Member Snapshot- Donna Bartlett

Donna Bartlett, PharmD, BCGP

Reaching out into the community

The Consultant Pharmacist publishes occasional snapshots of members who have interesting practices or businesses or are involved in unusual projects or research. All pharmacists were asked to provide answers to several questions. This was originally published in the June 2017 issue of The Consultant Pharmacist.

Donna Bartlett, PharmD, BCGP, is an associate professor of pharmacy practice at MCPHS University Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts, and a clinical pharmacist at the MCPHS Pharmacy Outreach Program, which reaches more than 8,000 individuals in Massachusetts through its call center and outreach programs.

Tell us about yourself and your business/consulting practice.

I am both an associate professor of pharmacy practice at MCPHS University Worcester campus and a clinical pharmacist at the MCPHS Pharmacy Outreach Program. The outreach program has been in existence since 2001 and is funded through a grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs. It provides information and referrals for medication access, affordability, assistance, and education through a call center and outreach programs throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. During Medicare Open Enrollment we help more than 1,200 Medicare beneficiaries from October to early December. Advanced pharmacy practice students rotate through each year.

What have the highlights and challenges been over the years?

Highlights include assisting older adults with learning about their medications as well as how to use insurance and assistant programs wisely to help with drug costs and continuation of therapy. I have enjoyed providing presentations and workshops for providers, pharmacists, and health care consumers, especially older adults on medication and falls, medication safety, adherence, and medication management. Helping older adults with deprescribing, and empowering patients to have better conversations with their prescribers as a result of a previous conversation or program I provided are wonderful ways I have assisted individuals in becoming better health care consumers. Challenges are keeping grants and exploring new grants for further outreach opportunities.

What advice can you offer other consultant pharmacists?

Evaluating health literacy and the ability to understand numbers (days supply, for example) are important factors when communicating with older adults. Consultant pharmacists should learn, in depth, how Medicare works and options to assist with access and affordability of medications. Provide good, reliable online resources and information to share with older adults.

What are your hopes for the future of your business/practice?

Start educating individuals at a “younger” age (preretirement), and work with family members early to educate them about insurance and on becoming better health care consumers so in turn they can assist or identify older family members in need.

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