When a Patient Has No Home

March 20, 2019 | Express Scripts

Jennifer N. is a Provider Support Associate for Accredo, an Express Scripts subsidiary, where she coordinates new referral intake for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension & Immune Deficiency therapies, assuring smooth processing of prescriptions from the initial patient contact to completion of nursing services for beginning care.

Throughout these cold winter months, my mind has been on the homeless. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are more than half a million homeless people in the U.S. on any given night, and that number has risen slightly in the past two years.

While some of the homeless simply cannot afford to rent or buy a home, other factors contribute to homelessness, including mental illness, addiction, domestic violence and displacement from natural disasters.

When a homeless patient, who lived on a Native American reservation, came to our attention at Accredo, teammates and I jumped into action to do everything we could to get him the medication he needed. He has pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a disease that causes a constriction of the arteries in the lungs, which, in turn, causes the heart to have to work harder to pump oxygenated blood throughout the body. Without his medication, this patient, literally, would not be able to breathe.  

The patient’s physician contacted us because the patient had been picking up a three-day supply of medication at a retail pharmacy, but had been missing doses. As we later learned, Accredo is the only provider in our state who is contracted with the patient’s insurance company. In addition, the medication he is taking requires nursing services. So, having the medication delivered to a friend’s address or a shelter wouldn’t work. We needed to identify a pharmacy setting, with nursing services, that the patient could get to on a regular basis.

After dozens of phone calls and several days of coordinating efforts, our team connected with a healthcare facility that includes a pharmacy and serves the Native population. Success! And, it couldn’t have happened without a coordinated effort by several team members.

This case was complicated, but working through complex issues to help make things a little easier for patients and their physicians is what the Accredo team does best.

Interested in furthering your career with with with an opporutnity working at Express Scripts? View our career site for a full list of open positions.

« EXPRESSing Pride at Express Scripts|

EXPRESSing Pride at Express Scripts

March 12, 2019 | Express Scripts

Adam H. is a senior communications manager on the Corporate Communications team at Express Scripts working to shift the online conversation and reputation of Express Scripts in a way that highlights our healthcare thought leadership and innovation. A few interesting facts about Adam: he previously spent a year driving the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile , he was once a handler for the Burger King “King”, and once threw an exclusive penthouse party for a Jim Beam product launch.

Given my position in communications at a company as large as Express Scripts, I often wear many hats. However, one of my most rewarding “hats” is my involvement with EXPRESSions – Express Scripts’ Employee Resource Group (ERG) dedicated to supporting the workforce, informing the business and advocating in the community to advance LGBTQ+ equality.

Before I joined Express Scripts, I wasn’t necessarily looking for an ERG. Hearing about EXPRESSions on my first day in New Employee Orientation was both a surprise and a relief: a surprise because I didn’t know that groups like this existed, and a relief because I had been craving a community like this for a long time. I was looking for a community of LGBTQ+ peers in a professional setting that I could connect with.

Before Express Scripts, I was often the only member of the LGBTQ+ community that I knew of at work. And, if there were more of us, we weren’t organized in a way to acknowledge and discuss professional challenges or situations we might be experiencing, like:

  • How do I come out at work?
  • Should I come out at work?
  • How do I foster allies?
  • How do I not become the token gay perspective?

Since joining EXPRESSions, I’ve noticed it’s had a profound impact on the way I bring myself to work on a day-to-day basis. There is something empowering about working for an organization that will accept you and allow you to unapologetically be yourself.

While EXPRESSions has certainly had an impact on how I conduct myself at work, it’s also benefitted me from a professional and career growth standpoint. I’ve met a lot of employees across a wide range of departments that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. My involvement has allowed me to not only answer questions at work that I normally wouldn’t have been able to, but also identify subject matter experts that could help answer the questions I couldn’t. ERGs, I have found, are undoubtedly a wonderful way to network at an organization.

Of all the EXPRESSions-sponsored events I participate in, one of my favorites is walking in the many pride parades that take place across the country in June for National Pride Month. One can find Pride in many different things but, in June, I find pride in myself as a member of the LGBTQ+ community; pride in EXPRESSions and the many employee volunteers who make that month a success; and pride in Express Scripts for being a champion for LGBTQ+ people.

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.

« Why She Leads: Balance, Development and Empowerment with Hollie C.| When a Patient Has No Home »

Why She Leads: Balance, Development and Empowerment with Hollie C.

March 8, 2019 | Express Scripts

Hollie C. is the Vice President of Implementation and Integration Strategy, leading the implementation of Cigna as a client of Express Scripts and working to serve as the liaison between Express Scripts and the Cigna Integration Management Office. Having lived most of her life in the St. Louis area, she is a graduate of Saint Louis University (Finance, Technology & Accounting) and spends time at “St. Louis fun spots” such as the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Hollie has two sons, ages 8 and 11. She loves to bake, read, spend time with her sons, and watch her favorite shows such as Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead.

I re-joined Technology in 2012 as a vice president. At that time, I was the only female VP in Technology. While I didn’t think much of it when I moved into this role, conversations with other women in technology revealed that having a female leader was actually a really big deal to many.

This gave me pause and allowed me to reconsider my responsibility to make sure I was doing all I could to help raise up and support other women in their career aspirations. That’s ultimately why I joined WE LEAD, Express Scripts’ Employee Resource Group (ERG) dedicated to empowering women and caregivers, and helping them achieve their full potential within the company and the community. Shortly after joining WE LEAD, I decided to serve as one of the group’s vice presidents, before eventually moving into the role of President.

Other than the development workshops and speaker series, one of my favorite opportunities WE LEAD presents is our ability to partner with community organizations. Over the years, we’ve worked hard to broaden the organizations we partner with, and the ways in which our employees can volunteer their time and talent. For example, we’ve worked closely with Connections to Success over the last several years. They have branches in the same cities as many of our site locations and provide opportunities for WE LEAD members to engage in activities like clothing drives and volunteer efforts to help “dress” that organization’s clients.

One WE LEAD event that I’m particularly excited about this year is our International Women’s Day Celebration. We have invited Cheryl Jones, the CEO of Girls, Inc. of St. Louis, to speak to our members, as well as lead a panel on the topic of Empowering Girls to be Empowered Women. Other leaders on the panel are either raising daughters, sitting on the boards of foundations who focus on girl empowerment, or have done extraordinary work in this space.

I’m extremely proud of how far WE LEAD has come since its inception. And I’m even more proud to see many more women across the organization in senior-level roles. The most important piece of advice I can give to a fellow female in the workforce today is this: development can happen all the time in a career; you just have to approach the work with the right spirit. A meeting with someone new, a chance to volunteer for a new project, a continuous improvement event… they are all development opportunities if you approach them as such, and take lessons away from each opportunity to add to your tool belt.

The second piece of advice I would give? When golden opportunities present themselves, those who are truly successful recognize them for what they are and pursue them with all they have!

March 8 is International Women’s Day and this year’s theme, #BalanceforBetter, focusing on building a gender-balanced world, couldn’t be more aligned with the mission of WE LEAD.

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

« Making Moves: 4 Pieces of Career Advice I Would Give My Younger Self| EXPRESSing Pride at Express Scripts »

Making Moves: 4 Pieces of Career Advice I Would Give My Younger Self

February 26, 2019 | Express Scripts

Celeste P. is the vice president & general manager of Operations, responsible for leading contact center operations and the member & home delivery services strategy and transformation organization. One interesting fact about Celeste is that she and her husband, along with a fellow pharmacist and colleague, co-direct the BESt Pharmacy Summer Institute, a program that educates and prepares talented multicultural high school students for future careers in health care.

When looking back at my career, one thing is immediately clear: I took on quite a few different roles in quite a few different business groups. And while the path has not always been as I envisioned, each step in my journey has allowed me to further unleash the potential in myself and others.

After graduating from college with a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), I accepted a pretty traditional role as a retail pharmacist. After a few years, a clinical specialist opportunity at Merck-Medco Health Solutions (acquired by Express Scripts in 2012) presented itself. It’s taking this role that I credit with changing the course of my career path.

You see, I accepted this job knowing nothing about the Pharmacy Benefit Management (PBM) industry. While I went in with plenty of clinical knowledge, I had little business acumen. Thoroughly enjoying the mix of clinical and business, I didn’t hesitate when presented with an opportunity to enter new territory working with clients at Express Scripts as a clinical program manager. Over the next 5 years, I held roles of increasing responsibility within Sales and Account Management before finally landing in Operations.

Today, I am the vice president & general manager of Operations. My role spans contact centers, resource management, continuous improvement, strategy and transformation and much more. I am honored to be able to lead a team of over 4,000 employees who have a direct impact on the lives of patients and their caregivers and whose mission it is to provide an effortless and exceptional experience to all we serve.

As I’ve said before, my career path led me to a lot of different roles with a lot of different business groups. But, if I’ve learned one thing throughout my career, it’s how to take calculated risks and get out of my comfort zone. However, it’s no secret that this is not the easiest thing to do. So, in hopes of making this simpler for those who follow me, here are a few pieces of career advice I would give my own children to help them make career moves:

Get out of your own way

So often we let our insecurities and doubts cloud our judgement. After all, it’s much easier to tell ourselves “no” rather than to ask ourselves “why not.” Early on in my career, I believed you should stay on the straight and narrow career path. This was more out of fear that I would mess something up or not live up to expectations.

As I grew in my career, I began to realize that most successes start with a willingness to take calculated risks. I started paying attention to those people, both at work and in my community, who I considered successful and realized that they all had one thing in common – a willingness to bet on themselves.  They overcame any self-doubt and replaced it with the courage to take their skills, talents, and leadership to new heights.  So, when uncertainty tries to take over, remember that there’s no one else worth betting on in your career than yourself.

Understand the company culture

When it comes to understanding company culture, there’s no manual, no formal lesson, and no one who is going to proactively teach you this skill. That’s why you have to ask. And mentorship helps. Find one person on your team or in the organization who has been there for a while and is well connected. Once you’ve formed a relationship with them, ask them how team members like to be interacted with, whether they prefer in-person meetings or calls, how decisions are made, and where the landmines are. Each company has its own culture and understanding how to grow and excel within that culture is key.

Strive to be a lifelong learner

Regardless of your role or tenure, you have the opportunity every day to learn a new skill, solve a new problem, or collaborate with new people. This often comes in many different flavors – reading books or articles, participating in leadership development programs, volunteering for stretch assignments, mentorships, or spending an hour walking in someone else’s shoes.

I come to work every day knowing that there’s something new to learn – a unique way of addressing a challenge, a novel leadership strategy, or a new appreciation for the work that someone else does. This serves as an inspiration to continue to improve myself and those around me. No matter how small or big, take advantage of the opportunity to learn something new each and every day and remember to bring someone else along for the ride.

Be cognizant of the shadow you cast

Once I got to the point in my career where I was taking on leadership roles, I started concentrating on my personal brand and how I was perceived not just by my direct reports, but by others in the organization. How was I leading? Was I being authentic? Was I proud of the work that I was doing and how I was doing it? I began to take the time to define for myself what I wanted my brand to be…what I wanted others to think of me and say about me when I wasn’t in the room.  This meant not only defining my brand but also committing to live out the behaviors and attributes of that brand every day.

As a leader and really as an employee, you have the ability to influence what you want your personal brand to be.  However, it’s important to remember that your personal brand is not something that you have to constantly announce to others. People will see your brand through your actions. They want to see if the example you set and how you lead your team makes them want to model your behavior or run far, far away. As leaders, someone is likely modeling their behavior after us, even when we’re not paying attention.  It’s up to us to ensure that behavior is one that we’d be proud to see replicated.

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

« The Recruiter Scoop: Getting Your Foot in the Door at a Large Company| Why She Leads: Balance, Development and Empowerment with Hollie C. »

The Recruiter Scoop: Getting Your Foot in the Door at a Large Company

February 21, 2019 | Express Scripts

Sydney G. is a market advisor on the Executive Talent Acquisition Team focused on identifying talented individuals in certain hiring markets and matching them with the career opportunities we offer. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, traveling and volunteering with shelter animals. (She’s pictured here representing Express Scripts at a professional career fair).

Given my position at Express Scripts, there’s always one question I’m frequently asked: how do I get my foot in the door at such a large company? Amid the days of taking a creative approach to sending in your resume – we’ve heard the stories of candidates disguising themselves as a Postmates delivery person or creating their resume on a chocolate bar – most people are surprised to learn that your resume isn’t your only important asset. Instead, I believe the key to getting your foot in the door comes down to one thing – networking.

While I’ve been lucky to spend my entire career in corporate talent acquisition doing what I love, I didn’t always know I was going to follow that career path. In fact, I was previously pursuing a career in nursing. With intentional networking, I discovered my passion for human resources and built my career around it.

Put Yourself Out There

When it comes to networking, you should always be intentional about building relationships and connections with other professionals who can support you in your career goals. Not only does networking expand your professional circle, it also broadens your thinking about potential opportunities and helps you practice your elevator pitch.

So, where do you start? Personally, I find it helpful to consider where you’re currently well connected and where you have the opportunity to build relationships. A few great ways to network are:

      • Staying connected with alumni and professors from your alma mater
      • Checking out other universities in your area for networking events that align with your interests
      • Asking your current connections what groups they’re a part of and how you might benefit from joining
      • Volunteering within your community – seek out opportunities to join a development board
      • Researching your local and nationwide chapters relevant to your industry you can join

Landing your dream job takes time, so remain open-minded and treat every interaction you have as a networking opportunity.

In a World of Technology – Use LinkedIn to Your Benefit

Given today’s social media capabilities, one of the simplest – and most popular – ways to virtually meet and connect with professionals in your field is through LinkedIn. With more than 500 million members throughout the nation, something as simple as sending a connection request to another professional gets you one step closer to finding your next opportunity.

When I get a connection request on LinkedIn, I will review the individual’s profile to see if their background aligns to opportunities at Express Scripts. However, just sending a connection request is not enough. Be proactive! In order to effectively network, you must be open to being the first one to start a conversation.

Start a Conversation

First impressions matter – even if it’s not in person. When starting a networking conversation, I recommend introducing yourself and clarifying the purpose of your outreach. Whether you’re simply expanding your network or looking to start a conversation, always be upfront with your ask.

When another professional sends me an email or direct message on LinkedIn, I am always impressed when they’ve done their research. Before reaching out, visit the respective organization’s career website to determine the business areas or positions you’d like to explore further. While you don’t have to tie yourself to a specific open role, you should at least have an idea of the functional areas you’d like to consider. This indicates to the connection that you’ve done your homework and you’re prepared to discuss how your background aligns.

The Work Doesn’t Stop With Networking

Once all of your networking has paid off and you’ve landed a job interview, make sure you put in the preparation to be successful. Here are my tips to successfully prepare for an interview with any company – large or small.

Do your research! Go beyond researching the company and familiarize yourself with the job’s responsibilities and requirements. What is it about the organization or role that inspired you to apply? By connecting your passion to the company’s mission, you’ll be able to share why you would be an asset to the organization.

Next, prepare responses for potential interview questions by thinking about your successes, major projects or stretch opportunities, areas of development, and lessons learned throughout your career. For those of you interviewing for your first professional opportunity, recall experiences from your education or past jobs. By preparing these examples ahead of time, you’ll be able to demonstrate in your interview how you’ve met requirements of the role.

Don’t forget to ask questions. Toward the end of the interview, the team will likely provide you the opportunity to ask questions regarding the company or the position. I can’t stress enough the importance of asking questions that can’t just be found on the company website. Take this time to really dive into understanding not just the position itself, but also the team the position reports to, how the position fits into the department as a whole, etc.

Last, but certainly not least, remember to be yourself. We all get nervous before job interviews. It’s easy to go into the interview trying to be the person you think the recruiting team wants. However, what you’re really doing is taking the focus away from what’s important: the conversation. Remember, interviews are a two-way discussion. The interviewer wants to get to know you just as much as you should want to get to know the company. While you may really want the role, you also want the right fit. By being yourself, you’ll actually get to know your prospective employer and determine if you can see yourself building a career there.

Interested in getting your foot in the door at Express Scripts? Visit our career site to begin familiarizing yourself with our open roles.

« There’s No Place Like Home: Serving Patients in the Home Setting| Making Moves: 4 Pieces of Career Advice I Would Give My Younger Self »