/publications/issue/2012/September2012/Improving-Health-and-Wellness-Through-Education

Improving Health and Wellness Through Education

Author: Jennifer Whartenby, Senior Managing Editor


Carlie Traylor has a passion for patient health and wellness.

Carlie Traylor, September's Pharmacy Times/Walmart RESPy Award winner, takes her upcoming role on the frontlines of community health care very seriously. A PharmD candidate who will graduate from the University of Georgia (UGA) College of Pharmacy in 2014, Traylor is well aware that her chosen profession is the first, and sometimes only, health care resource for many patients.

“The thing I love the most about pharmacy is the accessibility,” Traylor says. “When I was little and we were sick, my mom didn’t call the doctor, she called the pharmacist.”

Maintaining this accessibility and building trust with patients are 2 themes that have guided Traylor throughout her work at UGA College of Pharmacy. At a camp for overweight children, for example, Traylor combined her loves of nutrition and patient education to help the campers learn to make healthier choices. She has also worked extensively with underserved populations by volunteering with low-income children, providing pharmaceutical services on a Native American reservation as an undergrad, and setting up a multidisciplinary clinic for migrant workers in south Georgia.

Traylor also deserves recognition for her tireless efforts in promoting diabetes awareness and providing valuable education services. As co-chair of Operation Diabetes, she coordinates projects that provide glucose testing and diabetes education at numerous health fairs. She also increased awareness of the multifaceted role of the pharmacist by teaching an exercise class for elderly patients with diabetes in her hometown.

Traylor credits her UGA College of Pharmacy professors and Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Alan Wolfgang for providing her with the opportunity to explore her passions and formulate her understanding of what best practices in pharmacy should be. In speaking with Traylor, it is clear that family, community, and pharmacy have all been important influences in her past and will continue to play key roles in her future.

Q: Why did you choose pharmacy?

A: When I was younger, my dad went back to school back to school after dropping out. So at about age 9, we sat down and talked about what I would do with my life. I really liked helping people, so we figured I would probably go into a health care profession. In high school, I was really interested nursing, but I was really not good with blood. I had a teacher who said that pharmacy might be a good fit for me. I also have 3 cousins who are pharmacists, including one who finished pharmacy school at UGA in 2009. He cornered me one Thanksgiving and told me all about pharmacy.

Q: How do you picture your future practice?

A: If I could work in my dream job, it would be in a small town hospital. I would love to have a community center where I could have access to lab results when working with patients during the day and then give patient education classes in the evenings. Barney’s Pharmacy in Augusta, Georgia, uses a wonderful wellness center model where they are giving classes all the time. Honestly, the idea of patient education is what gets me though my tests and classes. When I finish school, I know I am going to do something I love.

Q: What has been your most rewarding extracurricular activity?

A: Being involved in the community was something I knew I wanted to do going into pharmacy school. My aunt and grandfather have diabetes, and so it’s something close to me and something that I wanted to learn more about. I got involved in Operation Diabetes my first year of pharmacy school, and I am still involved as co-chair in my third year.

Q: What do you think is the most important issue in pharmacy today?

A: Pharmacy is growing. You can see that it’s evolving, and I think that being involved in that change is a big issue for both PharmD students and practicing pharmacists. I think we can do more than just lick, stick, and pour. We are more than that, and I think that’s the biggest part, the growth of the clinical role of the pharmacist.

About the School
The University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, based in Athens, Georgia, was founded in 1903. The school offers a 6-year PharmD program that combines classroom, laboratory, and experiential training. Graduate studies at the college are offered in the areas of pharmacotherapeutic research, clinical work, and administration.