2017 Steven G. Avey Recipient


The AMCP Foundation Steven G. Avey Award was established in 2001 to recognize a healthcare professional for sustained, exemplary and distinguished service to the profession of managed care pharmacy. It is the AMCP Foundation's highest award.


2017 Steven G. Avey Award Recipient - John P. Hopkins, RPh


John HopkinsThank you Allan. That was very nice and I appreciate your comments.


First I would like to extend my welcome to Colorado. As many of you may know this is my home state. Penny and I have lived in Colorado over forty years and it is a wonderful place. I hope you have enjoyed it for the few days you've been here.


This is an incredible honor to receive the Steven G Avey award so I would like to start with a few thank yous.


First I would like to thank Perry Cohen for nominating me. Perry and I have known each other for a long time and the fact that he would bring my name up for consideration is very meaningful to me.


I would also like to thank the Past Presidents and Founders Committee. As the body responsible for considering nominees and making a selection I thank them for this honor.


I would also like to thank the Foundation for their role as the presenting sponsor of the Avey Award. Thank you.


I would like to take this opportunity to thank my wife Penny, who is here tonight. Penny has been so supportive throughout my career, both at AMCP and at Rocky Mountain Health Plans. Those of you who are active in AMCP know how much time, commitment and travel it takes. That was certainly the case for me and although Penny had her own career and we were raising our son Paul, she supported me all the way. I couldn't have done it without you. Thanks


Finally I would like to recognize a person who is here tonight and is not a part of the AMCP family, Steve ErkenBrack. Steve is my successor at Rocky Mountain Health Plans and is its current CEO. Although Rocky Mountain is over forty five years old there have only been three CEOs. So obviously the three of us are very close and, Steve, it is very meaningful to me that you are here tonight


As Allan said in his introductory comments I am retired from Rocky Mountain Health Plans. Being retired gives you the opportunity to look back over your career with a bit of perspective. As I do there is one thing that clearly comes to mind. I have been a very lucky person.


First, I was lucky when I made the decision to leave hospital pharmacy and go into managed care pharmacy. It was the very early days of a developing practice area within our profession. It was an exciting time with a lot of activity, creativity and collegiality as we shared with each other strategies and techniques and developed the principles of managed care pharmacy.


Second, I was lucky that when I made the decision to leave hospital pharmacy, the organization I went to was Rocky Mountain HMO (today Rocky Mountain Health Plans). Rocky Mountain was steeped in the HMO philosophy. Commitment to community, commitment to patients, commitment to providers and to improving quality and reducing cost. Over the years it has been widely recognized for its success in these areas and I was fortunate to be a part of that culture. Rocky also provided me with significant opportunities for growth. During my twenty three years with Rocky I was able to be involved in many parts of the organization, experience different aspects of healthcare and hold different leadership positions, culminating in CEO of the organization.


Finally, I was lucky that I got involved with AMCP at the time that I did. Again it was the early, formative period of the organization and I was fortunate to be a part of the development and direction. Involvement with AMCP gave me significant experience, particularly in leadership and governance, that was invaluable in all other aspects of my career and life. From the beginning I was exposed to some extraordinary leaders. Pete Penna, Robert Navarro, Perry Cohen, Jay Messeroff, Judy Cahill and many, many others. Working alongside and closely with many of these individuals, I was able to learn from their leadership traits and in fact further develop and mature my approach to leadership. I also gained a fundamental and valuable knowledge of organizational governance. Through my participation on AMCP committees, the Board and as President of the organization, I learned governance principles that were very valuable in other roles throughout my career. In fact I am still using the leadership and governance lessons I learned at AMCP. In retirement I serve on a number of boards of directors here in Denver, as well as back in my home community of Grand Junction. Those AMCP lessons are still paying benefits to these current boards and non profit organizations.


In closing, let me say again what a privilege it is to receive the Steven G Avey Award. It is truly one of the highlights of my career. To be recognized by your peers, it doesn't get much better than that. But this award has an extra special meaning for me. It's namesake. Steve and I served in AMCP leadership together over a number of years. We spent a lot of time together and got to know each other and our families very well. And I can truly say that no one has a higher standard of ethics and a higher standard of character than Steve Avey. So to receive an award that is named for him is very special to me.


Thank You


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