Join Dr. Melinda (Mindy) T. Burnworth, Pharm.D., BCPS, FASHP, from Midwestern University College of Pharmacy-Glendale and Dr. Janet Lee, Pharm.D, MPA, MBA, of the Department of Pharmacy – The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Md. and as they chat members of ASHP’s Office of Government Relations team to demystify the Hill, lobbying and advocacy on behalf of pharmacists.
Janet Lee, PharmD, MPA, MBA, is currently an Operations Manager in the Johns Hopkins Hospital Weinberg Oncology Pharmacy. She received a Bachelor of Arts in the Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Public Administration in Health Policy and Management from the New York University Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She then obtained her Doctorate of Pharmacy from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. Dr. Lee then completed a PGY1 and PGY2 in Health-System Pharmacy Administration at The Johns Hopkins Hospital while concurrently completing her Master in Business Administration from the Johns Hopkins Care School of Business.
Dr. Lee was appointed to the ASHP Council on Public Policy from 2016-2019 and is currently on the ASHP Advocacy and PAC Advisory Committee. She currently serves as a Maryland Alternate Delegate to the ASHP House of Delegates.
Mindy (Melinda) Burnworth, PharmD, FASHP, FAzPA, BCPS graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Pharmacy in 2001. She then completed American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)-accredited residencies in Pharmacy Practice (PGY1) and Adult Internal Medicine (PGY2) at Grady Health System in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Burnworth is a leader in promoting health-system pharmacy, student mentorship, minimization of drug shortages, advocacy, and rare diseases education at various levels. Dr. Burnworth was honored with AzPA’s Service to Pharmacy award twice, Pharmacist of the Year, Appreciation to Pharmacy award, and Hall of Fame award. She is recognized as a Fellow of AzPA. Dr. Burnworth was appointed to the ASHP Commission on Affiliate Relations (2011-2014) and participated in ASHP’s Legislative Day (2011, 2012, 2013). She served ASHP on the Committee on Nominations as second alternate (2012-2013). She was elected as an Arizona Delegate in ASHP’s House of Delegates (4 consecutive terms ending in 2021).
Currently, she serves ASHP on the Advocacy and PAC Advisory Committee (2015-Present) and makes annual contributions to the national PAC. She has been an invited presenter at several advocacy educational programs at the national level. In 2008 and 2009, she received ASHP’s State Affiliate Leadership Appreciation award. She is recognized as a Fellow of ASHP.
Tom Kraus is Vice President for Government Relations at ASHP. He is a graduate of University of Michigan (BS Biology), Georgetown University Law Center (Doctor Of Law), and The Johns Hopkins University (MHS, Health Policy).
Tom previously served as the Chief of Staff and Associate Commissioner for Legislation at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He was also a senior policy advisor to Sen. Ted Kennedy and Sen. Tom Harkin on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, where he served as Deputy Staff Director for Health.
Doug Huynh, J.D., as our new federal lobbyist and primary legislative advocate on Capitol Hill. Doug comes to ASHP with extensive experience from the Society of Interventional Radiology, where he worked for 12 years as Director of Government and Policy Affairs. Doug also served as a lawyer and lobbyist in a number of other healthcare-related organizations. He has an in-depth understanding of the healthcare landscape and the issues that impact pharmacists, physicians, healthcare organizations, and other providers, as well as excellent relationships on Capitol Hill and a strong knowledge of the political process.
TIME-STAMPED SHOW NOTES
This ASHPOfficial episode is guest-hosted by Mindy Burnworth, PharmD and Janet Lee. Dr. Burnworth is a Full Professor at Midwestern University College of Pharmacy. Janet is the Operations Manager at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in the Weinberg Oncology Division. In this episode, they are interviewing Tom Kraus and Doug Huynh, J.D. at the 2019 Midyear Clinical Meeting in Las Vegas. Tom Kraus is ASHP’s Vice President of Government Relations. Doug Huynh, J.D. is ASHP’s Director of Federal Affairs. You will hear the backgrounds of today’s guests and what led them both to working in government regulations with ASHP. They explain how they help practicing pharmacists- which in turn helps patients. You will hear why it is important for pharmacists to develop relationships with regulators!
(1:30) The discussion starts by asking Tom how he got started with the ASHP’s Government Relations Team. Tom’s background is in public health and law. He had experience from working “in the United States Senate as an advisor to senators developing healthcare legislation” (Tom). He also worked for the FDA and the public sector.
(2:46) Doug shares his background as a registered lobbyist with twenty years of experience. He led lobby for a physician organization before working at ASHP.
(3:58) Pharmacists focus on direct patient care and they don’t normally get directly involved in federal policies that are made. Dr. Burnworth asks Tom what a typical day looks like for him. Tom says his days can look very different from one another. For example, he spends time identifying experts to serve at forums, he spends time assessing bills, and reaching out to other organizations. Connecting with other like-minded organizations can help when having a conversation with someone from Congress. Doug emphasizes that, “it kind of starts with an idea…” Then they put together a strategy. Doug uses the example of drug pricing.
(8:37) Janet asks for more details on what it is like to solve these policy problems. Tom uses the example of when hospitals were having a difficult time getting access to Suboxone. He worked as a mediator between the hospitals and the DEA. He let the DEA know why this was an issue which resulted in the DEA solving the problem and reaching out to suppliers. He also uses the examples of DEA quotas for opioids and CMS funding for residency programs. Doug adds additional comments on CMS funding for residency programs, recognizing that this is more of a political ask.
(13:24) Janet asks for ways that practicing pharmacists are impacting advocacy. Doug recognizes the importance of pharmacists being clinical experts. He also emphasizes the value of pharmacists being a constituent.
Outbound Links & Resources Mentioned
- Learn more about Janet Lee
- Learn more about Mindy Burnworth, PharmD
- Learn more about the Johns Hopkins Hospital
- Learn more about Midwestern University’s College of Pharmacy
- Hear more from Tom Kraus and Doug Huynh, J.D.
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Takeaways in Today’s Episode
- People from different backgrounds can get involved with Government Relations.
- Two things that Doug learned helps to become a lobbyist are 1) contacts on the Hill and 2) be very familiar with an issue
- A big reason most pharmacists get involved in pharmacy is the impact they can have on direct patient care.
- Tom says it can help to connect with other organizations with similar interests. This can help when having a conversation with Congress.
- Doug says in some examples, “you kind of combine some of the regulatory issues with the legislative.”
- It is important for pharmacists to be proactive in developing relationships with regulators-it can really make a difference!