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McKesson employees and their family members from The Woodlands office and Conroe Distribution Center lay Memorial Day flags for Fallen Vets Ceremony at Houston National Cemetery, May 2021.
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McKesson Military Resource Group Celebrates Our Veteran Employees

By Raymond Weaver2022-11-08

McKesson Military Resource Group (MMRG) is an employee resource group (ERG) at CoverMyMeds that helps provide opportunities for employees to recognize and welcome veterans and their families into our company. We’re taking time to celebrate MMRG this November for Veterans Day and invite CoverMyMeds employees to join the newly integrated ERG.

After serving in the U.S. Army for 16 years, teaching history to cadets at West Point and being honorably discharged as a major, Tracy Russell’s husband, Bill, experienced challenges when applying to civilian teaching jobs. Despite his expansive resume, school administrators didn't seem interested in hiring a so-called “military man.”

According to Tracy, senior director of state government affairs at CoverMyMeds, what Bill went through is unfortunately far too common.

“Veterans are discriminated against more frequently than folks realize,” Tracy said. “It’s easy to assume they’re revered, honored and clapped for as they walk through airports. But unfortunately, many can’t find quality careers, and many employers aren’t properly trained on how their experience can apply to civilian job environments.”

For that reason and more, Tracy got involved with McKesson Military Resource Group (MMRG), an employee resource group (ERG), in 2017. MMRG exists to provide opportunities for employees to recognize and welcome veterans and their families into McKesson and, by extension, CoverMyMeds.

Today, Tracy serves as MMRG's national communications lead, and she’s excited to help expand its footprint in 2023.

McKesson Military Resource Group goals

1. Engage MMRG membership at McKesson/CoverMyMeds

  • Provide social and professional networking opportunities for veterans
  • Conduct events that allow professional and personal growth for members
  • Start new local chapters/sites, providing greater opportunity for participation

2. Contribute to the recruiting, hiring and retention of veterans

  • Support HR and talent acquisition at recruitment events
  • Support hiring managers during hiring processes
  • Assist HR and DEI to improve veteran retention

3. Plan activities and events to celebrate Veterans and Memorial days

  • Conduct national, regional and local activities to bring attention to veterans

4. Conduct community outreach to veterans and/or active-duty military

  • Support an annual veteran-focused event/activity in local communities
  • Conduct a fundraiser for organizations that assist veterans and/or active-duty military

5. Raise awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and suicide prevention

  • Educate HR and hiring managers about PTSD, TBI and suicide awareness/prevention
  • Partner with programs to address PTSD, TBI and suicide awareness/prevention

Expanding MMRG throughout McKesson’s company locations

One employee at McKesson who shares in Tracy’s goal is Paul McKeon, senior business process consultant. Paul joined McKesson in 2017 in The Woodlands, Texas. At the time, there wasn’t a local chapter of MMRG, so he helped create one himself.

“Prior to my corporate career, I served in the Navy for 28 years,” Paul said. “I knew that McKesson puts an emphasis on employee resource groups like MMRG, so I was eager to start a local chapter to help my fellow veterans with networking opportunities and professional development.”

Paul is passionate about helping veterans translate their active-duty experiences into civilian-style skills that can be applied in business environments, since that's something he personally struggled with after his military retirement.

“Military job titles don’t really match up well with job titles in civilian, private organizations like McKesson,” Paul said. “So, it can be difficult for veterans to find where they fit in — even if they have every qualification under the sun.”

As part of McKesson’s Six Sigma team, Paul helps develop plans to streamline business processes and obtain operational excellence across the company. His military experience in positions related to process improvements and efficiency updates, he said, absolutely helped prepare him for his current role.

“Beyond relevant experience, veterans, as a whole, make excellent job candidates because they bring a very disciplined approach to their jobs,” Paul said. “We’re used to working in group environments, and we’re tremendous team players — those things help make veterans stand out in any organization.”

McKesson is recognized as a military-friendly company by Military Friendly, the standard that measures an organization’s commitment, effort and success in creating sustainable and meaningful benefits for the military community. Over 1,500 organizations compete annually for Military Friendly designation every year.

Successfully translating military job experience into civilian job experience

One veteran and MMRG member who stands out at CoverMyMeds is Kyle Dresbach. Kyle joined the company in 2019 as director of pharmacy operations, but recently moved into a new role as director of change management and organizational effectiveness.

Kyle’s military career began three years into his pharmacy school program, when he applied for the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) — a military scholarship that can provide tuition assistance for certain career paths. Although the guarantee of financial aid initially piqued his interest, he quickly grew to appreciate feeling part of something bigger than himself.

“I shadowed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and there was something about it — the camaraderie, the closeness of the teams,” he said. “A shared mission, to me, connects the Air Force and CoverMyMeds — both entities have a strong purpose and clear vision to rally behind.”

As an Air Force pharmacist, Kyle was stationed at an outpatient pharmacy on McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas. Although his day-to-day life often looked like a civilian pharmacist’s, Kyle also helped create preparation plans for circumstances like a flu outbreak on base and other emergencies in the U.S.

I truly believe the exposure and opportunity the military provided helped me stand out as a job candidate at CoverMyMeds.

Kyle Dresbachdirector of change management & organizational effectiveness at CoverMyMeds

After three years of active duty, Kyle and his family moved back to Ohio to be closer to family in Columbus. He then used his Post-9/11 GI Bill to get an Executive MBA at Ohio State University — something he said would have been difficult without military support.

“That program cost over $100,000, and I only had to pay a fraction of that price — that’s an example of something the military provides to veterans like me,” Kyle said. “As part of that program, I went on a trip to Silicon Valley and felt inspired by the innovation out there. When I got back to Columbus, I started to research high-energy companies and came across CoverMyMeds.” The rest is history.

Kyle said his military experience directly impacted his career trajectory.

“Everything I did in the Air Force in three years, I don’t think I would have been able to do in a traditional pharmacy setting,” he said. “I truly believe the exposure and opportunity the military provided helped me stand out as a job candidate at CoverMyMeds.”

Regarding his expectations as a new member of MMRG, Kyle said they’re two-fold.

“First, I want veterans to be able to connect with a group of likeminded people who want to advance their careers,” he said. “Second, I want to solidify our reputation as a best place to work and grow for everyone — including people who’ve served in the military.”

MMRG celebrates veterans every November — and all year long

Since November is MMRG’s “heritage month,” the ERG has several activities planned that McKesson and CoverMyMeds employees can participate in virtually, including a special Veterans Day keynote speaker event with a former Navy SEAL and a panel discussion about transitioning from a military work environment into the private sector.

Beyond November’s initiatives, MMRG also plans events throughout the year. In Columbus specifically, CoverMyMeds has partnered with Besa — an organization that coordinates community-wide service projects — to write gratitude letters for Soldiers’ Angels and Support our Troops, and they have also coordinated opportunities with The Mission Continues.

For McKesson and CoverMyMeds warehouse employees, MMRG encourages them to participate in Red Shirt Fridays — not just in November, but throughout the year, as well. Red Shirt Friday is an organization whose goal is to set aside political agendas and support those who bravely put their lives on the line for our country’s freedom.

MMRG is open to everyone — not just veteran employees and their families

Employees don’t have to be veterans to join MMRG, just like they don’t have to be women to join Women Empowered (WE) or part of the LGBTGQ+ community to join PRIDE. Our 11 ERGs are open to everyone. The only criteria for MMRG membership, Tracy said, is to have an interest in supporting the career development of our country’s military servicepersons after they retire from active duty.

“Any military job can translate into a civilian job — from warehouse management and distribution to call center experience and recruitment — those skills are all transferable,” said Tracy. “McKesson employs 80,000-plus people and we have contracts with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), so it only makes sense that we directly support our own veterans, too. That’s what MMRG exists to do.”

If you’re a veteran who’s interested in applying for a job at CoverMyMeds, check out our open positions on our careers page.

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