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NSU’s College of Pharmacy Opens ICUBAcares Center

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L to R – Brad Scholten (OptumRx), Suzie Lenart, Palm Beach Atlantic University (ICUBA member institution), Melissa Jimenez, Pharm.D. (NSU – ICUBAcares Pharmacist)), Aisy Aleu, Pharm.D. (NSU – ICUBAcares pharmacist), Mark Weinstein, Pres & CEO (ICUBA), Mary Jo Hatch, COO (ICUBA), Lauren Mickler, Rollins College (ICUBA member institution), Goar Alvarez, Pharm.D., C.Ph., FASCP, Assistant Dean (NSU – ICUBAcares pharmacist), Connie Bennett, R.Ph. (OptumRx), Patti Williams-Pack (BCBS of Florida)

As anyone who has started a new medicine recently will tell you, taking the drug properly, dealing with potential side effects and drug interactions as well as getting insurance approval can be overwhelming.  Imagine how challenging it would be if you’re fighting cancer or even simply caring for a sick child and dealing with medication questions or problems.

NSU’s College of Pharmacy recently teamed up with the Independent Colleges and Universities Benefits Association (ICUBA) and OptumRX, to create ICUBAcares – a resource which provides more than 15,100 employees of Florida not-for-profit colleges and universities and other educational institutions with answers via a call center to a wide range of questions about their medications.

“Research shows that pharmacists can help improve health outcomes,” explained Goar Alvarez, Pharm.D., C.Ph., FASCP, Assistant Dean and Director, NSU Clinic Pharmacy. “Our goal is to educate as well as advocate for ICUBA members, empowering them through education and pharmacist care to make better healthcare choices.”

Pharmacists and pharmacy interns from NSU’s College of Pharmacy will be staffing the ICUBAcares center from Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. They can be reached by calling 954-262-2777 or toll-free at 800-286-3967.

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L to R – Melissa Jimenez, NSU Pharm.D., PGY1 Community Pharmacy Resident; NSU Dean Lisa Deziel, Pharm.D.,Ph.D., Aisy Aleu, NSU Pharm.D., C.Ph.,MBA, Clinical Assistant Professor

Alvarez explained that the center also will be doing medication therapy management, reaching out to patients who take a large number of medications or take problem prone medications to help ensure they are taking the most appropriate and cost effective treatments for their conditions.

“Problems can sometimes occur when a patient is seeing multiple doctors for different conditions,” said Alvarez. “We look at the patient’s total picture and work as a team with them, their doctors and pharmacists.”

“The medication therapy management program is designed to improve overall health outcomes, reduce healthcare costs and improve patient satisfaction with care.   We anticipate that by empowering patients to better understand their therapies and take a more active role in their care, our pharmacists should be able to have an impact in reducing hospitalizations and emergency department visits.,” Alvarez explained.