The Ohio Pharmacists Association (OPA) announced today that Michael Rush, R.Ph., PharmD, BCACP, CTTS, CDE of Ada, Ohio was honored as a distinguished UNDER 40 award recipient for professional achievements and vision in the practice of pharmacy at its 140th Annual Conference held April 20-22, 2018 in Columbus. This award recognizes the professional achievements of young pharmacists, and advances them in the ranks of top-notch professionals from a variety of careers who have earned UNDER 40 recognition.
“Mike is a leader, innovator, clinician, administrator, and educator. His vision for Ohio Northern University’s (ONU) HealthWise has created a multi-professional practice in which pharmacists practice at the top of their license. He has created an outstanding residency program, and fosters the development of future pharmacists through teaching, mentoring, precepting, and directing. In his young career, Mike has made a tremendous impact on the community around him” quoted from his nomination.
Mike is the director at ONU’s HealthWise, and assisted in establishing the student and employee wellness program, a dispensing pharmacy, and a rural mobile health clinic serving Hardin County. He earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree at Ohio Northern University. As an OPA member, he serves on the faculty of the Medication Therapy Management (MTM) Pharmacist Training Programs and on the MTM Committee. He has also served on the Public and Professional Committee. Mike is a Certified Diabetes Educator, a Board Certified Ambulatory Care Pharmacist, and a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist. He completed residency training at Physicians Inc., one of the first pharmacist/physician collaborative practice sites in Ohio. As director of clinical pharmacy and residency program director at Physicians Inc., Mike oversaw pharmacists who were responsible for providing patient care in the areas of anticoagulation, hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, heart failure, tobacco cessation, weight management, thyroid disease, peripheral artery disease and medication reconciliation. The Physicians Inc. model proved to be an efficient and effective means of incorporating pharmacists into collaborative practices and has been since duplicated by many other sites.
In 2010, Mike established ONU HealthWise, which has grown in services to include a community pharmacy, collaborative family medicine clinic, an employee and student wellness program and clinic, a drug and health information center, student outreach services, contracted health services for area employers and a rural mobile health clinic serving the underserved in Hardin County, Ohio. Additionally, the ONU HealthWise program plans to open a Clinical Pharmacy Services call center in the near future. At the center of their services is an employee wellness clinic, which features an interdisciplinary team of pharmacists, nurses, medical laboratory technicians and exercise physiologists. Participation in the employee wellness program is strong with approximately 80% of employees actively engaged in the program. During the 2016-17 academic year, health professionals in the ONU HealthWise wellness clinic provided approximately 700 preventive health appointments, 537 vaccinations to employees, and identified nearly 200 medical conditions that were either undiagnosed or untreated.
Another innovative practice site that Mike helped establish is a rural, mobile health clinic servicing Hardin County. Some Hardin County citizens are required to drive more than 30 miles to adjacent counties to access health care services. Nearly half of adult county residents do not own a car. The county is a federally designated healthcare professional shortage area, and many areas are considered medically underserved. Through a grant from the United States Health Resources and Services Administration, the ONU HealthWise mobile clinic provides primary care services to the medically underserved. Patient care is provided in several locations throughout the county through the use of a 38-foot mobile care center. In 2016, pharmacists in the mobile clinic provided approximately more than 400 patient care appointments, including vaccinations, and identified more than 150 medical conditions requiring intervention.
Mike has supported experiential and postgraduate training for the development of pharmacy clinicians. At Physicians Inc., he served as the residency program director for the pharmacy practice residency, and as faculty for ONU and adjunct faculty for the University of Toledo. He also served as a preceptor to three other residency programs offering rotations in ambulatory care and drug information. He served as a preceptor to student volunteers, introductory and advanced student pharmacist experiences, and as an advisor to ONU’s American Pharmacist Association student chapter Operation Immunization.
Mike currently serves as the Founder and Planning Committee Chair for the Ohio Pharmacy Residency Conference (OPRC), a regional residency conference that offers pharmacy residents in Ohio and surrounding areas the opportunity to present their research in a peer-reviewed symposium. He has been inducted into the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, and received the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Excellence in Innovation Award, the American Pharmacy Association Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management Presentation Merit Award, the Innovative Practice Report, and the Ohio Northern University Preceptor of the Year.
Mike is an active member of his community and has helped raise money for families who are dealing with financial burdens associated with childhood cancer.
Mike’s response when asked Why belong to OPA? “In many ways OPA serves as the voice of pharmacists in Ohio through legislation, education and professional networking. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to serve on a variety of committees at OPA, most recently the medication therapy management committee and the Ohio MTM consortium, which I firmly believe play a critical role in actively shaping the practice of our profession in Ohio. It is inspiring to see the work the MTM committee has had (and continues to have) on the development of consult agreement law and the advancement of pharmacists as providers of care in our state. Without organizations like OPA and OSHP I, as a single pharmacist, would not have the ability to share my thoughts and opinions and make such a meaningful impact on the laws that govern the practice of pharmacy.
In addition to the advocacy aspect of OPA, I find the educational programing the association offers to be valuable. I’ve attended several worthwhile workshops and certificate courses at the main office that directly relate to my practice. I also regularly attend the annual meeting for the CE programming as well as the opportunity to present the results of our current research and to hear what other pharmacists in our state are doing as well. Perhaps this networking aspect of membership is what I find most valuable. Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many amazing pharmacists from all over the state that I otherwise might not have met. These connections have helped me develop a strong professional network of colleagues from various areas of pharmacy practice.”
Kroger Pharmacy has exclusively sponsored the OPA UNDER 40 Recognition Program.