Erin Lindquist believes pharmacists should provide more patient education and counseling services, and she has dedicated much of her time over the past 2 years to accomplishing just that.
Ms. Sax is a freelance writer based in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
This month's RESPy Award winner, ErinLindquist, has wanted to be a pharmacistsince eighth grade. "I went to a?Women in Math and Sciences' day at a localcollege and have been interested in pharmacysince then," she said. Set to graduate with aPharmD degree from Midwestern UniversityChicago College of Pharmacy (MWU-CCP) inMarch 2009, Lindquist believes that it is veryimportant for pharmacists to provide morepatient education and counseling services andhas dedicated much of her time over the past2 years to accomplishing just that.
Lindquist has worked with the American Pharmacists AssociationAcademy of Student Pharmacists Operation Diabetesprogram. Most notably, she co-coordinated MWU-CCP'sCollaborative Health Advocacy Team (CHAT) program. The program—a collaboration of students from the colleges of medicine,pharmacy, and physician's assistant programs—teachesdiabetes self-management classes to patients in underservedcommunities.
"The 4-series education program not only helps to educatepatients with diabetes about how they can better managetheir disease, it also promotes the practice of multidisciplinaryteams," said Susan Cornell, PharmD, CDE, CDM,assistant professor of pharmacy practice atMWU-CCP, who nominated Lindquist for theRESPy Award.
The curriculum at MWU-CCP includes a well-integratedcollection of lecture courses, workshops, and laboratories, aswell as experiential rotations in a variety of pharmacy practicesettings. The program provides students with enhancedexperiences in the biomedical, pharmaceutical, and clinicalsciences. The college encourages the development of professionalattitudes and behaviors that will provide pharmacistswith the skills to provide exemplary patient care in a culturallydiverse society.
A PharmD degree at MWU-CCP can be obtained by full- orpart-time students. Students can be enrolled in the full-timetraditional PharmD program. Registered pharmacists witha valid US or Canadian pharmacist license can apply to thenontraditional, self-paced, largely self-instructional, part-timeprogram that can be completed in 2 to 4 years. Both programsoffer the opportunity for pharmacists to develop the professionalskills needed to provide excellent patient care and tobecome important members of the health care team.
When Lindquist took over the program, it wasa small program with 15 student volunteers and3 clinics. The program now includes 6 clinicsand has nearly 80 student volunteers. Cornell,the CHAT program's faculty trainer and advisor,said that the program has benefitted greatlyfrom Lindquist's involvement. "This year alone,Erin has coordinated the training and schedulingfor more than 80 students from the varioushealth colleges at MWU-CCP to assist in the diabetes educationalsessions at 3 community clinics," said Cornell. "Healthcare professionals and staff at these clinics value and supportour program. Their awareness of the value of pharmacists hasincreased dramatically due to Erin's presence and professionaldemeanor. Many of the clinic nurses, physicians, and staff havetold me that they think Erin is exceptionally organized, dependable,and a joy to work with."
Lindquist is most proud of her work on the CHAT program."The most rewarding thing is to finally see a look of understandingon the face of underserved patients with diabetes whorealize that they can have an impact on their health," she said."These patients do not get a lot of face time from health careprofessionals, and we make a big difference in their lives."
After graduation, Lindquist plans to continue her work indiabetes health education and eventually become a certifieddiabetes educator. "Many patients do not believe that I am apharmacist, because they expect pharmacists to be behind thecounter counting pills," she said. "Pharmacists did not go toschool for 4 to 6 years to stay behind the counter. We are themost accessible health care providers, and patients are gratefulfor what we can offer them."
RESPy (Respect, Excellence, andService in Pharmacy) is presented tothe student who has made a differencein his or her community by demonstratingexcellence in pharmaceuticalcare. For more information, pleasevisit www.PharmacyTimes.com.