Three Pharm.D.s join PAHCS staff

This article submitted by Michael Jacobson on 7/19/00.

For several years now, the Paynesville Area Health Care System has had a doctor of pharmacy (Pharm.D.) on staff. Recently, it has become a full-fledged department with the addition of another full-time Pharm.D. and another doing a post-graduate residency.

Three Pharm.D.s Todd Lemke (far right), a Pharm.D. who just completed a year-long residency with PAHCS, will be staying on, and J.D. Anderson, who just graduated from the University of Minnesota as a Pharm.D., has just started a year-long residency.

Lemke will be staying with PAHCS but will actually be in Paynesville less. With his hiring, the system will be able to offer extended hours at its satellite clinics. Lemke now has an office in the clinic in Richmond, where he spends Tuesdays and Thursdays. He will be in Paynesville on Wednesdays and will be splitting his Mondays between the clinics in Eden Valley and Watkins.

"It's good and bad," Lemke said of his move to the satellite clinics, "because I like to work in the satellite clinics, but I miss patients here."

Also, the Pharm.D.s will be taking over the hospital pharmacy. Already they check the patient charts for appropriate dosages and medications, as well as doing patient education. Now they will be dispensing medicines in the morning and the afternoon. Most of the dispensing will be done in the morning, with new admissions and changes done in the afternoon.

Anderson, Lemke, and Laura Odell, the first Pharm.D. for PAHCS, will be taking turns handling the hospital pharmacy on weekends. Anderson will do two weekends while Lemke and Odell handle one apiece.

As part of his work in Watkins, Lemke will be doing a study on a nurse practitioner and Pharm.D. working together in a rural area. It's one of the first occasions of such a pairing in a rural setting.

Lemke said PAHCS's goal of having healthy staff as well as healthy patients is one of the reasons he stayed. "I really liked Paynesville because it's a good community," he added. "It's got a small-town feel, but it doesn't always seem small town."

Anderson (center) did a ten-week rotation at PAHCS last summer and participated in a session of the Rural Health School here. Having enjoyed that, he decided to return for a year following his graduation in May.

Anderson said he enjoyed his work at PAHCS last summer and valued his relationships with patients. "The main reason (for returning) is Paynesville is a step ahead in pharmacy," he explained. "This is a one-of-a-kind residency."

Typical Pharm.D. positions involve behind the scenes consulting (chart reading), research, or over the counter dispensing. Both Lemke and Anderson valued the patient contact available at PAHCS, citing it for professional satisfaction and a great learning opportunity.

Anderson, a native of Ely, hopes to end up working in a rural clinic setting like Paynesville. The problem is these positions don't exist; there is no on-the-job training. So Anderson hopes to gain experience so he can convince someone to hire him to start a similar program.

In addition to his hospital and clinic duties, Anderson will be primarily in charge of monitoring the Koronis Manor. He will be handling daily problems as well as doing monthly reviews of all patient medications.

He also will be spending Fridays at the satellite clinic in Belgrade.

Through another rotation last year, Anderson learned and became certified in a smoking cessation program. The one-on-one program focuses on psychological reasons for smoking and smoking habits, in addition to the addiction to nicotine.

For the first time, PAHCS is splitting the cost of Anderson's residency. In the past, the University of Minnesota had supported the entire residency.

Cari Thomsen (far left) is a fourth-year Pharm.D. student at the University of Minnesota who will be doing a ten-week rotation in Paynesville as well as participating in the Rural Health School.

Rural Health School
A new session of the Rural Health School kicked off this weekend by the shores of Lake Koronis.

Fifty-five health care students, teachers, and professionals met for the retreat, which was held at the Lake Koronis Assembly Grounds. It was the first time the retreat had been hosted in Paynesville.

Participants arrived on Friday afternoon and had a golf outing after a welcome session and dinner. They spent Saturday in educational sessions, both broken into student and faculty groups and combined together.

Dr. Byron Crouse, who is the assistant dean of clinical affairs at the University of Minnesota-Duluth School of Medicine as well as heading the Rural Health School, said the group enjoyed the nice weather and the good setting for this retreat. He said the retreat is meant to introduce the students to the team emphasis of interdisciplinary care by not only getting them to learn about other disciplines but by starting to know the individual students from the other disciplines. Topics ranged from theory and history to the technical aspects of using interactive television, which the students from all seven host sites use to discuss case histories throughout the 10-week program.

A number of local health care professionals attended the retreat. Three had active participation in educational sessions. Lemke led a session on technology, and Gene Beavers, P.A., spoke of his personal experience during a session on the role of a physician assistant.

Each retreat concludes with a featured topic, and Dr. Tom Sult(pictured), a medical doctor for PAHCS at the Integrated Health Center in Paynesville, spoke on functional medicine, which combines standard medical treatments with complementary or alternative treatments.

Faculty from the University of Minnesota, the University of Minnesota-Duluth, St. Scholastica, and Augsburg College participated in the retreat.

Despite a couple technical difficulties, Odell, who is the RHS site coordinator for Paynesville, was pleased with the retreat.

Paynesville will be co-hosting a session of the RHS with Willmar this summer. In the past, each has had its own session, but a lack of students caused them to combine.

A native of Ogilvie, Thomsen will be working with Odell, Lemke, and Anderson during her stay at PAHCS, which will last until the first of September. She will start by shadowing the other Pharm.D.s, and will gradually be doing more of the evaluations herself, under supervision.

She will be working at the clinic, hospital, and nursing home in Paynesville and some of the satellite clinics. "It's really neat to have the patient contact," she said.

"It's a nice situation," she added. "I get to do a lot of different things."

Bjorn Larsen, a P.A. student at Augsburg College, and Chrystian Pereira, a Pharm.D. student at the U of M, will fill out the RHS group with Thomsen. Larsen will be working at a clinic in Willmar, and Pereira will be working at the hospital and several clinics in Renville County.

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