Asheville Today

Fred M. Eckel, RPh, MS, Pharmacy Times Editor-in-Chief
Published Online: Monday, October 1, 2007

October 2007

When the Asheville Project launched in 1997, it involved just 47 patients. The idea was simple? yet bold for its time. The City of Asheville, NC, in partnership with the pharmacy department at Mission Hospitals, wanted to find out whether a proactive, collaborative, and patient-centered approach to diabetes management might result in healthier employees and lower health care costs.

Now, 10 years later, I think everyone would agree: the experiment worked. Asheville-based models have been deployed by 80 employers in 14 states, and interest in the initiative continues to grow. The project has expanded beyond diabetes to include other chronic diseases such as asthma and hypertension, as well as a broad range of prevention and employee wellness programs.

We at Pharmacy Times are pleased to have the support of Takeda Pharmaceuticals in presenting Asheville Today. In this supplement, we explore the reasons why this innovative collaboration has taken hold, looking at it through the eyes of its founders and stakeholders?community and hospital- based pharmacists, physicians, health educators, policymakers, employers, and patients.

We show how the Asheville pioneers tapped local expertise and brought everyone on board. We demonstrate how this approach can be adapted to the needs and resources of any community and highlight the pivotal role hospital pharmacy plays in that process. We offer advice on the training components necessary for pharmacists to assume their roles as health care coaches at the hub of disease management programs. We also hear testimonials from patients themselves, who credit the project with turning their lives around.

A decade after its inception, the Asheville model is now well established. Its success and replication nationwide attest to the crucial role pharmacists play as agents of change and leaders in the delivery of quality, cost-effective patient care services.


Fred M. Eckel, RPh, MS
Pharmacy Times

James R. Granato
Pharmacy Times

Latest Articles
In case you got caught up in the Thanksgiving holiday rush, here are the top trending stories you may have missed in November:
Bryan Ziegler, PharmD, executive director of Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center, provides some resources for community pharmacists to use when implementing new collaborative services with primary care providers.
James Schiffer, RPh, associate at Allegaert Berger & Vogel LLC, discusses some tips for pharmacists who are facing a Drug Enforcement Administration audit.
Carlos Aquino, founder and president of PharmaDiversion LLC, talks about the importance of the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) diversion website.
Latest Issues