Samford University alumna Anne Marie Nolen is making significant strides in the field of pharmacy—across the board.
As collaborative practice manager for the Alabama Board of Pharmacy, Nolen (Pharm.D. ’18, M.P.H. ’18) is playing an integral role in providing accessible health care to countless Alabamans.
Collaborative practice is a formal agreement between physicians and pharmacists, under which pharmacists may provide expanded care to patients.
For instance, with an approved agreement, a patient newly diagnosed with diabetes could regularly visit with their pharmacist in the weeks or months leading to their next physician’s appointment and achieve their blood sugar goal in significantly less time, or a patient diagnosed with the flu could be prescribed and receive treatment on the spot.
Nolen witnessed the benefits of collaborative practice firsthand, while completing her residency in Portland, Oregon.
“I was in a doctor’s office every day, seeing patients who needed more follow-ups than their doctors could give them,” she said. “In rural areas, trying to see a physician or urgent care may be a 45-minute drive. Oftentimes, patients may not even be able to afford transportation.”
There, Nolen operated under more than 30 collaborative practice agreements, treating patients for diabetes, asthma, anxiety, depression and more. Nolen said her residency, facilitated by Jessica Skelley, Samford residency program director and associate professor of pharmacy practice, gave her the experience to apply for her role at ALBOP, where she’s been instrumental in establishing collaborative practice in Alabama.
“Samford allowed me to gain the experience I needed to get my dream job,” Nolen said. “It’s having the faculty there to help every student. There’s always a Samford professor who’s willing to put in the effort to help you get there. I think that correlates with how we practice as pharmacists. We’re always available for patients and always want to be available in case that patient needs us.”
“I’m incredibly proud of Dr. Nolen and her work with the Alabama Board of Pharmacy,” said Michael Crouch, dean of McWhorter School of Pharmacy at Samford University. “Through her leadership of collaborative practice, she is elevating pharmacy care to patients throughout the state. Her educational path is a wonderful example of how a joint degree from Samford, including a Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Public Health, can uniquely prepare a graduate to make a difference in the community they serve.”