain and business law, to becoming more confident as a leader, this has been one heck of a ride so far. I’ve also found countless opportunities to share what I’ve learned in classes with my team.

Looking back, it’s no surprise that I ended up working for a healthcare company. I’ve always been passionate about patient care. As a teenager, I volunteered at a local hospital with the hope of being able to simply put a smile on patients’ faces and attempt to make them forget why they were in the hospital to begin with.

Throughout my 20 years at Express Scripts, and under CEO Tim Wentworth’s leadership, we continue to evolve as a company. Employees are connected to our  mission and are able to see how we are making a difference for our patients and clients every day. I love the work I do, and who I get to do it with. Even twenty years later, I’m still in love with this great company, and proud to be a Champion for Better.

« Takeaways from my Agile2018 Experience| From Math Teacher to Provider Strategist at Express Scripts »

Takeaways from my Agile2018 Experience

September 12, 2018 | Express Scripts

Avni A. is a Senior Technology Manager passionate about helping individuals, teams and organizations reach their true potential through coaching and mentoring.

Early last month, I had the opportunity to travel to San Diego with my team and attend the 2018 Agile Alliance conference; the largest Agile event in North America. This annual conference is dedicated to furthering Agile principles and providing a venue for ideas to be shared and flourish. For those who may be unfamiliar, Agile is a mindset that embraces challenging the status quo and continuously uncovering better ways of getting awesome outcomes.

With over 300 speaker sessions to choose from at Agile2018, I was able to explore and expand my knowledge of Agile, Lean, Scrum, Business Agility, Kanban, XP, SAFe, Less, and dozens of other relevant topics. I felt privileged and proud to be part of this great event and share the experience with the rest of the Agile tribe.

However, what made me even prouder was that Express Scripts was a Gold Sponsor for the event, allowing us to host a booth at the conference and educate attendees on who we are, what we do, and most importantly – why we do what we do.

Each day, we had approximately 100 people stop by our booth to learn more about Express Scripts.  Almost all conversations started like this:

“My ………..(husband/mother/neighbor/someone I know) is getting his/her medications from you. Aren’t you a healthcare company? What are you doing at the Agile Conference?”

Every time I was asked these questions, my enthusiasm and pride reached the ceiling. I was able to share with them that Express Scripts is not just a healthcare company, but rather a healthcare technology leader focused on taking on the toughest challenges in healthcare. I explained how we are a “patient first” organization, on a mission to make healthcare more affordable, accessible and safer for our patients. These interactions led to more in-depth conversations about our recent technology transformation, made possible by our adoption of Agile, and our scaling approach. I truly felt that what I shared with attendees gave insight and hope to those that worked at companies either at the verge of their transformation or in the middle of chaos.

Throughout the five-day conference, I was impressed by the sheer volume of people that stopped at our booth to speak with us, share with us, and learn with us. During this time, I was prouder that ever to be part of the Express Scripts family – and a Champion for Better.

Interested in joining our technology team? Check out our career site for a full list of job openings.

 

« Twenty Years Later: How an Express Scripts Employee Continues to Make an Impact| From Patient Care Advocate to Senior Manager: How a Lifelong Passion for Healthcare Led to an MBA »