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Owners of MedsPLUS Consulting Bring Personal Touch to Pharmacy Services

Drs. Pauline Long, left, and Jennifer Campbell, co-owners of MedsPLUS Consulting Pharmacy & Wellness Center, inside their downtown Birmingham offices. (Amarr Croskey, For the Birmingham Times)

By Chanda Temple | Special to The Birmingham Times

Jennifer Campbell and Pauline K. Long, co-owners of MedsPLUS Consulting Pharmacy & Wellness Center in downtown Birmingham, are far more than doctors in pharmacy who dispense medications to patients in the metro area.

Their personalized approach to pharmacy services, including medication management, consultations, and even in-home or office deliveries, help to prolong and save lives in Birmingham.

They put a high level of attention to make sure patients correctly take prescribed medicine, are up to date on their vaccines, and understand why they are taking their medication.

For example, Campbell recently met a woman at a community health screening event and became concerned about the woman’s blood pressure being high even though the woman was on blood pressure medicine.

After the woman switched to MedsPLUS Pharmacy, Campbell discovered that the woman had been taking one medication incorrectly, which caused significant side effects. Campbell worked to ensure that the woman took the right medication at the right times through a MedsPLUS initiative known as the “Blister Pack,’’ which is an easy way for pharmacists to organize medicines for clients.

Campbell’s close attention yielded positive results for the woman.

“She said she felt better, and her blood pressure was improved,’ Campbell said. “We do pharmacy different.  We are focused on changing health outcomes for our patients to live a better quality of life by providing a better access to care.’’

Dr. Jennifer Campbell, co-owner of MedsPLUS Consulting Pharmacy & Wellness Center, inside the group’s downtown Birmingham offices. (Amarr Croskey. For The Birmingham Times)

That care goes beyond adjusting medications. MedsPLUS will be part of more than 30 community partners scheduled to participate in the Third Annual Mental Health Awareness Day planned for July in Linn Park. The event will feature speakers, mental health resources, line dancing, food trucks and more.

What Campbell and Long hope attendees will gain from them is how a pharmacist can be an ally when it comes to mental health awareness. The pharmacists will do blood pressure checks and explain pharmacogenomics, which is how one’s DNA responds with the different classes of medication, including mental health medication for depression and anxiety.

“You may start with a therapist, but you may end up on medication. With that, the pharmacist can advise on proper medication use, dosage timing and when to expect full benefit from the medication,’’ Long said.

A lot of times, a patient may focus on the relationship with their doctor or therapist. But it’s just as important to build a relationship with one’s pharmacist, Campbell said.

“We really are trying to create a sustainable model so that this can go further than just MedsPLUS,’’ she said.

Health Care Team

Dr. Pauline Long, co-owner of MedsPLUS Consulting Pharmacy & Wellness Center. (Amarr Croskey, For The Birmingham Times)

Campbell and Long have served the community long enough to know how medications can pile up over time in the home and cause errors and confuse people.

Many, especially those managing multiple medications and chronic conditions, often identify pills based on color rather than the name. For instance, if someone is accustomed to taking a white pill for high blood pressure, they will likely continue to do so. However, if the manufacturer changes the color of that high blood pressure pill to blue, the patient might not notice the change and mistakenly take both the white pill and the blue pill for high blood pressure which can lead to confusion and medication errors, particularly among older patients or those managing complex medication regimens.

“We teach our patients that we are a member of (their) health care team, as well. This is not just a transaction,’’ Campbell said. “So, if you are having an issue, we can help you navigate, whether it’s through a referral’’ or something else.

Long recently helped a patient navigate the health care system after the patient had been discharged from the hospital. She helped the patient find a new independent living space and coached him to take medication correctly with the Blister Pack.

People are at the core of what MedsPLUS does, and the company recently hired three community health workers to work with patients as a referral source to social services.

“When you are physically in the community and you see the needs that people have, many don’t realize there are resources to help.  So, we are trying to  ‘close that gap’ and make connections,”  Campbell said.

Dr. Pauline Long shows how MedsPLUS Consulting helps clients organize medicines. (Amarr Croskey, For The Birmingham Times)

Central To The Community

Campbell and Long have more than a combined four decades of community experience. Both graduated from Samford University’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy with a doctor in pharmacy degree. They started MedsPLUS in 2018 after they recognized a need for more personalized, comprehensive care, particularly in minority communities that have been historically marginalized and underserved. They moved to downtown Birmingham in 2022 after working remotely.

“We were strategic in selecting the Birmingham downtown location so we can be central to the communities we serve,” said Campbell. “We want patients to know that you don’t have to go to a pharmacy, stand in line, feel like a transaction and not be comfortable talking to the pharmacist because they are extremely busy.”

MedsPLUS also offers diabetes education and counsels patients on their chronic conditions to change lifestyles.

Currently, Campbell and Long teach a free Type 2 diabetes class, which meets every two weeks, at the Five Points West Library. The next full session, which will consist of five classes over 10 weeks, will start in mid-July at the Titusville Library. The deadline to register for the July session is Friday, June 28. Participants must have Type 2 diabetes. To register, call 205-650-4636.

MedsPLUS is located on the eighth floor of the New South Federal building at 215
Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. They are open Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Their
website: www.medsplusconsulting.com | Email: info@medsplusconsulting.com  |
Phone: 205-650-4636

Chanda Temple is Senior Project Manager for the Mayor’s Office, City of Birmingham.

Drs. Pauline Long, left, and Jennifer Campbell, co-owners of MedsPLUS Consulting Pharmacy & Wellness Center, inside their downtown Birmingham offices. (Amarr Croskey, For The Birmingham Times)