Women Leaders

Eileen Howard Boone, CVS Health Foundation

Eileen Howard Boone

Helping People
on Their Path
to Better Health

Editors’ Note

Eileen Howard Boone also serves as an officer of the Aetna Foundation, CVS Health Employee Relief Fund and CVS Health Charity Classic. Previously, she served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Community Relations for CVS Health, leading an enterprise team responsible for media relations, internal communications, corporate events and community engagement. Active in the community, Howard Boone serves on several nonprofit boards of directors, including the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the NACDS Foundation. Through her work and expertise, she has earned many professional service accolades, including the CECP’s Charles H. Moore Award, which recognizes perseverance in pursuing societal advancement, and the National Child Labor Committee’s Lewis Hine Award for service to children and youth. Howard Boone is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and earned her M.B.A. from Fordham University.

Company Brief

CVS Health (cvshealth.com) is a premier health innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Whether in one of its pharmacies or through its health services and plans, CVS Health is pioneering a new approach to total health by making quality care more affordable, accessible, simple and seamless. CVS Health is community-based and locally focused, engaging consumers with the care they need when and where they need it. The company has approximately 9,900 retail locations, approximately 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with approximately 102 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year and expanding specialty pharmacy services. 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 and a leading standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.

CVS Health Foundation is a private foundation created by CVS Health that sits at the center of CVS Health’s corporate philanthropy program. Funds from the CVS Health Foundation provide support for its nonprofit partners, pharmacy schools and the company’s colleagues.

Will you discuss your area of focus at CVS Health?

I am responsible for the strategic positioning of the company’s social responsibility platform, as well as how it interacts within the business. People often ask what CSR really does from an impact perspective. Its real focus is on trying to understand the stakeholders that are important to the business and finding authentic ways to advance our purpose.

Women Leaders

Our purpose of helping people on their path to better health has been the guiding principle for our responsibility platform.

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Our purpose is very critical to what we are, who we are and what we do, as well as to how we make decisions. Our purpose of helping people on their path to better health has been the guiding principle for our responsibility platform.

We have three key focus areas as part of our CSR Strategy. The first is on Building Healthier Communities. This is really designed to incorporate all the things that we do from a healthcare perspective. We incorporate a lot of what we do in philanthropic giving. This really defines who we are as a company.

The second is leading and inspiring growth which relates to all the key things that a large company like ours should be thinking about and standing for.

The third is protecting our planet. Thinking about the impact of our environment in our physical operations and in our products and our services is a critical element to my work.

There’s not a leader in the company that I don’t interact with on a regular basis to proactively understand who we are, what we’re all about and how we connect our work to our purpose.

With the size and scale of CVS Health, how critical are internal communications in order to build employee engagement for these efforts?

Internal communications is critical to being effective in this role, and also to be effective in the communities in which we live and work. One reason is that we want to instill pride and we do this as a company by showing our colleagues what we’re doing in their local communities. We have over 300,000 colleagues across the country so harnessing their passion and showing them the collective impact we can have when we come together is a tremendous employee engagement opportunity.

Another reason is that it helps engage our employees in what we stand for as a company. Public engagement and volunteerism is very important and we have to make sure our colleagues across the country know this and feel a part of our efforts.

How critical is it for you in this role to have engagement and passion from the C-Suite and management team at CVS Health?

I consider myself a very lucky CSR practitioner at CVS Health because I have a highly-engaged executive team. Our leadership team has a high level of commitment to advancing our work both in the area of being socially responsible and in supporting the communities we serve.

How critical is it to be a purpose-driven company in order to attract and retain top talent?

My team works very closely with the talent acquisition team because we know that CSR is one of the biggest talent recruitment and retention drivers. We don’t lack for young people wanting to work at our company because of the courageous decisions that we’ve made, whether it’s in regards to eliminating tobacco products or the chemicals of consumer concern in our beauty and personal care products. We’ve made some very important purpose-driven decisions and I suspect that is why talented people want to work in an organization like CVS Health.