St. Luke’s Health System in Boise, Idaho, is considered to be a pioneer in onsite oral chemotherapy dispensing and in managing oral chemotherapy patients.
The chemotherapy program’s success is due, in part, to Certified Pharmacy Technician Colleen Jenkins’ dedication to the program and its patients.
During the program’s development in 2008, Jenkins handled outpatient dispensing setup, inventory management, and insurance billing procedures, many of which are still in use today. The program also expanded from its part-time beginnings, handling 10 to 20 prescriptions per week, to a fulltime, handling 80 to 100 prescriptions per week. Given the complexity of the prescriptions, and the need for preauthorizations and financial assistance for many oral chemotherapy patients, the workload is substantial.
Jenkins actively works with the healthsystem PGY2 oncology residents to train and teach them about the program’s work flow and tools. She has also shared her expertise in on-site visits with other health care systems, where she has assisted in training and teaching other pharmacists.
Ms. Jenkins remains dedicated to the program and its patients, and actively works to keep therapy costs low for patients.
“She has assisted in obtaining millions of dollars of free drugs, and hundreds of thousands of dollars of patient assistance funds, by getting our financial advocates [involved] early in this process,” her nomination read.
Jenkins’ personal experience as a breast cancer survivor is a guiding force for many of her actions with the program, and she makes a point of interacting with patients personally to ensure they receive the best care.
“She routinely calls and talks to patients, works with them to determine the best course of action, and ensures that their needs are taken care of,” her nomination read. “She knows, as a cancer survivor, that as our patients battle cancer, the last thing they need to worry about is whether they can afford their potentially life saving treatments.