ARLINGTON, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) has promoted Christie Boutte, to the position of senior vice president of state strategic affairs and advocacy, effective June 29. Boutte brings to this crucial role the experience of a more than 20-year career as a practicing pharmacist for NACDS member companies, as a government professional at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, as a clinical program manager at a health plan, and as a state and federal policy expert at NACDS.
“I am extremely excited about this opportunity. When I practiced pharmacy, I saw many examples of public policy barriers that limit patients’ access to medications and to important health and wellness services. I made the decision to get involved with policy to help create change and to enhance patient access. That is the method to the path that I have taken in my career, and that is the source of my enthusiasm for this new role,” Boutte said.
In making the announcement, NACDS president and CEO Steven Anderson said, “Every responsibility that Christie has embraced and surpassed throughout her career has prepared her exceedingly well for this vital position. She has practiced pharmacy in the community, and she has helped to shape federal and state policies through her work in the government, in the private sector, and at NACDS. She is extremely adept in the specifics of policy, and in the art of seeing around the corners politically to help pro-patient and pro-pharmacy policies see the light of day. We congratulate her and look forward to her leadership of NACDS’ state government affairs team.”
Boutte, who will report to Anderson, has been promoted to positions of increasing responsibility since joining NACDS in June 2008. In January 2019, Boutte was promoted to the position of vice president of regulatory advocacy and research. Previously, she served as senior director of federal and state public policy, and before that as director of federal and state public policy.
Prior to joining NACDS, Boutte served as a clinical program manager for CIGNA HealthCare. Immediately before that, she served as a project officer and government task leader for the Office of Clinical Standards and Quality within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and as an analyst for the CMS Center for Medicaid and State Operations. Boutte earned her doctor of pharmacy degree from Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy in New Orleans, the city from which she proudly hails.
Mary Ellen Kleiman – who has served as senior vice president of state government affairs/deputy general counsel since September 2019 and during a time of strategic reorganization of the state advocacy function – will resume her prior role as vice president of legal affairs/deputy general counsel.
Anderson said, “Mary Ellen continues to serve NACDS members with the supreme dedication, expertise and energy that she has contributed for 19 years. She stepped up to lead our state government affairs team at a crucial time during the lead-up and height of the pandemic. She helped NACDS advocate successfully for policies during COVID-19 that are essential to keeping pharmacies open, to fostering the health and safety of staff and the public, to keeping patients on their medication therapies, and to enhancing access to pharmacist-provided testing, treatments and vaccines. We greatly appreciate her many contributions and look forward to her ongoing work in the legal arena.”