Keays had been senior vice president of pharmaceutical distribution and operations. She fills the vacancy that was created by the late-summer departure of Alain Champagne, who joined sales training and development firm Optimé International as a partner and chief executive officer.
In her new role, Keays will lead 4,000 employees and oversee McKesson Canada’s pharmacy technology, specialty pharmacy and infusion, procurement, and independent retail banner programs, as well as drug distribution. Reporting to Paul Julian, executive vice president and group president of McKesson Corp., she will be responsible for driving sales, marketing and operations.
“I have worked alongside Paula for over 15 years, and I’ve been impressed by her vision, drive and commitment to operational excellence,” said Julian. “Our customers, business partners and employees will be well served by her leadership style, deep understanding of health care and passion for customer service.”
As senior vice president of pharmaceutical distribution and operations, Keays led one of McKesson Canada’s largest portfolios and was responsible for sales, marketing and operations. Under her leadership, the company advanced its network optimization, which has helped deliver significant operational efficiencies and improvements to the overall business. She also drove the design and introduction of sales and operations team initiatives that have enhanced customer service, strengthened partnerships and created shared success for customers across Canada.
Since joining McKesson Canada in 2000, Keays has held increasingly senior positions, including vice president and corporate controller; vice president and chief financial officer; and senior vice president, chief financial officer and Six Sigma.
“I am honoured to be taking on my new role,” she said. “Canada’s health care environment is becoming increasingly complex. Together with our people and our partners, I’m looking forward to leading us through an important moment in our history as we focus on our customers to deliver better value and patient care for Canadians from coast to coast.”
Until a new senior vice president of drug distribution and operations is appointed, Keays will continue to oversee that portfolio in addition to shouldering the responsibilities of president.
Besides providing drug distribution and related services, McKesson Canada has a national network of more than 1,700 independent pharmacies operating under the banners Guardian, I.D.A., Proxim, Medicine Shoppe Canada and Remedy’sRx.