Employer Clinic, Employer Health Benefits, Worksite Clinic

RxStewardship: S is for Schools

Week 3 – R X S T E W A R D S H I P


It is an honor to be able to write the blog post for this week as I come from a family of teachers. My wife, both parents, mother-in-law, grandmother and great-grandfather all devoted their professional lives to education and to nurturing students of all ages. I have seen first-hand the countless hours of preparation that were dedicated to providing a learning experience that not only helped create opportunities for students but inspired them to be life-long learners and to use their education to benefit others.  


Schools face a multitude of challenges. Society has continually asked more and more of our educators but has not provided a commensurate level of resources. Financial constraints that have plagued school systems for quite some time have worsened in recent years as security measures, additional safety net programs and pandemic-related expenses have all created additional resource needs.  

While these challenges are significant, one of the greatest difficulties facing schools is maintaining the health and well-being of their staff.  Emphasis on the outcomes of standardized testing, student and parent pressure for grade inflation, reduced teaching autonomy, school shootings and e-learning have all placed additional burdens on teachers resulting in job dissatisfaction, burnout and some of the highest turnover rates in recent history. Unfortunately, as teachers juggle the demands associated with caring for their students and their own families, caring for themselves is often an afterthought. Medical appointments are delayed, medications are skipped, and health screenings are avoided.

Teacher selfcare as an afterthought has a two-fold effect. First, studies have demonstrated that students of healthy teachers are able to achieve better academic outcomes than students with unhealthy teachers. Second, gaps in preventive or routine medical care typically result in the need for expensive ‘rescue’ care which often leads to sub-optimal outcomes and increased costs for both the individual and the school system. These increased medical costs put further financial pressure on school systems resulting in less funds being available for student programming, teacher resources or contributions to the medical/pharmacy benefit plan. A vicious cycle is created that can be difficult to break.


We are taught that the Scientific Method is based upon the following components:

  1. Conduct observation and complete background research to describe a problem
  2. Create a hypothesis
  3. Test the hypothesis
  4. Draw conclusions and make improvements to refine the hypothesis

Northwind has created a framework for Strategic Rx Stewardship™ that follows the same basic components.

We provide the insight, influence and measures of impact required for self-funded employers to:

  • understand and articulate current pharmacy concerns
  • create customized programs to address those concerns
  • measure program results and design future interventions using quality improvement principles


As a pharmaceutical services company genuinely interested in ensuring that our patients have the resources and education needed to maximize their care, we feel a deep connection to school systems and their mission. In fact, Northwind is so committed to assisting school systems that we are engaging in a $100 Million Strategic Rx Stewardship™ Challenge. Between now and the end of 2021, we are working to identify a combined $100 million in pharmacy benefit savings opportunities for school systems and their insured members. Our goal is to assist schools in improving the health of teachers and staff while maximizing the efficiency of their pharmacy benefit so that precious financial resources can be used to further student education.

Will you join us in meeting the $100 Million Challenge?  If you are a school system administrator or advisor and are interested in learning more – let’s have a conversation!

Schedule a free claims analysis now.

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Betsy Bigler | Mar 7th, 2024
INDIANAPOLIS, March 7, 2024 – Northwind has announced the addition of Tony Purkey as Senior Vice President, Client Strategies. “Demand from our self-funded employer and union clients is driving rapid growth,” said Phillip Berry, CEO. “Tony Purkey joins Northwind at a time when we need high-integrity leaders with expert knowledge in employer-sponsored health and the … more »

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Voices Lost in the Noise

Phillip Berry | Jan 31st, 2024
In the health benefits world, the mad scramble toward January renewals/starts has subsided and attention has turned to the annual cycle of review necessary to gauge progress. How did we do? The plan review process generally centers on analytics to gauge progress or regress and to identify “areas of opportunity.” Good. The right data with … more »

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