Kay Bahrey, R.Ph., PharmD
Ohio Northern University 2017 (minor in Public Health)
PGY1 Community Care Resident at The Ohio State University, practicing at The Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio
Tell us a little bit about your practice site.
The Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio (CPCO) is a nonprofit pharmacy that provides medications, counseling, and point-of-care testing at no cost to patients. CPCO serves patients living within Franklin County who have incomes at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and are either uninsured or underinsured. The practice model at CPCO includes seeing patients on a first come, first served basis and filling their medications in real time using eleven different inventory sources. Once the medications are prepared, each patient is met for a one-on-one visit with either a pharmacist or student pharmacist in their last year of school, to review and counsel on their medications, address any patient concerns, and complete point-of-care blood pressure and blood glucose testing. Pharmacists and student pharmacists work to identify drug related problems and proceed to contact the doctor on the patient’s behalf, when appropriate, in order to optimize the patient’s medication regimen.
How long have you been an OPA member? What’s been your best experience so far?
I have been an OPA member since around 2014 and my best OPA experience thus far came while I was on an APPE rotation at OPA. Throughout the month I had been working with Antonio Ciaccia who had been contacted about a new freshman legislator who was interested in meeting with him. Having attended several other legislative meetings with Antonio over the years, I was invited to tag along to what ended up being on of the best legislative interactions I’ve had yet. Not only was Representative Scott Lipps interested in pharmacy advocacy, but he was coming directly to the source to create the best plan of attack to bring about change in regards to PBMs and claw backs. It was inspiring to meet such a passionate legislator, especially one who had an affection for pharmacy and a strong sense of community. I vividly recall a sense of pride for being part of an organization that works diligently to bring about positive change for the profession and remember my excitement for what was to come from this charismatic representative.
What’s been your favorite moment of your career so far?
My favorite moments in my career thus far have come from the ability to successfully serve my patients. I am thankful to work in an environment that provides both the independence and resources needed to truly meet the patient where they are and address more than just their healthcare. As pharmacists, we have the unique opportunity to build relationships with our patients and create an environment in which they feel comfortable sharing their stories and expressing their needs. As a new pharmacist, there has been nothing more rewarding than empowering patients to have an active role in their healthcare and hearing their successes at follow up encounters. I am grateful to have found a site that not only allows but encourages me to pursue this role of acting as a patient advocate.
What’s the best career advice you’ve offered or been given?
For those who are not yet “yes” people, I have been told to become a yes person. Say yes to opportunities, especially those that are outside your current comfort zone. Experience all that you can, especially early in your career or even as a student, because you never know where it may lead you!
For those who are maybe too much of “yes” people, I have been advised to take the time to analyze each opportunity for what it really is. Think to yourself: How will this experience help me in working towards my long-term goal? What can be gained from this experience and how does this pertain to my overall plan? This is how you will truly progress towards and achieve your goals!
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a new practitioner and how did you overcome it?
One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as a new practitioner was the overall transition from student to new pharmacist. In mindset and in practice, I found it difficult to be confident in my decisions and to acknowledge when I needed to ask for a second opinion and when I needed to take the lead. Through strong mentorship, I was taught to take a step back and reassess each problem individually and imagine “what if” situations to determine if I had the knowledge to provide a positive solution. The most important part of this process was the balance between knowing that it is acceptable as a new practitioner to ask for help and treat these circumstances as learning opportunities, but also to gain confidence in yourself and continue to apply all of the knowledge you have gained.
If you had not chosen to be a pharmacist, what would you be doing?
If I had not chosen to be a pharmacist, I would have enjoyed working at a zoo and providing educational sessions to children about the various animals. I would have hoped to specifically work with the giraffes.
What is the one thing you can’t live without?
Camaraderie: whether from my co-residents, colleagues, family, or friends, I gain a great deal of inspiration, motivation, and gratification from the invaluable relationships in my life.