American College of Clinical Pharmacy
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ACCP Report - January 2013

ACCP Member Spotlight: Marissa Escobar Quinones

Marissa Escobar Quinones, Pharm.D., CDE, is a clinical pharmacy specialist in ambulatory care at Parkland in Dallas, Texas. She works at Southeast Dallas Health Center, which is one of Parkland’s Community-Oriented Primary Care Clinics. Dr. Quinones received her B.S. degree from Texas State University in May 2000 and her Pharm.D. degree from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy (TTUHSC SOP) in May 2004. She then completed both an American Society of Health-System Pharmacists–accredited pharmacy practice and ambulatory care specialty residency with the Veterans Affairs North Texas Medical Center and TTUHSC SOP in Dallas, Texas, from 2004 to 2006.

Dr. Quinones primarily works with indigent patients of Dallas County. She provides drug therapy management services, evaluates medication nonadherence, and assesses for polypharmacy in patients with diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, anticoagulation therapy, and heart failure by a collaborative practice agreement. Dr. Quinones has prescriptive authority in Texas as part of her collaborative practice agreement. Dr. Quinones is a Certified Diabetes Educator who serves as a diabetes instructor and assists with the coordination of the Parkland’s American Diabetes Association educational program, which was recognized as the Diabetes Site of the Year in 2011. She serves on Parkland’s Diabetes Advisory Council and was named as the Diabetes Educator of the year in 2011.

In addition to her direct patient care responsibilities, Dr. Quinones provides mentorship and clinical experiences to the Parkland pharmacy practice and ambulatory care pharmacy specialty residents. She is an adjunct faculty at TTUHSC SOP and preceptor-faculty for the University of Texas College of Pharmacy, where she precepts clerkship students. Dr. Quinones actively participates in various administrative duties within the pharmacy department to improve patient care in a cost-effective manner. She performs drug use evaluations, non-formulary medication reviews, drug information consults, and in-services to various disciplines. Her research focus is the impact of clinical pharmacy services on patient outcomes and cost avoidance.

Dr. Quinones believes that leadership is an important part of the clinical pharmacist’s role. She is an active member of ACCP and the Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists. She has served as the chair for the Ambulatory Care and Endocrine and Metabolism PRNs of ACCP. Dr. Quinones has also served as the president and secretary for the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) local chapter of the ACCP. Dr. Quinones has presented various posters at ACCP highlighting the work of the Endocrine and Ambulatory Care PRNs. She recently presented a collaborative research project highlighting the impact of clinical pharmacy services on diabetic outcomes and cost avoidance at Parkland at the 2012 ACCP Annual Meeting in Hollywood, Florida.

Dr. Quinones was introduced to clinical pharmacy services while on rotations as a third-year pharmacy student at TTUHSC SOP. She worked with Dr. Krystal Edwards, who provided services to indigent patients with diabetes, many of whom were Spanish speaking or had comorbidities. She recalls a particular Spanish-speaking patient who required insulin adjustments and was having major health problems when he presented at his initial visit for diabetes management. Dr. Edwards assigned this patient to her, and each week, the patient was contacted by telephone to review his glucose levels, answer questions, and make recommendations under the faculty’s supervision. The improvements the patient made with the clinical pharmacist were amazing as the rotation progressed. Through this rotation, she became interested in learning more about clinical pharmacy as a career. She learned clinical pharmacists are instrumental as part of the health care team. This experience taught her the value of a clinical pharmacist in improving the health of patients. During her fourth year, she decided to pursue a pharmacy practice residency, which is when she realized she enjoyed ambulatory care pharmacy. This, in turn, led her to pursue an ambulatory care specialty residency. She is thankful for her mentors and the experiences she has encountered, having made her the practitioner she is today.

To this day, she continues to spend most of her time at her practice site, educating patients and managing their medical conditions. She is passionate about serving and educating patients. Many patients do not know about their disease and the importance of medication adherence. Dr. Quinones believes that being passionate about patient care is an important part of being a clinical pharmacist because   they are an integral part of the care patients receive. She enjoys helping patients because many need health care services, given that they are unable to read or write or are nonadherent because of various social and economical barriers. Several patients cannot afford their medications and sometimes do not have enough money to eat healthy. Dr. Quinones is able to work one-on-one with all of her patients, tailoring the education according to their needs. Her mission is to improve the health of her patients by ensuring their adherence to medications and gradual modifications in lifestyle, together with providing the education they need to make better choices. Dr. Quinones has an interest in health literacy and has provided various educational programs about the importance of better communication with patients having limited health literacy. She emphasizes the importance of learning to communicate effectively with patients.

Dr. Quinones enjoys the networking and educational opportunities ACCP provides. She believes leadership is an important part of her success. Being an active member of ACCP has been rewarding. She attends the ACCP Annual Meeting every year. She has met various members throughout the United States, and ACCP has been instrumental in her growth as a practitioner. Through the years, she has encouraged students and residents to become part of ACCP and has helped move the organization and the role of clinical pharmacists forward. She believes that being active in professional pharmacy organizations and giving back to the pharmacy profession is an integral part of her role as a clinical pharmacy specialist.

Through the years, she has learned the importance of finding a work-life balance as a clinical pharmacist. She focuses on teaching her residents and students the importance of family, work, and personal life and how to balance all the demands the clinical pharmacist will face. Most people cannot believe how well she is able to balance her home life with her work life—something she has worked on for many years. She believes that everyone should have some time to reflect on himself or herself, make time in the day to do something enjoyable, and recognize that family time is important.

Dr. Quinones enjoys traveling, taking pictures, working out, and spending quality time with her family. She likes the outdoors, camping, and trips to South Padre Island, Texas, which is her favorite beach. She has a very supportive husband and two beautiful children who keep her busy. An active member of the Weight Watchers program since 2011, she lost more than 60 pounds. Through this experience, she learned new ways to cook and prepare balanced, nutritional meals for her family. She enjoys finding ways to keep her kids interested in healthy eating habits.