Express Scripts Names Head of Independent Pharmacy Affairs to Deepen Partnerships, Expand Access to Care

Dr. Stephanie Smith Cooney will establish Express Scripts’ Office of Independent Pharmacy Enablement and lead the industry’s first Independent Pharmacy Advisory Committee
Image of Dr. Stephanie Smith Cooney standing in a pharmacy wearing a lab coat

ST. LOUIS, August 8, 2023 – Express Scripts, the pharmacy benefits management (PBM) business of The Cigna Group’s (NYSE: CI) Evernorth, today named Stephanie Smith Cooney, Pharm.D., as the new Senior Director of Independent Pharmacy Affairs.

“Stephanie is an excellent pharmacist and a proven agent-of-change, helping independent pharmacies reimagine their operations and support patients in new ways,” said Adam Kautzner, Pharm.D, President of Express Scripts. “Her unique perspective and experience will help strengthen these relationships and help grow our many efforts underway.”

Building on Express Scripts’ IndependentRx Initiative announced earlier this year, Cooney will expand the company’s efforts to support the important role independent pharmacists play as a front line of care in many local communities. By expanding pharmacy benefits and increasing access to a range of preventive care services at the pharmacy counter, patients will benefit through lower costs and added convenience.

Additionally, she will lead the newly established Independent Pharmacy Advisory Committee, which will convene a diverse group of pharmacy leaders across rural, urban and suburban areas. The advisory committee will focus on continuing to drive competitive reimbursement practices, learning from each other's business models, and creating new solutions that leverage independent pharmacists to alleviate provider shortages across the health care delivery system. 

“I am excited to bring my community pharmacy background to Express Scripts as we work together with independent pharmacies providing critical care and access to patients,” said Cooney. “Collaboration and innovation will be key parts of our success moving forward. I look forward to partnering with independent pharmacists in this new role.”

As an independent pharmacist for nearly 20 years, Cooney has a track record of leading and managing an innovative community pharmacy. She most recently acted as strategic consultant for independent pharmacy leaders and owners to improve operations and develop innovations. Cooney is also a graduate of the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy at Wilkes University.

About Evernorth Health Services

Evernorth Health Services creates pharmacy, care and benefits solutions to improve health and increase vitality. We relentlessly innovate to make the prediction, prevention and treatment of illness and disease more accessible to millions of people. Evernorth capabilities are powered by our businesses, including Express Scripts, Express Scripts® Pharmacy, Accredo, eviCore and MDLIVE, along with holistic Evernorth platforms and solutions that move people and organizations forward. All Evernorth solutions are serviced and provided by or through operating affiliates of Evernorth Health, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Cigna Group (NYSE: CI), or third-party partners. Learn more at