ACP Names Perkins as New Fellow

OAKWOOD, VA (JANUARY 12, 2021) –  Appalachian College of Pharmacy (ACP) Alumna, Dr. Crystal Perkins, has been named ACP’s new Fellow.

Perkins, a native of Honaker, Va., who graduated with her doctor of pharmacy degree from ACP in 2019, will focus her pharmacy practice and research activities on implementing Chronic Care Management initiatives in Buchanan County and expanding the Transitions of Care program between ACP’s Mountain Care Center and Buchanan General Hospital.

Perkins’ past work with the hospital and surrounding pharmacies will help propel both initiatives forward, according to ACP Dean Susan Mayhew.

“We welcome Dr. Perkins to our staff,” Mayhew said. “She will be based out of the shared office space in McGlothlin Hall and at the Mountain Care Center (MCC).  I am excited to have her join our team.”

Perkins said she is looking forward to the coming year and her work as ACP’s Fellow and the research and collaborative opportunities it affords in chronic care management, especially in the areas of diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol issues.

“Since 2017, pharmacists have been able to work in conjunction with doctors’ offices to integrate patient care as a team,” Perkins said. 

In collaboration with a patient’s doctors, Perkins said pharmacists are able to work with patients directly to help them manage their chronic conditions, with the goal being to prevent their conditions from worsening, thereby preventing them from a hospital admission to properly treat their condition.

“The way it works is a doctor brings a pharmacist in for a consult,” Perkins explained. “By sharing a patient’s condition metrics, i.e. blood sugar levels, blood pressures, etc., we are able to connect in real time to manage a patient’s care.”

A key to that success is found in the telehealth opportunities available now, Perkins said, adding that the increased use of telehealth services through the COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated that value in managing care. She predicted that telehealth services are likely here to stay. 

Perkins said she looks forward to rolling out the chronic care management between the Mountain Care Center and BGH. The program will tie chronic care management initiatives together and additionally, will allow third year pharmacy students to work with chronic care patients at the Mountain Care Center, utilizing the center as a rotation site.

Another research project in which Perkins is currently involved is in tracking and collating information on side effects from the COVID-19 vaccination. An anonymous survey has been set up to gather input from ACP faculty, staff and students on their experiences.

“We hope to use the information gathered to educate the public and to help alleviate some of the fears around the vaccine,” Perkins said. “In turn, we hope it will increase the amount of people willing to get vaccinated.”

Perkins is a graduate of Honaker High School and went to Southwest Virginia Community College before transferring to ACP to pursue her doctor of pharmacy degree.

She is married to Jessie Perkins and has one son, Elijah Ray, age 13. She is the daughter of Carl Maxfield of Honaker and the late Carol Maxfield.

After graduating from ACP in 2019, Perkins went to work at Buchanan General Hospital as a staff pharmacist where she continued to work until recently when she accepted the position at ACP. She also works as needed for Food City Pharmacy and two other independent pharmacies in Lebanon and Claypool Hill.

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