In the U.S., One in Eight People Struggles with Hunger
By Shane Power, President of Watertree Health…
That’s 46.5 million people. These statistics are what led us to develop partnerships with 15 regional Food Banks. In a one-of-a-kind program that helps people save money on their prescriptions, we also help provide meals to local communities – so far, over 1.8 million meals in the span of approximately two years. With the support of our passionate, mission-minded team, I’m sure this number will continue to grow significantly every year and we’ll be able to help more people than ever.
This program also addresses these stats – in the United States, 25% people struggle to pay for their medications. And, 31 million choose between food and medicine each year. For Food Bank clients, it’s even worse. Nearly 65% report choosing between paying for food or medicine/medical care in the past year – every month, 31% make this difficult decision.
We had to do something. No one should have to choose between basic necessities such as food and vital medications. No one should go hungry, especially children. That’s why we at Watertree Health provide everyone – including Food Bank supporters, clients and others – free Prescription Discount Cards that help fund meals for those in need.
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Dawn Burroughs said, “We distribute Holiday Care & Share food boxes, along with fresh produce, ham and bread to families in western Oklahoma right before the holidays, and have been including the [Watertree Health] prescription discount cards in the boxes. We also give each family a “comment card” and ask that they tell us why the food boxes are important to them. We get many positive comments and many are extremely thankful for both the food and the cards.”
The free Prescription Discount Cards benefitting our Food Bank partners help people afford their prescriptions and address food insecurity in their communities because each time someone saves, my Company makes a donation to the local Food Bank.
Fight hunger in your community and save money on your medicines, at no effort or cost to you — it’s a win-win. Together, we can beat hunger and build healthier communities across America.
Watertree Health MVP Spotlight: Midge Edmond
Tenacious, determined, goal-oriented and driven to succeed.
Midge Edmond, mother of 10 and grandmother of 24 (going on 25), lives between Georgia and South Carolina, and has been a Watertree Health® Service Representative for about 4 years. This makes her one of the pioneer Reps in our company, and as she likes to say, “Is the tortoise in the story of the tortoise and the hare – slow and steady wins the race.”
When I asked Midge what attracted her to Watertree Health, she said that it’s been one of her prayers for years to be able to do something that allows her to see her kids and grandkids more often. She has also experienced the importance of prescription discount cards firsthand:
My husband has been disabled for over 20 years and several years ago he fell into the donut hole. I looked everywhere for help with the high cost of his medications. When a friend called me about Watertree Health, I just knew that it was the answer for me and that I had to share it with others.
Not only has Midge shared the Watertree Health Prescription Assistance Program with others, but also her persistence has made her one of the top Reps in the company. When the program benefitting Make-A-Wish® began in November 2014, Midge jumped right on board.
I’ve been amazed at how many people behind the counter have been touched by Make-A-Wish. For example, one of the pharmacy technicians had a wish granted! And at least 10 more technicians have had a family member have a wish granted. I’ve been encouraging one technician to apply for her 3-year-old daughter who has leukemia. The Make-A-Wish ripple effect is amazing.
In addition to helping grow donations for Make-A-Wish, Midge has also helped many other team members grow, including her own Director, Trina. Trina shared, “Midge taught me how to be a better manager and keeps me organized. Not to mention, every time I call her, she’s open, adaptable and always ready for the next challenge. Not only is she ready, but she excels.”
“This job is not only about building relationships outside of the company; it’s about building relationships inside too,” Midge said. “I’m not a great salesman, but I’m a great relationship-builder.”
Midge has grown very close with fellow Reps Candy Sleight, Kelly Harding, and also recruited a dear friend, Wayne Dalton. Their close-knit work family continues to mentor one another and help each other grow to help even more people afford the medications they need to stay healthy.
Since becoming a Rep, Midge has witnessed some amazing savings stories. For example: “I stood behind a couple discussing if they could get their meds or not. The tech ran our card and saved them $27 off and $32 off. They both just beamed and hugged each other.”
Another story Midge shared involved a pharmacy technician who doubted the significance of the card. “A woman had been paying $375 per month for over 6 years for her medication. Our card brought the cost down to $175! The woman sat in the chair and cried for 20 minutes while they filled her prescription. Needless to say the tech became a believer!”
All of these elements are what has kept Midge going for the last 4 years. She reflected:
My meeting with Trina for training is probably my very best memory that keeps me going. When I met her I knew that I knew that I was supposed to work for this company. It was good that I had that conviction deep down because there have been many times over these 4 years when I almost gave up. I have relied on a couple of Make-A-Wish children’s stories to push me on. I remind myself of the Little Engine that Could. I think I can, I think I can, I know I can!!!
We know you can because we’ve seen what amazing things you’ve done for your family, community, and Watertree Health. Thank you for sticking with us through thick and thin. We are so lucky to have you be on our team. Congratulations MVP! You truly are an amazing inspiration to us all.
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Purpose in the Workplace
By Lisa Chau, Communications Manager of Watertree Health…
Last November, I attended a Millennials Summit at Thompson Reuters. One discussion particularly resonated with me: More of today’s workforce is seeking careers with social impact. It’s the reason I decided to join Watertree Health earlier that month. The company’s mission is to make health care more accessible to all people in America — to improve their health. They have programs with key health-related nonprofits that provide an ongoing revenue stream to these organizations. In 2015 alone, Watertree Health saved cardholders $84 million on prescription costs, raised enough money to provide almost one million meals to 15 local food bank partners and donated $530,000 to Make-A-Wish. As a member of the team, I not only assist in growing the company, but I participate in its goal to expand its philanthropic efforts. Watertree Health cultivates a culture of helping, and social responsibility is ingrained in the corporate DNA.
As Grovo CEO and Cofounder, Jeff Fernandez wrote in Forbes recently, “Paycheck Or Purpose? Today’s Employees Demand Both”. Last year, I first co-wrote with Jeff about “Digital Skills Urgently Needed to Bridge Digital Literacy Gap”. At the time, his company had partnered with Capital One to announce the Future Edge Digital Literacy Challenge at the Clinton Global Initiative America. An initiative designed to bring free digital literacy education to the masses, it empowers people with the skills needed to compete for the millions of secure, well-paying middle-skill jobs that today’s employers are actively looking to fill.
More recently, Grovo was named to the coveted CNN Upstart 30 “Idealists” list, and also Icreon consultants’ “Top 10 Startups To Work for in 2015” list, along with Slack, Birchbox and Venmo. On January 26th, it announced $40M in Series C funding led by existing investor Accel with participation from Greg Waldorf, Costanoa Venture Capital, SoftTech VC and Vayner Capital. Jeff’s company solves learning & development (L&D) problems for such brands as Major League Baseball, Equinox, Whole Foods, Chevron, the Kansas City Chiefs and DDB.
I interviewed Jeff further about his thoughts on social impact.
Why are millennials particularly interested in purpose at their jobs today?
Millennials were the first generation to grow up with the Internet and technology deeply embedded into their lives. Because of that enormous and unprecedented access to information, they have an acute sensitivity to injustice and a deep desire to make a difference. Their ability to understand and know what’s going on globally is much higher than any previous generation. At the same time, they grew up in an era where making your voice heard is as simple as clicking “tweet.” They’ve watched ordinary people spark movements and topple brands. Together, those forces drive Millennials to seek out jobs that prioritize people and purpose alongside their products and profits. Simply put, they want and expect to be able to make a difference.
Which companies are doing particularly well at balancing purpose and paycheck?
When most people hear “purpose-driven” work, they immediately think of companies like Tom’s, Warby Parker, or FEED. The truth is, any company can give their people greater purpose. It’s about having an authentic, clearly stated mission that every employee can understand and rally behind. That shared vision builds team camaraderie and inspires people to work at a really high level. Great managers and leaders show people how their work is connected to that bigger picture.
How can companies cultivate philanthropy in their organizations?
It’s great to appoint someone internally to be point person on a philanthropy program, even if you’re a smaller organization. It can start small, with actions like holiday toy and coat drives, and grow from there into bigger cross-company and partner initiatives. Empower your people to determine how they want to come together make an impact.
Starting Grovo for Good, Grovo’s philanthropic arm, was always something I wanted to do, and our employees were big proponents of it. Once you have a team that’s excited to give back, then your company’s leadership needs to commit by pledging regular hours or monetary support for this sort of participation. Please watch our Grovo for Good video.
How can one company who seeks to make social impact differentiate itself from others?
Authenticity. You have to do it your own way. Along the journey, you have to empower your people, connect it to your company’s mission, and just be true to it. Ultimately, authenticity is the differentiator between the socially-conscious programs that stick and those that falter.
What are your thoughts on the socially-minded i(x) Investments, co-founded by 32 year old Howard Warren Buffett, grandson of Warren E. Buffett?
In the past, there was a much bigger focus on the idea of separate social responsibility initiatives that companies sponsored or bought into. Today, as in this case, socially-minded investments are more integrated within core business models and strategies. It makes sense for Buffett to leverage his brand name and inherent competitive advantages for social good. I applaud the effort, and wish him the best of luck.
What can nonprofits learn from the for-profit world? Vice versa?
Nonprofits succeed when they are performance and goal-oriented, just like the for-profit world. Doing good and making a difference can and should be measured and meticulously strategized. Many nonprofits already have a firm grasp of this, though. For-profits stand to benefit when they instill a solid sense of purpose in their workforce, something that nonprofits excel at. They can learn that you don’t need exorbitant paychecks and perks to have a passionate, capable group of people driving your business forward.
No matter what company you are at, cultivating a strong sense of culture and team dynamic is key to attracting amazing, motivated people that do their best work for you.
What are the most common L&D problems for companies?
The biggest hurdle for companies is getting employees to complete any sort of learning in the first place. Training has a perception problem. People expect to be confronted with boring, irrelevant material that’s largely compliance driven and unnecessary. Grovo is working to fix this through smarter learning programs that match today’s rapidly changing workplace, delivered in a way that’s fast and fun. It’s learning that people love and can actually connect with.
The second biggest learning problem many companies face is a lack of quality managerial and leadership training. Companies are really after behavioral change, but they often don’t treat it that way. Developing great managers isn’t about imparting knowledge and competencies, but rather instilling the right habits. It’s a pain point that we feel too, which is why action-oriented learning is a big part of our learning approach. Internally, delivering exceptional training for our managers is a big priority for us this year.
How does Grovo attract socially-minded exceptional talent?
I think it starts with clarity of purpose, mission and values. We are hyper-selective about finding people who are not only competent to do the job, but also add to our culture and are passionate about our purpose. In order to that, we aggressively pursue a large funnel of talent so we’re able to meet a wide spectrum of candidates. We often find people who fit the job description, but finding the right cultural fit is the harder piece of the equation.
Are the days of ping pong, foosball tables and beer Fridays gone?
I sure hope not! Provided that we perform, we’ll keep those days alive and well. However, employee perks like this are “nice-to-haves”, not “must haves”. These things aren’t culture, and it’s dangerous to think that way. You’re much better off de-emphasizing perks and instead focusing on your overall culture. That being said, playing ping pong is a lot of fun. Just understand its purpose. In and of itself, it’s not what drives the company forward.
Follow Lisa Chau on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Lisa03755