Becker's CEO + CFO Roundtable 2019: 3 Questions with Jess De Jesus, Chief Pharmacy Officer at University of California Los Angeles Health

Jess De Jesus serves as Chief Pharmacy Officer and Patient Flow at University of California Los Angeles Health. 

On November 11th, Jess will serve on the panel "Pharmacy, Precision Medicine and Key Ideas on Leadership" at Becker's 8th Annual CEO + CFO Roundtable. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference, which will take place November 11-13, 2019 in Chicago.

To learn more about the conference and Jess' session, click here.

Question: What is the single most important thing you need to do in your role?

Jess De Jesus: The primary role of the Chief Pharmacy Executives has evolved over the years from operational to clinical to a more business and financial focus. Although these are all related and priorities for the pharmacy executives, the significant increase in the cost of healthcare has placed an emphasis in cost containment and revenue generation. The increase in the cost of pharmaceutical expenses which is a large percentage in the overall expense in hospitals are primarily due to development and advent of newer high cost drugs (i.e. gene therapy) and annual increase in inflation rate. Pharmacy executives are tasked to develop strategies in reducing pharmaceutical expenses and generating revenues.

Q: There is a lot to improve upon in healthcare. Of the many issues that hold your attention, what is the one you consider exceptionally imperative and urgent?

JDJ: With the significant increase in healthcare expenses and having to do more with less resources, I believe that we still have an opportunity to be more efficient - “work smarter and not harder”. We need to invest and optimize the use of technology and automation so we can be more efficient. We also need to develop and train our healthcare staff so they are able to practice to the “top of their license”.

Q: Healthcare leaders today need skills and talents that span beyond those emphasized during formal training and higher education. What is one specific competency that you learned or sharpened in real life?

JDJ: Emotional intelligence specifically effective communication is one key trait that I have learned and continue to work on and improve. This is key in good relationship building which you need to get exceptional results and be a more effective leader.

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