Christopher Hvisdas received his Doctor of Pharmacy from Jefferson College of Pharmacy in 2016 and then completed his PGY1 Residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. Immediately following completion of his residency, Dr. Hvisdas went on to work as a clinical specialist in ambulatory care at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, University of Pennsylvania Health System. His areas of practice include: Pulmonary, Endocrinology, and Allergy/Immunology. In 2019 he was also made Lead Pharmacist for the Penn Bone Center for the University of Pennsylvania Health System. He serves on multiple health system committees and as a member of the Specialty Pharmacy Practitioners Section Advisory Group on Business Development for ASHP.
Penn Presbyterian Medical Center (PPMC) is a 400 bed academic medical center located in West Philadelphia. Penn Presbyterian also includes the Pavilion for Advanced Care (PAC), a 178,000 square-foot, acute care building, and Penn Medicine’s Level 1 Trauma Center.
Penn Medicine University City (PMUC), also part of the Penn Presbyterian campus, provides seamless, integrated care to patients by offering advanced treatment options and bringing multitude of specialties together, all under one roof for outpatient care. PMUC is also the home to the Penn Musculoskeletal Center – the first of its kind in Philadelphia.
Recent Significant Projects
I continue to work on projects focused on advocating the benefits and outcomes associated with health system specialty pharmacies, most recently presenting at Vizient’s Pharmacy Network Meeting on the integration of clinical pharmacists within specialty clinics at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. This advocacy work is also visible in recent publications and editorials published in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy (“Is Specialty Patient Care Affected by Exclusivity?”) and in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (“Cost considerations for clinicians prescribing biologic drugs: Who Pays?”) further highlighting problems associated with insurance specialty medication exclusivity and specialty medication reimbursement. In addition, I am also actively involved in research and publications within my area of practice, recently completing a clinical review on the nebulized long acting muscarinic agent, revefenacin pending publication in AJHP. Within ASHP, I had the pleasure and opportunity to develop and present a collaborative webinar focused on limited distribution drug and payer access best practices with my colleagues serving on the ASHP Section Advisory Group on Business Development.
Initial Involvement in ASHP
I am serving for the second consecutive year on the Specialty Pharmacy Section Advisory Group on Business Development.
Why did you become involved in ASHP?
I initially became involved in ASHP as a student, serving as the president for my school’s SSHP chapter and then as a member of the ASHP Student Forum Advisory Group on Advancement of Pharmacy Practice. My initial early involvement is likely similar to many student’s involvement, which was to build my resume to show dedication in my area of interest with the intent of securing a residency; however, ASHP has provided so much more, shaping me into the pharmacist I am today. The reason I remain involved is with the hope of benefiting and evolving our profession through continued advocacy and knowledge advancement.
Advice for Someone New to Specialty Area
The best advice I can offer to an individual within my areas of practice is to remain dedicated to advancing your knowledge. The landscape of medicine and pharmacy practice is forever changing and requires our continued commitment to change with that landscape to optimize patient care. Additionally, this change offers opportunity to challenge norms that may enhance care for our patients and advance our profession. Take the risk to challenge these norms and seize opportunities as they arise.
How would you explain the value of ASHP to a friend or colleague?
My best explanation would describe ASHP as a network of colleagues devoted to health system pharmacy advancement. It provides educational resources, learning opportunities, and dialogue with pharmacists from all over the nation. Further, it provides the opportunity for individual involvement and growth.
What is the value of ASHP for the profession?
ASHP provides a unified voice of pharmacists focused on pharmacy progression with the intent of bettering outcomes for patients. It advocates for legislation, education, organizations, and initiatives focused on this outcome.