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Organization Background – CVS Health

Organization Background – CVS Health

CVS Health is a prominent for-profit healthcare organization in the United States. By analyzing the external environment and internal capabilities, formulating strategies that align with its long-term goals, and effectively implementing these strategies, CVS Health navigates the complex healthcare landscape and adapts to changing market dynamics. This essay explores the background, status, and strategic planning process employed by CVS Health.

CVS Healthcare Background

CVS Health, officially known as CVS Health Corporation, is a prominent healthcare organization in the United States. It was founded in 1963 as a Consumer Value store by Stanley Goldstein, Sidney Goldstein, and Ralph Hoagland, with the first store opening in Lowell, Massachusetts. Initially, CVS focused on retail health and beauty products, gradually expanding its offerings to include pharmaceuticals and healthcare services (Danthinne et al., 2022). Over the years, the company has grown significantly and evolved into a diversified healthcare company with a strong presence in retail pharmacy, healthcare services, and pharmacy benefit management.

In 1996, CVS acquired the pharmacy benefit management company PharmaCare, which marked its entry into the managed care industry. This strategic move allowed CVS to integrate pharmacy services with insurance and create more comprehensive healthcare solutions for its customers. Subsequently, the company acquired several other pharmacy benefit management firms, solidifying its position as a leader in the industry.

In 2006, CVS merged with Caremark, a leading pharmacy benefit management company, to form CVS Caremark Corporation. This merger enabled CVS to combine its retail pharmacy services with Caremark’s expertise in pharmacy benefit management, creating a vertically integrated company capable of delivering an extensive range of healthcare solutions. In 2014, the company rebranded as CVS Health to reflect its expanded focus on providing holistic healthcare services beyond traditional pharmacy operations.

Today, CVS Health operates a vast network of retail pharmacies, specialty pharmacies, walk-in clinics (MinuteClinic), and long-term care facilities. The company’s mission is to improve its customers’ and communities’ overall health and well-being. CVS Health continues to innovate and adapt to changing market dynamics, leveraging its diverse business segments to address the evolving needs of the healthcare industry.

Status and the Levels of Strategy Seen Within CVS Health

CVS Health is a for-profit organization operating in the healthcare industry. It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the CVS ticker as a publicly traded company. Being a for-profit organization means that CVS Health’s primary objective is to generate profits for its shareholders while delivering value to its customers through its healthcare services and products (Fitzsimmons et al., 2022). Within CVS Health, multiple levels of strategy can be observed.

At the operational level, the organization focuses on day-to-day activities and processes that directly support delivering healthcare services and retail operations. This includes managing inventory, optimizing supply chains, ensuring efficient store operations, and providing high-quality patient care. At the strategic level, CVS Health formulates and implements long-term plans to guide the overall direction and growth of the organization (Struckell et al., 2022). This involves making decisions regarding market expansion, mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, and diversification of services. For example, the company’s acquisition of Aetna, a primary health insurance provider, in 2018 showcased its strategic move to integrate healthcare services, pharmacy benefits, and insurance to create a more comprehensive healthcare ecosystem.

Moreover, CVS Health also engages in corporate-level strategy, which involves decisions that affect the organization. This may include initiatives related to corporate social responsibility, governance, risk management, and financial planning. The organization’s commitment to corporate social responsibility is evident in its efforts to promote sustainability, support community health initiatives, and address social determinants of health.

Strategic Planning Process Used Within CVS Health

The first step in the strategic planning process is analysis. CVS Health thoroughly analyzes the external environment and internal capabilities to identify opportunities and challenges (Weston, 2020). This includes assessing market trends, competitive landscape, regulatory factors, and customer needs. Additionally, the organization evaluates its strengths, weaknesses, resources, and core competencies. This analysis helps CVS Health understand the current state of the healthcare industry and its own position within it.

The second step is strategy formulation. Based on the analysis, CVS Health develops strategies that align with its mission and long-term goals. This involves setting strategic objectives, identifying target markets, and determining the value proposition it aims to offer. For example, the organization has pursued strategies such as expanding its retail footprint, enhancing its digital capabilities, and integrating healthcare services with pharmacy benefits. The formulation stage also involves evaluating various strategic options, conducting financial analyses, and assessing potential risks and rewards.

The final step is strategy implementation. Once the strategies are formulated, CVS Health takes steps to execute and implement them effectively. CVS Health allocates resources, establishes specific action plans, and sets performance metrics to monitor progress (Dolansky et al., 2021). The organization also ensures effective communication and coordination across different departments and stakeholders to drive successful implementation. Regular evaluation and monitoring of key performance indicators enable CVS Health to make necessary adjustments and improvements.


CVS Health demonstrates a robust and systematic strategic planning process that enables the organization to thrive in the healthcare industry. Through thorough analysis of the external environment and internal capabilities, CVS Health identifies opportunities and challenges, ensuring an informed and strategic approach to decision-making. Formulating strategies that align with the organization’s mission and long-term goals puts or positions CVS Health for growth and success.


Danthinne, E. S., Giorgianni, F. E., Austin, S. B., & Rodgers, R. F. (2022). Beauty and the big business: A qualitative investigation of the development and implementation of the CVS Beauty Mark. Body Image, 41, 74–83.

Dolansky, M. A., Pohnert, A., Ball, S., McCormack, M., Hughes, R., & Pino, L. (2021). Pre‐Implementation of the Age‐Friendly Health Systems Evidence‐Based 4Ms Framework in a Multi‐State Convenient Care Practice. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing, 18(2), 118–128.

Fitzsimmons, A. B., Qin, Y. S., & Heffron, E. R. (2022). Purpose vs. mission vs vision: Persuasive appeals and components in corporate statements. Journal of Communication Management, 26(2).

Struckell, E., Ojha, D., Patel, P. C., & Dhir, A. (2022). Strategic choice in times of stagnant growth and uncertainty: An institutional theory and organizational change perspective. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 182, 121839.

Weston, M. J. (2020). Strategic Planning in an Age of Uncertainty: Nurse Leader, 18(1), 54–58.


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Organization Background - CVS Health

Organization Background – CVS Health

For this class, you will be focusing on the development of a strategic plan for a specific healthcare organization. You can use an organization that you currently work for or one that you are familiar with. You will then follow this healthcare organization through each topic in this class. Construct an essay that is 750-1,000 words and include the following:
1. State the organization that you would like to use for this project and describe its history/background.
2. Explain the status of the organization, (for-profit, nonprofit, etc.) as well as the levels of strategy seen within the organization, (operational, strategic, etc.)
3. Explain the strategic planning process used within your chosen organization.
Be sure to cite three to five relevant credible sources in support of your content. In addition to sources found at the GCU Library, government websites, or those provided in topic Resources, you may need to search your chosen organization’s website or interview someone within that organization.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

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