Partnering with Fortuity to Generate Job Opportunities in Franklinton
CoverMyMeds is proud to be Fortuity’s first employer partner via its Pathways Workforce Development program, helping to generate high-quality job opportunities for inner-city candidates in Columbus. Here, we chat with Fortuity’s co-founder and two employees currently working as account coordinators for CoverMyMeds.
For co-founders Fred Brothers and Katie Robinson, Fortuity — located by the #10 COTA bus line in Franklinton, Ohio — is a passion-project-turned-social-enterprise seven years in the making.
According to Katie, the inspiration for Fortuity came to Fred in 2015 in the form of an adage while he was volunteering at a food pantry: “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.”
So, the two set out to create a one-of-a-kind call center to generate good-paying job opportunities for high-potential, inner-city candidates close to downtown Columbus.
After raising $12.5 million in public funding and embarking on a two-year building renovation plagued by uncontrollable delays, Fred and Katie’s dream materialized with the opening of Fortuity in February 2020. Despite setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fortuity announced the launch of its Pathways Workforce Development program on Feb. 16, 2022, with CoverMyMeds as its first employer partner.
“CoverMyMeds was one of the very first companies we had conversations with — way before its headquarters opened less than a mile up the street from ours,” Katie said. “We both have similar goals to uplift the Franklinton community and the people who live here, and our partnership is an extension of that shared mission.”
CoverMyMeds and Fortuity employees collaborating to help patients
Currently, Fortuity is contracted to provide 40 full-time employees to CoverMyMeds — most of whom serve in account specialist and account coordinator roles, answering inbound chats from healthcare providers, pharmacists and their care teams. Ray McFerren, director of network services, has worked at CoverMyMeds for eight years and helps oversee the ongoing partnership.
“CoverMyMeds’ Vice President of Network, Miranda Delatore, drove early exploration with Fortuity, and my team helped get Fortuity’s 40 employees up-to-speed in late 2021,” Ray said. “The new year always brings on a flux of questions from providers who need to renew prior authorization (PA) requests for patients’ medications, and our account specialists and account coordinators at Fortuity helped manage that extra needed support.”
Although Fortuity’s account specialists and account coordinators work at the company's 40,000-square-foot facility instead of on CoverMyMeds’ campus, they’re in constant communication with our employees via Slack. According to Ray, a true sense of camaraderie is budding between the two teams.
“A cool thing I’ve started to observe are pockets of rapport between CoverMyMeds and Fortuity team members,” Ray said. “There’s a true sense of collaboration — like they’re in this together, and they’ve got each other’s backs.”
Right here — in this corner of Franklinton — the partnership that CoverMyMeds has with Fortuity is changing a lot of things for a lot of people.
Meet Yolanda and Marta, two Fortuity employees helping CoverMyMeds
One Fortuity employee who currently works with CoverMyMeds as an account coordinator is Yolanda Brown. Yolanda — who worked as a lead medical assistant at Southeast Healthcare before the COVID-19 pandemic — was in the first CoverMyMeds training class at Fortuity in November 2021.
“Even with my healthcare background, I was a little intimidated,” Yolanda said. “But CoverMyMeds provided us with so many resources, and I’m still friends with everyone from my training class.”
Now, over five months later, Yolanda feels much more comfortable answering inbound questions from medical professionals — and she has fun while doing so.
“I like to get creative with my chats — I add fun emojis here and there, and I imagine where in the country our technology users are chatting from,” Yolanda said. “On St. Patrick’s Day, somebody even messaged me and said, ‘hello, top o' the morning to ya.’”
When Yolanda thinks about going to work, she said it’s not a chore — rather, she enjoys it.
“What Fortuity and CoverMyMeds are doing — it might not be enough to change the world on a large scale, or maybe even enough to change Ohio,” Yolanda said. “But right here — in this corner of Franklinton — the partnership that CoverMyMeds has with Fortuity is changing a lot of things for a lot of people.”
Marta Medina is another account coordinator at Fortuity; she started in January 2022. Unlike Yolanda, Marta didn’t have any prior healthcare experience, but she had seen a few CoverMyMeds ads around town. According to Marta, after accepting the job and looking over our website, she immediately thought, “Oh, this is going to be great.”
And so far, it has been.
“I’ve worked at a few call centers, but Fortuity is by far the best company I’ve ever worked for in my entire life,” Marta said. “From the CEOs to the managers to the trainers — everyone knows our names and they really care about us; I always feel supported through every challenge I encounter.”
For Marta, the most rewarding part of her job at Fortuity is helping CoverMyMeds’ users work through technology challenges or errors to successfully complete and submit PA requests for patients.
“It’s pretty awesome to know I’m playing a part in helping people get the medicine they need to live healthier lives — I'm so grateful and proud to have this opportunity,” Marta said.
The Pathway program’s goal is to provide our employees with opportunities for advancement and the chance to transition to employment with partners like CoverMyMeds.
A chance for Fortuity employees to join CoverMyMeds full-time
Although CoverMyMeds is Fortuity’s first employer partner, it most certainly won’t be their last. In fact, Katie said the call center has plans to double its employee base by the end of 2022. The Fortuity building has 500 desks for employees — plenty of room to welcome more high-potential, inner-city candidates seeking good-paying positions.
“The Pathway program’s goal is to provide our employees with opportunities for advancement and the chance to transition to employment with partners like CoverMyMeds,” Katie said. “But overall — for everyone at Fortuity — our hope is that they learn new skills, gain self-confidence and expand their careers in ways they never imagined possible.”
To illustrate that hope, Katie shared this poem written by Mekayla Goodwin — another Fortuity employee — about her appreciation for the call center and its people-centric mission in Columbus:
To Be Fortuitous
By Mekayla Goodwin
A chance occurrence.
But make no mistake not by chance but by faith.
How ironic we all ended up in this place?
Connected in ways deeper than the database.
An old face or two,
A whole lot of new,
Excitement in my body, from my curls to my shoes.
It's the free coffee for me, or, how everyone is so cool.
It’s probably their mission, to fully equip someone with the right tools.
I can’t decide, due to all the camaraderie.
Don’t take the things I say modestly,
To be even the smallest part of such a wonderful team.
I know we’ll do amazing.
Whether you take a sweet approach,
Or come in keyboards bla-zen.
Learn about another workforce readiness program CoverMyMeds supports in Franklinton and Hilltop.