Senior Leader at CVS Health

Gourdine leads efforts to make prescription drugs accessible and affordable.


Michelle Abram Gourdine

In the U.S., nearly 5 million consumers visit CVS Health locations daily. So when Michelle Abram Gourdine ’88 took a senior role at CVS Health, she recognized the chance to make a national impact.

“I thought it’d be exciting to work for an organization that had the assets and the community presence to do something unique — maybe somewhat disruptive — in the way health care is delivered,” says Gourdine, who started last December as senior vice president and chief medical officer at CVS Caremark, CVS Health's pharmacy benefits manager.

As one of the largest pharmacy benefits managers in the country, CVS Caremark tackles one of the most fundamental challenges within U.S. health care, Gourdine says: “How do we get the right medication to the right individuals at the right time and make sure it’s accessible and affordable?”

Growing up in Mississippi, Gourdine attended Tougaloo College before landing at Johns Hopkins. As one of 10 Black students in her class, she found a mentor in the renowned heart surgeon Levi Watkins Jr. “He stressed the importance of cultivating networks and community, personally and professionally … this was incredibly valuable to me as a young medical student,” says Gourdine, who remained to complete her residency in pediatrics.

Connections she made at Johns Hopkins led Gourdine into the public health field. She headed the Baltimore County Department of Health and then served as deputy secretary for the Maryland Department of Health. Later, she founded her own health policy consulting firm and most recently worked as senior vice president and interim chief medical officer for the University of Maryland Medical System. She maintains a faculty position at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

At CVS, Gourdine continues to focus on improving health outcomes, supporting medication adherence and disease management, and addressing barriers to care.

“Throughout my career, I’ve seen that among the conditions that drive poor health in communities, the inability to access appropriate prescription drugs is a significant factor,” she says. “One thing that attracted me to this position was the ability to influence that and really improve individual outcomes and the ways people receive their health care.”