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.

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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!

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Going the Extra Mile for Troops Far From Home

January 19, 2018 | Express Scripts

Michelle H. is an account executive supporting the Department of Defense.

On Pearl Harbor Day, I had the pleasure to represent Express Scripts to hundreds of servicemen and women and their families at the Family Readiness Pre-Deployment Workshop for the USS Carl Vinson. The Vinson, one of the Navy’s three Nimitz-class supercarriers, is a floating air base that can hold 90 aircraft and more than 5,000 sailors. While it was formerly docked in San Diego, it set sail earlier this month. As I provided information and answered questions about the TRICARE Pharmacy Benefit, I was able to share just how far an Express Scripts prescription can travel. Thanks to our Deployed Prescription Program (DPP) we go the extra mile — or miles.

We understand preparing for deployment is challenging for the ship’s team and stressful for the sailors’ families. Fortunately, no matter where the ship is headed or how long it will be at sea, those onboard don’t have to worry about running out of medicine. When a service member needs a new prescription or a refill, the DPP can deliver medicine anywhere in the world, even to the middle of the ocean.

Here’s how the DPP will fill prescriptions for service members aboard the Vinson:

      • An Express Scripts pharmacist will process the order.
      • We will package the medicine at our St. Louis, MO or Tempe, AZ, pharmacy. Standard prescription bottles will be topped with a special cap that is laser-engraved with a flag and the words “Thanks for your Service.”
      • The medicine will be shipped through the postal service to the fleet post in San Francisco.
      • From San Francisco, the medicine will be flown overseas to a location relatively close to the Vinson, such as Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
      • The prescription will be loaded on a C-2 Greyhound aircraft along with other mail bound for the ship, such as letters and packages from home.
      • The aircraft then will fly over the sea, often 100 miles or more, to land on the flight deck of the Vinson.
      • A few hours later, the medicine will be in the hands of the service member who ordered it.


We take pride in our ability to deliver for our service members and their families. As a veteran of the US Navy myself, I was honored to be aboard the USS Carl Vinson sharing the benefits my company has to offer.

Ready to go the extra mile in your career? Check out our career site for a full list of our open positions.

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Finding My Path: 3 Pieces of Advice I Would Give My Younger Self

January 11, 2018 | Express Scripts

Kelly Dowdy is a senior director of software engineering in our Austin office, working to improve Express Scripts’ digital products that service over 83 million Americans.

When I look at my career, it’s clear why I chose technology – my love for math and engineering.  I took my first computer programming course as a high school freshman. During this time, my interest in math transformed into a love for programming.  Combining math with problem solving skills to crack real world dilemmas fascinated me then; and still does today.  Throughout the rest of high school, I took as many courses as I possible in software development before studying information systems and computer science at Carnegie Mellon University.

While figuring out what was next in my career, I was drawn to Express Scripts and their mission to make prescription drugs safer and more affordable for millions of Americans. The ability to develop technology that impacts the lives of 83 million people is extremely exciting. Even better, my family already used Express Scripts’ services so making their lives better made my decision easy.

While I’ve had an extremely enjoyable and rewarding career, there are a few lessons I know now that I wish I would have known earlier. So, in the spirit of spreading the knowledge, here are three pieces of advice I would give my younger self:

Raise your hand

Early in my career, I was hesitant to talk to my boss about my career interests and ask about other opportunities within the company. I thought it might offend my boss that I wanted to leave their group.  So instead, I relied on finding my next growth opportunity though the company job website.  Eventually I became frustrated in my search and started looking externally. When I submitted my resignation, my boss and mentor offered their connections across the company and urged me to reconsider. Sure enough, within two days an internal position opened up that aligned perfectly with my growing career interests.

This was a teachable moment! I realized that leaders are excited when members of their team ask for more opportunities, not offended. They want to invest in your career, so don’t be afraid to raise your hand. Positions can be created for people internally or special projects can be assigned to give you exposure to areas of the business outside your current position.

Find a mentor

I’ve been lucky to have a mentor since my very first day on the job. These mentors help guide my career path, prepare me for interviews, and provide advice and feedback.  As I advance in my career I also find value in having a “blind spot” mentor.  This is someone who not only has your back, but provides candid insight to my shortfalls, enabling me to take action and thus hopefully become a better leader.   In the latter part of my career this has been invaluable for my growth and development.

Break away from the predefined “career path”

When I started my career, I thought there were predefined steps I must follow to become a leader.   In my mind I’d start with position A, move on to position B, and so on and so forth.  A trusted colleague challenged this thinking and led me to the realization that there are no set career paths – everyone’s path is different.

Instead of defining what role you should have and when, focus on building critical skills and competencies through experience. That’s what’s really important. Look for gaps in your skills and abilities and find ways to grow these through experiences.  I’ve found this approach to be very fulfilling and helpful.  Embrace that new role or a special project.   This change in mindset has made me a more well-rounded leader in every way.

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

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Never Give Up

December 15, 2017 | Express Scripts

Elaine D. is a Human Resources Service Center Assistant working to address inbound calls and emails from employees, leaders and HR regarding policies, procedures, benefits, compensation, payroll, HRIS and other general HR information.

Up until 2011, I thought I had it all – a wonderful husband, four children, and a loving and financially secure life. My husband and I had a flourishing family business and I felt right with life. Until one day when we received the news – my husband had been diagnosed with heart issues.

My husband was not only the nucleus of our family; he was the center of the family business as well. So when he became ill and couldn’t work any longer, I knew I had to step in. We had several employees working for us and I felt compelled to keep it afloat, not only for them, but also because I knew this business meant the world to my husband. Almost every day he would ask me, ‘How are things? How is everyone doing?’ I never had the heart to tell him the truth; without him there, it just wasn’t the same.

After one year of battling his disease, in 2012, my husband took a turn for the worse and suddenly I was a widow at 47 years old. I knew I couldn’t hold on to the company without him. So, with the support of our friends and family, after he passed I made the decision to close the company – it was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make.

With a mortgage and two children at home, I decided to go back to school – yes me, now grandma to two new baby girls. However, it was one of the most important decisions I have ever made.

At the time, I was working at a local company, while attempting to manage our family income and adjusting to life without my husband. I knew it wasn’t my dream job, so I started taking time to figure out exactly what it was I wanted to do for my career. I kept coming back to one thing — the joy I found while running the personnel side of the family business. I knew to get where I wanted to be, I needed to further my education. So, I found the right school that offered a Human Resource Management program, a perfect fit for my schedule.

In my search, I realized my employer provided tuition reimbursement as a benefit and it sparked my interest. Tuition reimbursement allots a certain amount of money for educational related expenses, such as classes and books. It’s not only a great benefit for someone like me, who finds themselves with new budgetary needs, but for anyone looking to further their education.

Not only did tuition assistance help me financially, but as I read through the program details I realized it would keep me in check too. Like many tuition assistance programs, you need to submit your grades and keep a certain average in order to maintain the benefit. With working full time and all the other priorities in life, I knew this was the right set up for me, and I was hungry for the opportunity.

While completing my degree, I accepted a new job as a Human Resources Service Assistant at Express Scripts and was excited to learn the company provided a tuition assistance program that was even more fruitful than my previous employer. My new position at Express Scripts took what I experienced through my late husband’s business to an entirely new level and I began to realize that my dreams could actually become a reality.

Sure, it’s not easy working full time and furthering my education, but I’ve found what I learn in class helps me even more in my day-to-day work at Express Scripts. Not only have I learned how to manage the many different legal aspects of Human Resources, but I also have learned how to successfully become the liaison for each employee I speak with, ensuring their questions, concerns, and/ or issues are handled with the same respect I would love to receive for myself.

While I can never express how grateful I am for the opportunity the tuition assistance program has afforded me, I am happy to say I am on track to graduate in March 2018. I consider myself very fortunate to have a family who supports me, an employer that provides me with the tools I need to get to my next career level and my angel looking down on me from above. I know he would be so proud of me.

Interested in taking a next step in your career journey? Check out our career site for a full list of our open positions.  


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