Hello everyone! Let’s start the weekend with a new edition of the Employee Spotlight Series. This week we interviewed Ellie Clinesmith. Ellie is a Lead Pharmacist Auditor and joined the SpendMend team about a year and a half ago. When asked why she looks forward to coming to work, she said, “I really do enjoy my job. I like helping our clients make improvements and see the results that come from those changes. I love when I hear “That’s really helpful” or “I definitely feel ready for HRSA now.” A fun fact about Ellie is that she has lived in Ohio her whole life! She attended the University of Toledo and has a Bachelor’s in Pharmacy. She also just completed her MBA – Healthcare Focus from Franklin University. Another fun fact about Ellie is she considers herself a “bird nerd.” She and her husband are both hooked on birdwatching and have around 20 feeders in their yard! When she travels for SpendMend, she enjoys looking for birds and adding to her “life bird list.” Recently, when she traveled to Oregon, she was able to enjoy her mornings by watching some Pacific Northwest birds! She was able to see about 14 new species of birds that are not found in the Midwest. Ellie likes using the Merlin Bird ID app to identify the different birds around her! The app has a listening feature that helps identify songbirds in the area. Be sure to check out the full interview to hear more about Ellie’s passion for birds! A hobby that Ellie loves is training dogs to compete in dog sports! After college, she adopted an Australian Shepherd/Australian Cattle dog mix and enrolled in classes quickly. She was instantly hooked on the training. Ellie trains dogs for a variety of sports such as agility, rally obedience, barn hunting, frisbee, etc. She currently trains mainly with nose work and Treibball. Some of the challenges of dog training for competitions are distractions. Ellie states, “Other dogs, new place, new people, and both you and your dog act different than at home. But it’s so fun to see your dog bring it all together and do well.” If you are interested in dog training or competitions, I am sure Ellie has a few tips and tricks she can share!

Ellie does a fantastic job as a Lead Pharmacist Auditor, and we value her dedication to SpendMend. We asked Rob Nahoopii, SVP of Pharmacy Services, about Ellie and he said, “She has been a fantastic auditor, and clients that I previously worked with tell me how awesome she is. She is a great team player too, always willing to help.” Thank you for all that you do, Ellie!

Interview with Ellie:

What is your role at SpendMend?

Lead Pharmacist Auditor

How long have you been with SpendMend?

1.5 yrs

How did you first learn about SpendMend?

Working in 340B, I was aware of the company. But it wasn’t until I left my hospital position and went into consulting that I learned more about SpendMend.

What 3 words would you use to describe SpendMend?

Supportive, Knowledgeable, Diligent

Where are you located/from?

I am in Columbus, Ohio, I came here after college for a job. I grew up in a small town in northeast Ohio, so I’ve been in Ohio my whole life.

Where did you go for higher education?

I attended the University of Toledo and have a Bachelor’s in Pharmacy. I also just finished getting my MBA (healthcare focus) from Franklin University.

Why do you look forward to coming to work?

I really do enjoy my job. I like helping our clients make improvements and see the results that come from those changes. I love when I hear “That’s really helpful” or “I definitely feel ready for HRSA now.”

Before working at SpendMend, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

I worked in 340B for an accounting firm. The atmosphere was so much different.

What is one fun fact about you?

I am a bird nerd. I travel some for SpendMend, and I try to find places in the cities I am in to see and enjoy birds and build my life bird list. We also have around 20 feeders in our yard.

What piqued your interest to start bird watching?

The county I lived in growing up had these classes you could take on weekends and, in the summer, and they covered all sorts of topics. Community members would volunteer their time and expertise to teach elementary through high school kids. I took one on birdwatching and just loved it. The last day was a competition to identify the birds and I won a book. From then on, I was hooked and would make it a game to try to identify the birds around me. When my husband and I moved into our new house, I brought out my birdfeeders from storage and got him hooked too.

What city have you visited and seen the most birds?

I recently worked with a client in Oregon, and the hotel I was at for several days had a beautiful garden area behind it. I had my coffee out there each morning and enjoyed seeing some Pacific Northwest birds we don’t have in the Midwest. I think I saw about 14 new species in total.

What is your favorite bird to watch and why?

The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest bird in the world, it can dive at speeds close to 200 MPH, and it is located on all continents except Antarctica.

Most interesting fun fact about birds that you know?

Merlin Bird ID is a fabulous free app that you can use to identify the birds around you. You can put in details about a bird you see, and it will give you identification suggestions. It also has a Shazam-like feature where you can hold up your phone and it will tell you what songbird you are hearing.

What type of music or podcasts do you listen to during the workday?

I love the podcast Stuff You Should Know. When I really need to focus, I use an app called Portal, which plays white noise. I like the rainforest noises.

Do you have any hobbies or participate in any activities outside of work?

I train dogs to compete in dog sports. I have participated in at least 8 different dog sports. I love the challenge!

What made you want to start training dogs for dog sports?

I have been a dog lover since I was little, and I taught my childhood dog some fun tricks. I saw an agility competition on TV, and I wanted to do that. When I finished college and felt my life was stable enough to have my own dog, I adopted a rescue Australian Shepherd/Australian Cattle dog mix. We enrolled in classes quickly, and I was hooked.

What kinds of dog sports do you train for?

I’ve evolved to training some different dog sports, based mainly on what my current dogs enjoy most. I’ve tried agility, rally obedience, barn hunting, frisbee, herding, and lure coursing. We currently do nose work – finding a Q-tip with a drop of a specific scent hidden in an area. We also do Treibball, which involves teaching the dog to push exercise balls (like the kind you use for crunches at the gym) into a goal.

What is the most challenging part about training dogs?

Training for the added distractions of competition is always the hardest part. Other dogs, new places, new people, and both you and your dog act differently than at home.

What is the most rewarding part?

it’s so fun to see your dog bring it all together and do well.

Any fun or interesting story you can recall about training?

My dogs luckily have not had any crazy stories told about them, but I will always remember my friend’s dog, who stopped to squat and do his business on the teeter (as it was moving!).

Who do you interact with

Clients and potential clients.

Can you describe an interaction when you helped a client or a supplier that stands out in your mind?

340B has large and small clients – big hospital systems, and small clinics or critical access hospitals. The small clients are often running their programs with minimal resources. Several times I have been able to make suggestions that save money right away.

What was the best compliment you’ve ever been paid by a client or supplier?

“You made that make sense” or “I’ve never understood that till now.”

What is the best part of serving the healthcare market?

Prior to 340B, I worked as a front-line pharmacist in several settings. I know the amazing work that goes on every day to make people’s lives better, and I love being able to support that.

Do you want to shout out a co-worker who has helped or inspired you at SpendMend?

My entire team is wonderfully supportive. The leaders of my team are all people I aspire to be like – they are knowledgeable, helpful, kind, and fair. Sabrina Allen and I started at SpendMend within a week of each other, and she has become a good friend.

What advice do you have for prospective candidates who want to join the SpendMend team?

If the position is meaningful to you, you will do well at SpendMend.

What has been your proudest accomplishment at SpendMend?

I had a difficult client who was walking on the very edge of what would be acceptable in the eyes of HRSA. We were able to have a solid dialogue about potential problems, and they made some changes to their program to decrease their risk. At the beginning of the audit, they told me “We know what we are doing, and we will not change”. I felt proud I was able to help them see the reality of the situation.

What is something you’re looking forward to for your future at SpendMend?

I am now starting to work with some of my annual clients for the second time. I am excited to build on my previous audit and see the progress these clients have made.

Search Our Site