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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 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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2 thoughts on “Using Data to Solve Problems – and Save Lives

  1. sue Endres

    I certainly appreciate the “mission to put medication within reach of patients and make healthcare more affordable and accessible”. Nothing is more important to living life to its fullest than health.
    Thanks for sharing the hope.


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