In recent years, after completing a community needs analysis and the changing healthcare landscape, Gerould’s Professional Pharmacy, Inc. introduced a Respiratory Service Division, Home Modification Services, and a Community Outreach Services program that are seeing a positive impact on those they serve. Recognizing the prevalence of mental and behavioral health disorders and wanting to better understand their patients’ needs, Gerould’s also implemented behavioral health assessments such as the PHQ2, PHQ9, and COPD Zone.
As the execution of the assessments began, Gerould’s worked to identify services in the community that would benefit their patients. “The information we have gathered has helped us to connect patients to mental and behavioral health professionals for better overall outcomes,” says Cheryl Henninger, Director of Community Cares Health Solutions at Gerould’s.
When creating their Chronic Respiratory Program, Gerould’s recognized that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are commonly diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Studies indicate that approximately two-thirds of COPD patients with depression have moderate-to-severe depression. It also reported that approximately one-fourth of COPD patients had unrecognized subclinical depression.
“We knew when we initiated our Chronic Respiratory Program that mental and behavioral health issues affect most of these patients and the severity increase as their clinical disease progresses,” Henninger explains. “We have now established a chronic respiratory network that includes a mental health provider that is part of our case conferencing and monthly network process meetings. This is a value add that improves our holistic approach to care for improved outcomes.”
Ann Rathbun, a patient of Gerould’s Chronic Respiratory Program, attests to these improved behavioral and mental health outcomes. “When I started, I was at the point where I didn’t care if I lived or died,” she says. After working with Gerould’s Respiratory Therapist, Health Hadlock for a year, Rathbun’s health has improved in leaps and bounds. “I am doing so much better,” Rathbun says. “She gives me the encouragement that I need.” Thanks to her work with Gerould’s, Rathbun has moved from using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to a non-invasive ventilator. Rathbun is also seeing a nutritionist and has gone from being bedridden to going out into her community, even walking without her walker when she can.
Of course, none of this happened overnight. It took time not only for Rathbun’s health to begin to improve but for her to believe in the program. “It took Heather a few months to get me so I trusted the program,” says Rathbun. “Once I trusted her and the program – they have done wonders for me.”
Gerould’s is a third-generation family owned pharmacy, medical equipment, and home clinical services provider that has been caring for the community for over 98 years. Gerould’s believes in growing beyond the traditional understanding of what a pharmacy provides and continually serves their community in innovative ways. Currently operating five locations throughout Chemung and Steuben counties, Gerould’s also provides services to all residents residing within Care Compass Network’s 9-county region.