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Pharmacy Leaders Podcast: Inspiring Pharmacy Leadership Interviews


Mar 9, 2018

Cheri Schmit is the Director of Clinical Pharmacy at GRX holdings and Ashleigh Arndorfer, P4 interviews her about her rise to a leadership position and her work life at GRX. 

https://grxholdings.com/

 Full Transcript:

Welcome to the pharmacy leaders podcast with your host Tony Guerra the pharmacy leaders podcast is a member of the pharmacy podcast network with interviews and advice on building your professional network brand and a purposeful second income from students residents and innovative professionals hi my name is Ashley our Norfolk p4 student pharmacists from Creighton University today I'm interviewing sherry Schmidt director of clinical pharmacy at grx holdings sherry has a passion for community pharmacy and wants to help move pharmacy forward she was also involved in her community and she's the mother to two teenage boys welcome to the pharmacy leaders podcast thank you for having me thank you so to get started I want to first ask everyone's leadership road is a little bit different tell me a little about your journey towards first becoming a pharmacist well when I was in high school we took aptitude tests and it told you know what kinds of careers might be fit to you and mine came up in the health sciences field and so we had to go interview two professionals that worked in that field and then do a report and I was fortunate enough to choose Mark Neeson who owned Neeson pharmacy in court in Iowa and interview him and after I did my report I started thinking you know I think I might really like pharmacy so I went back and said I think I might want to go to pharmacy school could I work for you for free and the pharmacy while I'm in high school I just kind of want to see more about what it's like and if I might enjoy it and he started laughing and I thought oh no like what did I say and he said anyone who offers to work for free is hired and so he gave me a job and I started literally at the very bottom and worked my way up through the pharmacy so I started stocking cards and gift ware and cleaning the store and then I got to sticker the order and put it on the shelf and eventually really become a tech and then start counseling patients so it was actually the perfect experience because not did they have the community retail pharmacy but they also contracted both the pharmacy and services at the hospital pharmacy so we provide its IVs and medications for people in the hospital as well as sitting on the P and T committees and being involved in D you are and all of that and then we also did consulting and providing pharmacy medications for two or three long-term care pharmacies plus was a business that he ran so kind of really was the perfect experience and made me realize that I really wanted to be a community pharmacist very nice often we hear that where someone ends up is a bit of a surprise for them or something happens that you didn't necessarily plan before a pharmacy school what were the unexpected turns in your road I don't know that I ever really had a totally clear plan on where I wanted to end up other than I really knew I wanted to practice community pharmacy and I guess probably the biggest unexpected turn is that I did not ever think that I would be in an office position so now with my director of clinical pharmacy physician I really kind of always saw myself standing behind the counter helping community patients every day so that's been a big change although I enjoy that because I do think that I can reach out and help more patients by having that position let's talk a little bit more about that what steps did you take to become the director of clinical pharmacy I don't know if I intentionally took any steps to become that but I've always had a passion for helping patients and for doing what was right for the patients and really treating them like they were my own family members so making sure that they understood their medications and that they were working for them and that we were working collaboratively with our other health care providers so that kind of gravitated me towards pharmacy services so I was always more interested in providing clinical enhance services for patients and I think just doing that in the pharmacy and showing success and seeing how that changed both the practice and patient outcomes gave me the opportunity to have this position what made you decide to take on a leadership role I never set out to be a leader never wanted to be a leader but sometimes you just find yourself when you're doing the right thing for the profession and all of a sudden you find yourself in that position and I really still don't know that I would consider myself a leader I guess maybe I have more of a servant leadership attitude but I really feel it's very important to give back to others and to give back to the profession and that was really instilled to me by mark and his the way he treated his community and his patients and the profession of pharmacy so I really just feel like you have to give back and it's the right thing to do and so if that makes me a leader I will take that but my favorite quote is Warren Buffett has one that says someone is sitting under a shade today because somebody planted a tree a long time ago and I really think that's that's a great quote so I hope that I plant a tree today that somebody is to sit under we often learn most from our greatest challenge looking back on your career what sticks out to you as one of the low moments can you tell that story I don't know that I've had low moments I guess I enjoy what I do every day certainly there's a lot of stress involved in the profession of pharmacy and having enough staff and being able to do everything that you need to do I really think those moments are where you find out if this is really what you love doing or not and if you need to do something different so I don't I don't know that I really have any major challenges that made me question what I wanted to do but maybe made me realize maybe how I need to do things differently I need to delegate and teach other staff so that you can kind of spread it and everyone can practice at the top of their license that you can all do the things that you need to do to take care of patients so I have worked with GRX for the past six years and during that time and especially this summer with you as my preceptor it is clear to me that your advocate for your patients and for pharmacy as a profession so I'd like to talk about both what inspires your passion for patient care you know I just really think that every patient deserves to be cared for the way you would care for your mom your dad your brother your grandma whatever that is and that's really that's really my goal is that I don't want to treat anyone differently based on anything I want them all to have the same type of care so that's I guess where I come from and that's that's my hope is that I can be an advocate for them and help them understand I think there's a lot of people who kind of get lost in the healthcare system they maybe don't know what questions to ask or how to ask them or maybe don't have a family member that's capable of being their advocate so I really hope that I can be that person and help them so that they can have the best outcomes and you know really improve their health in their care what drives you to advocate for our profession oh that I would probably be just really feeling the need to give back because I've gotten so much out of pharmacy and again the servant leadership I really feel like because of what I've gotten out of pharmacy that I need to give back to it and leave it better than I found it hopefully so that the next generation can take pharmacy profession even further what are some examples of ways pharmacists can be advocate or be advocates or be otherwise involved that's a great question because I think a lot of times people think that you have to do this big thing like you have to serve on some huge committee or you know donate lots of time and really it can start with little small things like I think you're an advocate for your profession every time you interact with someone and they understand that you're a pharmacist so whether it's a patient what is another health care provider whatever that may be but I really strongly encourage people to get involved in a couple of different ways number one is mentor student pharmacists anytime you get a chance because really I learned more from them than they probably learned from me so I think that's a great way to give back to the profession and the second way is I'm a member of the Iowa pharmacy Association and not that you necessarily have to be that membership although I would encourage it there could be a national organization that you belong to but I do think it's important to give pharmacy a voice and whether that's starting small and volunteering on a committee or just going to a meeting that's kind of how I got started I started sat on a committee and then pretty soon I was chairing a committee and then you become Speaker of the House and so it just kind of gradually snowballs but I think the biggest thing is that you you have to say yes even to things that make you feel uncomfortable so most of the leadership and advocating for the profession these aren't things that are comfortable for most pharmacists to do so I think you have to say yes push your comfort zone and eventually that becomes comfortable and then you say yes to something else can you think of one moment that had the biggest impact on you through your outreach probably serving as Speaker of the House for the Iowa pharmacy Association it was the most terrifying and wonderful thing at the same time because you're standing in front of all these people and essentially leading the debate and the policy meetings and really see then eventually down the road how those conversations that we had in that House of Delegates and policy that was passed how it becomes enacted into legislation later down the road so I think that was kind of an aha moment for me where I realized like hey you know we're not just standing here talking about you know whatever topic this is but this has the potential to change lives with legislation and make the profession different yeah what visions do you have for the future of Pharmacy I have a lot of visions for the future pharmacy and probably none of them are correct but I really think that people are starting to understand that pharmacists have been trained to do a lot more than we have been doing so I really think we are moving away from a product driven workforce into a knowledge-based workforce where we can be part of the healthcare team and collaborate for patients and so I really don't think it's too far out there to think that pharmacist may not dispense product anymore or maybe not routinely dispense as much as we do so I really think it will pharmacy will move into the pharmacist being a more valued member of the healthcare team so speaking to that what do you see as the role of the pharmacist in the next five years or 10 years I think the next five or ten years are probably not going to be easy I do think that we'll be going through a lot of change in the professional pharmacy as we try to move from product base to knowledge-based and we're just the payment revenue come from and that type of model I think we're just starting to take some of those steps now but I think over the next five years you'll start to see pharmacist in some new roles that maybe you have not traditionally seen them in before I think there will be new payment models for pharmacists that develop and I think there'll be some growing pains because not everyone's gonna like it some people may be more comfortable standing behind a counter and I think that that's still gonna be an option in the next five to ten years but I really feel like pharmacists are gonna have to come out of their comfort zones as well and really start taking responsibility for patients and for their outcomes and care you are one of the luminaries for the community pharmacy enhanced services Network in Iowa tell me more about that can we start with the mission of CPS the mission of CPS n I really think was just founded to be a network of pharmacists for pharmacists so it was really to further the value and strengthen the position of the community pharmacists in the healthcare model whether that be with payment models or just giving them a voice and a network and a platform to move forward how did he get started CPS unreleased started in North Carolina and there was a program there in CC and they were showing some very positive outcomes and the value-based care model with Medicaid in North Carolina and through that it sort of expanded into Iowa and IPA was involved along with toy tricks dad and Ashley Branham from North Carolina and I really kind of happened to be in the right place at the right time at an IPA meeting and we were just all kind of sitting around brainstorming talking about it hey Gaynor was there Randy McDonough Matt Osterhaus Bob Greenwood Ryan Frerichs and we just all kind of decided you know we want to make this happen in Iowa and we think that I was a great place for this to happen it's kind of always been a leader and pushing the envelope for health care and pharmacy and really kind of an idea grew out of that then we had a meeting at Expo and had great turnout pharmacists from all over the state showed up volunteered to be on committees wanted to really move this forward and so it's really been a grassroots starting place where it really kind of started with pharmacists willing to volunteer their time and make sure that this was something that happened I think it's a little bit of a scary time too because this is something we've always asked for so now we have to be ready to deliver what we said we could deliver and perform but I really think that pharmacies up to the challenge what is the goal for the pharmacies included in that Network I really think the goal of the pharmacies in that network is that we would be able to show clinical data and outcomes where pharmacists and community pharmacists especially can have value in the value-based payment model so where what pharmacists do every day in and day out effects directly affects patient outcomes and total cost of care and so pharmacists would be able to be reimbursed for those types of activities and not just for product and I really think that the network's job is to make it so that pharmacy has a voice in that so it's not a payer coming saying you know we want to study these metrics for these pharmacies but where we put together a high quality high performing network of pharmacies where we can say you know this group of pharmacies can do X Y & Z and they do it very well and this is going to save you this much improve these metrics over time with your patients what kind of impact is it having now I think it's having a huge impact so I talked about how it started with maybe North Carolina and then Iowa there's now several states involved so I think you're going to start to see this in maybe all 50 states to where there might be some national contracts instead of just either state or local contracts CPS n Iowa has expanded its a growing we have over 80 pharmacies involved now in the state and really looking to further the services that we provide and gather some data to be able to show the impact that we can have there are payers on board now that are paying for services so I think it's having a huge impact in and actually hopefully changing the healthcare landscape so speaking of that do you think it will impact the future what do you see happening in the future as a result from this network you know I think this network is exactly how we talked about pharmacy being involved in the value-based healthcare model and pharmacists having a position in community pharmacy this I think network is going to give the pharmacist that platform to do that and really show the value that community pharmacists have in the healthcare model and to their patients and more clearly show what they do every single day that's someone who is just about to graduate what is one piece of advice you have for my colleagues than me that's a really tough one keep an open mind and know that nothing is gonna be probably has you envisioned it to be I think it's very scary the first time that you stand alone as a practitioner where you realize like this is my license but you've been trained for this and you're ready for it and then like I said before earlier say yes so do some of those things that push you out of your comfort zone a little bit take some chances get involved and give back to your profession thank you specifically for me I am starting interviews for a PGY one residency and community forum what tips do you have for potential applicants you know I think you have to be yourself and you have to find what fits with your goals tips I would just say really it's a lot like a job interview so you're interviewing them they're interviewing you and look for a place that kind of fits with your vision of what you want to do but don't be afraid to look outside of your comfort level too because we only know what we know so there might be a different practice opportunity out there that you've never been exposed to before that you may find that that's the one that's for you that's very good advice thank you yeah if you were the residency director what would you look for in the potential resident I would look for a resident that has had some work experience and a background in the community pharmacy arena some knowledge of maybe where healthcare is heading in the vision of value-based pharmacy models but really I think the main qualities I was be looking for is someone who is adaptable someone who's self-motivated a self-starter but yet I can trust to work on their own independently but also ask questions when they need to know which direction they should be going so I think there's a high level of trust that's there I think sometimes you just kind of click with that person and you know that you would work well together and that you have a similar vision for the projects that you're working on is there anything I haven't covered that you would like to talk about either about pharmacy or leadership I just think it's a very exciting time to be a pharmacist and I think it's a very exciting time to be graduating from pharmacy school I think your opportunities are gonna be really limitless and I really think we'll start to see roles kind of change and one thing I would like to say is I hear students a lot of times say well I want to be a clinical pharmacist so I want to practice in the hospital setting and so I just want people to know that there are clinical pharmacists in all settings regardless of it's not just in the hospital setting and that you really you can have an impact on patient care and the best thing is in my opinion of being a pharmacist is when any patient or a family member comes up to you and says thank you you know you really made a difference in you know my life or my loved ones life I think if you get that a couple of times in your career you're pretty lucky well thank you so much for being on the pharmacy leaders podcast it's been a pleasure to talk to you today thank you for having me support for this episode comes from the audio book memorizing pharmacology a relaxed approach with over 9,000 sales in the United States United Kingdom and Australia it's the go-to resource to ease the pharmacology challenge available on audible iTunes and amazon.com in print ebook and audiobook thank you for listening to the pharmacy leaders podcast with your host Tony Guerra be sure to share the show with a hashtag hash pharmacy leaders