July 24, 2019 – Tim Edminster, PharmD, a UF Health pharmacist who works in the division of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition, received the Excellence in Innovation Award from the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations in July during a session in Miami.
The award recognizes the unique role Edminster plays in direct patient care for patients of the UF Health inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, clinics. Edminster joins physicians at patient appointments to gather detailed medication histories, counsel patients on any drug-related questions, identify cost-saving opportunities and work with appeals to insurance companies. Edminster says this direct contact between a pharmacist and a patient at a specialist visit is not currently standard practice, but it holds many benefits for all involved.
“The award was an exciting acknowledgment for the work we’ve been doing to grow the role pharmacists play in outpatient specialty clinics. It’s an encouragement to continue seeing how we can expand pharmacists’ responsibilities in the specialty arena,” Edminster says. “My role in the IBD clinics is unique, and it improves the patient experience and the quality of care here at our clinics.”
Ellen Zimmermann, M.D., professor of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition and associate dean for faculty development at the UF College of Medicine, says patients at UF Health are safer and receive better care thanks to Edminster’s work.
“One of the aspects of Tim’s job that takes significant time but often goes unrecognized is working with insurance companies and pharmacies to ensure patients get the medicine they need at a price they can afford,” Zimmermann says. “The medicines that Tim deals with are very expensive, too expensive for patients to pay out of pocket if their insurance does not cover the entire cost or if they are uninsured. Tim helps patients maneuver the system.”
Christopher Forsmark, M.D., professor of medicine and chief of the division of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition, calls Edminster “an invaluable resource” at UF Health.
“His energy, knowledge and commitment to patients is one of the reasons UF Health is a destination for patients with these complex gastrointestinal conditions,” Forsmark says.