Q: Where did you grow up?
Clifton Park, New York, a small suburb upstate, between Albany and Saratoga Springs, NY.
Q: Where did you go to college?
I entered the 6-year Doctor of Pharmacy program at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences directly after high school. After completing my Pharm.D., I completed a PGY1 pharmacy residency at Tampa General Hospital and a PGY2 pharmacy residency at Virginia Commonwealth University Health.
Q: What are your favorites?
Food: Italian. All of it. Pizza, pasta, cheese, wine, I’m in for all of it!
Movie: The Blind Side. I usually don’t have a lot of time to watch movies, so when I do, I like the happy ending, “feel good” type!
Musicians: My taste in music is very eclectic. I listen to 90’s hip-hop, Maroon Five, James Taylor, Broadway musicals, and everything in-between! I can’t work in silence; I always have something playing in the background.
Destination: Costa Rica is one of my favorite places. I love the natural beauty, wildlife, and adventurous landscape, but most of all, I love the “pura vida” culture and way of life!
Q: What do you like to do outside of work?
Food and travel are my favorite pastimes. I love exploring new places and experiencing the history and culture of the area. My husband and I make an effort to add variety to our travel destinations by alternating between hiking the national parks, visiting historic cities, and unwinding on stunning beaches. There is so much to see in this world, it is rare for us to go to the same place twice! When I am at home (currently Minneapolis, MN), I am usually spending time with my rescue pup, watching baseball, or enjoying a local brewery or art fair.
Q: What kind of work does your company do in 340B and what makes it stand out?
The Alinea Group provides 340B audit, consulting, advisory, and business intelligence solutions to covered entities. We frequently work with clients on 340B auditing, implementation, optimization, and ongoing advisory. Our team frequently participates in HRSA audits and HRSA audit preparation and support. Additionally, we provide covered entities with 340B management and staffing solutions, along with strategy work, to support daily program monitoring and performance.
The team at Alinea is what sets us apart. Our staff is comprised of individuals with firsthand experience in hospital pharmacy, retail pharmacy, hospital reimbursement and cost reporting, and the 340B regulatory environment. This diverse range of expertise and personal experience allows us to have an in-depth understanding of the complexities of the program, including the nuances of pharmacy operations and their interplay with the 340B program.
Q: Why did you choose to work in the 340B space?
I often joke that 340B chose me! For nearly a decade, I worked as a clinical pharmacist and clinical coordinator in hospital pharmacy, driven by my passion for working with safety-net providers and patients. When my husband’s military career began moving us around the country every 1-3 years, I sought out an introduction from my college friend and mentor, Shrujal Patel, to a hospital entity. Shrujal, who is a managing partner at The Alinea Group, quickly offered me a job with Alinea as a 340B consultant. Working with Alinea has provided me with the flexibility to work remotely as my husband and I move across the country with the military, while also allowing me to continue working in pharmacy and advocating for the same types of hospitals and clinics where I began my pharmacy career.
Q: What do you feel is your most significant contribution to the 340B world or to a 340B customer/client?
I think the most significant impact I have had with our clients is forming trusted partnerships. Our team works extremely hard to deliver valuable, personalized experiences with each of our client engagements; it is always my goal that we are viewed as a supportive, balanced, partner and advisor to our clients.
Q: What advice do you have for a young professional who has recently launched a career in the 340B space?
Ask questions! Don’t be intimidated by the subject matter or complexity; roll up your sleeves and dive in! Take advantage of educational programs, meetings, webinars, and networking opportunities to broaden your understanding of the program. In my experience, having a strong foundational knowledge is a key component to building confidence and trust with vendors, customers, and senior leaders. I also think it’s important for entities to develop a system-based approach to the 340B program; we see too many entities that view 340B as a “pharmacy program.” If possible, cultivate an environment where all key stakeholders are actively involved in 340B program oversight, operations, and compliance.
For questions, Jamila can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.