This month, our Partner Spotlight is a special edition—as we introduce Julie Erickson - our new President and CEO. We are excited to welcome Julie back to the family as she served as Chief Development Officer / Pharma Relations at Rx Outreach from 2013-2018.
Optimism is Timeless, Make it Happen
Julie has such passion for the Rx Outreach mission, and it far exceeds her role as President and CEO. And, one only has to watch her in action to see the miracles unfold. It is like Mother Teresa said, "The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it." Julie sees challenges as opportunities, and her enthusiasm motivates employees to make a positive impact on others.
No Margins, No Mission
Julie explains that non-profits operate just like businesses—only the benefits and revenues rehabilitate communities. Someone once told her that with no margin, there is no mission. That is, if Rx Outreach cannot find the money to operate, we cannot provide our affordable medications to those in need.
Julie cherished the relationships she formed with pharmaceutical companies to secure life-saving donations in her previous role at Rx Outreach. Understanding the importance of sustainability for the clients, Julie established sound business practices to build and strengthen the lifework of the organization for the welfare of our patients.
Still, keeping a foundation on the level of corporate efficiency is a constant battle. Julie is currently procuring a technology system that assists clients with quality and ease while removing barriers.
The Pandemic Pivot
In addition to the typical changes brought about by COVID, like wearing masks and more frequent sanitation of shared and individual office spaces, Rx Outreach faces industry challenges such as ingredient shortages for medications.
Nationwide medication backorders resulted from this shortage as pharmaceutical companies could not produce products or keep inventory. As a result, Rx Outreach and other organizations could not provide such medications to our patients.
Also, during the pandemic, the mail system was backlogged, so Rx Outreach faced challenges in getting medications to patients on time. Julie saw this challenge and created a plan to fix it: find a new mail carrier service that will help expedite patient orders. Soon, our patients will get their medications even faster.
All hands-on Deck
Julie loves the excitement of Rx Outreach because of working with people. She loves the reciprocity of teamwork and believes that we are all in this together. Our shared mission is the cornerstone of our Outreach.
As a leader, Julie inspires change with full employee participation. Recognizing that all employees are essential to the mission, Julie involves employees in decisions about change. She encourages employee participation in achieving the vision through all-staff meetings, incentives, brainstorming sessions, and trust.
She wanted to understand the barriers that prevent patients from getting the best service possible—and who better to relay that information than the people that speak one-on-one with our patients every single day? She also invited employees to brainstorm how to provide the most exceptional customer service to our patients.
In addition to our goal of excellent customer service, Julie is happy to announce that Rx Outreach is extending its hours so that clients have more opportunities to reach out for help. She also looks forward to replacing our pharmacy management software for more interaction with patients via email and texting. This new software will also allow patients to track their medications better. This is very important to making Rx Outreach more transparent for our patients.
The Mission with Meaning
Julie returned to Rx Outreach this past summer because she so strongly believes in the mission. She feels moved by the vision we all hold to create a world where every person can access the medications they need. Her entire career has been in the non-profit space, and she is humbled to make an impact in a field that keeps people alive.
And as a faith-based organization, Rx Outreach provides for the body and soul. Julie is grateful that while she is part of a mission to provide affordable medication - she is also part of a mission to share faith, love, and hope.
Handwritten cards, framed pictures, and patient stories will forever fill her heart. The inspiration and stories shared by our patients are Julie's reason, her every single reason for her passion for the Rx Outreach mission.