Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic Pharmacist Awarded Innovative Pharmacy Practice Award
Dr. Graybeal earns award for work with Hepatitis C patients
SPOKANE – Dr. Monica Graybeal, a pharmacist at Unify Community Health in Spokane, was awarded the 2017 Innovative Pharmacy Practice Award from the Washington State Pharmacy Association. The Innovative Pharmacy Practice Award recognizes a pharmacist or technician using innovative pharmacy practice to improve patient care and outcomes in Washington State (sponsored by Upsher-Smith).
Dr. Graybeal was recognized for her efforts to improve access to Hepatitis C treatment for patients at Unify Community Health, a community health center in Spokane, Wash., part of the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic health system.
The award presented was based on Dr. Graybeal’s partnership with a telehealth model, Project ECHO, which could provide expert care for patients and specialized provider education through the use of telecommunication.
Project ECHO links expert specialist teams with primary care clinicians in local communities. The teams participate in weekly tele-clinics. During the tele-clinics, primary care clinicians, like Dr. Graybeal, from multiple sites, present patient cases to the specialist teams and to each other, discuss new developments relating to their patients, and determine treatment.
Dr. Graybeal saw this partnership as an opportunity for pharmacists to fill a need in her community. As a health care provider practicing at the top of her license, Dr. Graybeal is helping increase linkage to care by treating patients where they already seek care. Through collaborative drug therapy agreements, Dr. Graybeal is able to treat Hepatitis C patients, by initiating and adjusting medications, and interpreting labs.
“Several factors are playing into the need for increased Hepatitis C screenings. The CDC recommends a one-time Hep C screening for everyone born between 1945 and 1965, as well as anyone who has been exposed to another person’s blood. With increased screening and treatment, we are hoping to decrease the transmission of Hepatitis C as well as prevent long-term damage that this disease causes,” Dr Graybeal said. “It is very common for patients to be unaware of the disease for many years, so it is important that all persons with these risk factors get screened. It is exciting to be able to work with such a collaborative team and health system to really ensure that our patients get the best care, including mental health counseling, dietary support, and smoking cessation.”
Dr. Graybeal’s efforts continue the commitment of Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic to the Patient Centered Medical Home model of care. This model of care provides patients well-rounded care, treating the whole patient under one roof.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Graybeal on our team, and to be able to provide continuous care to our patients,” said Michelle Fox, Senior Director of Pharmacy Operations at Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic.
Unify Community Health is part of the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic network of care: The Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides comprehensive medical, dental, and social services for more than 131,000 people throughout the Pacific Northwest. Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic employs 1,390 full-time staff and more than 600 part-time staff, medical residents, dental residents, students and volunteers. Facilities: 18 medical clinics, 10 dental clinics, 49 programs. Locations: Washington State clinics are located in Grandview, Prosser, Pasco, Spokane, Sunnyside, Toppenish, Yakima, Walla Walla and Wapato. In Oregon, clinics are located in Hermiston, Portland, Salem and Woodburn. Visit: www.yvfwc.org