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photo of amcp chapter members and speaker
Officers and members of the UHCOP Chapter of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacists flank 2nd Annual Roundtable Event keynote speaker Denise Martinez Jonathan, Pharm.D. ('06), UHCOP alumna and director of Pharmacy, Health Plan Services for Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.

AMCP Chapter’s Roundtable Expands Awareness of Managed Care Careers

With their expertise in optimizing drug therapies, formulary management and patient counseling, pharmacists are ideally positioned to play a vital and unique role in the managed care setting. In an effort to build awareness of these pharmacy career opportunities, the UH Chapter of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacists hosted its 2nd Annual AMCP Roundtable Jan. 20 to connect student pharmacists with members of the managed care sector and pharmaceutical industry.

Sharing their insights into the field and its career options were 16 representatives from managed care organizations Cigna-HealthSpring, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, Universal American and The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and pharmaceutical companies Boeringher Ingleheim, Novartis, Novo Nordisk and ZS Pharma.

AMCP Chapter President Angelica Asadi said the event – and the organization itself – offered students the opportunity to hear about one of the many career paths outside for pharmacists outside of the more traditional community and hospital/health-system settings directly from those in the managed care arena.

"They (representatives) talk about what they do, how different their jobs are from other fields of pharmacy, and why it is growing," Asadi said.

Keynote speaker and UHCOP alumna Denise Martinez Jonathan, Pharm.D. (’05), directory of Pharmacy, Health Plan Services at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, said "managed care is a new world."

"What we’ve always known all along is Medicaid and Medicare; with this new world of the (insurance) exchanges, it’s just more managed care that’s going to have more regulation," Jonathan said.

Asadi added that the managed care pharmacy also appeals to those interested in combining their background and interests in business, management and pharmacy, a mix that captured the attention of first-year Pharm.D. student Trang Pham.

"What interests me about it is that I have my Bachelor of Science in biotechnology, which is more on the industry side, so I wanted to explore a new field," Pham said.

Marc Fleming, Ph.D., MPH, R.Ph., AMCP Chapter faculty co-advisor, said that while the roundtable event offers great networking opportunities, the context of the conversation is about how the various interests – managed care entities, the pharmaceutical industry, and healthcare providers – can work together to create healthier communities.

"Never forget that the patient is the reason why we do all that we do," Fleming said.

The Roundtable Event also included announcement of the winning team from the chapter's P&T Competition

-- by Ameena Rasheed