“#IAmAProviderBecause I work for the VA system and I believe that veterans deserve the best care possible and part of the best care is having a collaborative provider network including physicians and pharmacists that can promote the best healthcare.
I helped create the clinical pharmacy specialist position in epilepsy at West LA VA, and the VA Epilepsy Center of Excellence was actually created through a grant in 2008. That's what I mean when I say the VA is a leader, because they recognized that epilepsy is an epidemic in returning war veterans from the traumatic brain injury that they receive, and so they knew that we needed to face this epidemic head on. They prepared their centers to receive these incoming epilepsy patients and had the foresight to realize that a whole team is needed. Epilepsy, in general, is very team-oriented so if you ever look at the national agency for accrediting epilepsy centers, they will list personnel and services that they think are required for the best epilepsy management and the availability of a pharmacist with expertise in epilepsy is part of their criteria for being a level 3 or level 4 specialized epilepsy center. If CPhA is looking for leaders to lead this movement, I think that VA pharmacists have been in this arena for a long time and have done a lot of great things.”
Dr. Viet Nguyen was a clinical pharmacy specialist in neurology at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and is an assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Chapman University School of Pharmacy. She graduated from USC in 2003, UCSF pharmacy school in 2007, and completed her PGY1, PGY2, and PGY3 residencies at the VA.