Employee Voices

Awakening of a Road Warrior

How one McKesson delivery employee’s job made him an overnight hero during COVID-19.

Dave Frownfelter starts each day heading to the McKesson Medical-Surgical warehouse in Harrisburg, Pa. where he picks up his delivery route, packs up his truck and hits the road. On average, Dave drives over 150 miles a day, delivering medical supplies like gowns, latex gloves and masks to more than 30 medical centers, clinics and nursing homes.

For nearly 15 years, Dave’s daily routine was fairly predictable. In March, all of that changed. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted everyone, especially those on the frontline.

When you think of those fighting against COVID-19, you immediately think of the doctors, nurses and first responders working every day to treat and save patients. But there’s a group of 1,000 delivery professionals working behind the scenes doing everything they can to ensure that life-saving supplies get to the frontlines. One of those heroes is Dave.

As most of the world began to shelter and stay inside, Dave continued to hit the empty, traffic-less roads to get to his customers. Most of Dave’s customers happen to be nursing homes – a demographic hit hard by COVID-19 and thrown into the spotlight due to its vulnerable population living in close quarters. Today, months into the pandemic, nursing homes remain a focal point, and the need to protect their staff and patients is even more important.

Dave remembers one of the first deliveries he made early in the pandemic – a nursing home in Lancaster, Pa. The nursing home leader was worried they wouldn’t be able to protect their patients and staff without the right medical supplies, which had now become vital and lifesaving. As Dave and his McKesson truck arrived at the facility, cheers erupted, and the nursing home team greeted him with excitement – feeling relieved they were getting supplies during this critical time. To them, on that day, Dave was their hero.

“It’s my responsibility to make sure every customer on my route gets their supplies so they can continue to treat their patients and save lives,” says Dave. “I certainly don’t consider myself a hero and know that it’s just as hard for our customers, if not more, than it is on me.”

The life of an essential delivery professional has certainly changed. On top of distributing vital supplies, Dave must take extra steps to protect himself, his customers and his colleagues from the spread of COVID-19 like wearing a mask, adhering to specific drop sites and keeping his distance. But Dave is not alone in this fight. In all of McKesson’s warehouses, extra safety measures have been put in place to help ensure that Dave and all his colleagues remain safe and healthy. From temperature and wellness checks to extra sanitation stations, social distancing requirements and the deep cleaning of delivery trucks after each use, these measures are helping to protect McKesson’s frontline heroes.

“Over the years, I’ve built relationships with our customers and love to go the extra step by helping them unload the supplies, unpack and store them properly,” Dave says. “It’s extremely hard to lose that one-on-one personal touch and not be able to help them as much as I once did.”

Becoming a road warrior on the frontline during this health crisis hasn’t always been easy, but Dave presses on, determined to get back on the road to do his job that helps keep us safe.

“This entire experience has been surreal, but I’m thankful that I’m able to contribute and make a difference,” says Dave. “This is what I do for a living and will continue to do no matter what hurdles may come my way.”

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