Nancy J Lee, PharmD, BCPS, CDE is the Lead Clinical Pharmacist for Swedish Medical Group’s clinical pharmacist practitioner program, embedded in the Issaquah Primary Care Clinic.
Seeing that older patients tended to take multiple medications and that the older adult population was growing, Nancy pursued the Plein Certificate in Geriatric Pharmacy and completed it in 2004. She was interested in making sure her older patients took medications that supported their health and wellness and that less effective medications were reduced or discontinued. “I wanted to make sure that older patients had someone, a clinical pharmacist, they could approach to discuss the risks and benefits of their medications and how the meds would affect their quality of life,” she said.
Over time, having the Plein Certificate in Geriatric Pharmacy has had a positive impact on Nancy’s career. Not every school offers a geriatric certificate option as part of their PharmD program. “When providers—especially those that take care of older patients—learn that I have taken the certificate program, they are more open to refer their complex older adult patients to me for assistance,” she shared.
In addition to the geriatrics therapeutics and the geriatric-focused pharmacokinetic/ pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) course, Nancy said she “really valued the interdisciplinary class that I had with social workers in an elective course”. Working with social workers and touring different assisted living and skilled nursing facilities with them expanded her perspective on the social, behavioral, psychological and financial challenges that affect older patients.
“Taking the class helped me appreciate treating the patient as a whole person and taking into consideration all of the bio-psycho-social aspects of health.”—Nancy Lee
For fun, Nancy recently began sea kayaking and is training for her first tri-sprint this summer. As for coffee, she’s become more of a tea drinker over the years, but tells us she does enjoy a tasty cup of iced latte from Vivace, a Viennese mélange, or iced Kona coffee with cream or milk…and of course, peppermint mocha in the winter.