Get to Know: Ayasha Williams, Patient Access Manager
Like so many of you, we at Acadia are sheltering in place as we confront COVID-19. We’re also still hiring. Before the pandemic, we spoke with Ayasha about her work at Acadia. While life looks a bit different right now, we think it’s valuable to her her story as you consider joining our team.
Acadia made clear from day one: ‘This is where you are, but this is not where you need to stay.’ If you want to advance into different positions throughout the organization, you can.
We know the work at Acadia can often be fast-paced. Why is it worth it?
Because at the end of the day, you get ultimate satisfaction. It’s extremely busy here; things change minute-by-minute and you’re dealing with many different people—caregivers, internal stakeholders, prescribers—to facilitate a patient getting the product or care they need. As patient access managers, we’re providing access and reimbursement support to sites and facilities, and assisting patients with getting the medication prescribed by their doctor. To know you’ve been able to help is extremely rewarding.
How is Acadia different from other places you’ve worked?
It’s the people—they’re more focused on their patients. I picked up on it when I first interviewed; it’s not something you can really hide. You are who you are at the end of the day, and this is just a great group of individuals who are extremely gracious, appreciative and caring toward the patient community that we serve. It makes you want to be a part of the team, stay a part of the team, and gain even more insight and knowledge from your colleagues. So I chose Acadia not just because of the position itself, but because of the people that I’d be working with. It was important to me to be surrounded by those who are equally compassionate and empathetic, and that’s the environment here.
What are you most excited about as you look toward the next year—for yourself and for Acadia as a company?
There’s so much to look forward to—because we have the opportunity to change a lot of lives. And there’s a ton of personal opportunity, too, because Acadia really positions you to try new things. I deal with several different stakeholders throughout the organization on a daily basis—sales representatives, those in the internal hub, people from our home office—and having that ability to reach out to so many different colleagues allows me to take a deeper look at what they do. That’s one benefit Acadia made clear from day one: “This is where you are, but this is not where you need to stay.” If you want to advance into different positions throughout the organization, you can.
How has your work changed since COVID hit, and how have you adapted?
For me, it hasn’t changed drastically. Of course, I’m not going into long term care facilities, which are shut down for safety reasons. Many caregivers are understandably upset, because they can’t see their loved ones, and because they’re responsible for taking care of everything in the patient’s life. I reassure them that we’re doing all we can to support access to prescribed therapies.
How has Acadia supported you and your team during this time?
Acadia has done a lot to make this time a little easier on everyone. They introduced this new platform, Workplace, where we’re able to engage with everyone in the company. Since we’re all at home, we can connect there in a personal way, sharing everything from the latest organizational changes to family pictures and mental health tips.
Back in March, when there were still a lot of unknowns, we had an all-hands meeting where leadership shared that our course of business hadn’t changed. We’re all still here to serve patients that need us more now than ever. And since then, leadership has done an amazing job, which gives us a sense of comfort during these challenging times. I’m extremely grateful to work with this incredible group of people.