Ronni Nemeth

Age: 32

Pharmacy manager, Confluence Health

Ronni Nemeth has worked her way up from being a pharmacist at Confluence Health to taking on a managerial role, responsible for overall operations of 10 anticoagulation clinics across four counties.

Along the way, her leadership and team building skills have been noted, which include her effort to involve her employees in all major decisions and making everyone feel part of the team. She is described as an amazing manager, leader and mom.

She started working in the Confluence Health Pharmacy in August 2015 in the refill and prior-authorization department. She had just completed pharmacy school and residency. In December that year, she moved into Confluence’s anticoagulation clinic, managing patients in the Okanogan County panel and helping update clinic and practice guidelines. She transferred into the role of anticoagulation clinics manager in 2016, the official start to her leadership journey.

To help with the process, she completed a year-long pharmacy leadership academy.

During her time at Confluence Health she has helped develop and implement the Anticoagulation Steering Committee, an interdisciplinary group responsible for delivering anticoagulation therapies at Confluence Health and its affiliates.

She is a faculty member of the national Anticoagulation Forum (AC Forum), which provides education and networking opportunities to healthcare professionals. Her participation has allowed her to create and deliver educational content in the form of Rapid Resources and live webinars across the country.

What challenges do you see ahead, and what do you believe needs to be done to get prepared?

Healthcare is full of challenges and when you mix in a global pandemic, these struggles become even more accentuated. Our healthcare system in the U.S is both over- and under-utilized at the same time.

It is over-utilized in that people too often need to use higher-cost healthcare modalities like the emergency room or are hospitalized for conditions that could have been prevented.

It is under-utilized in that many people don’t take advantage of or are unaware of preventative medicine and healthy lifestyle choices that help prevent disease in the first place.

In my mind, one of the greatest challenges we face is how we can move our community toward this prevention model; prioritizing overall health and well-being and being able to identify those patients/community members most at risk for developing high-risk chronic conditions. In other words, how do we educate and empower people to make healthy choices that prevent illness and how do we, as a health system intervene on those who are on the precipice of developing these costly diseases?

Chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure, to name a few, don't develop overnight. They are a result of years of decisions and lifestyle choices.

These issues are huge and there isn’t an “easy button” to fix them. We are going to have to start with small, incremental changes in how we think about health as a culture and local community, prioritizing education around what it means to be healthy, and creating an environment where choosing to be healthy is easy and available to everyone.

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