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AI, Technology, and Prescription Benefits: Highlights from Our 2024 Annual Meeting

The 2024 National CooperativeRx Annual Meeting was a milestone event, marking our 20th anniversary. With nearly 150 attendees, in-person and virtual, the meeting brought together members, partners, and industry experts to recognize our collective achievements, explore the future of healthcare, and discuss artificial intelligence (AI) and what lies ahead for the prescription benefits industry.

Member Board of Directors Announcements

National CooperativeRx’s Board of Directors Chair, Mark O’Connell, President and CEO at the Wisconsin Counties Association, kicked off the meeting with highlights of our Board. O’Connell shared the results of our election, introducing our newly appointed Board Member, Wayland Parker III, Senior Director of Total Rewards at George’s, Inc. O’Connell also announced the departure of Vice Chair, Don Graham, Executive Director at ISAS Group Benefits Trust, and presented him with an award recognizing his eight years of dedicated service. Following Mr. Graham’s departure, Melina Kambitsi, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Marketing at The Alliance, was elected and recognized as the new Vice Chair of our Board.

Celebrating Two Decades

National CooperativeRx would not be celebrating 20 years without the support and partnership of our founders, past and present member groups, partners, and dedicated staff. Special recognition and awards were presented to two founding member groups, The Alliance and FABOH, as well as member groups who have been with the Cooperative since its inception, First Supply and Society Insurance. National CooperativeRx’s CEO, Josh Bindl, joined the stage to recognize and present awards to our Director of Operations, Deb Steele, and Vice President of Coalition Development, Deb Thomsen, who have been with us since the very beginning. Their dedication and commitment have played a crucial role in shaping National CooperativeRx into the innovative and member-focused organization we are today.

Remarks from CVS Caremark

With the latest news of our continued PBM partnership with CVS Caremark, we were pleased to welcome Ilona Smith, Vice President of the Employer Business Unit at CVS Caremark, to share remarks regarding our partnership. Smith explained our united efforts to enhance the member experience, reinforcing the strength of our collaboration and our shared vision for the future.

Membership Report

Josh Bindl returned to the stage to present a comprehensive membership report, detailing our achievements over the past year and industry approach moving forward. Bindl’s report highlighted our growth, strong financial performance including member cash returns, and impressive member and partner survey results. After reviewing National CooperativeRx’s spend and trend compared to industry benchmarks, he shifted focus on the Cooperative-led clinical initiatives that have contributed to driving lower costs and better outcomes for our members and participants. This led to a deeper discussion on GLP-1 management and highlighted the Cooperative’s approach. Bindl continued his report by addressing marketplace dynamics, legal and legislative reform and pressures, and rebate complexities.

Keynote Speaker and Panel Discussion

Nick Webb, Futurist, Best-Selling Author, Award-Winning Inventor, CEO of RealRatings, and Founding CEO of LeaderLogic, delivered an engaging presentation on technology and the future of healthcare. He explored emerging trends and innovations transforming the industry, from the integration of AI to the adoption of wearable healthcare technology, both aimed at improving patient-centric care. Webb’s insights sparked thought-provoking discussions and left the audience intrigued about the possibilities ahead.
Following the keynote speaker, National CooperativeRx hosted a panel discussion focused on AI and the future of prescription benefits. The panel featured experts from various organizations:

  • Kim Bauer, Vice President of Human Resources at Altra Federal Credit Union
  • Brian Leadingham, Senior Vice President of PBM Operations at CVS Health
  • Joy Matthews, Vice President of Total Rewards at QBE North America
  • Jim Morgan, Vice President of Business Development & Workforce Strategies at MRA

The diverse perspectives provided a well-rounded view of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead with AI in the workplace. The discussion delved into how AI is being utilized in their organizations, from customer/patient-facing functions to human resources and management functions. The conversation continued with the topic of generational differences in the workplace, addressing unique strategies for retaining talent and what different generations seek in their benefits. The panelists concluded their discussion by providing advice for human resources and benefits brokers on the next generation of benefits and insurance professionals.

Networking Reception

The meeting concluded with a networking reception, providing attendees with the opportunity to connect, share experiences, and discuss the day’s insights. The reception was a lively end to a productive day, fostering new connections and reinforcing the sense of community that National CooperativeRx embodies.


As we reflect on our 20-year journey, we are filled with gratitude for our members, partners, and staff who have been with us every step of the way. Together, we look forward to a future of continued innovation and collaboration in pharmacy benefits. Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to making the 2024 Annual Meeting a memorable and impactful event.

Save the Date for our 2025 Annual Meeting on Tuesday, May 13, in Madison, WI!

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