Dusty Lewis, Pharm.D., M.B.A. is currently Manager of Specialty Pharmacy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. He received his Pharm.D. from Ohio Northern University in 2007, and spent the first three years of his career working in both community and inpatient pharmacy settings. He then used this experience to begin managing a health system-based home infusion company. During his six years in the home infusion industry, Dusty had oversight of home infusion, home medical equipment, home oxygen, and worked closely with home health and hospice nursing services. During this time, he also earned a Masters of Business Administration with Specialization in Healthcare Administration from Ashford University. In 2016, Dusty accepted a position with Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH) as Manager of Specialty Pharmacy. In this role he was tasked with growing and scaling the newly conceptualized Specialty Pharmacy at Nationwide Children’s, the first of its kind in a freestanding pediatric hospital. He spent the next three years overseeing the growth of the program from one disease state service to now six specialty clinics with integrated staff, and a variety of additional clinics leveraging the knowledge and resources of the specialty pharmacy team. The pharmacy employs a clinic-embedded clinical pharmacist model, with a dedicated call center team of extremely talented technicians and pharmacists. The URAC accredited (soon to be ACHC accredited) NCH Specialty Pharmacy services specialty pharmacy patients across Ohio and West Virginia, and has access to nearly every specialty medication for pediatric disease states.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital is a 673-bed pediatric academic medical center. The health system serves patients in central Ohio, all 50 states, and 50 countries through more than 1.5 million patient visits in 2018. Nationwide Children’s owns and operates Partners for Kids®, a pediatric accountable care organization with over 330,000 managed Medicaid covered lives. NCH is committed to patient safety through its Zero Hero program and its goal of achieving zero preventable harm. It is named to the U.S. News and World Report Honor Roll for top children’s hospitals and is ranked in all 10 specialties. The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the top-10 NIH-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities in the U.S.
Recent Significant Projects
My time lately has been spent overseeing two new product offerings in our specialty pharmacy: one for the treatment of cystic fibrosis, and the other for the treatment of infantile spasms. The infantile spasm therapy came with significant REMS requirements. This required input from a multi-faceted team of clinical pharmacy, pharmacy operations, pharmacy I.S., and pharmacy supply chain. The result of this work will hopefully decrease barriers to medication access and decreased length of inpatient stay for a fragile patient population. Additionally, I’m helping to facilitate NCH Specialty Pharmacy’s second accreditation, with our on-site survey coming in the next few weeks. I am also involved with multiple pharmacy business development opportunities both internal and external to the organization. I am an active member of the Ohio Pharmacist’s Association, having served on the Legal and Regulatory committee for the past five years. This committee heads up efforts for pharmacist provider status and PBM reform in the state of Ohio.
Initial Involvement in ASHP
I am currently a member of the Section of Specialty Pharmacy Practitioners Advisory Group (SAG) on Business Development. I love interacting with the other members of the SAG and getting to share in the group’s ideas, successes, and challenges. I speak for the group when I say that we are excited to share everything we’ve been working on more broadly with the Section over the coming months.
Why did you become involved in ASHP?
I became involved in ASHP because I saw the need for like-minded health system-based Specialty Pharmacy teams to collaborate, and ASHP provides the perfect forum for that.
Advice for Someone New to Your Specialty Area
My advice would be to keep an open mind and do not be afraid to take a leap. Whether that means moving to a different geographic location, taking a job you’re not 100% sure of what it will look like in a few years, or taking a pay cut in order to do something you’ll like.
When I graduated from pharmacy school twelve years ago, Specialty Pharmacy wasn’t even really a thing. Now it is probably the most significant source of pharmacy industry growth. If this niche has grown that much over this relatively short period, what might the next twelve years bring? You might benefit by taking a leap.
How would you explain the value of ASHP to a friend or colleague?
ASHP has an impeccable track record for fostering collaboration among health system pharmacy professionals. At last count, the Section of Specialty Pharmacy Practitioners was at nearly 8000 members, after only about a year of existence. The sharing of knowledge among peers makes us all stronger.
What is the value of ASHP for the profession?
Speaking from the Specialty Pharmacy perspective, health system-based specialty pharmacies are the fastest growing segment of the industry. The majority of these pharmacies are providing services that go above and beyond that of traditional specialty pharmacies. Services may include EMR integration, clinic embedded pharmacists, patient assistance coordination for all health system patients, and so much more. As these high performing specialty pharmacies come together via collaboration through ASHP, the specialty pharmacy industry is made stronger, the profession of pharmacy is advanced, and patients are benefited.