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May Faces of Pharmacy
Tue, Jun 01, 2021 2:00 AM UTC
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May Faces of Pharmacy:
Paula Borer, CPHT
Lead Medication Assistance Program Advocate, Co-Pay Assistance Liaison, Billings Clinic.
Paula Borer, CPhT at Billings Clinic, Billings, Montana. Billings Clinic is the largest Magnet facility in the state of Montana 16 years running. Paula first started as a technician in training at the City County Health Department in the early 2000’s. She joined Billings Clinic with the intention of helping to develop a collaboration between the 3 major health care facilities in the area, which is still in effect 20 years later. Initially, her focus was on medication assistance with the goal of obtaining high cost medications at little to no cost to the patient. That focus has led to hundreds of patients each month being able to obtain medications they would not normally be able to afford and helping to prevent the need to additional care that may occur if patients are not able to receive the therapy they need due to cost.
As the need for patient resources grew related to medication cost, Paula was able to assist with co-pay assistance and infusion therapy assistance. She currently focuses on Oncology and Infusion Center medication free drug programs. Patients with the ever-growing financial difficulty dealing with the complicated manufacturer copay reimbursement programs now have Paula to help navigate them through the overwhelming process. She has taken on the role for many patients by submitting the claims to help them continue to afford their infusions. Paula is responsible for the Billings Clinic Cancer Repository, the only one in the state of Montana. The Cancer Repository allows many patients to donate unused costly cancer medications that other patients could benefit from who would otherwise face high out of pockets expenses.
Paula has also assumed roles at the Billings Community Covid-19 Clinic helping with vaccine clinic and navigating the community through a seamless undergoing during a most stressful and trying time for our healthcare workers. She has been an amazing role model, preceptor, and instructor within the Billings Clinic Community. She has been named a recipient of the Billings Clinic Personal Excellence Award which is given for exemplary patient care and nominated by peers. In addition to that she has also been awarded the Personal Service Award, featured as a spotlight hero and garnished with the Holiday Hero Award for extraordinary work with piloting the Medication Assistance Program in December of 2013, and lastly awarded the RX Assist Award for help in growing patient awareness in medication assistance.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her children and 3 grandchildren, working in her yard, and watching movies with her husband. She enjoys camping and family time the most.
Michelle So, Pharm.D., AAHIVP
Michelle So, born and raised in San Francisco, received her doctorate from the University of the Pacific and went on to complete a PGY1 residency with Alameda Health System. At Alameda County’s Highland Hospital, she was able to care for and serve the residents of Alameda County who were part of the most vulnerable populations in that they were mostly indigent, low-income, underserved, and uninsured. She was able to really see how pharmacy staff are a much-needed arm in the collaborative care team and what a difference they can make to ensure better patient outcomes. This experience ignited a passion to want to continue to care for those who need it most.
After residency, she found her next home at EBAC (East Bay AIDS Center/East Bay Advanced Care) Clinic and Pharmacy, part of Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, where she is part of a multi-disciplinary team that provides care for over 1,000 HIV-positive patients in Oakland, California. EBAC is the largest HIV clinic in Oakland and a unique collaborative care model with medical providers (MDs and NPs), nurses, social workers, behavioral health, medical assistants, financial/benefits coordinators, phlebotomists, and pharmacy staff. Michelle is passionate about providing the best direct patient care by helping clients break down barriers to medication access and adherence. She also values her role as a member of the clinical team assisting with difficult clinical cases (each day is never the same) as well as cutting edge research, as the clinic is involved in many trials and grants. During her time there, she has implemented the Hepatitis C treatment program, developed a patient management program, and assisted in achieving URAC Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation. She also helped start a discharge pharmacy program for the hospital called Meds in Hand.
Through her work at EBAC, she feels very honored to have made lasting relationships with her patients and colleagues, and truly feels grateful for the opportunity to make a difference.
When she’s not working, Michelle enjoys traveling, experiencing new and delicious food adventures, cooking and entertaining family/friends, and spending time in her garden with her husband Will, dog Hamilton, and their pet chickens and ducks (friends, not food).
Jordan Stanley, PharmD
I graduated with my Pharm.D. in 2006 from St. Louis College of Pharmacy. I worked in a small independent compounding pharmacy for my first year post graduation, but I was soon called back to hospital pharmacy at St. Louis Children’s Hospital (I worked as a student for 6 years at St. Mary’s Health Center). During my 5 year time at SLCH, I moved from 7- on 7- off evenings to eventually being the lead pharmacist for our outpatient heme/onc clinic. In 2012, I left clinical practice full- time and accepted a position at SSM Healthcare working with the Epic Team. There I worked primarily on the Oncology Module building care plans and working with the system helping implement Epic into many outpatient infusion centers throughout MO, OK and WI. During that time I also began working at Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital PRN, as I did not want to lose all my clinical knowledge.
In 2017 I was called back to hospital pharmacy again and accepted a full time position at Ranken Jordan. Here at Ranken we have a split clinical/staff model. All our full time pharmacists rotate through rounding with the med team, working with daily fill/delivery of bedside medications as well as coordinating admission/discharge of our medically complex pediatric patients. This involves working with outside hospitals to ensure continuity of care across facilities. When preparing for discharge, we work with outside pharmacies to make the transition home as seamless as possible. One example, is to have discharge medications delivered to the hospital prior to discharge so that we can have meds in hand when we do discharge medication education with our patients’ caregivers. I am a member of the Food and Nutrition Committee as well as the Antibiotic Stewardship Committee. I precept for St. Louis College of Pharmacy and SIUE School of Pharmacy for IPPE and APPE students.
When not working, I can be found outside. I enjoy hunting, fishing, camping and riding anything with 2 wheels.
Jangus Whitner, PharmD, BCACP, 340B ACE
Jangus Whitner serves as the Director of Pharmacy Services for PrimaryOne Health, a federally qualified health center (FQHC) in Columbus, Ohio. He received his PharmD degree in 2016 from The University of Toledo and went on to complete two years of post-graduate residency training: PGY1 in Pharmacy Practice with ProMedica Health in Toledo, Ohio and a PGY2 in Ambulatory Care Pharmacy with The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy and PrimaryOne Health. Before his current role as Director of Pharmacy Services, Jangus served as a Clinical Pharmacist and the 340B Program Manager at PrimaryOne Health.
Jangus also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Center for Farmworker Health, Inc. Additionally, Jangus has volunteered as a Spanish medical interpreter for Migrant Family Mobile Health Clinics during the summers. His passion for breaking down barriers and ensuring quality healthcare for underserved populations spans both on the local and international levels. He has served as both a pharmacist and/or medical Spanish interpreter on eight medical missions to remote areas of Mexico and Nicaragua. When he moved to Columbus, Ohio he began volunteering at the Columbus Free Clinic. Through this clinic, he learned of La Clínica Latina, a similar free medical clinic that was for Spanish speaking patients. Jangus has served as a member of their Clinician Advisory Board and as a preceptor for pharmacy students.
Jangus is passionate about advocating for underserved and vulnerable patient populations. He participates in advocacy and education efforts on a variety of levels – especially regarding the federal 340B Program and making medications affordable for low-income patients. The 340B program is a program that allows safety net providers, such as FQHCs like PrimaryOne Health, stretch scarce federal resources to expand access to quality care for patients and develop comprehensive services.
On a national level, Jangus most recently participated in a press conference held by the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) on 9/16/2020 for U.S. Congress and national media outlets. Jangus gave testimony on the critical importance of the 340B program which has been under attack by some U.S. drug manufacturers, and what it means for PrimaryOne Health’s 48,000 patients spread across more than 200 zip codes in central Ohio; especially those without insurance and low-income. Jangus became an Apexus 340B Certified Expert, is an active member of the 340B Workgroup for NACHC, has served as a faculty member for Apexus 340B University as workshop facilitator, and was also selected to serve on the Apexus 340B Education Advisory Council.
On a state level, Jangus is the founder and chair of the Ohio FQHC 340B Consortium which established a network of 340B key players within FQHCs throughout Ohio. Naturally, a collaboration was implemented with the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers for the Consortium to be a resource in any legislative endeavors and be their “content experts”. Additionally, Jangus has participated in legislative visits at the Ohio Statehouse to promote FQHCs and create awareness around the positive patient impact of the 340B program for underserved patients.