APhA member and new practitioner Kelli D. Barnes, PharmD, BCACP, began her education in pharmacy as a chemistry major at Ohio Northern University. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Cincinnati. Her postgraduate year 1 (PGY1) and PGY2 residencies were both at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy in Columbus in ambulatory care and academic practice. She has been a pharmacist in a medical home setting as well as teaching and participating in residency training for the last 5 years. Her employer received the 2015 APhA Pinnacle Award for Group Practices–Health Systems–Healthcare Corporations.
APhA member benefits for new practitioners (NPs) include specific programming and content such as webinars, Annual Meeting meet-up events and session tied to financial planning and other issues identified by NPs, and NP L.I.F.E. (in conjunction with the Summer Leadership Institute in Washington, DC); the members-only ENGAGE New Practitioner Community networking and collaboration and sharing tool; and Credible, to assist with refinancing student loans, which features an $86 credit toward membership on closed loans.
Following is an e-mail interview with Barnes.
You’ve been an APhA member for almost 10 years. How does APhA membership benefit you the most in your career?
I believe membership in APhA is integral to my daily work as a patient care provider. It gives me the opportunity to build relationships with innovative, passionate pharmacists in many different practice settings from which I can learn about practice advancement and expansion. APhA has also given me the training and opportunities I desire to advocate for the utilization of pharmacists as necessary patient care providers for patients all across the country. Through service on the APhA New Practitioner Network Advisory Committee, in the APhA House of Delegates, and on the APhA Policy Committee, I get to mold the future direction of our profession and the enormous impact we will make on patients. I am truly very grateful to APhA for these awesome opportunities!
Your place of employment, Martha Morehouse General Internal Medicine, won the 2015 APhA Pinnacle Award for Group Practices–Health Systems–Healthcare Corporations. Why do you think it was awarded this honor?
Our collaboration between Martha Morehouse General Internal Medicine and The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy was awarded the 2015 Pinnacle Award for the innovative, progressive team-based care we provide to patients throughout our network of patient-centered medical homes [PCMHs]. Pharmacists in our setting work side by side with other health care providers to provide outstanding care through chronic disease state management, transitional care management, and population health management. While doing this, we also strive to use evolving reimbursement and compensation strategies to ensure pharmacist-provided care is sustainable. It is important to our team that we not only provide this care in our PCMHs, but also disseminate information about our pharmacy service models to help other pharmacists expand pharmacist-provided care to patients throughout the country. We were very excited to be given the Pinnacle Award for this practice model that we get to enjoy each day.
You work at two General Internal Medicine (GIM) homes. What is most rewarding about working in a GIM setting?
The very most rewarding thing about my work in GIM are the diverse relationships I get to build and enjoy on a daily basis. I am lucky to get to build lasting, longitudinal relationships with my patients through which I get to see them achieve their health-related goals over time. I also have the amazing opportunity to build relationships with physicians, nurses, and other pharmacists who have become not only my colleagues, but some of my very best friends, all while working together to provide exceptional care for our patients. Additionally, I get to work closely with residents and students who teach and motivate me as much as I teach them each and every day. These relationships make this work so incredibly rewarding and keep me excited to come to work each and every day.
Do you have any advice for student pharmacists?
Be sure to take time to figure out what it is about our profession that you love, and pursue that passion. We are so lucky to be in a field of health care where the opportunities are limitless. If you feel that you are unhappy or complacent in your job, it’s time to make a change. There are so many different paths you can pursue in the profession of pharmacy that staying on a path you do not love is a waste of time and talent. Do not be afraid of change, as change can be an opportunity for tremendous growth and happiness.
I hope to continue to explore ways that pharmacists can work as integral members of health care teams to improve patient care while also receiving payment for this important care. This includes advocacy for provider status and also pushing the envelope of pharmacist involvement in team-based care resulting in novel billing strategies. By doing this, I hope to create more positions like mine for my students and residents, not only to expand pharmacy practice, but also to positively impact patients worldwide.