Q: Where did you go to college/graduate school?
I attended Southern Texas University, located in Houston, Texas. Go Tigers!
Q: Where do you live?
I currently live in a quiet suburb right outside of Houston. However, my hometown is Denver, Colorado. I’ve lived in Houston for 20 years and I love it here.
Q: If a friend came to visit you in your hometown, where would you take them? Where would you take them in your state?
Hometown: Houston is known for its food, culture, and style. I would definitely take them to a great brunch. There are so many wonderful restaurants it’s so hard to name just one, but if I must, I would say, “Let’s do brunch at Eunice’s” for a sophisticated Creole dining experience. Next, we’d head to the Art District, which encompasses two of the oldest neighborhoods in Houston and showcases the best local talent. Last, depending on the season, I would love to show off and go to a good ole-fashioned Houston Astros game!
State: I would take them to the Texas Hill Country, where there are so many sightseeing opportunities and attractions, including museums and art galleries, national and state parks, historical places, and so many cultural festivals. We’d book our stay on one of the beautiful lakes and enjoy the water, tour the vineyards, and relish the Texas sunshine!
Q: Tell us about your health care facility.
We are Allies in Hope and we have been making an impact on our community for more than 40 years! We were the first HIV and AIDS service organization in Texas and we still remain a national leader in HIV/STD programming. Our mission of “Ending the HIV Epidemic in the Greater Houston Area” is our ultimate goal and it is demonstrated daily by our staff. We offer a variety of services, including free STD testing and treatment, prevention education, community engagement, PREP and nPep care, rapid start treatment, supportive services, summer camp for youth, and housing for those living with HIV or any persons without HIV who may be experiencing homelessness. We are also known for our annual Walk to End HIV, where other organizations, hospitals, and members of our community join together to raise money to combat the HIV epidemic.
In 2022, we reached more than 6,000 persons! For an organization with just under 100 employees, this is amazing.
Q: What are some concrete examples of how your facility has benefitted from the 340B program?
Allies in Hope has benefited tremendously from the 340B program over the past several years because we have been able to use the funds from the 340B savings to offer a variety of services, including free testing and treatment, housing for individuals and families, food assistance, rental and utility assistance, counseling, and medical transportation for those who may need it. In addition, it covers our staff and our contracted medical providers who work with the program. We recently just bought a mobile testing clinic that we are so proud of! This is our second mobile unit but the first of its kind, allowing us to reach even more eligible patients and provide more comprehensive services.
Q: Tell us what makes you most proud of your work and your organization.
The work that I do requires a high level of integrity. I am most proud of it because I am able to assist behind the scenes as our front-line workers work tirelessly to provide our clients with equitable access to health care. We all know that there are guidelines and policies that we must all adhere to, so I take pride in the oversight, education and training, and self-auditing of our 340B program because I know that with a regularly monitored program we will be able to continue to generate valuable savings for our organization so that we can continue to invest in our programs and our community.
Q: How has your facility benefitted from the services of your 340B vendors/contractors?
Our contract pharmacies have been instrumental in the success of our 340B program. We receive a range of services from them and our other business associates, including third-party administration, purchasing, inventory management, reporting, and invoicing. They are always readily available and willing to assist when needed or if we need questions answered.
Q: What advice do you have for 340B covered entities or staff that are new to the program?
My advice would be to understand the value of the program. Educate yourself thoroughly on how your organization uses the savings, how these dollars are stretched, and to whom your organization is able to provide additional resources from the savings. Be sure you are familiar with your 340B policy and procedure manual and take pride in working your program along those guidelines. Try to attend at least one 340B conference. If you are responsible for oversight and compliance, as I am, I encourage you to attend annually to network and stay connected. Continuously keep your 340B stakeholders actively involved in the program by facilitating meetings and updating them on any new changes to the program.
My last piece of advice would be to get involved in the future of 340B. There are critical decisions pending before legislators that we all should be aware of that will have great impacts on the work we are doing for our most vulnerable communities.
For more information about Allies in Hope, go to www.aihhouston.org
For questions, Tiffany can be reached at email@example.com
Sandy Brower, Director, Quality/Risk Management and 340B Program Coordinator for Bonner General Hospital, is also a recipient of this year’s scholarship and was previously featured in a 340B Report Spotlight.
To learn more about validating your 340B expertise with the Apexus Advanced 340B Operations Certificate Program, please visit 340BACE.com. Sign up to be notified when the next application window opens for the Apexus Advanced 340B Operations Certificate Program Scholarship by visiting Apexus.com/Scholarship.Apexus