Q: Where did you grow up?
Although I was born in Prince Edward Island, Canada, I grew up in Antigua in the Caribbean. My family spent the summers in Prince Edward Island, so we got to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Q: Where did you go to college/graduate school?
I graduated pharmacy school twice, first in 2006 with my Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS, Canada) and then in 2011 with my Doctor of Pharmacy from Idaho State University.
Q: What are some of your favorites?
Food: I adore all types of candy, with my favorite being old-fashioned red licorice.
Movie: A favorite movie is hard to pick, my top five are: Mary Poppins, Gone With the Wind, Bridget Jones Diary, Step-Brothers, and The Emperor’s New Groove.
Musicians: Jewel, Jack Johnson, and Chris Stapleton
Destination: Spain! I always thought it would be France, but after one trip to Barcelona, it tops my list.
Q: What do you like to do outside of work?
I am an avid reader and constantly listening to books of all genres. I am always looking for good recommendations. Pre-COVID, traveling also topped my list and I very much look forward to getting back to seeing the world once it fully reopens.
Q: What kind of work does your company do in 340B and what makes it stand out?
As the name implies, FQHC 340B Compliance focuses on helping Federally Qualified Health Centers and more recently, other HRSA Grantees with managing their 340B Program compliance. The idea for the company was originally developed by my business partner Michael Gonzalez. He noted that year after year, the health centers were receiving the same recommendations in their annual audits but did not have the internal bandwidth to address the areas for improvement. Here is where our service comes in, the FQHC 340B Compliance team serves as serves as an extension of the health center’s internal compliance team. Some of ways we help support the work of the health centers and grantees include:
- Performing monthly compliance reviews of all 340B universes (in-house pharmacy, contract pharmacy, clinic administered medications)
- Supporting development of policies and procedures, including sliding fee scales
- Providing staff 340B education
- Strengthening HRSA audit and OSV review readiness
- Preparing financial accounting reports (in accordance with 330 Grant requirements for FHQCs)
- Conducting Scope of Grant and 340B Program registration reviews
- Assisting in navigating contract pharmacy and TPA arrangements
- Supporting in-house pharmacy and clinic administered medication processes, billing contracting, inventory management
- Drafting monthly 340B compliance and board reports
Beyond having a specialized focus on Federal Grantee 340B covered entities, we strive to function as a member of the health center’s team and being there to support all elements of their 340B program.
Q: Why did you choose to work in the 340B space?
Like many others, I would say that I did not choose 340B, 340B chose me! Early in my pharmacy career, I specialized as a cardiac pharmacist in a DSH hospital where I had little direct involvement with the program. It was when I took the position as director of pharmacy in a Federally Qualified Health Center that I experienced the joys of the 340B Programs steep learning curve. The health center’s Chief Medical Officer at the time happily handed the program off to me saying with a smile that it virtually ran itself! I will always describe my first 340B University experience as being hit with a semi-truck full of information. As my understanding of the 340B Program deepened, I had the privilege to serve as a HRSA 340B Leading Practice Mentor with in the OPA’s 340B Peer to Peer Program, faculty for the Apexus 340B University, Chair of the Apexus FQHC 340B Advisory Council, and contributing subject matter expert for five of the Apexus 340B Advanced Operations Certificate modules. Most rewarding of my roles were those which allowed me to help others working in the 340B Program navigate that steep learning curve and develops systems and practices which supported the work of the health centers and met the intent of the 340B Program to increase access for patients and stretch scarce Federal resources.
Q: What do you feel is your most significant contribution to the 340B world or to a 340B customer/client?
This is such a difficult question to answer. When I was young, I wanted to change the world but was not sure how to even start. Now, older and wiser, I see that it is not always the big and newsworthy accomplishments that truly create change. My greatest accomplishment would be the relationships I have created over the years working in the 340B space, through which I have helped others learn and grow in their 340B program knowledge, which in turn has enabled their 340B Programs to flourish and better serve their patients and communities. Specifically, helping other covered entities leverage their 340B Program resources to expand clinical pharmacy services though the addition of Primary Care Pharmacist. This work has recently led to the opportunity to serve as Co-Lead investigation for a National Institute of Health (NIH) – National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Clinical Research Trial CTN-0116: Implementing a Pharmacist-integrated Model of Medication Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder (PharmICO).
Q: What advice do you have for a young professional who has recently launched a career in the 340B space?
The best advice I can give regarding having a successful career in the 340B Program is to take a deep breath, it always feels like the sky is falling, but we always manage to pull through. When I started in 340B, over a decade ago, I was told the program could disappear at any moment. Year to year, scrutiny on the program has intensified but we have also seen opportunities increase. All elements of the professional world are becoming increasingly dependent on data and analytics, so learning in this area will help ensure your success.
If you have any questions, Felicity can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org