Whatever the role, Shelly Glenn has always found a way to be of service to those battling cancer. Though she didn’t move expressly into executive roles supporting cancer treatment and care until the 2010s, Glenn experienced what many grapple with at one time or another at a very young age—she watched someone she knew battle and ultimately succumb to lymphoma.
It’s an experience that the current chief growth and relationship officer at the American Oncology Network (AON) keeps close. “You always have to have the end goal in mind,” Glenn explains. “What can we do to ensure that the people we treat and their support systems have the best experience possible? We want to make sure they feel respected and heard and that they’re receiving the best, and sometimes the only, care possible for their diagnosis.”
The Four Fronts
At AON, Glenn’s wide purview falls into four main areas: referral-base management, practice engagement, physician recruitment, and business development. She heads referral-base management, which includes empowering physicians to refer patients within their communities to the network’s physicians and services. Her physician liaison team goes out into the field to educate and inform primary care physicians, gastroenterologists, surgeons, and other specialists about AON’s premier services and physicians.
She also leads a practice engagement team whose goal is to ensure that physicians within AON’s practice utilize the network’s services, including its oral oncology pharmacy as well as AON’s pathology and central lab. The in-house specialty pharmacy allows AON to control its costs for both patients and payers while minimizing turnaround times for prescription delivery.
Physician recruitment is also a high priority for the executive. As AON continues to grow exponentially, the network continues to source oncologists to grow its footprint and ensure that patients, no matter their location, have access to the best care they can provide.
Glenn spends the bulk of her time in business development, specifically in bringing new practices under the AON banner. In 2018, there was just a total of three practices that were part of the network. Today, there are thirty practices across seventeen states, including seventy-six offices, more than one hundred oncologists, and eighty-six advanced practice practitioners. In five years, AON has ballooned to an organization of nearly two thousand.
“As we continue to grow, we’ve also expanded our existing practices where we’ve added offices and helped build new cancer centers in underserved areas,” Glenn explains. “We recognize that along with building new locations, there’s always a need to enhance existing areas to meet the evolving needs of our patients, our staff, and our physicians.”
The Joy of Giving Back
Glenn’s day job seems like it could fill a handful of calendars, but she ensures she carves out time to dedicate to her work with nonprofits in the community and industry, a passion she holds dear.
Glenn is an advisory board member for the Millennium Alliance, a board member of the Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation, a founding member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Women of Red, and an executive council member of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
The Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation is especially close to Glenn’s heart. “We’re able to send a family on a trip where the mother or father is terminally ill but still able to travel,” she explains. “By doing so, we provide an unforgettable memory for their children and an experience that we hope they can hold onto forever. It’s heartbreaking, but it’s so important and rewarding.”
Glenn also devotes her time to causes where she knows the money will be reinvested locally, like the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. If she’s raising money for a cause, she wants to see the positive impact it has within her home state. The executive’s devotion to nonprofits is also a key entry point for anyone who might be making their way back to the workforce after time away.
“I’m often asked, ‘How do I get my foot in the door?’” Glenn explains. “Especially in healthcare and oncology, if you volunteer with a nonprofit, people who support these organizations are going to get to know you. We meet regularly, and I get to know these people. You’re giving back to a community that needs it, and you’re building relationships in the space. Find a way to give back by researching local organizations that focus on a specific interest you have, and you will be amazed at the doors that can open for you.”
We at PatientPoint are proud to partner with Shelly Glenn and American Oncology Network, LLC. (AON) and want to celebrate her contributions toward increasing cancer awareness and education as well as strengthening patient advocacy. As part of our Oncology Advisory Board, she offers insights from her vast experience into important topics such as network growth, practice engagement and physician recruitment that help us innovate meaningful solutions.