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The Best of Our Stories 2021

From initiatives to make healthcare better for patients and practitioners to new diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, we highlight some of our top moments from the past year.

As an impact-driven healthcare company, our purpose is to advance patient health outcomes at every point of care – from retail and specialty pharmacies, to health systems and outpatient care centers, to community oncology practices and beyond.

Many of our teams dedicated time and energy into supporting COVID-19 vaccination efforts. At the same time, many others were doing their part to not only fulfill our purpose, but also continue making McKesson a great place for our employees carrying out this critical work.

As we head into a new year, we invite you to join us in revisiting some of our top stories from 2021.

Helping Patients is All in the “Pharmily”

Nikita Patton has turned her passions for laboratory chemistry and helping people into a career as a pharmacist at McKesson’s program pharmacy in Louisville, Ky. She helps facilitate dispensing and delivering prescriptions directly to patients dealing with cancer or other complex and rare diseases – all at no cost to those patients.

Through patient assistance programs and other models sponsored by biopharmaceutical companies, she and her colleagues help break down affordability barriers so patients can obtain their medications.

“They’ve gone from doctor to doctor and program to program,” Nikita says. “I get a lot of patients who are so excited and relieved to finally get their medications that they cry on the phone.”

It’s an experience that unites the McKesson program pharmacy family so much that they’ve affectionately dubbed themselves the “pharmily.”

“We love each other, we love helping patients, and we love being at McKesson,” she says.

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Connecting Patients to Life-Changing Medications

Specialty therapies for complex, chronic diseases are enabling remarkable health outcomes for patients today. Yet many of these medications are not only expensive, but have a complicated prescribing journey. This often leaves patients with the time-consuming burden of coordinating with their doctors, pharmacies and insurance companies to access their medications. Ultimately, many people find themselves having to choose between paying for life-saving treatments and life’s essentials.

CoverMyMeds, a McKesson business, is working to change that. AMP: Access for More Patients® (AMP), is an end-to-end technology solution dedicated to helping patients access, afford and adhere to their medications. AMP not only connects patients to their therapies up to 34% faster, but also helps patients access pharma-sponsored financial support and adherence services.

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Celebrating the Days That Matter Most

Time out of the office is most meaningful when it allows employees to engage with the people and activities that matter most to them. That’s why late in 2020, McKesson launched a new floating holiday policy that allows employees to choose to take paid time off for their preferred holidays, religious or traditional practices, special events, or just to support their mental wellbeing.

“We’re dedicated to advancing the health of patients everywhere for a better tomorrow,” says Neisha Strambler-Butler, senior vice president, Total Rewards. “But we know that we’re only as good as the people who help us deliver on that mission. That’s why we’re also committed to always putting our own employees’ health and wellbeing first – and that includes fostering an inclusive and flexible workplace where they can thrive.”

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Battling Physician Burnout

Nearly half of all physicians experience burnout, according to the American Medical Association. That’s why in 2018, The US Oncology Network (The Network), which McKesson supports, launched an ambitious pilot initiative designed to help identify the primary causes of physician burnout and solutions to combat it. And earlier this year, we announced Phase I findings that revealed record-keeping as the primary contributor to burnout.

“We learned that the physician is spending greater than 50% of their time with the patient staring at a computer and entering data in the electronic health record,” says Dr. Michael Seiden, former president of The US Oncology Network. “When they said, ‘I want to be a doctor,’ it wasn’t to improve their typing speed or look at a computer screen. They wanted to look at people.”

As a result of these findings, The Network recently launched Phase II of the pilot, assigning in-person scribes to chart physician-patient encounters in real time to alleviate that burdensome workload, enhance healthcare professional morale, enrich the collection of data, and ultimately improve patient care.

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Fostering an Open Culture of Awareness and Inclusion

Because treating people with dignity and respect is so integral to our culture, we were especially honored to be recognized this year – the eighth year in a row – as one of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality.” We earned 100% on the HRC’s 2021 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) for our corporate policies and practices that promote inclusion specifically for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) employees.

That supportive approach at all levels of the company inspired Black LGBTQ+ sales administration associate Ralph Parker to establish the Richmond, Va., chapter of the LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group (ERG), OPEN. It helped Evalyn Keefe, trans-feminine business intelligence team lead, find the courage to not only come out, but also begin her transition. And it attracts allies such as Rachel Petty, chair of the Woodlands, Texas OPEN chapter, to become vocal advocates dedicated to the cause.

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