CEO Blog/05.31.17


Susan A. Cantrell, RPh, CAE



My Recent “Field Trip” to Arizona Highlights AMCP’s Breadth and Depth


 SC Blog Photo 05.31.17 
Tour of SinfoníaRx. From left, Kate Johnson, Kevin Boesen, Susan Cantrell and Sandra Leal. 

One maxim I hold dear is the value of getting out of the office now and then to see how things are working in the field. I had that opportunity recently with a “field trip” to the beautiful state of Arizona, where I participated in several events: a workshop on strategies to strengthen association governance, a conference on integrating data in pharmacy practice, a visit with student pharmacists, and a tour of an innovative MTM service center.

While each event was different in nature, they all confirm the positive state of managed care pharmacy and the Academy.

The first event was a two-day “Exceptional Boards” workshop, held by the American Society of Association Executives. Here I joined AMCP President Diana Brixner in sessions that discussed appropriate roles and responsibilities of board and staff leadership, as well as examples of best practices to create strong governing teams. What became clear to me is just how strong the Board of Directors is at AMCP. Each year, we elect individuals who not only are leading figures in our profession, but who all have a deep affinity for AMCP and desire to ensure the organization succeeds.

My next visit “in the field” was to the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) Annual Conference, where I took in interesting sessions on integrating electronic data standards into practice. The conference also presented a thought-provoking keynote speaker named Paul Moya, CEO of the Millennial Labs, a consulting firm focused on workforce issues of the millennial generation. Among his observations, Paul notes that millennials have a distinct desire for flexible work environments and won’t be satisfied unless they have access to the latest technologies to get the job done. This is good advice as we set out to prepare the next generation of managed care pharmacy professionals — an important goal of both AMCP and the AMCP Foundation.

Speaking of the young workforce, I had an enjoyable visit to the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy. I had the opportunity to meet the college’s new Dean Rick Schnellmann and long-time AMCP member and Prof. Dan Malone, who introduced me to members of the AMCP Student Chapter. I got to know some wonderful student pharmacists, and had a lively discussion about their chapter activities and career aspirations. Of course, I mentioned options in managed care settings. The group was proud of its showing in last year’s P&T Competition, and vowed this year to make the elite Top Eight! I wish them the best of luck.

The last stop on my Arizona visit was a tour of SinfoníaRx, a leading provider of MTM services that supports approximately 45 million patients nationwide through relationships with health plans, pharmacy benefit managers, community pharmacies and providers. CEO Kevin Boesen, a proud AMCP member, showed me around the beautiful facility, which was created from an old produce warehouse that still maintains its striking architectural charm, including exposed bricks complete with original signage. The facilities even have a basketball hoop and batting cage for employees to unwind. Who says pharmacy can’t be cool! In addition to its “wow” factor, this company is a perfect example of how managed care pharmacy can provide services that improve the lives of millions of people, as well as provide new career options for our best and brightest.

I had a wonderful time in Arizona! I appreciate the great hospitality shown by all and look forward to my next field trip.