Over the last decade, the United States healthcare system has undergone a significant transformation both in the way we deliver and pay for care. Since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010, healthcare has dominated the political landscape. Election after election, healthcare consistently ranks as the top policy issue for American voters. As new bills are introduced at the state and national levels, we’ve seen healthcare stakeholders actively engage policy makers to ensure that their interests are represented. However, as pharmacists ourselves, we’ve noticed that our profession has been less involved with these changes often due to the lack of pharmacist engagement or an aversion to being seen as political. And when pharmacists are involved, we’ve seen a lot of misinformation around policy changes and the impact on the profession. We believe the profession of pharmacy has a significant role to play and needs to be part of an evidence-based patient centered conversation. That’s why we created The Grassroots Pharmacist.
The Grassroots Pharmacist informs health policy stakeholders through high-value educational content focused on identifying the impact of pharmacy practice on overall healthcare. We want to inspire action among our readers to transform health policy and ensure patient access to quality, affordable healthcare.
Lucy West is a heart failure and heart transplant clinical pharmacist at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH. She is dedicated to developing innovative models to improve patient access to pharmacists services, building a culture of health that values health equity, and, ultimately, helping all people live longer, healthier lives.
She has served in several volunteer leadership roles, including serving as the 2015-2016 APhA-ASP National President and member of the 2015-2016 APhA Board of Trustees, where she inspired young student pharmacists like Michael. She now serves on the Steering Committee for the APhA Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management Public Health Special Interest Group.
In her free time, Lucy enjoys being active, including running and practicing yoga, exploring outside (when it’s not snowing in Cleveland), and participating in her local Book (Wine) Club.
Matthew Westling is a current PGY1 pharmacist resident and will be completing his PGY2 psychiatric pharmacy residency in the 2021-2022 year. He received his PharmD from the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy and his Master of Public Administration from the University of Kentucky Martin School for Public Policy and Administration. Matthew is interested in utilizing public policy to reduce health disparities, promote health equity, and improve patient outcomes.
In pharmacy school Matthew held leadership roles in local chapters of SNPhA, Kappa Psi, and SCCP. Currently he is serving on the APhA-APPM Pharmacy Residency Committee and is active in other professional organizations such as ACCP, ASHP, and CPNP.
Outside of work and global pandemics Matthew enjoys watering his houseplants, traveling, reading, and trying new restaurants/food.
The opinions expressed in The Grassroots Pharmacist are those of the authors and are not representative of the views and/or opinions of any other organization or the employers of the authors.