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NCPA sets up Innovation Center for community pharmacy

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association has created a new Innovation Center to provide resources to help independent pharmacies adapt to the fast-changing health care environment.

NCPA said Tuesday that the Innovation Center will develop and offer programs to educate community pharmacists about emerging opportunities in the evolving health care market, as well as demonstrate, research and support new and expanded roles for community pharmacists. This will be accomplished via peer-to-peer exchanges of best practices, the association said.

Health care revenue opportunities highlighted in the NCPA innovation Center include immunizations, travel health services, health screenings, point-of-care testing, lab tests, specialty pharmacy, pet medications, hospice services, expanded diabetes care, pharmacogenomics, wound care and transition of care. The center also providers resources to help independent pharmacies bolster their front-end business.

“The U.S. health care system is shifting toward a greater emphasis on value and quality of care. Many independent community pharmacists are already at the vanguard of this movement,” NCPA chief executive officer B. Douglas Hoey said in a statement. “This new Innovation Center will bring many of these community pharmacists together with leading community pharmacy partners under an organized and flexible structure. Working together with NCPA staff, the Innovation Center will better position independent community pharmacies to be part of and benefit from broader health care changes. Its driving mission is to help independent community pharmacies continue to prosper in step with health care changes rather than being left behind them.”

An IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, the Innovation Center will enable industry partners to make tax-deductible contributions to support its work. Hoey will serve as the Innovation Center’s chairman, and Kurt Proctor, senior vice president of strategic initiatives at NCPA, will serve as president.

“We are honored to have a truly all-star cast of board members and NCPA staff to help lead the Innovation Center from its inception,”  Proctor stated. “I want to acknowledge and appreciate their support for this new effort. I look forward to what this body will accomplish to help put independent community pharmacists in an optimal position for the changes occurring in health care today and that surely will follow tomorrow.”

Appointed by the NCPA board, the Innovation Center Board of Directors includes Hoey; Brian Caswell, an NCPA board member and owner of Wolkar Drug, Baxter Springs, Kan.; Rex Catton, senior vice president at McKesson; Jeff Key, president of PioneerRx; Steve Lawrence, senior vice president of independent sales at Cardinal Health; Tripp Logan of L & S Pharmacy, Charleston, Mo.; Mike McBride, vice president of partner relations at Upsher-Smith Laboratories; Rob Meriweather, corporate vice president of sales at H.D. Smith; Joe Moose of Moose Pharmacy, Concord, N.C.; DeAnn Mullins, NCPA board member and president-elect as well as owner of Mullins Pharmacy, Lynn Haven, Fla.; Jimmy Neil, general manager of pharmacy lending at Live Oak Bank; Brian Nightengale, president of Good Neighbor Pharmacy at AmerisourceBergen; and Walt Slijepcevich, senior director of pharmacy development at Pfizer.

“I am excited to be a part of this new initiative from NCPA to help independent community pharmacies thrive in a changing health care environment,” Upsher-Smith’s McBride commented. “We believe that community pharmacists are uniquely suited to help improve outcomes at lower overall cost because of their strong relationships with patients, and that they will play a critical role in the delivery of tomorrow’s health care.”


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