Honoree Headshot

Dea Belazi

CEO and President
AscellaHealth LLC

Location: Berwyn, PA
Founded: 2013
Industry: Healthcare | Pharmaceutical

Dea Belazi acquired AscellaHealth in 2013 when it was a pharmacy benefit management organization with $1 million in revenue. He saw the opportunity to expand the company by revolutionizing care for patients with rare diseases and chronic conditions in need of lifesaving and expensive therapies.

Under Belazi’s leadership as CEO and president, AscellaHealth created a consultation model with a menu of services that improve access to pricey specialty pharmaceuticals. The company’s proprietary technology optimizes health outcomes for patients with complex chronic conditions or rare diseases that require specialty medications and/or gene and cell therapies.

In 2022, AscellaHealth launched the AscellaHealth Family of Companies, part of the business mission to expand and put patients first. The company’s revenue has grown to over $250 million through organic growth and acquisitions. In the next five years, AscellaHealth expects to expand its footprint throughout Europe, focusing on technology advancements and building partnerships.

“I have always believed that if you put the patient first, all else will fall into place,” Belazi said. “I will continue to lead my organization to be at the forefront of the dynamic specialty pharmacy industry by creating unique services for patients, payers, life sciences manufacturers and providers, which fulfill unmet needs in the marketplace but also seek to better patient outcomes and lives. This means always being one step ahead and anticipating industry stakeholder needs instead of simply reacting to market conditions.”

Belazi holds a doctorate in pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island. He completed his dissertation at Brown University and later earned a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University. He also held a postdoctoral health outcomes research fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University.

In 2021, Belazi was honored as one of Philadelphia’s Most Admired CEOs by the Philadelphia Business Journal. Belazi has published several articles throughout his career in publications such as Pharmacy Times, Pharmacy Commerce, The Self- Insurer, Pharmacy Practice News and more.

Belazi spearheads several philanthropic programs, including the AscellaHealth Fellowship, a two-year program in collaboration with the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy, aimed at funding advanced training in health outcomes research. His work includes the Belazi Family Foundation and the Dea Belazi and Danielle DeFeo Family Scholarship at the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy, a student scholarship providing financial assistance to pharmacy students who demonstrate academic proficiency and leadership.

In 2022, the Philadelphia Inquirer recognized AscellaHealth as a Top Workplace, a designation based on anonymous employee feedback.

“Great success cannot be obtained without dedication and commitment from our employees,” Belazi said. “In order to garner this level of employee commitment, leadership has to listen to, engage and connect with our employees on a continual basis. This means having an open-door policy with all staff, which enables leaders to manage proactively and keep a strong pulse on the organization instead of having to react to challenges after they arise.”

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Honoree fun fact

He once performed lifesaving CPR in flight!

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