Diversity & Inclusion

David L. Casey, CVS Health

David L. Casey

A Healthcare
Innovation Company

Editors’ Note

David Casey joined CVS Health in 2010 and is responsible for developing and driving diversity and engagement strategies across the company. In prior roles, Casey was Chief Diversity Officer at WellPoint, where he led the development and execution of enterprise-wide strategies to leverage diversity management for the workforce, workplace and marketplace. He was also Regional Director of Business Development for Bernard Hodes Group, where he consulted with regional, national and international clients. Casey is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and served in Operation Desert Storm. He has a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Company Brief

CVS Health (cvshealth.com) is a health innovation company with a presence in all 50 states. The company has more than 9,900 retail locations, approximately 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with approximately 92 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, expanding specialty pharmacy services, and a leading stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. CVS Health also serves an estimated 38 million people through traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including rapidly expanding Medicare Advantage offerings.

CVS Health has a dedicated Workforce Initiatives team which partners with state and federal workforce agencies to provide employment services and training to underserved communities. It has helped thousands of people access meaningful employment opportunities. It also works with schools, churches, universities, and faith-based and community organizations to hire people with diverse backgrounds.

Will you provide an overview of the role of a chief diversity officer and your key areas of focus?

As Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President of Workforce Strategies at CVS Health, I am responsible for leading the strategic diversity management, AA/EEO and workforce initiatives functions for CVS Health. As part of my role, I lead a team to develop workforce representation, inclusion and belonging, talent systems and marketplace diversity strategies, with a focus on measurable results aligned to our business objectives. The breadth and depth of the scope of work touches every business unit and department across the company.

How do you define what makes CVS Health an industry leader?

As the nation’s premier health innovation company, CVS Health touches the lives of more than 100 million patients and customers every year – each of them with unique backgrounds and needs. So our company’s commitment to strategic diversity management is not a stand-alone objective; it is deeply rooted in our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.

How engrained is diversity and inclusion in CVS Health’s culture and values?

Our company’s strategic approach to managing diversity touches every aspect of our business, from maintaining a diverse workforce and inclusive culture, to spending nearly $2 billion with more than 3,000 small and diverse businesses in our supply chain, to offering products and services that meet the needs of all of our customers, patients and communities. As a healthcare innovation company, the diverse perspectives and experiences of our 295,000 colleagues are essential to staying ahead of the needs of our customers, patients, members and clients.

Will you highlight CVS Health’s diversity and inclusion strategies?

We have a four-pillar framework for strategic diversity management which is designed to engage every colleague in the process and enable every business function to deliver on both our near- and longer-term goals. While many annual initiatives evolve to meet the dynamic needs of the customers, patients and communities we serve, these longer-term objectives provide a consistent and methodological framework:

Workforce Representation – a workforce reflective of the customers, patients, members and communities it serves.

Inclusion and Belonging – an inclusive culture whereby every colleague has a voice, a seat at the table and authentic caring for one another.

Talent Systems – equitable access to growth and development, regardless of background.

Marketplace Diversity – meeting and exceeding the needs of all customers, clients, communities and external constituents.

How does CVS Health engage its employees in its diversity efforts?

At CVS Health, we work to educate, equip and empower all of our nearly 300,000 colleagues across the organization to deliver on our strategic objectives. This approach is anchored by both a top-down and bottom-up model. Our CEO, Larry J. Merlo, and his direct reports serve as the Diversity Management Steering Committee. As such, they all commit to serve as executive sponsors for one of the company’s 15 Colleague Resource Groups (CRGs). A group of approximately 20 senior executives from across the business serve as the company’s Diversity Management Leadership Council (DMLC). The DMLC has a three-part charter to provide strategic direction and guidance on strategic objectives, serve as peer coaches to demonstrate how to leverage diversity management in their respective business units, and to amplify the company’s goals and progress through internal and external communications channels. Shoring up this extended organizational chart are more than 20,000 colleagues participating in CRGs and a host of business unit, market-driven and departmental diversity councils.

When you are focused on hiring the best talent, does that bring with it a certain level of diversity or do you need to include systems in your recruitment process in order to make sure you are reaching your diversity goals?

It’s really both. Developing a diverse, highly-trained workforce that reflects our customers and the neighborhoods in which they live is a win-win for CVS Health and the nearly 10,000 communities we are privileged to serve. We look for colleagues from often untapped or overlooked pools of talent and have teams focused on hiring individuals with disabilities, mature workers, veterans, underserved youth and others, which we believe gives us a competitive advantage. It’s a great example of how being guided by our purpose leads to solutions that help improve the health of our patients and our communities. In business, the things that matter tend to get measured, so we do in fact measure progress across any number of internal and external benchmarks.

What excited you about the opportunity to join CVS and has it been what you expected?

CVS Health has evolved so much over the past nine and a half years, I don’t think I ever could have expected early on to have the level of impact we have been able to have over that timeframe. To engage in a body of work that has a direct impact on our ability to serve more than 100 million people a year and empower more than 295,000 colleagues is more than I could have ever hoped for. The issues can be complex at times but, quite frankly, I consider myself lucky to be able to do it.