Kelley-Ross Pharmacists have been delivering concierge type pharmacist services in the home for years, but integration into low-income housing is a novel place for pharmacists to connect with patients. It is not surprising for a synergistic relationship like this to form in an innovative hub like Seattle where agencies are open to innovation and exploring new ideas that have the potential to effect change.
In 2015, a unique partnership formed between the Seattle/ King County Area Agency on Aging, Kelley-Ross Pharmacy Group, and Bellwether Housing in an effort to provide medication education and reduce fall risk for older adults living within our community. Additionally, affordable housing organizations like Bellwether have been tasked with delivering improved health outcomes for residents, without much direction on how to do so or who to reach out to.
Today the program has expanded to include 7 low-income housing centers in Seattle through which pharmacists have provided a combination of in-home medication coaching and group health education events. This past year pharmacists at Kelley-Ross have provided a combination of 55 visits (group or individual) and trained 191 seniors.
This unique model integrating pharmacists into housing organizations offers us the ability to:
- Meet patients where they are
- Reduce barriers to healthcare access
- Teach medication education
- Provide coordination of care
- Expand the role of the community pharmacist
- Explore new community partnerships and payment models
Still not convinced? Here is a video featuring Bellwether’s Resident Service Coordinators who worked 1:1 with Kelley-Ross Pharmacists. They may change your mind. And here is more content from Pharmacist, Anna Shields who continued to build out the program throughout 2016 and 2017. See the poster Anna created to highlight the early successes of the program.
Did you know?
- Housing is a well-known social determinant of health, contributing twice as much to our general health and well-being than healthcare.1
- Health and medical issues often contribute to the inability to pay for housing. This is further complicated by the fact that losing a home compromises access to medical care, medications, and food.2
1. Schroeder SA. Shattuck Lecture. We can do better–improving the health of the American people. N Engl J Med. 2007;357(12):1221-8.
2. Cutshaw CA, Woolhandler S, Himmelstein DU, Robertson C. Medical Causes and Consequences of Home Foreclosures. Int J Health Serv. 2016;46(1):36-47.