ARLINGTON, Va. – Focused on delivering value to the membership, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) has announced three moves to advance a pro-patient and pro-pharmacy agenda. NACDS is fully integrating its federal legislative, grassroots, political, and strategic communications functions. The Association also is focused on emphasizing a highly collaborative approach to strategic policy development, federal regulatory and Executive Branch advocacy, and state government affairs.
“NACDS members perform amazing service for people and communities, as the pandemic has shown vividly. Patients and pharmacies need policies that help keep stores open and that do not risk their viability. They need trusted and accessible healthcare professionals to be able to practice at the height of their education. And they need government to build on, and not roll back, the emergency preparedness that has been achieved. NACDS is laser-focused on these realities,” said NACDS president and CEO Steven Anderson.
Chris Krese will serve as senior vice president of Congressional relations and communications and will lead a team focused on translating the pandemic’s public health lessons into legislative results.
Krese has served as NACDS’ senior vice president of marketing, communications and media relations for 14 years. His 30 years of Washington, D.C. experience also include Congressional staff roles in legislation and communications; advocacy campaign work at an agency; political campaign experience and senior-staff roles at two other policy-focused trade associations – the National Restaurant Association and the American Frozen Food Institute. On Capitol Hill, he served as press secretary for former U.S. Rep. Bill Clinger (R-PA), who chaired the Government Reform and Oversight Committee. Among his work for Clinger, Krese collaborated on communications and policy issues related to rural healthcare and drug-abuse prevention – both of which were top priorities for what was then a sprawling 17-county highly rural Congressional District. He also served in legislative and media relations roles for the U.S. House of Representatives Education and Labor Committee.
Anderson said, “Chris is inspired by the powerful story that NACDS members write every day. He has a passion and skill for finding creative, strategic, collaborative, effective and measurable ways to empower NACDS members’ future success by conveying their stories to our key audiences. Chris thrives at the intersection of communications and advocacy, and he and the team will bring sheer tenacity to the critical work at hand.”
NACDS also is aligning strategic policy development, federal regulatory and Executive Branch advocacy, and state government affairs for a “one-team” approach to advance policy priorities established by the NACDS Board of Directors.
Christie Boutte will serve as senior vice president of reimbursement, innovation and advocacy. Her issue portfolio will include the 340B program, pharmacy benefit manager issues, value-based modeling and quality measures. She will continue to manage directly the state government affairs team. Previously, Boutte served as senior vice president of state strategic affairs and advocacy.
Kathleen Jaeger will serve as senior vice president of health and wellness strategy, policy, and patient advocacy. She will lead the further development and implementation of NACDS’ health and wellness strategy and policy to deliver better access to care. Jaeger previously served as senior vice president of pharmacy care and patient advocacy. Jaeger will continue to serve as president of the separate NACDS Foundation which focuses on research and education in the public interest.
These moves follow last week’s announcement that Michael Ayotte has joined the NACDS staff as senior vice president of pharmacy, transformation and advocacy. Ayotte will lead NACDS’ advancement of state pharmacy scope-of-practice and operations, and opioid abuse prevention in the state regulatory and legislative arenas.
“Chris, Christie, Kathleen and Mike bring tremendous knowledge and experience to their roles and their collaboration will serve as a powerful force multiplier for NACDS’ advocacy at all levels and branches of government,” Anderson said. “They and the staff in these critical areas are dedicated to operating as one team for the benefit of the NACDS membership and of the individuals and communities that NACDS members serve.”