Meeting Patients Where They Are

Pharmacy Times, December 2016 Heart Health, Volume 82, Issue 12

Since her entry into the auburn university harrison school of pharmacy, Kristi Laxson has demonstrated a passion for helping patients from all walks of life.

Since her entry into the auburn university harrison school of pharmacy, Kristi Laxson has demonstrated a passion for helping patients from all walks of life. In addition to volunteering with various health fairs coordinated through the school, the 2017 PharmD candidate has served as the service chair for the Auburn chapter of Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International. In this capacity, she has coordinated schoolwide service projects, such as Operation Christmas Child, in which students distribute shoeboxes filled with toys, school supplies, and other gifts to children around the world, and a Summer Fun Supply Drive for a local foster care agency.

Laxson has also served as the president and clinical services chair of the Auburn University Pack It Up Club, through which she has led fellow students in organizing smoking cessation programs and advocating for a smoke-free lifestyle. More recently, Laxson was named to the regional board of the Alabama Head Injury Foundation.

“I am proud to partner with an organization that helps to raise awareness of the often overlooked issues that accompany head injuries,” Laxson told Pharmacy Times®.

Laxson considers her most rewarding experience to be her involvement with Equal Access Auburn and Equal Access Birmingham, student-run clinics for which she has served on the Board of Directors during her 3 didactic years of pharmacy school. Her time volunteering with the clinics not only enabled her to participate in mobile health fairs and vaccine clinics, but also gave her the opportunity to work alongside other health care professionals to provide care to underserved patients. “Serving those who struggle to provide for their needs is, by far, the most rewarding part of my extracurricular experience, and something I look forward to continuing in my future practice,” Laxson said.

Reflecting on her journey toward her pharmacy career, Laxson expressed gratitude for all the patients she was able to serve, crediting them with helping her to become a better pharmacist. “I think every patient I have had contact with has shaped me into a pharmacist who will more effectively serve the patients entrusted to me,” Laxson explained.

Q: Why did you decide to become a pharmacist?

A: I am passionate about the follow-through. Pharmacists are frontline providers in the health care team and can recognize medication-related problems or gaps in care. This interception looks different depending on the practice setting, but in all settings, pharmacists seem to be the “glue” that holds health care teams together and keeps them functioning optimally.

Q: What is the most important quality for a pharmacist to possess?

A: A pharmacist has to have compassion for people of all walks of life on all days of their life. You really have to put yourself in someone else’s place to effectively teach patients about their medications and fully understand their conditions. As pharmacists, we have a wonderful privilege to stand in front of people on some of their best days and some of their worst days. Compassion is the difference between dispensing medication and restoring a patient to health.

Q: What is the most important issue in pharmacy today? Why?

A: Collaborative practice is the most important issue right now. Pharmacists are highly capable and knowledgeable practitioners who improve patient outcomes while often decreasing health care costs. Collaborative practice would be a viable way to solve the primary care crisis in America. I believe our generation of pharmacists will see legislation that allows more ways for us to practice at the top of our license to directly impact patient care like never before. I am truly excited to see what the future of pharmacy holds!

ABOUT THE SCHOOL

The Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy offers a 4-year PharmD program, as well as MS and PhD programs in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Pharmacy students undertake continuous patient care responsibilities on entry into the school and are invited to participate as active and self-directed learners in interdisciplinary teaching models.

ABOUT RESPy

The RESPy (Respect, Excellence, and Service in Pharmacy) Award is presented to the student who has made a difference in his or her community by demonstrating excellence in pharmaceutical care. For more information, please visit PharmacyTimes.com.