Bill Tighe, NACDS vice president of federal government affairs, most recently served as chief of staff for Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA). Tighe’s policy expertise, forged on Capitol Hill where he led top congressional offices as chief of staff, positions him well to serve as NACDS’ lead legislative advocate for community pharmacy.
“We have a great message to take to legislators. Pharmacy has a great story to tell. We’re trusted and visible in our communities, and it’s great that NACDS members will be here in Washington to tell legislators pharmacy’s story.”
NACDS.org caught up with him this week to discuss his thoughts on healthcare policy, what brought him to D.C., and more.
Q: Where are you from originally?
A: I’m from Newton Township, a small town outside of Scranton, Pa.
Q: What made you interested in a career in politics?
A: I decided that I wanted to work on Capitol Hill when I was in eighth grade. I learned a lot about politics from listening to my grandparents and my great aunts and uncles argue about politics. I decided I wanted to work on Capitol Hill before I knew what anyone did there. I started as a staff assistant and eventually became the chief of staff for my hometown congressman, Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA).
Q: When did you come to D.C.?
A: In July of 2000, right after I graduated from Bucknell University. Now I have a family here—a wife and three sons who are ten, eight and six.
Q: What aspects of healthcare policy do you find particularly compelling?
A: There isn’t one particular aspect; it has more to do with how the policy and the policies we make here at the federal level affect people. There’s a direct line between what we do and the experiences that people have—whether it’s in a hospital or a doctor’s office or at a pharmacy. Healthcare is really something that people feel immediately when Washington makes changes.
Q: What would you consider your guiding principle professionally?
A: I learned a lot about loyalty from my former boss, Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA). Loyalty is tough to come by in politics, but it is his guide star. It’s not a blind loyalty, but it’s learning to trust people who are around you and learning to be loyal to them, and to also earn their loyalty.
Q: This will be your first NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill, March 14-15. What are you looking forward to in particular?
A: We have a great message to take to legislators. Pharmacy has a great story to tell. We’re trusted and visible in our communities, and it’s great that NACDS members will be here in Washington to tell legislators pharmacy’s story.
Q: Is it true that personal stories resonate on Capitol Hill?
A: Yes. It’s not about numbers, it’s about a narrative. It’s about telling a story and telling legislators and their staff members about the role pharmacy plays in the complicated quilt that is healthcare right now. Who doesn’t pass a pharmacy on their way home right now? There are so many Americans who are touched by everything that a pharmacy brings to a community. It’s good to be able to bring that to Washington and connect it to the issues that matter most to NACDS members.
Q: What is something about you that would surprise most people?
A: I’m a Redskins fan. Family friends from Maryland used to take us to watch the Redskins training camp in Carlisle, Pa., every summer back when they were winning Super Bowls in the ‘80s and ‘90s. I was hooked. I also coach Little League baseball. My oldest son plays baseball and I love being able to coach kids and invest that time in the community. It’s easy to be cynical in politics, but it’s impossible to be cynical around a group of nine-year-old’s playing baseball.