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Care Pharmacies appoints two new board members; re-elects two others

BY Michael Johnsen

LINTHICUM, Md. — Care Pharmacies Cooperative on Thursday announced the addition of two new members to its 2014 board of directors, with two incumbents rejoining for an additional term. 

Mark Jensen — a corporate attorney in Baltimore who leads the transactional department at Bowie & Jensen, a law-firm he co-founded in 1992 — was appointed to serve a three-year term. Jensen earned his bachelor of arts degree from Hamline University in 1980 and his law degree from the University of New York at Buffalo Law School in 1985. Jensen also currently serves on the board of directors for the MedStar Health System in Baltimore.

Jeff Dunn also was appointed to serve on the board for a three year term. Dunn currently serves as SVP for VRx, an integrated pharmacy services management company that incorporates PBM functions, P&T/formulary management, medication therapy management/integrated care management and government functions for commercial and Medicare Part D employer groups and health plans. Dunn earned his doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Utah College Of Pharmacy and his master of business administration degree from the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah. 

John Coster was re-elected to serve a three-year term on the board. Coster currently is the senior director government relations for the Safety Net Hospitals for Pharmaceutical Access. Coster is responsible for maintaining and building relationships with members of Congress and directing SNHPA’s advocacy efforts. Coster also served as SVP government affairs for the National Community Pharmacists Association and as the VP federal affairs and public policy for Rite Aid. Coster also previously served on the policy and regulatory staff of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. 

Michael Kim also was re-elected to serve a three-year term. Kim attended the University of Maryland at College Park for undergraduate studies and graduated with a doctorate in pharmacy from Howard University College of Pharmacy. He currently owns Grubb’s Pharmacy, Psych CARE Pharmacy, Jessup CARE Pharmacy, Grubb’s NW Specialty Pharmacy, Grubb’s SE Pharmacy & Mini-mart and Ellicott City Pharmacy. Kim is the current vice chairman of the Care Pharmacies board of directors, and the newly elected VP of the DC Pharmaceutical Association and board member for the APhA Editorial Advisory Board of Pharmacy Today magazine.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bloomberg: Greg Wasson joins thought leaders to discuss the state of health care in the United States

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — At Bloomberg’s The Year Ahead: 2014 conference at the Art Institute of Chicago on Thursday, Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson joined a group of health care thought leaders to discuss the state of healthcare in the United States. 

Wasson suggested large employers, or at least Walgreens, will continue to provide high-quality benefits in an effort to attract high-quality employees on one hand and to lower healthcare costs for both Walgreens and its employees on the other. "One of the things we just did … we actually went out into the competitive marketplace and worked with a private exchange," he said. "The competitive marketplace is a good place to be. It also increased the options for our employees — they had two health plan options a year ago; now they have 25."

Led by Bloomberg View columnist Lanhee Chen, Wasson was flanked by former U.S. Senate majority leader William Frist, Mayo Clinic CEO John Noseworthy, Boston Consulting Group partner Michael Ringel, John Hopkins Medicine CEO Paul Rothman, and Thompson Holdings CEO Tommy Thompson.

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Sona Chawla: The mastermind behind Walgreens’ cohesive digital experience

BY Michael Johnsen

Walgreens on Thursday announced the appointment of Sona Chawla, president of e-commerce, as president of digital and chief marketing officer. In this role, Chawla will lead a newly created digital and marketing Division, establishing a unified and integrated digital, enterprise-wide marketing, and customer loyalty and insights group to advance Walgreens “Well Experience” strategy and vision to be the first choice in health and daily living in America and beyond, Walgreens stated. 

Chawla is a brilliant thinker and tech wiz whose e-commerce strategies have helped Walgreens forge new relationships with customers however they engage with Walgreens. Now she brings that expertise to a global marketing role for the company at a time when digitization and big data-driven insights are  bringing a greater degree of personalization to customer engagement efforts.

Chawla recently joined Walgreens president and CEO on stage for a keynote address at the Shop.org Annual Summit 2013 (at the 42′ 30" mark of the presentation). Between Wasson and Chawla, the two explained exactly what it means for Walgreens to lead the digital revolution across retail pharmacy — and that’s by integrating a digital experience across every facet of Walgreens’ operation. "It means making sure that everything we do for the customer we are thinking about how to bring a digital experience along the way," Wasson said. "That is difficult. Because when you’ve been a brick-and-mortar retailer for 100-plus years … it’s making sure that if we are thinking about some type of innovation, we’re just not thinking about the customer coming into the store."

And it’s thinking of digital as a comprehensive, cohesive offering, not just creating an ad hoc solution that creates a digital element within each of Walgreens’ offerings. "We’ve been very mindful as we’ve been developing our digital strategy is to think holistically," Chawla said. "It really is about building the right customer experience. … It’s not just the in-store experience, it’s also when they’re not in store," she said. 

"Walgreens is innovating in all areas. And that’s the way it should be," she continued. "In terms of digital innovation, what’s been really important is, yes, we’ve hired digital experts, but then we also have people with deep business knowledge. It’s only when you put those two together do you get true innovation. Because if you don’t understand our business and you don’t understand our customers, you truly can’t have innovation. You have something bright and shiny that doesn’t go anywhere."

That’s the energy she brings to the table — Chawla has experience putting the right people together to drive collaborative innovative ideas across the company.

 

 

 

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