2015 Steven G. Avey Award Recipient

 SGA Award Pic 


The AMCP Foundation Steven G. Avey Award was established in 2001 to recognize a healthcare professional for sustained, exemplary and distinguished service to the profession of managed care pharmacy.  It is the AMCP Foundation's highest award.  


2015 Steven G. Avey Award Recipient - Albert L. Carver

 Al Carver   
Thank you Annette for the introduction, and to the Foundation Board and AMCP leadership for this award for which I am very proud to receive.
I entered the practice of pharmacy at an ideal time and at what became a perfect practice setting for managed care pharmacy with what became 39+ years of opportunity.  I entered at the time of paper prescriptions, and manual filing systems. At a time of requisitions to a hospital pharmacy often located in the basement. At a time when ambulatory clinical services were at best a glimmer of hope in the minds of pharmacy directors.
Fortunately I was able to progress to positions of increasing responsibility and influence – 1st at an Area level, and then to the regional level, then to the State level with accountability for both the southern and northern California regions of Kaiser Permanente, providing pharmacy services to more than 20% of the population of California.
An overall mission of providing high quality pharmaceutical care and service in an affordable manner guided my thinking and leadership energy on 3 areas of constant focus and pursuit over a period of about 3 decades toward achieving our goals. 
The 1st Area of constant focus was related to people management: 
Achieving excellence requires putting together and maintaining a talented, highly skilled executive and management team. My role was working to assure we were all striving toward the same goals, keeping people professionally challenged, providing guidance as needed, and letting them excel in their areas of expertise.   Rarely have I been disappointed.  We were also challenged with the growth and development of several hundred managers and supervisors in our pharmacy organization.  
The key to our success in meeting this challenge was: 
  • The development of an internal management development program for our front line supervisors and managers.
  • A mentoring program for supervisors and managers
  • The Pharmacy Leadership Institute in collaboration with UCSF for our Area Pharmacy Directors 
  • Inpatient Pharmacy Directors, Clinical Operations Managers, and leaders of our support services.                          
  • Pharmacist Residency Programs
  • A Pharmacy training program for staff – focusing on customer service and computer training
  • A technician training program   

The 2nd Area of constant focus was related to the promotion and utilization of computer technology: 
I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to justify and implement our outpatient pharmacy system known as PIMS some 35 years ago.  This was the 1st large direct patient care related system in the southern region of Kaiser Permanente, followed by implementation in other regions. Next was Implementation of the inpatient pharmacy system. This was followed by the development and implementation of an automated and mechanized Central Fill Pharmacy for processing and sending completed refill prescriptions back to the location pharmacies overnight, as well as supporting our mail service needs.
About 15 years ago, Kaiser Permanente began investment in an electronic health record known as “Health Connect”.  This provided opportunity for pharmacists to have significant input into the drug related components of “Health Connect” as well as the opportunity to interface with PIMS, enabling electronic prescribing by physicians into PIMS, providing medication information back to “Health Connect” and giving our pharmacist access to the patient health record. We also were able to co-sponsor a very successful effort related to enhancing “Health Connect” to support the special needs of our oncologists and oncology pharmacists.
The 3rd Area of focus was geared toward achieving Excellence in Drug Use Management: 
Central to this effort was the evolution of what became a world class Drug Information Service supporting an evidence based decision process to the extent possible.  We were fortunate to have the requisite high performing Area and Regional Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committees. We implemented a highly organized Drug Education Program to promote P & T decisions to physicians and pharmacists. We developed separate and distinct highly organized pharmacist and physician expert groups to develop, promote, and monitor drug use guidelines for the treatment of select medical conditions, taking  advantage of the medical expertise of specialist and sub-specialist physicians, as well as the pharmaceutical expertise of our specialty oriented pharmacists.
These groups were very instrumental in influencing improvement in the treatment and outcomes for tens of thousands of patients with targeted medical conditions.
Both the Drug Use Management and Clinical Pharmacy Programs in various practice setting have resulted in Pharmacy Services becoming an integral part of health care delivery and Kaiser Permanente’s achievement of the highest ratings in California and beyond.  
As our programs delivered results in contributing to high quality care, the credibility of pharmacy and pharmacists have resulted in a continual demand for additional services. 
Success over a career is certainly not solely the result of the performance of one individual.  In my case, it has been the result of opportunities afforded me from Larry Strom who hired me, to Peter Solyom, Russ Williams, and Dick Pettingill who promoted me, as well as the collaborative environment maintained by Benjamin Chu. The development of very collaborative professional relationships with physicians at both the executive level as well as the area and regional levels have been key to our success along the way, as well as a high performing Executive Pharmacy Team to direct our efforts, all of whom contributed to my achievement being recognized with this Award. And very importantly contributing to my success has been my wonderful caring wife, Debbie who has given me encouragement and support at every turn in the past 16 years.
Again, I am very grateful for being the recipient of this award.

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