Tell us about yourself!
My name is Tasha Michaels, and I am the Director of Clinical Services for Sona Pharmacy and Sona Benefits.
I am from Forest City, NC and love being in WNC! My husband, Ray, and our two kids, Carly (seven) and Eric (four), moved back three and a half years ago after living in Raleigh/Durham for ten years.
Everyone in the pharmacy can tell you that I love to cook and bake! I’m always looking for new recipes to make our family favorites even healthier.
What do you do at sona pharmacy + clinic?
I oversee all clinical programs including medication therapy management, vaccinations, disease state management, clinical services for Sona Benefits, and our Sona Access program.
I also serve as the Site Coordinator for our Post-Graduate Year 1 Community-Based Pharmacy Residency Program with the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.
Why did you choose to become a pharmacist?
When I was in high school, I worked at an independent pharmacy as a pharmacy technician.
I saw the pharmacists helping patients by recommending over-the-counter medications, educating them on their medications and disease states, and even telling them they needed to go next door and be seen by the doctor (the doctor’s office was right behind the pharmacy).
I knew I wanted to help people, which is what I saw the pharmacists doing every day.
What is your passion within pharmacy?
I am very passionate about vaccinations!
After practicing in Chapel Hill for six years, it became a passion of mine after receiving numerous questions from patients, students, and other pharmacists.
I am also passionate about helping patients understand their medications, identifying other potential medication options for them, and discussing healthy living as ways to help manage their disease states.
What can you do to help better the health of patients?
Listen and share knowledge!
Listening to patients’ concerns and questions can help guide the advice I provide. Sometimes my recommendations are about medications and disease states, and other times it can be about insurance, sleeping habits, or even healthy living (including meal planning and exercise).
Sharing knowledge and providing education allows patients to make informed decisions and feel included in health care decisions, which is my ultimate goal.
What are the benefits for patients to create a relationship with their pharmacist?
Having a relationship with a pharmacy and pharmacist is just as important has having a relationship with your medical office and medical provider, especially if you are seeing multiple medical providers.
As a pharmacist, we are always looking at the big picture:
For example, we will be able to tell if a new medication prescribed by your cardiologist interacts with a medication prescribed by your primary care provider. If it does, we work on your behalf to contact the provider and suggest another therapy, or provide additional information.
Or, if your medication dose was increased or decreased, we clean up your medication profile at the pharmacy to ensure you are getting the correct dose of that medication.
A lot of patients think pharmacies are all the same, but building a relationship with your pharmacist at a high-performing pharmacy is truly one of the most important things you can do!
How has the role of pharmacists changed in the last 10 years?
Pharmacists are moving away from the technical aspects of simply filling prescriptions and focusing on spending time counseling and interacting with patients.
Pharmacists are providing more clinical services such as MTM (where a pharmacist sits down with a patient and reviews all of their medications, provides education, and answers their questions), vaccinations, and serving as coaches for specific disease states and overall wellness.
How is Sona Pharmacy + Clinic helping innovate in the healthcare field?
Sona is constantly trying to innovate and think creatively!
Our goal is to get our pharmacists away from behind the counter and out front with patients so they can provide education and answer questions. This is the main reason why we have the concierge desk at the entrance of our pharmacy.
We have an on-site, walk-in clinic that provides same-day services (including x-ray and stitches).
Our Sona Access program provides additional services such has adherence packaging, medication reconciliation after returning home from the hospital or being discharged home from a skilled nursing facility, medication synchronization, free home delivery, and even a home visit (if needed).
We even developed Sona Benefits which is our transparent pharmacy-benefit management service where we partner with self-insured employer groups to help control pharmacy costs for their employees.
We are continually looking to build new relationships were we can make a difference, move health care forward, and continue serving our patients at the highest level across WNC.