• Stephanie McGrath

"These are my patients and I care about them deeply"



The Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association (PPA) has teamed up with the Pharmacy Podcast Network (PPN) to deliver a series of podcasts focused on community pharmacy practice transformation. Launched in April 2020, “Beyond the Sig” spotlights pharmacy industry leaders, pharmacy owners, academia, student pharmacists and other healthcare professionals from Pennsylvania and beyond to share innovative approaches to pharmacy care, best practices, and ways to engage listeners.

In light of the opioid progression of Flip the Pharmacy, “Beyond the Sig” has featured one of the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Care Network’s (PPCN) very own: Alex Lavella, PharmD from Hilltop Pharmacy, a Flip the Pharmacy site in Pittsburgh, PA. In the episode, Stephanie McGrath, PharmD, Executive Director of PPCN, chats with Alex about how Hilltop Pharmacy remains a judgment-free haven at the center of its underserved community in the midst of an opioid crisis. From deactivation systems to naloxone training, the pharmacy team connects their patients to the opioid crisis patient services they need and understands their obligation to take a stand in the fight against opioid misuse and abuse.

“Being able to look and see these patients grow and beat their addiction is awesome for us,” Alex reflects. “It may not be huge wins- it may be just them getting a job or making it even to work on time. But little things like that can make a huge difference in somebody’s life.”

Check out the episode here: From the Front Line of the Opioid Pandemic | Beyond the Sig 09.


Written by Brooke Kulusich, PharmD Candidate 2022, University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy

Photo: Alex Lavella, PharmD, Trevor White, Certified Pharmacy Technician, Hilltop Pharmacy

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