Apexus announced yesterday that it has hired Michelle Wiest, most recently vice president of pharmacy services at UC Health in Cincinnati, to be its senior vice president of 340B policy and compliance.

Apexus Picks Ohio Health System Pharmacy Exec Michelle Wiest For Influential 340B Position

Michelle Wiest, most recently vice president of pharmacy services at UC Health in Cincinnati, is Apexus’s new senior vice president of 340B policy and compliance.

Apexus announced Wiest’s hiring yesterday. The company said Wiest will oversee its education programming, compliance support services, and the Apexus Answers national call center, as part of Apexus’s 340B prime vendor agreement with the federal government.

Although the 340B prime vendor does not make 340B program policy, it is a key communicator and explainer of those policies. The prime vendor also supports and influences 340B policy formulation, for example by collecting and supplying data to the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration and letting HRSA know what types of questions it gets, especially when it spots trends.

“We carefully searched nationwide for a 340B unicorn: someone who had the right mix of pharmacy leadership, executive acumen, 340B knowledge and operational experience for this important role,” Apexus President Chris Hatwig said. “I look forward to Shelly joining the Apexus Leadership Team.”

Apexus, a subsidiary of health care services and group purchasing company Vizient, has been the federally contracted 340B prime vendor since 2004. It separately has an 340B professional education and certification program, a health system specialty pharmacy service, and a service to help drug manufacturers issue refunds to 340B covered entities for overcharges.

Wiest succeeds Katheryne Richardson, who left Apexus in late May 2021 to become drug manufacturer Bristol Myers Squibb’s chief 340B program strategist.

America’s Essential Hospitals’ New VP for Legislation

Apexus isn’t the only 340B stakeholder to have a major transition in its executive ranks.

America’s Essential Hospitals last month announced it hired Jason Pray to be its vice president of legislative affairs. His first day there was Jan. 31.

Pray worked for 12 years at BlueCross BlueShield Association, most recently as executive director of congressional relations. Before that, he spent 13 years lobbying and leading political and grassroots activities for the American Psychiatric Association. He succeeds Carlos Jackson, who left America’s Essential Hospitals last October to join government relations and strategic communications firm Cornerstone Government Affairs.

“Jason brings considerable experience and expertise in health care policy and government relations to America’s Essential Hospitals,” said Beth Feldpush, the association’s senior vice president of policy and advocacy. “He will be a strong advocate on Capitol Hill for our hospitals and their patients.”

Also last month, the National Association of Community Health Centers announced that Rachel Gonzales-Hanson, NACHC’s senior vice president for Western operations, has replaced long-time leader Tom Van Coverden on an interim basis. NACHC told its members that Van Coverden had taken leave. Health center stakeholders said he is not expected to return.

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