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 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 identify 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 mead. 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-effected; 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 the 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| Using Data to Solve Problems – and Save Lives »

Paying It Back to My Military Family

October 9, 2018 | Express Scripts

Juan R., pictured here teaching Bahrain Army, is a senior recruiter on the Corporate Talent Acquisition 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 through.

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 PossAbilities »

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 Consortium’s Annual Orientation Program and Career Forum, the nation’s largest diversity network that connects top-tier students with MBA programs and corporate partners. There, I had the chance to learn about Express Scripts. Given 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 senior manager in 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 senior 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.

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