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Kelly Goode has been named among the most influential women in pharmacy. (SoP News photo)

SoP’s Jean-Venable “Kelly” Goode recognized as one of the nation’s top women in pharmacy 

By Leah Small

Jean-Venable “Kelly” Goode, Pharm.D., had been working for months with a patient who was fighting to control his diabetes while experiencing homelessness. After a frightening pattern of life-threateningly high levels of blood sugar, he was finally on track. 

Thanks to Goode and other clinicians at Daily Planet Health Services, a nonprofit health care provider for the homeless in Richmond, the patient received the education and clinical tools necessary to succeed.

“He had an A1C [blood test reading] down to 7.5; he’d never had a number that low as long as we’d been taking care of him,” Goode said. “Just to see the smile on his face and where he is at, and just how excited he was to see that achievement, makes it all worthwhile.”

Goode, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy as well as a community-based pharmacist practitioner at the Daily Planet, and her colleague, Lisa Price Stevens, M.D., the organization’s former medical director, implemented Project IMPACT: Diabetes in 2011. When people who are homeless have diabetes, they often suffer from more advanced stages of the disease because they have difficulty storing insulin and other medications and adhering to a care regimen.

Goode — who holds both a B.S. and a doctorate in pharmacy from VCU — aims to not only treat diabetes but to teach patients how to manage the disease and make informed decisions about their own care. “We give them the tools and facilitate and can offer support, encouragement or guidance, but it’s the patient that’s doing all the hard work,” Goode said. 

In honor of her far-reaching impact on the pharmacy profession, Goode recently was recognized as one of the top 10 influential women in pharmacy nationally by the American Pharmacists Association. Goode has been added to the Women in Pharmacy Exhibit at the APhA headquarters — where a first cohort of women were honored in 2012 for many firsts in pharmacy. 

When she starts an initiative, it is often new and unique. And you know it is going to get done.

— Anne Burns, American Pharmacists Association

Anne Burns, R.Ph., vice president of professional affairs at the American Pharmacists Association, describes Goode as an agent of change, a mentor and an innovator. 

“She’s dedicated, inspirational and has a real can-do attitude,” Burns said. “When she starts an initiative, it is often new and unique. And you know it is going to get done.”

Goode values the one-on-one impact she makes as a community-based pharmacist in practice. Working as part of a treatment team, she oversees vaccine administration, patient education, disease prevention and testing across a wide range of diseases, and medication adherence and adjustment. 

“When you’re serving in the community, you have the opportunity to be impactful at the patient level,” she says. “Then at a broader level, you offer services such as vaccinations, that impacts larger numbers of people.”

Goode understands the positive change the practice of pharmacy can make on society. As professor and director of the Community-Based Pharmacy Residency Program at the VCU School of Pharmacy for nearly 20 years, she trains early-career pharmacists to fill multifaceted roles that utilize the range of their pharmaceutical training. Increasing demands on physicians and other prescribers calls for pharmacists to be extensively involved in patient care, beyond clinical decisions related to the dispensation of medication. 

“We can help with preventative care, such as immunizations and making sure patients have had their colonoscopy and other screenings,” Goode says. “We follow up on those health quality measures when the prescriber has a limited amount of time to take care of the patient.”

Goode is also a national leader in advancing the profession and its education standards. As a current member of the Commission on Credentialing of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, representing residency programs nationally, she worked to ensure that residency education standards were applicable to the community-based pharmacy practice setting. As a recent past president of both the APhA and the Virginia Pharmacists Association, among other leadership roles, Goode has been an ardent advocate for state and national legislation that enables pharmacists to practice at the top of their skillset. 

Her scholarship reflects a modern approach to her profession. As a listed author of more than 70 publications including a book on case studies in community pharmacy, Goode researches timely issues within the community pharmacy setting, such as the accessibility of naloxone, CBD use and COVID-19 diagnostic testing.

Most recently, Goode has worked on the frontlines of the pandemic, partnering with Patricia Cook, M.D., medical director of The Daily Planet, to lead efforts to vaccinate Richmond’s homeless population. She helped lead efforts at VCU and VCU Health to expand the pool of health students and professionals trained to vaccinate the wider community

Seeing the increased need for pharmacists during the pandemic for testing, vaccinations and more has bolstered Goode’s legislative advocacy. Community pharmacists had practiced at this level before the pandemic, but pharmacists need laws that support their extensive participation in patient care, Goode said.

“Being able to showcase that pharmacists have already been doing this and it is safe and the care that’s provided is really good, has helped give us some leverage, which may be one of the good things about the pandemic,” she said.

One of Goode’s most lasting contributions as a VCU faculty member has been building relationships in the community that allow students at the VCU School of Pharmacy and residents in the community-based pharmacy residency program to access patient care settings. In her role at the Daily Planet, and with over 10 years of developing patient care programs at pharmacies within Richmond’s former top grocery chain, Ukrop’s Super Markets, she ensured that students and residents received clinical experience from both providers. Under the leadership of Goode and colleague Dennis Stanley, R.Ph., Ukrop’s pharmacies became the first in Virginia to administer vaccinations in the late 1990s, starting with influenza vaccines and expanding to pre-travel health vaccines.

Alexis Page, Pharm.D., a recent resident in the community-based pharmacy residency program, said Goode made her realize that community-based pharmacy was the ideal career path for her. 

“To many students, community pharmacy is ‘retail,’ just as it was to me only a year ago,” Page said. “Community pharmacy to me now is a breadth of patient services just waiting to be unlocked. … I see community pharmacists in other states prescribing, conducting point-of-care testing, and coming up with creative solutions, and I think, ‘Why not Virginia? Why not Kroger?’”

Goode’s pioneering work could help make Page’s dream possible, and looking forward is essential for the practice of pharmacy to continue to meet patient needs in a changing world, Goode said. 

“You have to be able to practice for today, but you also need to be able to problem solve, critically think and be part of a team for the future,” Goode says. “What I do today might be different than what I do tomorrow.”

Categories Community health, Faculty and staff news, Faculty news, Pharmacy profession
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