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2021 US Insurance Awards: McKesson, Risk Management Team of the Year

Jane Sandler

When the U.S. government selected McKesson Corp. as the central distributor for COVID-19 vaccines, its risk management team quickly mobilized to assist in the company’s pivotal role in setting up vaccine distribution centers.

From the onset of the pandemic, and as a key member of McKesson’s crisis management team, risk management had been involved in meeting the increased demand for personal protective equipment and ancillary supplies amid critical shortages at hospitals across the country.

After McKesson was selected to support the government’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts, the risk management team expanded its focus to ensure a successful vaccine rollout.

Critically, McKesson led the operation with no production time lost at any of its distribution centers.

McKesson is the winner of the Business Insurance 2021 U.S. Insurance Award for Risk Management Team of the Year.

McKesson set up a dedicated operation to manage the COVID-19 vaccines. To meet the demand and scale of this mission, the Irving, Texas-based pharmaceutical distributor added 3.3 million square feet of new distribution space. 

Many obstacles had to be overcome to deliver the vaccines within the expedited time frame. Risk management mobilized to ensure McKesson’s resources and expertise were well-positioned in all parts of the operations to identify and mitigate risks and help ensure the operation’s success.

Risk management’s efforts contributed to the success of the operation in various important ways. For example, the team reviewed and provided modeling of insurance coverage along with key risk priorities and contributed to negotiations of key agreements. 

It also supported implementation of risk mitigation standards and critical safety capabilities with a focus on operational resilience and assisted the company’s operations in Canada and Europe at different stages of response.

Risk management also established leadership guidelines to navigate the pandemic, tracking the impact of changes in the regulatory environment and rules for workers compensation and safety, said Jane Sandler, Alpharetta, Georgia-based vice president, global risk management, at McKesson. 

The risk management team’s efforts supported McKesson’s distribution of over 185 million vaccines in the U.S. as of July 31, 2021, and more than 65 million vaccines to countries around the world under the direction of the federal government. 

Risk management played “an important role as part of the crisis management team, overcoming obstacles and finding innovative solutions in record time,” Ms. Sandler said during a video reception honoring all Business Insurance 2021 USIA award winners. 


• BioMed Realty L.P. — BioMed’s risk management team has worked with all departments to expand its enterprise risk management approach as the company’s operations and its pipeline grow.

• Google LLC — The Google risk management team developed insurance coverage for businesses that use its cloud services, created a corporate indemnity catastrophe bond and provided critical COVID-19 pandemic response.

• JetBlue Airways Corp. — JetBlue made changes to its risk management program, applying technology and implementing processes designed to ease the claims administration burden for crew members injured on the job.

• Jordan Foster Construction LLC — Jordan Foster Construction’s risk management team has enhanced its best practices, developing new programs to train staff to minimize or eliminate risks and safety concerns on a corporatewide basis.

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