Human Stories Hall

Juan Peralta


Project Specialist Juan Carlos Peralta explains how a storm’s aftermath could not dampen his team’s patient-centered spirit, and they were able to help customers and their patients get the supplies they needed.


This part of Texas isn’t exactly known for big winter storms, but I’ll never forget the one that left so many without power and water for days. Including my family.

But my team’s job here at a McKesson Distribution Center is critical. I knew patients were depending on us for shipments important to their care, and I wasn’t going to let the storm stop me from helping get those orders out.

I’ve been with McKesson for over 15 years. As a training specialist, I’m usually helping my team learn how to complete orders safely and accurately. But with the storm, it meant all hands on deck for those of us who could get to the warehouse. Working together and chipping in wherever we could. With our backup generators, we were able to keep our pharmaceutical freezers running to keep medicines at the right temperature. We were able to keep the conveyor belts running and the orders moving. It wasn’t easy. But we were determined to keep our distribution center open and get the patients what they needed.

And that’s what I’m always telling my team. Do everything you can to get it the job done and get it done right. That patient could easily be your mom. Your aunt. Your grandfather. And that order you’re filling – whether it’s medicine, protective masks or surgical equipment – every order plays an important role in patient care.

I’m proud of the work we do at McKesson, and I’m proud that our team rose to the occasion. We’re here to help patients. And even that historic winter storm could not stop us.

I am Juan Carlos Peralta, and I’m helping to advance health outcomes for all.

Juan Peralta is a training specialist at McKesson. Juan started as a bulk order picker in 2007, and now, he inspires his employees to fulfill orders safely and accurately at the distribution center. His favorite pastime is traveling to Mexico to visit his family every year.



Nikita Patton


Employee Nikita Patton shares how she’s helped to remove the barriers between patients and specialty medications, enabling more chances to experience life’s best moments.


I once had a patient suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis. It hurt her just to walk. She couldn’t get the medication she needed to manage her pain due to complications in processing her prescription from the doctor. She had all but resigned herself to missing her own son’s graduation. I couldn’t let that happen . . . Not on my watch.

I’m proud to be a specialty pharmacist with CoverMyMeds. We support patients across the country, dispensing and delivering more than 2 million specialty prescriptions every year. But these medications can often have high costs or copays. So, we help connect our patients to assistance programs, enabling them to afford and access the life-changing medications they’ve been prescribed. We’re often their last line of hope. Their last option. So, when I received the call from that mom who was in so much pain, I didn’t hesitate. I connected with her doctor to clarify the information needed to process her prescription, then expedited the medication directly to her home. I can still remember her tearing up on the phone when I told her the medication was on its way. She was so grateful to receive what she needed to relieve her pain. And to be able to walk up to her son and give him a huge hug after he received his diploma.

Honestly, that’s my favorite part of the job – knowing my work is helping patients live their best lives. When I can bring joy to someone by saying, “We’ve got you. You don’t have to worry anymore.” It’s a remarkable feeling.

I’m Nikita Patton, and I’m helping to advance health outcomes for all.

Nikita Patton is a specialty pharmacist in Louisville, Kentucky, but she is helping patients across the country receive specialty prescriptions for rare conditions. She began her career as a retail pharmacist, but her zeal for assisting patients paved her path to McKesson in 2017. She enjoys traveling the world with her fiancé and having fun pretending to be a Disney princess.



Buddy Bunch


Health Mart pharmacist Buddy Bunch shares how a strong sense of community helps him focus on the health and wellbeing of his customers in Guntersville, Alabama.


When you run a community pharmacy like mine, you know everyone by name, not just a prescription number. These folks are my neighbors. My friends. Since we live in a more rural area, I’m often the first person they come to for care. . . . And sometimes, that means I need to go to them.

It means a lot to support and care for people in my community. One family I think of often, an older customer, whose wife passed away, became the sole caregiver for his adult paraplegic son. He didn’t have any family nearby to help him. The son was bedridden and needed constant care – couldn’t be left alone. We took it upon ourselves to not just be a good pharmacy, but to deliver care to them directly.

It was challenging for them to come to town, so we made a lot of house visits to help them out. We delivered the son’s prescription medications and administered his flu shots. And thankfully, as part of McKesson’s Health Mart pharmacy network during the height of COVID-19, we also had access to vaccines and boosters. So, we were able to bring those out to the house and administer those as well. Whatever the family needed – even if that meant bringing groceries from time to time – we tried to be there for them. It’s just what you do for your neighbors. To me, that’s the kind of impact we have as a community pharmacy.

Our customers always tell us they don’t know what they’d do without us. Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without them. Taking care of people is what I love to do. Always have. Always will.

I’m Buddy Bunch, and I’m helping McKesson advance health outcomes for all.

Buddy Bunch is a pharmacist and owns Bunch Pharmacy in Guntersville, Alabama. After working for local and chain pharmacies, Buddy had the opportunity to open an independent pharmacy, which became a McKesson Health Mart in 2010. Buddy was awarded Health Mart's 2020 Pharmacy of the Year for his outstanding patient care and community engagement.



Thames Zabala


Team leader Thames Zabala shares how his mom’s illness has inspired his work at McKesson – like when he helped a cancer patient get the financial assistance needed to access life-changing treatments.


When a loved one is suffering from a disease like cancer, there are so many worries. And affording medications – it can add a lot of stress. I’ve always taken great pride in helping low-income patients get access to their medications. But when my own mom got diagnosed with cancer – that’s when I began it to take it personally.

As a Manager of Patient Assistance Programs at McKesson, my team helps patients get the assistance they need to afford life-changing medications. We help find ways to relieve some of the financial burden of those treatments. And, hopefully, take some of the patients’ worries away.

I remember one patient Juan, a grandad, who was bedridden with a specific type of cancer – Carcinoma. He was a great candidate for our assistance program, but due to complications with coverage, he was unable to receive his treatment. As I always do now, I thought – what if that was my loved one? My mom? It’s powerful motivation. And I used that motivation to get through all the hurdles and get that coverage issue cleared up. So, that grandad could get the medication he needed.

Each year, we go through a renewal process to continue his assistance. I get to catch up with Juan’s family. I love those conversations. His daughter is always so thankful. And his oncology doctors – they are so appreciative, too. Thanks to his full regiment of treatments, the patient is able to be more active. He’s able to hang out and hug his grandkids. And I was able to be a part of all that.

I know my mom would be proud. She’s passed away, but her experience with cancer helps me stay focused on what matters most. I always remind my team. That patient is someone’s brother. Someone’s mom or daughter. Someone’s grandad. Treat them that way.

I’m Thames Zabala, and I’m helping to advance health outcomes for all.

Thames Zabala is the manager of patient assistance services at McKesson. In 2016, Thames began as a patient assistance representative, and his dedication to helping patients get access to medicine gave him the opportunity to grow his career by stepping into a leadership role. In his free time, Thames enjoys traveling and trying new foods with his family and recently received his master of business administration.



Laura Longwell


Instructional Designer Laura Longwell talks about thriving in a workplace full of diverse perspectives and how she helped established McKesson’s first employee resource group (ERG) dedicated to supporting employees of Native American and indigenous backgrounds.


[Says “Hello, my name is Laura Longwell” in Choctaw.]

Hello, my name’s Laura Longwell. I’m a member of the Choctaw nation of Oklahoma. I go by any and all pronouns. And I love being an advocate for our diverse team and culture here at McKesson.

At work – really at any time – people want to feel a sense of belonging. For those of us with diverse or non-traditional backgrounds and perspectives, it’s not always easy. But that’s what inspires me about being at McKesson. This is a place that encourages you to bring your true, authentic self to work every single day.

For me as an instructional designer, that means using my graphic design talents to help educate our teams on the latest therapies and medications for patients. It also means investing time and energy into helping people find support and encouragement from their peers. I helped found Unity, our company’s first employee resource group dedicated to supporting employees of native and indigenous backgrounds. It was during my research in starting up the Unity employee resource group, that I finally discovered who I was at heart. Two-Spirit. It’s a unifying term across hundreds of different indigenous languages describing an indigenous person who has both masculine and feminine spirits. That’s me. Through it all, I’ve helped others find their place – their sense of acceptance and connection. And I’ve found mine too.

My name is Laura Longwell, and I’m helping to advance health outcomes for all.

Laura Longwell joined McKesson in 2015 as a graphic designer and currently supports branding U.S. Pharmaceutical sales e-curriculum and materials as a Senior Instructional/Graphic Designer. As the UNITY ERG leader, Laura represents McKesson at many conferences, driving awareness around the importance of belonging in the workplace and serves on the national board of the PRIDE ERG. As an active member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Laura enjoys learning about their heritage and engaging in tribal culture.



Brandy Hulsey


As a cancer survivor, employee Brandy Hulsey shares how family, coworkers and the personalized care she received from Texas Onocology, part of The US Oncology Network, have helped to support her road to recovery.


I was actually in a work meeting at McKesson when I got the call from my doctor. Stage 3 breast cancer. It was a moment that changed my life.

Based on a routine mammogram, I learned that I had a 7.5-centimeter malignant tumor in my left breast. Thankfully, I was sent to Texas Oncology, part of The US Oncology Network, which is supported by McKesson. The doctors began aggressive treatment to prevent the tumor from further metastasizing.

I’m not going to lie, there were a lot of tough days. I remember one treatment – the Red Devil, a brutal drug that comes in these big red syringes. It definitely challenged my resolve.

But I’m an eternal optimist. And I had so much support. The team of care providers was so compassionate. My husband and daughter were always by my side. My coworkers cheered me on with flowers, cards and meals.

Everyone was really amazing.

Now that I’m cancer-free, I want to pay it forward. I’ve become a mentor through the McKesson Cause Network, a group dedicated to employees and their families who are affected by cancer.

I’m just so humbled by the support that I received in my own personal journey. I want to be there for others too.

I’m Brandy Hulsey, and I’m helping to advance health outcomes for all.

Brandy Hulsey is the Vice President of Returns and Accounts Payable Solutions at McKesson. She has spent her entire career at McKesson, growing in various roles in the financial services and solutions department. As a cancer survivor, Brandy enjoys encouraging others through her blog, Brandy’s Battle, and soaking up special moments with her family.



Michelle Hendricks


Michelle Hendricks explains how the Biologics team helped the family of one young patient, who was facing a rare disease, get the support they needed to continue an all-new therapy at home after clinical trials had ended.


I have two sons of my own. So, I can only imagine how hard it is to find out your child has a rare genetic disorder for which there is no cure.

That’s what Wyllow McHugh and her family were facing. Wyllow was diagnosed with Molybdenum cofactor deficiency Type A at just a few weeks old. This rare disease causes permanent neurological damage and can lead to severe problems eating, swallowing – or just breathing. Only a handful of children in the U.S. have it. And little Wyllow was one of them. After receiving an all-new therapy in the hospital, the question for Wyllow’s family became, how do we continue treatment at home? There was no blueprint. No roadmap. The therapy was brand new.

At Biologics, we help connect patients to life-changing medications for rare diseases. Wyllow’s situation was so unique, because we had to secure the equipment for her family to safely and effectively administer her medications. Working with the McKesson network and manufacturer, we helped locate and deliver a special medical freezer to keep her medication at exactly the right temperature. We also secured a medical-grade syringe pump to administer correct dosages. All for her home.

With Wyllow, every treatment counts. Missing just one can cause more irreversible neurological damage. So, we really leveraged everything we had to help her get what she needed, and her family has been so thankful.

Helping special patients like Wyllow. That’s why I show up every day.

My name is Michelle Hendricks, and I’m helping to advance health outcomes for all.

Michelle Hendricks is a registered nurse, and her passion for patient education and empowerment led her to McKesson in 2020. As a program manager with Biologics, she helps patients with rare diseases receive adequate care and access to life-changing medicine. When she’s not advocating for patients, she enjoys baking, playing sports and spending time outdoors with her sons.