Spotlight on Dr. Jeanne Santoli
VTrckS Connection Newsletter
Dr. Jeanne Santoli, Branch Chief of Vaccine Supply and Assurance Branch (VSAB) at the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), has been involved with vaccines for the majority of her career. Many of you have heard her as a guest speaker on our monthly grantee calls, or maybe you have even met or seen her in person at the Program Managers’ Meeting or the National Immunization Conference. Dr. Santoli was gracious enough to share a little about herself and her goals for VTrckS.
Dr. Santoli attended medical school and completed a residency program in Pediatrics. Her original intention was to teach medical students. Instead, she took a different path—she accepted a position at CDC in Health Services Research, specifically focusing on ways to deliver vaccine more efficiently. Thus, her vaccine career was born.
Can you explain the role of VSAB?
The role of VSAB is to support the activities that make vaccines available to grantees and the providers they serve. We set up and manage vaccine purchase contracts; oversee the distribution of vaccines and manage the federal vaccine inventory to ensure that vaccines are available to meet the needs of the VFC program; manage the pediatric vaccine stockpiles; coordinate logistics for vaccine supply shortages; and provide assistance to grantees in setting up and updating their Spend Plans.
VSAB is very excited about VTrckS. Our branch work is automated —VTrckS is a single system that replaces multiple systems that did not automatically "talk" to each other previously, reducing the need for reconciliation between disparate systems and bringing data about bulk purchases, provider orders, and spending plans into one system.
How did you get involved with VTrcks?
In August 2008, I became the acting branch chief of VSAB. One of my initial activities was attending VTrckS functionality sessions. These functionality sessions were a great introduction to the role of VSAB as well as VTrckS. I learned about the initial goals and expectations of VTrckS.
In March 2010, VSAB was given the opportunity to provide clarification on VTrckS requirements and give real world examples. We coordinated the first VTrckS testing, which included pilot grantee participants.
From August to November 2010, I was actively involved in discussions and planning with third-party interfaces, how third-party groups would "talk" with VTrckS. These third-party groups included United Management Financial Systems (UFMS), VACMAN, manufacturers, and distributors. After the December 2010 go-live, I’ve been working with the pilots and the CDC VTrckS team to refine and build a stronger, more robust VTrckS system.
How do you view VTrcks as a benefit for the public?
At CDC, VTrckS has revolutionized the vaccine process from ordering to distribution to accounts reconciliation. For grantees, having the ability to accept provider orders via VTrckS allows them to get out of the business of manual vaccine entry, so that limited resources can be focused on other public health activities.
One thing, I will emphasize every opportunity I get: As you move forward to VTrckS implementation, I cannot stress how critical it is to start collecting information at the NDC level. This is not just a system requirement, but a program requirement. The earlier you can incorporate NDCs into the way that providers order vaccines and report to your program, the easier it will be when you start rolling on providers to VTrckS.
I appreciate the patience of pilots, from whom we have learned so much. I would like to also offer my appreciation for the non-pilots for their willingness to be a community, their participation in conferences and monthly calls, and their cooperation by learning from each other.
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