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Gene H. Makela, PharmD, BCPP, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Mental Health at the Charles George VA Medical Center and Jayme Trott, PharmD, MBA, BCPP, Director of Global Medical Affairs Strategic Operations for Janssen Global Services, LLC, discuss their evolving motivation to support the CPNP Foundation and their initial attraction to a career in neuropsychiatric pharmacy.

Gene H. Makela, PharmD, BCPP, is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Mental Health at the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville, NC. He was drawn to a career in neuropsychiatric pharmacy by his recognition of the tremendous need for quality mental health services and by the challenges inherent in the field, including limited resources available to patients and caregivers and the challenges in obtaining critical information to guide treatment and monitoring.

Dr. Makela was initially drawn to support the CPNP Foundation because he wanted to assist the Foundation in becoming a change agent in mental health care. In particular, he sees the value of the Foundation’s work to support initiatives that improve the quality of life and quality of care of those living with neuropsychiatric illness. He points out that, “Patients are often seen in specialty clinics in ambulatory care settings in which psychiatric conditions are often not identified and thus not addressed.” He is especially supportive of the Foundation’s long-term goals to facilitate incorporation of psychiatric and neurologic clinical skills into ambulatory care and community pharmacy residency programs. He envisions emerging roles for ambulatory care/community pharmacy specialists with training in management of patients with neuropsychiatric illness. He sees the creation of the Foundation and its newly adopted strategic initiatives as signaling the maturity of both the Foundation and CPNP, as the parent organization.

Dr. Makela adds, “I have recently re-examined my own priorities and pledged further support for the Foundation, and I strongly urge other CPNP members to consider this as well.”

Jayme Trott, PharmD, MBA, BCPP, is Director of Global Medical Affairs Strategic Operations (supporting Neuroscience) for Janssen Global Services, LLC. Dr. Trott decided to pursue a career in neuropsychiatric pharmacy because she was fascinated by the advances in our understanding of the neurobiological bases of mental illness and the psychopharmacologic mechanisms underlying newer drug treatments. In addition, she found great satisfaction in helping patients with serious mental illnesses improve in their thinking, mood, and functioning. She adds, “Being a valued member of a mental health team was immensely rewarding.” 

She initially contributed to the CPNP Foundation because she believed it would further the goals of neuropsychiatric pharmacy practice through research and outreach initiatives that were beyond the current goals of CPNP. She states that she was certain that with time and the efforts of dedicated Foundation board members, that the Foundation’s goals and initiatives would demonstrate added value beyond what CPNP was able to tackle. Dr. Trott comments that the new strategic plans of both organizations clarify that CPNP will continue its core support for those practicing in our discipline and that the Foundation will seek to inform patients about evidence-based practices of neuropsychiatric pharmacists and encourage adoption of these practices in primary care settings. She states, “I am most excited that the Foundation will be supporting neuropsychiatric pharmacist best-practice sharing with general practice pharmacists.” She believes this will elevate the practices of pharmacists who most commonly interface with affected patients. 

Dr. Trott notes that the pharmaceutical industry has undergone enormous change over the years, and that she is very proud of what her company is doing to improve the lives of patients living with serious mental illnesses. Further, she is proud that her company matches her donations to the CPNP Foundation. She adds, “I encourage others who work for companies that offer this benefit to take advantage of it by giving generously in support of the Foundation’s work.”

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