CPNP Foundation enjoys recognizing donors who exemplify the values of the Foundation through their dedication to evidence-based care, commitment to meeting the needs of patients living with psychiatric and neurologic disorders and their families, and through their sustained support. In this issue of Kaleidoscope, we feature Dr. Michelle Richard. The CPNP Foundation Board of Directors sincerely thanks Dr. Richard for her ongoing commitment to the Foundation’s mission.
Dr. Richard earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy. She completed both her PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency (with a psychiatric pharmacy focus) and PGY-2 Psychiatric Pharmacy Practice Residency at the Salem Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salem, Virginia.
Dr. Richard is a clinical pharmacist at the Gulf Coast Regional Care Organization Health Home Program in Mobile, Alabama. She provides care for patients in the Alabama Medicaid Patient First Health Home program by performing medication reconciliation and review, managing medications through transitions of care, and coordinating services between multiple providers and members of the healthcare team. She works primarily with patients with mental health and substance abuse diagnoses. She is an advanced pharmacy practice experience preceptor for Auburn University College of Pharmacy.
When asked what led her to pursue neuropsychiatric pharmacy as a career, she explained that while in pharmacy school, she took electives in mental health and substance abuse because she had some interest in the topics from her prior career as a speech pathologist. She said, “Dr. Nancy Brahm, who later became my mentor, taught these courses, and she encouraged my interest and got me involved with CPNP.”
When asked about what initially prompted her to donate to the CPNP Foundation, she responded, “I believe that patients with mental illness do not receive the same access to and the same quality of treatment as patients with medical illnesses. They need advocates to speak on their behalf. As a society we need to learn to treat mental illnesses like other medical illnesses and provide the same quality of care without the stigma which hinders access to appropriate treatment. I believe the CPNP Foundation is in a unique position to make positive changes to improve the quality of life and treatment for those with mental illness.”
Dr. Richard is most interested in the Foundation initiatives which were developed to directly target patients and generalist practitioners to advance best treatments, such as the guide for patients and caregivers describing the care that should be expected from their pharmacist, the directory of community pharmacies that focus on the specialized needs of patients with psychiatric disorders, and best practice guidelines for community pharmacists serving individuals living with psychiatric and neurologic disorders.
In summing up her thoughts about the Foundation, Dr. Richard said, “I believe the Foundation’s work can lead to a reduction in stigma and a better quality of life for those with mental illness while expanding the pharmacist’s role in treatment of these patients. I am unable to support all the causes and charities I would like to support, so I choose the ones I feel have the potential to make a significant difference. The Foundation has been at the top of that list for last several years.”