EY Honors Healthcare Veteran with Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award in the Mountain Desert Region’s Healthcare Category

June 27, 2017| CATEGORIES: Avella , Press Release

Rebecca Shanahan joins three decades of groundbreaking entrepreneurs in healthcare.

Denver, CO – EY just honored Rebecca Shanahan, CEO of Avella Specialty Pharmacy and National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) president, with the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2017 Award in the Mountain Desert region’s healthcare category. The award was selected by an independent panel of judges, recognizing entrepreneurs who excel in areas like innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Avella provides powerful medications used to treat serious illnesses including Hepatitis C, HIV, cancer and other complex, often life-threatening conditions. What began as a single pharmacy in Scottsdale nearly two decades ago is now one of the fastest-growing companies in the nation. Today, Avella houses its own clean room facilities, a national distribution center and community-based pharmacies across multiple states.

EY Awards.jpg“I’m honored to join such a prestigious group of executives and visionaries in receiving this award,” said Shanahan. “However, I’m equally proud to be at the helm of an entire organization that is filled with people who are so passionate about improving care and in many cases, saving lives.”

As Avella CEO and president of NASP – the leading, national trade association that serves as an educational resource and national advocate for specialty pharmacy healthcare professionals and patients alike – Shanahan is working on enabling positive changes within the industry. For example, she is collaborating with healthcare advocates and legislators to mitigate the increasingly dangerous and negative consequences of Direct and Indirect Remuneration (DIR) fees. These fees drive up costs for sick seniors with complex and life-threatening diseases and threaten the specialty pharmacies that serve their unique needs.

“Big Pharmacy Benefit Management firms have worked hard to make DIR fees so complicated that very few people understand how seniors are impacted by them, not to mention the dangers ahead if these fees persist,” said Shanahan. “Americans across the country agree that runaway prescription drug prices should be reined in. It is wrong for these firms to burden seriously ill seniors by requiring them to shoulder the brunt of DIR fees. These fees also prevent specialty pharmacies from providing our vital clinical services and breakthrough medications for millions of the most vulnerable Americans.”

Since 1986, EY has honored entrepreneurs whose ingenuity, spirit of innovation and discipline have driven their companies’ success, transformed their industries and made a positive impact on their communities. Over 31 years, the program has honored the inspirational leadership of such entrepreneurs as:

  • Howard Schultz, Starbucks Coffee Company
  • Pierre Omidyar, eBay, Inc.
  • Mindy Grossman, HSN
  • Robert Unanue, Goya Foods
  • Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn
  • Andreas Bechtolsheim & Jayshree Ullal, Arista Networks
  • Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani
  • James Park, Fitbit

As a Mountain Desert region award winner, Shanahan is eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year national program. Award winners in several national categories, and the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced at a gala in Palm Springs, California, on Nov. 18. The awards are the culminating event of the Strategic Growth Forum™, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.

About Avella Specialty Pharmacy
Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Avella Specialty Pharmacy is a National Accredited Specialty Pharmacy, providing individualized care and support to patients since 1996. Avella's clinical pharmacists and staff members are experts in managing complex disease states and providing compassionate care. The company offers a nationwide distribution service to complement its retail locations. In 2016, Avella was named Specialty Pharmacy of the Year by NASP, a nationally recognized pharmacy trade committee. Inc. Magazine’s 2016 list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the country included Avella for the tenth consecutive year, and also recognized Avella as the fastest-growing woman-led company in 2015. In addition, the Arizona Corporate Excellence Awards named Avella Specialty Pharmacy as the second fastest-growing private company based in the state in 2016. For more information, please visit

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