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VOL. 129 | NO. 116 | Monday, June 16, 2014

Good Medicine for the Soul

By Dr. Mary C. McDonald

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Dr. Mary C. McDonald

It was one of those medication one-upmanships at a recent meeting when some attendees were discussing the number of medications they were taking to address a plethora of medical conditions.

Needed as the medications were, it seemed like a lot of information, side effects and drug interactions to manage, not to mention vitamins, herbal remedies and over-the-counter medicine. Seeing different specialists for different conditions and inconsistent communication seems to be a growing concern, a gap in patient care, particularly for those who do not have the knowledge or resources to manage their medication.

This concern has given rise to the founding of Good Shepherd Medication Management, a Christian nonprofit ministry founded by two pharmacists, Philip Baker and Ann Aukerman, who have 38 years of combined experience and the hearts for serving others.

Good Shepherd Medication Management is a way for the pharmacists to give back for the blessings received by using their time and talent to serve others by reviewing prescriptions and other over-the-counter medications for anyone who needs help in managing their medications, free of charge. Baker, a fulltime pharmacist with a family, even took a second job to fund the ministry.

“We get involved in our patients’ lives; we usually speak to each patient at least once a month. They trust us. I’ve walked with patients through their breast cancer, the loss of a parent, the loss of a child. In those times of brokenness, the relationship is not about medicine, but about being able to offer the patient the hope that is the gospel of Jesus Christ, the only prescription that brings peace.”

Some of the patients are senior citizens who are grateful for the information and guidance in managing and understanding the proper use of their medications and non-prescription remedies, and their interactions and side effects. Many patients are on fixed incomes or living in poverty, where money needed for medication is often an issue. This is the force behind Good Shepherd’s latest expansion.

Good Shepherd just announced plans to open an independently funded charitable pharmacy in Memphis to dispense prescriptions to low-income, uninsured patients for free. This is being made possible through a partnership with the Dispensary of Hope, which will provide a majority of needed prescription medications.

Donor support will be needed to fill the gap in order to purchase the needed medications, and every dollar donated will purchase $10 worth of needed medicine. This new Good Shepherd Pharmacy will also be a training site for future pharmacists through a partnership with Union University School of Pharmacy.

Life could be a lot easier, a lot less complicated for Philip Baker and Ann Aukerman if they had only given this Good Shepherd (goodshepherdmm.com) ministry idea a passing thought or a “someday when I’m older” nod.

But instead, they chose to live out a passion to serve others through a ministry that welcomes all people. Good Shepherd is social entrepreneurship at its finest, building a legacy of hope.

Contact Dr. Mary C. McDonald, a National Education Consultant, at 574-2956 or visit mcd-partners.com.

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