Why We’re Broadening Our Impact: A Letter from Avita’s CEO

Avita’s growth into a health care services organization reinforces our dedication to reducing health inequities. Here’s how.

When I joined Avita almost three years ago, I wanted to be part of the solution to our nation’s overwhelming health care inequity crisis. As a proud pharmacist and healthcare executive, I’d witnessed firsthand the massive disparities in patient care due to socioeconomic status, race, and sexual orientation. I’d watched HIV recast itself from a death sentence to a condition manageable with the right drug therapy, education, and resources. I knew how revolutionary it was to the patient experience when people were treated with compassion and respect in a safe and culturally competent environment.

At that time, Avita was doing extraordinary work—it was one of the few pharmacy services providers that collaborated with patients, providers, and covered entities to remove health care barriers and resolve social stigmas faced by the HIV and LGBTQ+ communities—but its full potential was still very much on the drawing board.

I was excited to be a part of the journey.

Michael Yount Avita CEO quote

Coming together to build a foundation for our future

In 2020, four organizations, each with its own history of providing personalized pharmacy services, came together under the Avita brand. The integration broadened Avita’s footprint, and we embraced a “one-team” approach that revolved around the reason we’re all here: to compassionately, collaboratively, and resourcefully serve our patients, covered entity partners, and local communities. In 2022, to better serve patients seeking HIV care and prevention services, we expanded in California with a community pharmacy model.

We spent two years strengthening our company culture (through programs like our Everyday Hero award and Be the Care initiative), value-added services (including our OneClick Refill solution and CareConnect portal), and brand (we sponsored or participated in 40+ events in 2022 alone through our covered entity and community partners).

By bolstering our foundation and investing in our people, we were preparing Avita for its next stage of growth, one that would be truly transformative in nature.

Michael Yount Avita CEO quote

Clearing the path toward equitable care

That next growth stage kicked off this week with Avita’s acquisition of AbsoluteCare Atlanta’s medical center and pharmacy. That’s the simple “what” of it, anyway. The “why” is the exciting part.

Until now, Avita has held a strong position as the nation’s largest independently owned 340B contract pharmacy organization. We’ve proven ourselves time and time again as the leading experts in providing compassionate pharmacy care to the HIV and LGBTQ+ communities. And we’re known across the country for the customized and strategic guidance we offer to 340B federal grantees.

The acquisition of AbsoluteCare Atlanta reinforces our dedication to reducing health inequities by broadening Avita’s impact beyond pharmacy services. We’re taking a bold step toward becoming a national health services organization that offers best-in-class HIV, LGBTQ+, and sexual wellness care, in addition to our legacy pharmacy and 340B management solutions.

I’ll explain more in a moment, but I want to be crystal clear here on one point: Our covered entity partners are and will continue to be their communities’ source of trusted health care providers. Avita is enhancing its existing service model to offer our partners more robust and consistent access to the providers they need to future-proof their missions.

Michael Yount Avita CEO quote

Meeting a critical need for our partners, patients, and the community

During strategic discussions with our partners, we’ve learned that many covered entities are challenged to maintain regular access to providers, which can seriously impede their ability to fulfill their clinical missions and fully leverage 340B access dollars. Our acquisition of AbsoluteCare Atlanta is the first step in introducing a new element to Avita’s current offerings—the ability to provide our partners with access to a network of trusted providers upon request. This model does not compete with our partners but addresses a barrier that many of them unfortunately face and supplements their efforts to better serve their patients and communities.

It’s human nature to question change, so I want to highlight a few core facts:

 

Our growth into a health care services organization is not a competitive threat to our covered entity partners. Avita is not a 340B federal grantee, nor do we intend to be. The AbsoluteCare Atlanta acquisition provides Avita with another means to help our covered entity partners fulfill their missions and empower their patients to lead healthier lives. Whether in the future when we expand upon this business model, our partners access our providers or use their own, we’ll continue to help them grow their programs and increase their ability to serve both patients and their communities.

 

Avita is not moving away from its commitment to pharmacy services and 340B administration. Our dedication to providing our partners with pharmacy management and 340B expertise is stronger than ever. In fact, in 2022 we’ve enhanced our offerings surrounding those programs and added new options to our existing service model. We continue to look for new ways for Avita to help our patients and covered entity partners.

 

Our commitment to the LGBTQ+, HIV, and 340B communities is unwavering.
Avita remains laser-focused on reducing health inequities by bringing compassionate LGBTQ+, HIV, PrEP, and sexual wellness care to our covered entity partners and patients. We’ll continue to advocate for the interests of our patients before payers, manufacturers, and policymakers. You’ll find us on the front lines of advocacy movements that support the continuation of the 340B program, affordable access to HIV prevention and treatment, and the elimination of the stigmas that many of our patients face daily. Look for us to be present in the communities we serve, both as an employer that promotes a diverse and inclusive culture and as a steward willing to “walk the walk” when it comes to helping our neighbors unlock the full potential of health.

 

The bottom line is this: Avita is here because of the trust of our partners, patients, and local communities, and it’s a responsibility we don’t take lightly. We encourage you to reach out to the Avita team with questions, and we’ll continue to share exciting news here on The Avita Blog and during individualized sessions with those we serve.

Until then, here’s to fighting for the health equity everyone deserves—together.

 

Michael Yount
CEO
Avita

Michael Yount CEO, Avita

Michael Yount brings over 20 years of experience in healthcare to Avita. Prior to joining the organization, he served as Executive Vice President, Chief of Staff, and Chief Compliance Officer at WellCare Health Plans, a national Medicare and Medicaid managed care organization. While at WellCare, Michael was responsible for HIPAA and information security, internal audit, enterprise business transformation, and project management. Prior to joining WellCare, Michael spent nine years with Rite Aid Corporation, ultimately serving as Vice President. Throughout his career, Michael has successfully helped companies navigate complex regulatory agency requirements and has led large-scale business transformations. Michael received both his pharmacy and law degrees from Ohio Northern University.

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