An experienced pharmacy professional, Ellen Scharaga has served with Alegria Specialty Pharmacy as an operational consultant since 2014. In her work, Ellen Scharaga often collaborates with other organizations, including the American Cancer Society (ACS).
According to a recent report highlighted by ACS, the advances in screening and treatment of cancer may not be accessible to a significant portion of the public without interventions in the American healthcare system. Over a 24-year period (1991-2015), the death rate from cancer significantly fell in the United States, but that improvement depended upon the socio-economic status of patients. Today, many cancers that can be effectively treated or prevented go unchecked because of the lack of patients' access to adequate health care and screenings.
Health systems must be transformed in a way that addresses these challenges. People from all backgrounds should have ready access to primary care providers through affordable healthcare plans.
Further, primary care providers should be able to communicate with specialists and other providers in a more streamlined manner. In addition, all providers should be educating their patients on healthy lifestyle habits.
An accomplished pharmacy professional, Ellen Scharaga serves with Alegria Specialty Pharmacy as an operational consultant. In her career, Ellen Scharaga often works with other organizations that fight deadly diseases, including the American Cancer Society (ACS).
A recent report published in the American Cancer Society Journal reveals that health system reform still represents a major hurdle to current cancer care and future breakthroughs in cancer treatment. While cancer mortality rates have dropped significantly over the 24-year period between 1991 and 2015, some demographics did not actually experience improved outcomes. These demographics represent those who have barriers to health care based on race, ethnicity, socioeconomic standing, geography, and other factors.
Cancers that could be prevented often go undetected, and thus untreated, in these demographics, leading to mortality rates that would not be present in other groups who benefit from current health systems. Some of the suggested healthcare system reforms in the article include:
- greater access to affordable primary health care,
- better coordination between healthcare providers,
- awareness efforts that promote healthy lifestyles, and
- patient-centered care.
A graduate of pharmacology from St. John’s University, Ellen Scharaga works as an operational consultant for Alegria Specialty Pharmacy. Outside of her work at Alegria, Ellen Scharaga maintains an affiliation with the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York (PSSNY).
A nonprofit organization, PSSNY was designed to extend pharmaceutical knowledge among pharmacists in New York State. PSSNY’s main motive is to unite all pharmacists in the state with the goal of improving the standards of pharmacy practice both professionally and ethically.
In addition to its role in advancing the standards of practice and propagating pharmaceutical knowledge through various means, including continuing education classes, PSSNY advocates for various legislative actions. The organization’s 2018 legislative agenda includes expanding patients’ access to care through comprehensive medication management, synchronization of medication refills, and expanding access to basic lab tests. Moreover, PSSNY advocates against high costs for prescription medications. The organization also works to safeguard patients by recognizing registered and certified pharmacy technicians.
Ellen Scharaga serves as an operational consultant for Alegria Specialty Pharmacy, where she assists in developing and delivering medications that help patients manage various chronic conditions. In addition to her work, Ellen Scharaga maintains membership with the Alzheimer’s Foundation, which was founded in 2002 to provide care and services to people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other related illnesses.
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological disorder in which the brain cells start to die, causing memory loss and a decrease in cognitive ability. Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia, and it has three stages that include mild Alzheimer’s (early stage), moderate Alzheimer’s (middle-stage) and severe Alzheimer’s (late-stage).
In the early stage, although a person may function independently, he or she likely faces memory lapses. Struggling to remember names, losing and misplacing different objects, and having trouble with planning or organizing are some of the common difficulties people experience during the early stage of the disease.
The second stage is usually the longest among the three stages. Typically, a person in this stage has problems with mood or behavior, such as getting angry or frustrated, behaving in an unusual way, and confusing words. Other symptoms of this stage include changes in sleeping patterns, the risk of becoming lost, the inability to recall phone numbers or addresses, and the forgetting of one’s own personal details.
In the last stage of Alzheimer’s, a person is not able to communicate effectively and loses the ability to respond and carry on conversations. The person may be able to say a few phrases, but not complete sentences. Some of the symptoms of this stage involve a person’s physical abilities, including trouble walking, sitting, and eventually swallowing. A caretaker must be present, as the patient’s ability to perform daily activities and personal care tasks decreases and gradually comes to a stop.
As a registered pharmacist and dedicated health care professional, Ellen Scharaga holds the position of operational consultant at Alegria Specialty Pharmacy. In this role, Ellen Scharaga helps improve health outcomes for patients by providing them with in specialty medications to manage chronic health conditions. When not working, Ms. Scharaga enjoys activities including volunteering, reading and walking.
Walking is known to improve memory function by enhancing blood flow to the brain. One study demonstrated that elderly people who walked three times per week for 40 minutes increased the volume of their hippocampus, the main part of the brain associated with memory function, by 2 percent. This finding is significant, since the volume of the hippocampus typically declines by approximately 1 percent each year after 50.
Research shows that aside from boosting brain function, walking at least 2,000 steps per day also helps to defend against diabetes, reduce heart-related events such as stroke and heart attack, and lower the risk for breast cancer in females. Walking may even be as effective as drug treatments for managing health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
An accomplished pharmacy professional, Ellen Scharaga has held leadership positions with pharmacy companies such as OncoMed and Alegria Specialty Infusion and Pain Pharmacy, where she now serves as an operational consultant. Ellen Scharaga is also committed to giving back to others through her support of nonprofit organizations such as the American Cancer Society.
Founded by a group of 15 people in 1913, ACS initially served to spread awareness of a disease that was, at the time, a source of dread and shame. In the more than a century since its founding, ACS has emerged as the world’s leading organization devoted to policy advocacy, medical research, and treatment support for individuals with cancer in all its forms.
As part of ACS’ commitment to ending cancer, it has launched an awareness initiative about the dangers of tobacco, which accounts for a large percentage of cancer incidence and costs the global economy more than $2 trillion per year. Since 2002, ACS has published the Tobacco Atlas, an informative report and accompanying website that lists facts and figures about tobacco usage and related research.
The most recent edition of the Tobacco Atlas is the sixth, and it includes insights into the relationship between cigarettes and mental health, recommendations for government policies to reduce tobacco use among the population, and more. To learn more about the publication and its findings, please visit www.tobaccoatlas.com.
An experienced pharmacist, Ellen Scharaga of New York assists with the creation of medication for chronic conditions in her role as operational consultant at Alegria Specialty Pharmacy. Over the course of her career, Ellen Scharaga has held a variety of positions where her responsibilities included talent acquisition and training.
As with other aspects of business, talent acquisition fluctuates from year to year with incoming and outgoing trends, making effective recruiting an ongoing challenge for employers across industries. Among others, there are two hiring-related dynamics poised to play an important role in 2017.
One involves a growing emphasis on work-life balance. Attracting quality talent requires offering perks that appeal to candidates, and the prospect of maintaining balance between the office and personal life is one an increasing number of job seekers want. Businesses that do not build this into their offers will likely miss out on hiring opportunities.
A second trend relates to the task of securing entry-level candidates. The labor pool recently has presented a lack of individuals seeking entry-level positions. Businesses are expected to turn more to on-the-job training and offer flexible hours to bring in the right people for these roles.
According to two recent studies, drinking regular and diet soda may increase individuals’ risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The studies were published in Stroke, the journal of the American Stroke Association, and Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Journal of the Alzheimer's Association and focus on how sweetened drinks affect a person’s body and mind.
The first study published in Stroke was completed by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine and looked at data from the Framingham Heart Study (FHS). The FHS was a multi-decade observational review that took information from over 5,000 volunteers in 1948. In 1971, volunteers’ children were added to the review, followed by their grandchildren in 2002. Every four years, participants answered questions about their beverage intake and diet.
Researchers from Boston University took data from participants’ offspring between 1998 and 2001 and grandchildren from 2008 to 2011 to complete their new study. According to their results, drinking artificially sweetened beverages was associated with a higher risk of stroke and dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Meanwhile, the study published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia looked at rates of pre-clinical Alzheimer’s and consumption of sugary beverages. This study found that higher consumption of such drinks was associated with common pre-clinical Alzheimer's markers, including poorer episodic memory. The results for this study support earlier results from the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study.
Ellen is currently an operational consultant for Alegria Specialty Pharmacy (alegriarx.com). Alegria’s focus is on delivering high touch patient service, education, and advocacy. She assists Alegria in developing new innovative specialty medications to manage chronic conditions such as HIV, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, organ transplants, chronic pain, growth disorders and infertility. Ellen Scharaga’s goal is to ensure that all stakeholders, patients, physicians, managed care providers and manufacturers, have a platform to battle these conditions and ensure better patient outcomes.
Ellen Scharaga studied pharmaceutical sciences at St. John’s University in Jamaica, New York, earning a bachelor of science. Outside of her work of overseeing operations at Alegria, she contributes to the American Cancer Society, a national organization that has worked to improve the lives of more than 14 million cancer survivors throughout the United States. She also supports the Alzheimer’s Foundation and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
A pharmaceutical industry veteran, Ellen Scharaga serves as an operational consultant with Alegria Specialty Pharmacy in Melville, New York, assisting the company in the development of new drug strategies for difficult-to-treat diseases. In addition to her everyday professional work, Ellen Scharaga helps in the fight against chronic illnesses by supporting nonprofit groups like the Alzheimer’s Foundation.
According to data collected by the Alzheimer’s Association, some $260 billion was spent over the past year to treat people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-related conditions. This figure was reported as part of the organization’s annual Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures release, which also calculates the physical and emotional toll that caring for people with the disease can have on caregivers.
For example, more than a third of people caring for Alzheimer’s patients report that their overall health has deteriorated because of the strain that caregiving has had on them. Mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, are also more prevalent in Alzheimer’s caregivers than in individuals who provide care to loved ones suffering from other illnesses.
The report can be viewed in its entirety at http://www.alz.org/documents_custom/2017-facts-and-figures.pdf.