Pharmacy goes to head of class with diabetes program

Thursday, August 26, 2010

DORA, Ala. - When it comes to diabetes, provider Jennifer Weathers would love to change the world. But she'll settle for helping patients in Walker County, Ala.

"Diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases here," said Weathers, DMEPOS coordinator for Ken Glover Drug. "We want patients to understand that education is important, that if they listen and follow (advice), it will make a difference."

In April, she launched a series of quarterly educational sessions to do just that, partnering with drug manufacturers to present speakers. The first session featured a talk by an "A1C Champion," a person with diabetes who encourages others, while July's session took the form of a roundtable discussion led by a certified diabetes educator called "Journey for Control."

"She was the facilitator but she let them learn from each other," said Weathers. "Everybody was able to participate in a nice, informal setting."

Altogether, the sessions have drawn about 50 attendees. Attendance at the second session was double the first, said Weathers.

"Clearly, word has gotten out," she said. "They are already asking when the next one is."

With so much local competition--Dora, population of 5,000, has seven pharmacies--Weathers is constantly promoting the business. That includes radio and newspaper spots, appearances on a local morning television program, a Facebook page and membership in the local chamber of commerce. In June, McKesson awarded Ken Glover Drug an "Outstanding Effectiveness Award," which is given in recognition of educational programs; use of technology; product selection; in-store programs and design; local marketing and advertisement; and community involvement.

At the end of the day, it's all about providing great service to customers, said Weathers.

"Our pharmacists are on the floor with patients every day," she said. "There's never a lost opportunity to educate."