December 14, 2022

CVS Abruptly Closes Ombuds Program

Less than eight months after CVS stunned the Ombuds profession by revealing a full-formed Ombuds program with experienced providers and an IOA-complaint charter, the company has announced the end of the intiative. The retail giant had contracted with MWI to provide virtual Ombuds services with about ten experienced Ombuds and other ADR experts. A website for the program says that it all ended December 5, 2022.

Here's the full announcement (before it disappears):
Thank you for reaching out to the CVS Health Ombuds Team.
The Ombuds Team has served as an important resource for colleagues while CVS Health has transformed the services and offerings of its formal employee relations function Advice & Counsel to Colleague Relations. Colleague Relations has taken actions to improve the experience for both leaders and colleagues when engaging the Colleague Relations team including improved the ease and timeliness of access and streamlined HR call center experience to provide better ways to raise concerns and to feel supported.

Colleague Relations is a team of HR professionals who provide HR guidance to both colleagues and leaders to address issues concerning work performance, workplace experience, or interaction among colleagues. Colleague Relations also conducts investigations. Colleague Relations promotes a positive workplace culture and works with the appropriate stakeholders to ensure CVS Health policies are applied fairly and that the working environment is reflective of our Heart at Work Behaviors.

Beginning December 5, 2022, we will begin the process of sunsetting the Office of Workplace Assistance and CVS Health Ombuds Resource. This process will be completed by the end of the year. Going forward, colleagues should contact Colleague Relations for workplace issues or one of the additional resources listed below.

You can reach Colleague Relations directly via the Colleague Relations Intake Form, by calling 888-MY-HR-CVS (888-694-7287) or emailing


  1. Bad move on the part of CVS. There is no way Colleague Relations can offer the level of confidentiality and impartiality that Ombuds can guarantee.

  2. That may be the point.

  3. No surprise. This program was a sham from the beginning, formed as a PR strategy only, announced when the company was anticipating catastrophic sexual harassment claims. That risk obviously passed.

  4. Actually Employee Relations is better, a lot massive companies utilize these teams with great effect, I think you will be shocked at how anonymous they are. I can speak from experience in running an ER Team at another massive company. I have complete freedom, and leaders know not to ask about where my information comes from...