“The demand for trained pharmacy professionals has increased in past years,” according to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), “due to the rapid growth of the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, and the growing elderly population. The number of pharmacists in healthcare services is also growing, as pharmacists become more actively involved in drug therapy decision-making for patients of all ages.” To prepare the next generation of leaders, HealthTrust established the nation’s first corporate-based training program for rising pharmacy leaders nearly four years ago.
Where Are They Now?
2014–2015 HealthTrust PGY-2 Resident
Nicolle Rychlick, PharmD, was hired by HealthTrust when a position opened in the pharmacy services group for a clinical integration director. She also leads the activities of HealthTrust’s Pharmacy Advisory Board.
2015–2016 HealthTrust PGY-2 Resident
Bradley Bruce, PharmD, was hired by HCA as a senior consultant in the regulatory compliance support area.
2016–2017 HealthTrust PGY-2 Resident
Brittany Berry, PharmD, was hired by HealthTrust when a position opened in the pharmacy services group for a portfolio director.
The one-of-a-kind program trains potential pharmacy leaders early in their careers by placing them in residence for one year at HealthTrust’s headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee. Pharmacists with such experience have greater opportunities for mobility within the profession, according to the AACP.
When it comes to non-clinical training in areas such as budget development, financial reporting and negotiating pharmaceutical contracts, most doctorate-level pharmacy curriculums fall short. And, healthcare administration residency programs tend to focus more on facility-based operations and management. As a result, open leadership positions are likely to be filled by either the most senior pharmacy practitioner willing to try their hand at the role or by an existing manager from an unrelated discipline.
Early career exposure to critical business functions—how to manage limited healthcare resources and the role of value-based purchasing and declining reimbursements—provides these future leaders with real-world experience related to the economic realities of modern medicine.
Working in a corporate healthcare environment is the best way to understand how and why pharmacy sourcing and strategic business decisions are made. With that in mind, HealthTrust, in partnership with the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy, launched a residency program with a specialty focus on corporate pharmacy leadership to adequately prepare these future leaders.
HealthTrust annually offers a postgraduate “year-two” residency (PGY-2) for a participant who has already completed a doctorate in pharmacy (six to eight years) as well as a first-year general practice residency (PGY-1) at a hospital or other pharmacy practice site.
During their year at HealthTrust, PGY-2 residents have the opportunity to interact with clinical advisory boards made up of corporate leaders in areas such as pharmacy, nursing, laboratory and radiology. This experience is similar to the type of multidisciplinary exchanges that happen at a committee level within a hospital or other healthcare setting. Residents also gain experience working with pharmacy suppliers engaged in the request for proposal process, participating in meetings and live demos showcasing product features.
As part of the residency, participants also join an accelerated version of HealthTrust’s leadership development program, which includes public speaking opportunities, a personality assessment, human resources classes and discussions with key executives.
“The ultimate goal is to successfully prepare residents for future employment so our program is designed to go beyond a traditional pharmacy learning experience,” says Vincent Jackson, PharmD, vice president of HealthTrust’s pharmacy services group. “In addition to leadership training, residents also benefit from the unique networking and learning opportunities that come from working with a diverse range of subject matter experts and service line leaders within a total spend management organization such as HealthTrust, as well as from exposure to corporate pharmacy leaders, clinicians, supply chain professionals and healthcare executives at member healthcare systems throughout the United States.”
HealthTrust’s Corporate Pharmacy Leadership Program has been accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), certifying that it meets established standards and criteria for residency training programs.
HealthTrust will be accepting applications for its 2018–2019 PGY-2 residence through Jan. 19, 2018. Applications should be submitted through the PhORCAS process.