PHARMACY

Navy veteran assumes chief medical officer role at Little Clinic

BY Michael Johnsen

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Little Clinic last week named Marc Watkins chief medical officer. Watkins formerly served as VP and medical director for the company.

In his new role, Watkins will oversee the hundreds of board-certified nurse practitioners and physician assistants who staff the company’s nearly 200 locations, as well as provide strategic guidance on the continued growth of The Little Clinic within the retail healthcare sector.

"Dr. Watkins is a strategic thinker with a bold and passionate vision for delivering quality healthcare in a rapidly-changing, consumer focused economy," stated Colleen Lindholz, president and CEO of The Little Clinic. “We are excited to see him take his leadership and expertise to the next level in this new role."

Watkins joined The Little Clinic in 2015. Prior to joining The Little Clinic, Watkins spent six years with Concentra Health Services in various physician leadership roles and most recently was national medical director-clinical account management, providing strategic, operational and clinical program development to major employers across the country.

Watkins received his BA in philosophy and pre-medical studies from Holy Cross in Massachusetts, his MD and his MPH from Meharry Medical College in Tennessee. His residency training was in general surgery at the National Capital Consortium, U.S. Navy – Bethesda, and in occupational & environmental medicine at Meharry Medical College.

He is board certified in Occupational & Environmental Medicine and earned distinction as a Fellow of the American College of Occupational & Environmental Medicine. He is also clinical adjunct faculty in the Department of Family Medicine at Meharry.

Watkins served five years active duty in the U.S. Navy serving exclusively with the U.S. Marines. He was twice awarded the Navy Commendation Medal in direct support of combat operations while assigned in Iraq. He was honorably discharged in 2010 as a Lieutenant Commander.

Watkins also is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and American College of Physician Executives and the American Association for Physician Leadership.
 

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PHARMACY

APhA names prominent pharmacy educator president-elect for 2017-2018

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON – The American Pharmacists Association last week announced the election of Nicki Hilliard of Little Rock, Ark., as 2017–2018 APhA president-elect. Hilliard will succeed Nancy Alvarez of Lake Forest, Calif., to the office of APhA president on March 19, 2018, at the end of the 2018 APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition in Nashville, Tenn.

Also elected to serve three-year terms on APhA’s board of trustees are Sandra Leal of Tucson, Ariz., and Randy McDonough, of Iowa City, Iowa. Both terms will begin in March 2017.

In addition, former Walgreens pharmacist Philip Burgess was elected as 2017–2018 honorary president.
All officers will be installed at the 164th APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition in San Francisco, March 24–27, 2017.

Hilliard is a Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences  College of Pharmacy and has pharmacy practice experience in both independent and chain pharmacy and free medical clinics. She has focused her career on becoming an innovative educator of nuclear pharmacy practice and management and has expertise in inter-professional education, online learning and educational technology.

Hilliard is a former APhA-APPM president and APhA trustee, serving on the APhA Governmental Affairs, Strategic Directions  and Policy Standing Committees. She served on the Board of Pharmacy Specialties and is the current Chair of the Pharmacy Provider Status Task Force and the Government Affairs Committee for the Arkansas Pharmacists Association.

She received her BSPharm and PharmD from UAMS College of Pharmacy and a Masters in Health Services Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and has been recognized with the APhA William H. Briner Distinguished Achievement in Nuclear Pharmacy Practice, APhA Award of Merit and the Bowl of Hygeia.
 

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AbbVie, Biogen receive FDA approval for new MS treatment

BY David Salazar
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved Biogen and AbbVie’s Zinbryta (daclizumab), the companies announced Tuesday. The drug is a once-daily self-administered injection indicated to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis in patients who have had an inadequate response to two or more MS therapies. 
 
“The FDA approval of Zinbryta reflects our long-term commitment to bringing therapies to the community that meet the diverse needs of people living with MS,” Biogen EVP and chief medical officer Dr. Alfred Sandrock said. “Zinbryta is the first once-monthly, self-administered treatment in MS, and it demonstrated superior efficacy over a widely used interferon. Clinical data showed Zinbryta significantly reduced relapses and brain lesions for up to three years compared to Avonez (interferon beta-1a) intramuscular injection, and has a positive benefit-risk profile with monthly patient monitoring.”
 
Zinbryta’s label contains a boxed warning for the risk of hepatic injury, including autoimmune hepatitis and other immune-mediated disorders. As a result, the drug will only be available to patients, prescribers and pharmacies enrolled in the Zinbryta Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) Program, which includes liver function tests monthly. 
 

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