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Today's Pharmacist
Michelle Powell 967

Today's Pharmacist

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A minute with …

Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice,
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences,
Worcester; and Pharmacist, Holyoke Health Center,
Holyoke, MA
Member since 2013

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“Being a member of APhA is one of the things I can point to and say this had one of the biggest impacts on my professional career development. My experiences at APhA helped me grow as a leader and network with pharmacists across the country. It is something that happens gradually over time. When I first joined APhA, I would have never imagined the opportunities it would have led to 10 years later.”

How has APhA helped you establish meaningful connections?

APhA has made it very easy to get involved, stay involved, and continue to establish meaningful connections. Through the Special Interest Group (SIG) community, I was able to serve as a volunteer for the Medication Therapy Management and Diabetes Management (DM) SIGs. After a few years of being a volunteer, I was ready to serve as a cochair of a committee. After a few years of that, I was ready to run for election to serve as the coordinator of the DM SIG. Within all of these experiences, I had the opportunity to work with amazing pharmacists and APhA staff. Everyone I have gotten to know throughout the years has been great to work with and incredibly helpful.

How does APhA help you thrive in your everyday practice?

APhA is the place to go when you don’t know where else to go. I think everything we have learned about billing for clinical services has been through our connections or continuing education programs at APhA. I always know that if I have a question that I can’t answer, I can post it on the Engage platform and someone will have an answer.

What excites you about the profession of pharmacy?

I love how adaptable pharmacy is. We saw how we rose to the challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am excited to see how else pharmacists can make an impact on patient care.

Can you share a meaningful story about a time you interacted with a patient? Perhaps a time you felt like you really made a difference for them?

There was a patient at my health center who had recently transferred to a new primary care provider (PCP). Her new PCP called in a panic, as this patient had over 45 medications on her active medlist from her previous provider. During her first visit with her PCP, I worked with the patient to reconcile her medication list to match the 25–30 medications she was actually taking. Many of these were PRN medications and I suspected many were treating adverse effects of her other medications.

I met with this patient each month when she picked up her medboxes and, little by little, we worked collaboratively with her PCP and specialists to adjust and manage her medications and reduce the polypharmacy. Her health conditions improved and she was feeling better. From a medical perspective, it was a win. However, the patient could not have cared less about the interventions we were making on her medications and disease states. What she valued the most each month was knowing she was going to see me and feel heard. Patients always value your communication skills, empathy, and active listening, more than your clinical knowledge. She would keep me updated with her family life and show me pictures of her nieces and nephews. I share this story to show that you don’t always need to have a clinical intervention to make a difference for people; sometimes they just need that connection. ■

Get involved

Preceptor SIG

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The primary purpose of the APhA Preceptor Special Interest Group (SIG) is to serve as an interactive community where pharmacists who precept students and residents can communicate and receive feedback on precepting strategies, precepting challenges and solutions, and opportunities for preceptor growth and development. This community also serves as a conduit for APhA to identify practice-based teaching models that support the advancement of patient-care services and address training and development needs of preceptor pharmacists in order to continually improve the quality of experiential teaching within the profession of pharmacy. Members of the SIG can choose to be further involved in either the communications or education committee, where they will work to identify resource needs and develop valuable toolkits and resources for learning.

Interested in getting involved in the Preceptor SIG? Please visit apha.us/PreceptorSIG to learn more. ■

Did You Know?

Open call for proposals!

APhA Books and Digital Publishing invites you to submit a book proposal, whether you are a veteran published author or an aspiring writer.

APhA publishes annually between 10 and 15 printed and digital textbooks and professional references for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and student pharmacists in these fields. APhA titles include Krinsky et al., Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs: An Interactive Approach to Self-Care; Franks, The APhA Complete Review for Pharmacy; Allen, The Art, Science, and Technology of Pharmaceutical Compounding; Cohen, Medication Errors;  Kowalsky, Weatherman, Radiopharmaceuticals in Nuclear Pharmacy and Nuclear Medicine; and Trissel, Trissel’s Stability of Compounded Formulations.

Although APhA will review unsolicited manuscripts, it is best not to invest countless hours in writing an entire book only to learn that it may not fit APhA’s editorial plans. We prefer to receive proposals that we can help authors develop into professional books. Visit our book publishing website at www.pharmacist.com/Publications/Books/Author-Resources to learn more and to download the book proposal form. ■

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