Pharmacists’ care of persons living with HIV – more than just medications

Josh Havens, PharmD, BCPS, Kim Scarsi, PharmD, BCPS, Anthony Podany, PharmD, and Valentina Orduna make up the pharmacy team at the Specialty Care Clinic (SCC).  Pharmacy staff are fully integrated within the HIV care team at SCC.  We help manage SCC patients for a variety of issues including antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation or switching, management of ART related drug-drug interactions, medication adherence, medication access, Hepatitis C treatment, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP/nPEP). All pharmacy staff are involved with National Institutes of Health and industry supported investigator-initiated research. SCC also supports the education mission of UNMC, as an advanced pharmacy practice experiential site for fourth year pharmacy students.

SCC provides a unique experience for a pharmacist. We autonomously see patients and collaborate with other SCC team members to provide the best comprehensive care for our patients. The amount of trust put into the pharmacy staff by other SCC team members is a rarity and we are truly grateful to be a part of the SCC team.

Providing care for patients living with HIV can be very rewarding yet challenging at times.  The smallest change in our patients care can result in drastic improvements in their health and well-being.  Seeing the impact of the interdisciplinary care provided at the SCC never ceases to amaze.  At the end of the day, it is an awesome experience to be an  important part of our patients’ care.

Content courtesy Joshua Havens, PharmD (Clinical Pharmacist, Specialty Care Clinic),  Kim Scarsi, PharmD MS (Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacy), and  Valentina Orduna (Pharmacy Support Assistant, Specialty Care Clinic)


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