By Matthew Bertsch, Director of Pharmacy
Sun Life Family Health Center
Giving back to the communities that we work in is extremely fulfilling. When hiring for rural healthcare, one needs to find someone who is [quote_box_right]Know your Pharmacist
Get to know your Pharmacist on a first name basis to be engaged and better understand your health and well-being. Never be afraid to ask your Pharmacist a question. No appointment needed. #OneSmallChange[/quote_box_right]dedicated and passionate, and strives to make the community a healthier place. Recruiting and retaining great employees is of the utmost importance to the success of an organization embedded in rural healthcare. We at Sun Life hired Kenny Leutz onto our pharmacy team in November of 2015. Kenny was one of our first true “homegrown” Pharmacy Managers. We trained Kenny from Intern through Pharmacist and now we are preparing him for his role as Pharmacy Manager at our site in Florence. As is the case with many pharmacists graduating from pharmacy schools around the nation, there is the desire to spread the message that pharmacists, in general, are more than meets the eye. The career is no longer just about filling and looking at prescriptions and medications. The career is focused on patient safety, and making certain that patients leave our hands with the best possible outcomes.
Kenny Leutz answered the following questions regarding pharmacists and patient care.
How can a pharmacist improve patient care?
“Pharmacists can play an important role in providing comprehensive health care to every patient that they have. Pharmacists verify that appropriate medications are prescribed to patients, free from dosing errors, serious drug-drug interactions and drug-disease interactions. Additionally, patients need to be counseled on how to take medications correctly. Having the right medication prescribed means nothing if the patient is not educated on when medications should be taken, how they should be taken, and signs that the medication can be harmful instead of helpful.
What do community health centers mean to rural healthcare?
“Community health centers are extremely important to residents of rural communities mainly because access to health care is so limited. Many residents of rural Arizona lack health care coverage, have lower than average income, lack physical access to health care facilities, and have no supplemental support that is needed to live a healthy lifestyle. Community health centers are essential to help bridge this gap in care to underserved communities by providing primary and preventive care, health education, mental health, pediatric, dental, and pharmacy services among others.”
What do you see in your future?
“I see myself continuing to work in rural communities providing quality, comprehensive health care. I feel that I can play a larger role in rural communities due to the limited number of providers and resources that are available”. Pharmacy, in general, is so much more than meets the eye. It is the assistance with over-the-counter medications, education of the patient at the time of prescription pickup and the friendliness of the familiar face when patients visit regularly that is expected of pharmacists. What is rarely seen is the work behind the scenes, the constant communication with providers, ensuring proper medication dosages, and the careful preparation of prescriptions that often pharmacists do not get recognized for. We, as pharmacists, take pride in the quality of care that we offer patients.
For questions regarding Sun Life’s pharmacy services or any of our 13 locations please call Sun Life Family Health Center at 520- 836-3446 or visit our website at www. sunlifefamilyhealth.org.