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Competitive Cyclist Races to Advance Pharmacy Practice

Mar 09, 2018

Editor’s Note: This story is part of a special series examining the growing number of women in pharmacy leadership.

Adrenaline junkie Lindsey R. Kelley, Pharm.D., M.S., is a fat tire bike racer for a local business.

LINDSEY R. KELLEY, Pharm.D., M.S., admits that she’s one to push the envelope and challenge the status quo — probably because she’s an adrenaline junkie. “I tend to be high energy and get excited about opportunities,” she said. “I’ll jump out of an airplane given the chance.” In fact, she has done exactly that — having gone tandem parachuting in four different states. She’s also an avid cyclist who competes in cross-country mountain bike and fat tire bike racing for a local bike shop.

Dr. Kelley is the Director of Pharmacy and Ambulatory Care Services at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, Mich., and she pushes the envelope at work, too. She is particularly passionate about creating ambulatory practice models, promoting staff development, and studying population health. Dr. Kelley is doing work in these areas with teams she manages at Michigan focused on community pharmacy, specialty pharmacy, infusion pharmacy, and oncology clinic practice.

Pushing Pharmacy Limits

For example, clinic practitioners are examining clinical and operational outcomes in an effort to create ambulatory oncology practice models that incorporate both specialist and generalist roles. “Accomplishing this would increase the number of patients that pharmacists have time to see and would ensure that each pharmacist is working at the top of their license,” Dr. Kelley said. In addition, a team focused on ambulatory management is exploring how to best triage patients to ensure that the most effective and efficient pharmacist resource provides care.

Dr. Kelley is also looking at innovations in population health. “I am interested in improving community development and other types of access,” Dr. Kelley said. “A goal is to find out how Michigan Medicine, as a large health system, might leverage its impact in the community to improve social determinants of health. If health systems started investing resources not only in healthcare services, but also in housing, education, and employment opportunities in neighborhoods surrounding institutions, it would dramatically impact population health.”

Biggest Accomplishments

In her current role, Dr. Kelley is most proud of recruiting a team that is fully engaged, incredibly competent, and consistently effective. Some turnover occurred since she started in her role five years ago, but now the team has a good balance. “I purposefully looked for people who were different learners or personality types than existing team members,” she explained. “During interviews, I was honest about what we wanted to work on and our team’s values. That gave me the ability to recruit people who understood the expectations of the role they were committing to.”

Dr. Kelley is passionate about creating ambulatory practice models, promoting staff development, and studying population health.

Dr. Kelley admits being fervent about teamwork. “Our Ambulatory Management team members meet every two weeks to ‘huddle’ — to check on how everyone is doing,” she said. “The intent is to encourage others and assist each other where we can.” The meetings started when there was a significant shortage of pharmacy technicians on the community pharmacy team. The infusion manager sent technician staff to help before and after shifts, and managers of community, oncology, and transitions of care all jumped in to fill and dispense prescriptions as well. After the crisis was resolved, Dr. Kelley found value in still holding the meetings so she could continue to identify where assistance might be needed among teams and where resources could be better utilized.

Dr. Kelley is also proud of building residency programs. She helped to start the PGY1 program at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center at Shadyside Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pa., now called UPMC Shadyside Hospital, and began the community pharmacy residency program at Michigan Medicine, now in its third year.

As a member of Michigan’s Ambulatory Care Regulatory Readiness Accreditation Committee, Dr. Kelley has given presentations to nurses and medical assistants to teach them how to lower the risk of improperly administering medications. She has also helped to put processes and systems in place to make sure that medications are ordered, stored, administered, and documented in the most safe and effective ways.

She also serves on Michigan’s Pharmacy Benefit Advisory Committee, which advises University of Michigan’s Drug Plan in making decisions about providing medications to patients and communicating with internal and external partners. “As an ambulatory leader with experience in community pharmacy, I can discuss what is happening at a user level, and how our decisions impact patients,” Dr. Kelley said.

ASHP Endeavors

Dr. Kelley joined ASHP in 2003, during her third year of pharmacy school, because she wanted to attend the Midyear Clinical Meeting and participate in the Clinical Skills Competition. When she began her residency training at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, Minn., she received additional support. “My preceptors and program directors promoted ASHP’s value in teaching best practices and networking with others who encounter similar practice issues,” Dr. Kelley said. “They also felt that its leadership, mentoring, and training were outstanding and would prepare me for future endeavors.” She’s also benefitted from educational opportunities such as ASHP Managers’ Boot Camp and Residency Learning System workshops, and from attending the Midyear Clinical Meetings and Summer Meetings.

Reflecting on her years of membership, Dr. Kelley feels fortunate to have served on the New Practitioner Forum Executive Committee. “We served as liaisons to advisory groups and represented the voice of new practitioners to the ASHP House of Delegates and Board of Directors,” she said. Receiving ASHP’s Distinguished Service Award in 2010 for her sustained contributions to advancing new practitioners was a highlight and honor.

As a member of the Section of Pharmacy Practice Managers Section Advisory Group on Leadership Development, Dr. Kelley helped to incorporate resources supporting human resource management, financial stewardship, and automation into a new manager tool kit. She was also among the first members to lead new networking sessions at the Midyear Clinical Meeting. And, she assisted AJHP (American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy) in prioritizing management topics for columns — increasing its value for readers.

Dr. Kelley recalls hearing Maya Angelou speak at the 2007 Midyear Clinical Meeting opening session. “The room was packed, but a woman cleared a chair so I could sit down,” she said. “We started talking, and that woman turned out to be ASHP Past President Debra Devereaux, Pharm.D. She ended up becoming a mentor, colleague, and friend. One of the things ASHP does well is to teach its members how to be excellent mentors. And Deb was certainly doing that. It was a serendipitous moment.”

Personal Leadership

Dr. Kelley, who is openly lesbian, also praises ASHP for its recent engagement around LGBT topics, citing the presence of networking sessions at the Midyear Clinical Meeting and articles in AJHP on how pharmacists can better care for transgendered patients. “I am excited that we’re having these conversations,” she said. “Part of the reason I live openly is because some people don’t feel comfortable doing that. My hope is that if a pharmacy student, resident, or practitioner who has a different sexual orientation sees that I’m a lesbian and a leader, then they will be encouraged to pursue their career goals also.”


By Karen Appold


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