March 14, 2022

CVS Surprises with Fully Formed Ombuds Program

The retail corporation (currently the fourth largest publicly-traded company in the U.S.) has unveiled a full-staffed Ombuds program. On Friday, Karen Lynch, the CEO of CVS Health, removed several executives following an investigation into the handling of employee sexual harassment complaints. According to the Boston Globe, Lynch also told senior leaders on Friday that she she planned to give employees a “confidential channel” to navigate what she described as a “challenging situation.” Then, over the weekend, a website for the CVS Health Ombuds Team went live.

The new website reveals that CVS has hired several experienced Ombuds and created charter document that ensures compliance with IOA standards. MWI, a dispute resolution service and training firm in Boston, and its Executive Director, Chuck Doran, were selected to create the program, which will serve 300,000 CVS employees. Former IOA President and attorney, Charles “Chuck” Howard has joined the team as a Special Advisor to help CVS Health and MWI roll out the program.

The CVS Health Ombuds Team currently includes:
  • Allison Monyei Whaley, Ombuds Manager & Ombuds for Employees at Montgomery College;
  • Nnena Odim, a Mediator/Facilitator/Trainer/ADR Consultant with MWI and Attorney/Mediator/Clinical Instructor at WilmerHale;
  • Alnoor Maherali, Co-Founder and Senior Mediator with Venn Mediation LLC;
  • Barb Beatty, former University Ombuds at Metropolitan State University of Denver;
  • Wendy Friede, Principal with Friede Coaching and Consulting and former Corporate Ombudsperson at American Express;
  • Josh Hoch, Director of Mediation & Ombuds Services at MWI;
  • Rita Callahan, Ombuds and Organizational Collaboration and Conflict Management Consultant with Working It Out and former Ombuds at University of California, San Francisco;
  • Charmee Kim, Ombuds at McKinsey & Co.;
  • Jai Calloway, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Exude, Inc., and former Ombuds at Iowa State University and former Corporate Ombudsman at Halliburton; and
  • Megan Winkeler, Ombuds and Director of Training & Analytics at MWI.
(CVS Health Ombuds; Boston Globe.)


  1. Wow!!! Very impressive! I hope you can hear the applause from over here :)

  2. Wow. I'm impressed such a comprehensive program and all-star cast could be developed and assembled quietly and without fanfare. What a HUGE gain for our profession!

  3. Congratulations! Looking forward to seeing periodic reports on the progress and contribution of this significant reform.

  4. What they didn’t publicize was the new office of Executive Director. Experienced Employment attorneys sift through emails and try to oust Whistleblowers before they make a report. Great Culture. Maybe they should oust the Managers with Professional License Revocations.