Alumni resident bios

Hear what recent graduates of Humana’s Residency program have to say about their experiences.
Alex James, PharmD, BCPS

Alex James, PharmD, BCPS

Alex James, PharmD, BCPS, is a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist from Louisville, Kentucky. He is a graduate of the University Of Kentucky College of Pharmacy and completed his PGY1 Managed Care Pharmacy Residency at Humana in 2014.

“Humana’s residency program prepares pharmacists to excel in a wide variety of pharmaceutical industries. A Humana resident is provided the opportunity to learn from mentors with years of deep clinical and operational experience through project emersion and exposure to PBM and health plan activities. After completion of Humana’s residency, a pharmacist has the leadership tools necessary for long-term success in the ever evolving world of pharmacy.”

After completion of Humana’s residency program, Alex has been tasked to lead many of Humana Pharmacy Solutions’ clinical integration opportunities in order to simplify the pharmacy experience for members and providers through technology.

Jonathan Chiang, PharmD

Jonathan Chiang, PharmD

“Humana’s residency program offers unparalleled resources that have accelerated my growth as a new pharmacist practitioner. It’s a one-stop shop for all your managed care needs.”

Jonathan received his PharmD from the University of California, San Diego.

Lilian Ndehi, PharmD, MBA, BCPS

Lilian Ndehi, PharmD, MBA, BCPS

Lilian Ndehi, PharmD, MBA, BCPS, graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a degree in cell and molecular biology and genetics, and then received her PharmD and MBA degrees from Mercer University, where she graduated with highest honors.

“Humana’s Residency Program was a vital component of my professional and personal development and was essential in my successful progression from a full-time student to an experienced professional in Managed Care. The comprehensive one year immersion program allowed me to strengthen both my clinical and business acumen. This was due to the exposure to a wide range of experiences, access to dedicated mentors with a variety of backgrounds and experiences, and the opportunity to customize my rotations to meet my needs.

Furthermore, the residency program allowed me to enhance my soft skills including but not limited to adaptability, time management, critical thinking and leadership.”

Lilian is the associate director of the Medication Therapy Management (MTM) Program at Humana Pharmacy Solutions®, where she is responsible for overseeing the program’s business strategy, trend management, quality/compliance functions and the member/provider experiences.

Before taking her current role, Lilian was a clinical pharmacist on the Clinical Strategies team where she served as a member of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) Committee and was the program owner of Maximize Your Benefit® therapeutic interchange program. In addition, she was responsible for the Commercial and Exchanges formulary management. Lastly, she served as the lead for a Pharmacy Champions group where she successfully developed and launched 3 professional development programs, including a 12-month virtual program, a healthcare provider collaboration program and a 6-month enrichment program, which is in its 5th year.

In addition to her present role at Humana Pharmacy Solutions, Lilian also participates in Pharmacy Quality Alliance as a Stakeholder Advisory Panel member and is part of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) MTM Advisory Group.

Melea Ward, PharmD, MS, PhD

Melea Ward, PharmD, MS, PhD

Melea Ward has several years of experience in health economics and outcomes research within managed care, consulting and pharmaceutical industry settings. After completing a managed care pharmacy residency within Humana, she joined Comprehensive Health Insights supporting evidence generation for pharmaceutical companies and government agencies. Melea also spent time as a clinical pharmacist leading oncology/hematology clinical strategy initiatives for Humana Pharmacy Solutions.

In 2014, Melea joined GSK supporting Promacta and Tafinlar/Mekinist and led the U.S. Health Outcomes integration of the GSK portfolio at Novartis Oncology. Within Novartis Oncology, she was in a hybrid role supporting both internal evidence and outcomes generation for breast cancer as well as fielding above-brand collaborative research focused on shaping the value of cancer care dialogue. She was also the U.S. Ibrance outcomes and evidence lead within Pfizer Oncology. Melea recently rejoined Humana as a director of specialty strategy. In this role she is responsible for the development and successful execution of specialty clinical programs.

Melea received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from The Ohio State University and a PhD in pharmaceutical outcomes and policy from The University of North Carolina (UNC) and is a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist (BCPS). She also serves as a diplomat for the UNC Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy student chapter.

Bethanie Stein, PharmD

Bethanie Stein, PharmD

Bethanie Stein joined Humana as a pharmacy resident in 2009 and is the vice president of pharmacy contracting. Bethanie received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In her current role, she is responsible for managing a multibillion-dollar pharmacy and value-based rebate program for Humana Pharmacy Solutions. Bethanie leads the rebate strategy, rebate operations and innovative contracting teams for the Humana Medicare, Commercial and Medicaid business segments. Prior to her current role, Bethanie led Medicare contracting strategy and the development of Humana’s Medicare and Commercial formularies, which resulted in membership growth totaling over 8 million members. She was also responsible for overseeing Humana’s pipeline and generic drug strategy in managing drug cost trends.

“The Residency Program exposed me to each core business unit within Humana Pharmacy Solutions and also uniquely connected pharmacy into the broader Humana landscape. I still use the knowledge, experiences, and connections made during that 1 year to help support and execute Humana’s broader vision in my every day work. This program shaped me as a leader and continues to motivate me to navigate through the complexity of healthcare to ultimately make drug costs more affordable for our members.”

Jennifer Harris, PharmD

Jennifer Harris, PharmD

Jennifer Harris, PharmD, is a proud graduate of the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where she earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree. After graduating, she went on to complete a specialized managed care pharmacy residency at Humana in Louisville, Kentucky.

She credits her residency training for giving her an opportunity to see how all the parts of the pharmacy benefits manager function and are interconnected. Jennifer has enjoyed leveraging this skill set in her various roles at Humana and knows it allows her to be innovative and “Rethink Routine” to help improve the business. Outside of work, Jennifer enjoys volunteering, home decorating and sports.

“The Humana Residency Program has helped me develop an understanding of managed care pharmacy and how the application of evidence-based medicine enhances quality for the member and population while reducing costs. I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many professionals in different departments which has helped me piece together how each team fits into the organization and the impact each team has in the business. It is amazing to see all of the Humana values (Thrive Together, Rethink Routine, Cultivate Culture, Pioneer Simplicity, Cultivate Uniqueness) are incorporated into the residency program which has made my residency year an exceptional experience.”

Carissa Swanger, PharmD

Carissa Swanger, PharmD

Carissa Swanger, PharmD, graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and earned a Doctorate of Pharmacy in 2015. She completed her PGY1 residency in managed care at Humana in 2016. The program has given Carissa the tools to improve her leadership skills by mentoring pharmacists from all over the business, as well as improve quality and reduce costs for the business and members/providers in each initiative she works on within the organization.

Upon program completion, Carissa stayed with Humana as a clinical pharmacist on the Clinical Drug Policy Management Team. She is now leading New Year Build, as well as many other Medicare and patient safety initiatives, and has completed her Six Sigma training and received green belt certification. Carissa enjoys cycling, hiking and traveling in her spare time.

Ruth Beucker, PharmD, BCPS

Ruth Beucker, PharmD, BCPS

“The pharmacy resident program at Humana has benefited me in more ways than I could have imagined. The program submerged me in many areas within Humana and provided me meaningful projects, allowing me to appreciate the ‘big picture’ view and how interconnected the various teams and departments within Humana truly are. Most notably, however, it is the relationships and people that I met during the yearlong residency program that are truly irreplaceable.

“The residency program provided me the opportunity to be a part of an organization with so many talented colleagues, several of which are graduates of the residency program as well. It is truly a privilege to be able to work at Humana, a place where I am challenged to be my best every day and have the opportunity to learn, grow, and develop professionally.”

Ruth Beucker, PharmD, is currently a clinical pharmacy lead on the Humana Pharmacy Solutions Specialty Pharmacy Programs Team. Prior to joining, Ruth attended the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned her Doctorate of Pharmacy, in addition to a Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience and sociology.

Ruth currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband Matthew and son Noah. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and staying active, while competing in triathlons and running races. She hopes to be a role model for her son to maintain a healthy lifestyle.