New structure, staff roles empower NACDS’ issue campaigns

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From left to right, NACDS’ Tom O’Donnell, Sandra Guckian, Mary Ellen Kleiman and Don Bell.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) has elevated and enhanced three key functions to integrate with NACDS’ campaign-style approach to issue advocacy.

Federal government affairs, state government affairs, and public policy now will operate as dedicated and distinct, yet highly collaborative, functions in support of NACDS’ four campaigns established by the NACDS Board of Directors:

• achieving relief from pharmacy direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees that harm patients and pharmacies, and establishing a pharmacy quality incentive payment program;

• creating a viable long-term pharmacy reimbursement model while addressing immediate reimbursement issues;

• advancing pharmacy’s role as part of the solution for opioid-abuse prevention; and

• enhancing patients’ access to newer health and wellness services.


The following staff roles figure significantly in this action:

• Mary Ellen Kleiman joined the senior management team in her new position of senior vice president of state government affairs/deputy general counsel. Previously, Kleiman served as vice president of legal affairs/deputy general counsel.

• Tom O’Donnell, senior vice president of government affairs and public policy, will lead the campaign to achieve relief on DIR fees and other efforts to further elevate advocacy on Capitol Hill and within the Administration.

• Don Bell was named to the new position of senior vice president of health policy and legal affairs/general counsel. Previously, Bell served as senior vice president of legal affairs/general counsel.

• Sandra Guckian was named to the new position of vice president of health policy and pharmacy care to help ensure that the campaigns are coordinated effectively across the organization. Previously, Guckian served as vice president of state government affairs.

Together, Kleiman, O’Donnell, Bell and Guckian represent nearly 70 years of combined services to NACDS.

Kleiman now will report to NACDS president and chief executive officer Steven Anderson. O’Donnell and Bell will continue to report to Anderson. Guckian will report both to Bell and to Kathleen Jaeger, senior vice president of pharmacy care and patient advocacy.

“We are committed to waging vigorous campaigns on the policy issues that have been established as priorities by the NACDS Board of Directors, and that are vital for NACDS members and for the people they serve. We have made good progress on these campaigns, and much more work remains,” Anderson said. “This restructuring will bring tremendous energy and expertise to these roles. The structure that we are creating will further enhance collaboration, communication, efficiency and effectiveness across our proactive campaigns. This structure matches the intensity of the time, resources, and commitment necessary given the magnitude and importance of the campaigns.”


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