After a long hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health’s Transitions Pharmacist, Melanie Chapple, PharmD, has returned to the Cambridge Senior Center to provide medication management assistance to local seniors. A recent session drew more than 40 seniors in attendance — more than double the number that Chapple was used to seeing during previous visits.
Through a program initiated by UM Shore Regional Health’s Population Health Department in early 2020, Chapple began visiting nine senior centers throughout Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties once a month to meet with seniors who needed help with their medications. The program was very successful until in-person events at the centers were suspended due to COVID-19. Chapple has resumed her visits to senior centers in all counties except for Queen Anne’s, where she hopes to return soon; in the meantime, she is providing consults for those seniors via telehealth.
“Medication can be a real source of confusion for seniors,” Chapple said. “And there can be adverse effects from not taking medications correctly. Problems stemming from medication misuse are often a factor when seniors need to be admitted to the hospital.”
Chapple also helps seniors overcome possible barriers to medication, for example, helping them sign up for automatic refills, assisting with paperwork for drug assistance programs, and reviewing their Medicare Part D coverage.
“Unfortunately, the Hurlock Senior Center has not reopened, but bus transportation was provided to the Cambridge center for seniors who previously went to Hurlock,” Chapple said. “A good number of my Hurlock seniors came on the bus, and I almost cried because Beulah Jackson, who had turned 100 years old when I was last in Hurlock, was among them!”
While at the center, Chapple gave a talk on blood pressure and medications, and had seven new medication consults with local seniors in attendance. She also helped judge the Center’s Easter bonnet contest.
For more information about the medication assistance program offered at area senior centers, contact Melanie Chapple, PharmD, 410-822-1000, ext. 5456, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) is a university-based regional health care system focused on serving the health care needs of Maryland, bringing innovation, discovery and research to the care we provide and educating the state’s future physician and health care professionals through our partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine and University of Maryland, Baltimore professional schools (Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work and Dentistry) in Baltimore. As one of the largest private employers in the State, the health system’s more than 29,500 employees and 4,000 affiliated physicians provide primary and specialty care in more than 150 locations, including 12 hospitals and 9 University of Maryland Urgent Care centers. The UMMS flagship academic campus, the University of Maryland Medical Center in downtown Baltimore, is recognized regionally and nationally for excellence and innovation in specialized care. Our acute care and specialty rehabilitation hospitals serve urban, suburban and rural communities and are located in 13 counties across the State. For more information, visit www.umms.org.