Vincent E. Jackson Helps Advocate Health Bring Relief to Pharmacy Deserts

Service to others has been part of Vincent E. Jackson’s life for as long as he can remember. His mother ran a nonprofit, a 501(c)(3) organization that provided household goods, supplies, and clothing to underserved communities in the Silver Springs, Maryland, neighborhood where Jackson grew up. The current chief pharmacy officer at Advocate Health learned early that in whatever he wanted to do with his life, he wanted to have a hand in making people’s lives better.

Jackson’s commitment to service has focused on helping people access medications in underserved communities.

“People talk about food deserts, but unfortunately that’s only part of the problem,” Jackson explains. “If you look at locations like South Chicagoland, you’re seeing national pharmacy chain locations [shutting] their doors. These are pharmacy deserts just as much as they are food deserts. That’s part of the reason I came to Advocate Health. This organization understands that addressing these inequities may not provide some incredible return on investment (ROI), but they know it’s the right thing to do.”

Bringing Hope to Pharmacy Deserts

Bringing access to medications and medical supplies to underserved communities is about as difficult as it sounds. It’s required some innovative thinking and potential solutions that are the first of their kind for an organization the size of Advocate Health, the third largest nonprofit health system in the country.

Vincent E. Jackson Advocate Health
Photo by Kathy J. Kohl

Jackson’s team is studying new technologies that can dispense medications at sites like hospitals or clinics directly to patients. It’s essentially a vending machine, overseen by a pharmacist, built far more securely and technologically savvy than one meant to be dispensing snacks. 

Additionally, Advocate Health is expanding its existing retail pharmacy network into underserved Chicago communities. The challenge, of course, is working to bring pharmacies, clinics, and other medical access in neighborhoods where these services are shrinking.

Why is Advocate Health able to succeed where others have failed? Jackson says it’s about caring for the patient throughout their healthcare journey, not just when they are in the walls of hospitals and clinics.

“You cannot say you’re a health system who only worries about your patient when they’re in front of you,” Jackson says. “You have got to take care of your patients inside and outside your hospitals. That’s what we’re doing. Our executives understand that medications are a huge part of providing optimal care for our patients. Most people leave a healthcare setting with drugs they need to take either for the short term or for chronic issues.”

Expanding the Advocate Health’s pharmacy footprint doesn’t just make business sense, it makes sense for patients, who don’t have time to spend significant parts of their day traveling to get the medication they need to live.

Just like Advocate Health, Jackson’s focus on service doesn’t only exist within the four walls of his employer. The executive has a long history of volunteering and mentoring, including acting as a board member for the Commonshare Nonprofit Pharmacy, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving access to prescription medications for under-served populations across the country.

Jackson was also an advisory board member for the nonprofit Horizons National, which offers summer enrichment activities that help provide low-income public school students with life and career skills.

Paying It Forward

The chief pharmacy officer’s focus on service has provided him a lot of chances to mentor future pharmacy leaders from diverse backgrounds. As a leader in an industry where diversity still needs to be focused on with purpose and diligence, Jackson is committed to developing a workforce that reflects the populations it serves.

Jackson’s advice for his mentees?

“Believe in yourself—don’t focus on things that you can’t control. Focus on results,” Jackson says. “If you establish a track record of success, it will speak for itself.”

As much as service is a part of Jackson’s ethos, teamwork and cultivating growth in those around him are equally as important. When he wasn’t rushing through defenders as a halfback at Boston University, Jackson was slowly putting together the pieces of a career that would see all angles of the pharmacy business. Prior to becoming a chief pharmacy officer, Jackson worked for a large national retail chain, owned and operated an independent pharmacy, and managed the third-largest GPO pharmacy portfolio in the country.

Jackson says with his team, he prefers to act as a player/coach. He doesn’t believe leadership goes one way. There needs to be a healthy bidirectional exchange that helps everyone grow. That’s why he doesn’t think twice about investing in others and taking the time to promote personal growth. Jackson will always pay it forward; he believes it’s why he is where he is now.

The chief pharmacy officer has expanded retail pharmacy footprints at throughout his career. At Advocate Health, Jackson has had the opportunity to come to an organization with already strong assets and utilize them to help strengthen communities that need them most. Jackson came to Advocate Health because it was the perfect opportunity to align his best talents with a mission that matters.

Meitheal Pharmaceuticals is focused on the development and commercialization of generic injectable medications and has expanded its focus to include fertility, biologic, and biosimilar products. Meitheal currently markets over fifty-five US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved products across numerous therapeutic areas including anti-infectives, oncolytics, intensive care, and fertility. Meitheal has twenty products in the research and development phase, fourteen products planned for launch in 2024, and an additional nineteen products under review by the FDA. Meitheal’s mission is to provide easy access to affordable products through robust manufacturing, consistent supply, and rapid response to our customers’ needs. Meitheal (Mee·hall): working together toward a common goal for the greater good.

The post Vincent E. Jackson Helps Advocate Health Bring Relief to Pharmacy Deserts appeared first on American Healthcare Leader.

Check Also

Hamptons White Party

Nails Influenced by Michael Rubin’s Recent Hamptons White Party

AAnastasiiaO/Shutterstock The famous White Party, hosted in the Hamptons by billionaire Michael Rubin’s recently occurred …