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Partnership Offers Chronic Disease Management at Pharmacies

The partnership will provide chronic disease management services to University of Michigan Health System patients with hypertension at Meijer pharmacies in Ann Arbor, Mich.

By Nathan Boroyan

- A newly established population health partnership between University of Michigan Health System (UM) and Meijer pharmacies is aiming to provide chronic disease management services for adults with hypertension.

Pharmacy-provided chronic disease management

As part of the partnership, UM patients will be able to visit two Meijer pharmacies in Ann Arbor and receive a blood pressure check-up. If a patient's blood pressure is high, the pharmacist will reach out to the patient's UM provider. Patients will also be offered a follow-up appointment and education about the patient's condition, clinical goals, medications and lifestyle.

“This partnership is allowing us to provide our patients with clinical pharmacist services in the community,” says Hae Mi Choe, director and associate dean of pharmacy innovations and partnerships at U-M. “Our patients will have more access to an effective and safe hypertension treatment and monitoring program right in their neighborhood.”

Almost 90 percent of Americans live within five miles of a pharmacy, and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores says that community pharmacists are among the most accessible health care professionals in the country, according to the press release.

Additionally, recent studies have shown that community pharmacists have the ability to impact patient's health in multiple ways, including improving medication adherence and lowering the number of hospitalization and emergency room visits.

“Improving blood pressure control is one of the U-M Health System’s goals,” Choe says. “We’re hoping this partnership will allow patients another convenient access point to high-quality care and improved management of their condition.”

UM patients with high blood pressure will be identified at clinic visits and may choose to visit a Meijer pharmacy for follow-up care. Patient outreach will also be provided to those who live nearby participating pharmacies.

“This affiliation presents us with a unique opportunity to collaborate with Meijer pharmacists and enhance our system of care for our patients to better meet their needs,” says David Spahlinger, MD, executive vice dean for clinical affairs and president of U-M Health System.

Services will be rolled out first at UM health system clinics with the largest patient population living in close proximity to participating pharmacies.

“This partnership shows the importance of the collaboration between community pharmacists and health care providers, says Karen Mankowski, Meijer pharmacy vice president of operations. "We look forward to offering our clinical services to the residents of Ann Arbor and the surrounding areas through this opportunity.”

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