Jorge J. García, PharmD, MS, MHA, MBA, FACHE, is a strong believer in lifelong learning and the value of continuing education. Since coming to the U.S. from Cuba at the age of 15, he has made it his goal to become a leader in the field of healthcare, and today he is a sought-after expert in the field of pharmacy charge integrity and revenue management in the health system setting, as well as in the areas of alternative payment models, biosimilars, and value-based oncology care.
As the assistant vice president, System Oncology Pharmacy Service Line at Baptist Health South Florida, Dr. Garcia is responsible for all inpatient and outpatient oncology pharmacy services throughout the healthcare system. This includes facilities in the Florida Keys, Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and now Palm Beach County with Baptist’s acquisition of Boca Raton Regional Hospital.
Prior to taking this position, he served as the director of pharmacy for Memorial Healthcare System’s Cancer Institute for four years, and as the operations coordinator at Broward Health Medical Center.
“My role at Baptist is to ensure that we practice in an evidence-based manner, and remain at the forefront of providing quality treatments to our patients,” he said. “I also play a major role in making sure that research is available to patients; in oncology, sometimes treatments are not successful, and we offer alternative treatments under investigation at the Miami Cancer Institute, where I spend most of my time.”
Dr. García obtained his Doctor of Pharmacy and MBA from Nova Southeastern University in 2010. He then attended the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to pursue a pharmacy administration residency and a Master of Science in Pharmacy Administration, and also earned an MHA from Florida Atlantic University.
Dr. Garcia first became interested in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) while at Memorial Healthcare System. “Memorial’s culture encourages continuing professional development, and its staff spoke highly of the resources available through ACHE,” he explained. “There were multiple executives pursuing that membership, and the fellowship designation as well.
After researching the organization, Dr. Garcia traveled to Chicago for ACHE’s annual meeting. “I was fascinated by the level of engagement,” he said. “It was energizing to find an organization that aligned with my goals of progressive leadership advancement.”
Dr. Garcia also appreciated that ACHE gave him greater access to the rest of the healthcare industry.
“ACHE provides resources outside of the pharmacy world and the professional organizations that I follow,” he explained. “It gave me a view of the rest of the healthcare management world, and showed me how I could increase my responsibilities not just as a pharmacy leader, but beyond.
“Pharmacy can be a very isolating industry in some ways, and to be a successful leader, it’s important to understand the needs and expectations of the healthcare disciplines around us,” he adds. “ACHE provides networking opportunities with professionals outside of the pharmacy area, which adds perspective when designing a strategic pharmacy plan—it needs to focus not just on our world, but has to be complementary to the rest of the healthcare plan.”
Dr. Garcia chose to pursue ACHE fellowship, which he found to be a rewarding experience. He now encourages others to make the journey.
“I want other healthcare professionals to understand that pursuing a fellowship is feasible, and that there are colleagues out there who will help them through the process, as they did me,” he said. “There are also many incredible resources available to help, including online.
“Having this credential speaks strongly of those who earn it; in more ways than I probably even realize, having this credential has helped with my personal brand, including how other professionals embrace me as a leader because of the baseline of leadership that earning it requires,” he added. “It advances our intellectual capital as healthcare leaders.”