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If you’re a student working toward a degree in pharmacy, or a practicing pharmacist, here’s something you can feel good about. The expanding army of pharmacists working to advance patient care, lower health costs and integrate the nation’s fractured health system has found a true champion to lead its clinical-care efforts.
Rebecca Chater, the highly regarded pharmacy leader and EVP in charge of Kerr Drug’s clinical services division, Kerr Health, has become VP-health outcomes at RxAlly, the national network of more than 22,000 chain and independent pharmacies working to advance patient-care services and cost-effective solutions for patients and health plan payers.
According to the group’s CEO, former National Community Pharmacists Association chief Bruce Roberts, Chater will help “develop and implement on a national scale industry-leading clinical service programs that support RxAlly's member pharmacies in providing the highest quality pharmacy care available.” Roberts rightly enthuses about Chater’s “impressive credentials…and her genuine passion for enhancing the value of community-based, patient-focused quality pharmacy care."
By its own description, RxAlly is “creating a solution that transforms an outdated approach to pharmacy care into one that can benefit all of us.” Its message to patients, both in print and online, is that the tens of thousands of pharmacists who now embrace its mission are taking “a greater role in coaching and customizing a care plan.
“They coordinate refills, reconcile medications, give you tools to make taking and managing your prescriptions easier, and offer clinical services like adult and adolescent immunizations and blood pressure and other health testing – all in collaboration with the rest of your help care team,” RxAlly tells patients.
The underlying message to both patients and health plan payers, says the organization, “is to make a significantly measurable difference in health outcomes and health care costs.” That mission – and that vision for a fully engaged and patient-focused brand of pharmacy practice –defines perfectly what the new chief of health outcomes is about.
Rebecca Chater has been one of pharmacy’s most prescient, determined and visible proponents of pharmacy-based clinical care for two decades. As the long-serving head of clinical-care initiatives at 77-store Kerr Drug, itself one of retail pharmacy’s boldest innovators in patient care and preventive-health services, Chater has been a tireless champion for a higher level of pharmacist practice. She’s also past president of the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy and has served as visiting clinical professor in pharmacotherapy at the University of North Carolina’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy.
Her enthusiasm is infectious. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Rebecca for a decade or more, and every time we meet or speak by phone, I’m charged up with a renewed sense of community pharmacy’s still-untapped potential as a critically important part of a smarter, more cost-effective and more patient-centric U.S. health system.
“RxAlly’s goal is to empower community pharmacies to provide personalized pharmacist care to improve health outcomes and lower health care costs, so it’s a perfect fit with what I have been focusing on professionally for a long time,” said the Kerr veteran.
So congrats on your new role, Rebecca Chater, and good luck. RxAlly – and the quest for a full seat at the health care table for retail pharmacists – are in good hands.