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When we first met Tony Willoughby in 2016, he was working full-time in Thrive Pharmacy, a store he co-owns with his longtime colleague and friend, John Gregg, in Plano, TX. Like John, Tony has recently taken his work outside the four walls of the pharmacy and has transitioned into an additional role as President of Pharmacy Solutions for StratiFi Health.
In 2013, StratiFi Health was officially started to create healthier communities through independent physicians. According to Tony, StratiFi offers three core components: practice services that help physicians, network services to connect them, and pharmacy services for independent pharmacists, which is what Tony mainly focuses on. “We spent the second half of last year really looking for ways we could drive synergies from our Thrive clinical team onto the care management team within Catalyst Health Network, a network arm of StratiFi,” Tony elaborates. “Now, all the disease state programs within Catalyst start with medication management. Actually, when a physician asks for care management services from Catalyst, the very first contact is always done by one of our pharmacists.”
As StratiFi continues to deliver practice services to physicians, Tony is working on a similar practice model for pharmacists so they can access the tools needed to remain competitive in the ever-changing healthcare environment. Throughout the past year, Tony and his team have invested time and effort into testing concepts within the model. In the future, they will be focusing on how to optimize the initial launch of this model while continuing to diversify the pharmacy solutions they currently offer. “We’ve just got to continue to try to break the mold and push the edge on what we define as a community pharmacy, what we define as a traditional pharmacy, and how we can integrate those into the broader patient care team so we can continue to improve healthcare,” he says.
As Tony co-owns a pharmacy while overseeing various projects with StratiFi Health, he continues to maintain a work-life balance he knows many pharmacists struggle to achieve. After he explains that he is driving to Austin for his son’s baseball tournament, he comments on the meaning of “balance” for those in the pharmacy industry: “When your values stretch beyond the professional world, if you don’t have the right balance with what your core values are, then you’re not going to be your best self. You’re not going to have the energy or the passion to continue to drive. Sometimes, you’ve got to embrace the grind to drive change, but you’d better be aligned with the values you’re passionate about.”
Later this year, Tony will be joining the lineup of dynamic speakers for Connect 2018. During a two-part session, he will share on financial awareness and how to track profits and losses within the PioneerRx pharmacy program. “At StratiFi and Thrive, one of our core values is that relationships matter — our relationships with our physician groups and our state boards, the relationships that pharmacists build within their own patient community, and the relationship to that overall pharmacy,” Tony says. “So my presentation is really going to center around how you measure success from a revenue-reporting standpoint within each of those relationships.” During his class, Tony will demonstrate how to assess the performance of your patients, providers, and your team in order to see how they relate to your business. “You’re not just trying to make a profit,” Tony concludes. “You’re also sustaining your model so you can continue to expand to more individuals.” Whether he’s operating in Thrive Pharmacy or building innovative practice models for community pharmacists, Tony is actively working towards a future where health and financial success are synonymous with independent pharmacy.