I am NCPA
Bianca Bradshaw, PharmD
PHARMACY: Elmore Pharmacy, Red Bluff, Calif.
EDUCATION: PharmD, University of the Pacific, 2004
PERSONAL: Married to Scott Prinz. "I'm married with a lot of four-legged children." (She lives on a farm.)
PHARMACY ALL THE WAY: Bianca says she wanted to be a pharmacist by the time she was 5 years old. She had no family members who were in pharmacy but had an uncle who was a veterinarian and explained to her what pharmacists did. "I thought it made sense. I remember when I was in kindergarten, I was washing my hands in the sink and saying, 'I'm going to be a pharmacist when I grow up.' I went through the UOP pre-pharmacist program because it was the fastest and I wanted to get on my way to being a pharmacist."
COLLECTOR'S ITEMS: In 1906 R.H. Elmore purchased the lot at 401 Walnut St. and constructed the pharmacy that exists today. Bianca bought the business in 2014. She keeps antique pharmacy items and documents on display in the store. "Patients bring stuff in all of the time. I don't consider the items mine; it belongs to the community. As long as I own the pharmacy they'll be on display for everybody to enjoy. It's just something that I love." Bianca also won a 2020 NCPA NICE Award for Best Exterior Sign.
MAKING LIVES BETTER: "The thing I love about pharmacy, and I can't get enough of it, is that every day we have the opportunity to make somebody's life better. It could be a hug or a smile, just listening to them, or actually providing medical care. As an independent pharmacist those opportunities are in front of you, and all you have to do is grab them."
FUNCTIONALITY IN CARE: Bianca says she has been getting involved in functional medicine as an added service for patients. She has found natural medicines may sometimes provide the answers. "It's more of a nutrition and short-term nutrient depletion focus. And that's something I can do on almost every consultation. If the patient is interested, I can take the time to talk to them about things that I don't need a prescription for to help them – or maybe in combination with a prescription."
SEEING RESULTS: Bianca started in a functional medicine program in 2019 as it was becoming more popular with other pharmacists and has incorporated it into her practice since 2021. And she has seen results. Bianca recalls one patient who was on a heavy regimen of pain medication. She put him on a combination of anti-inflammatory herbal products, changed some of his diet, and did some liver detox to help get some of the "hard living" out of his system. Bianca says that after several months, the patient said he was no longer waking up in excruciating pain every morning. "I'm having patients call me up and say, 'My hands don't hurt.' I was like wow, this is huge!"
EXPANDING SERVICES: Along with functional medicine, Bianca is looking into other enhanced patient care opportunities. She's working with a company that sets up physician-pharmacist collaborative practice agreements with pharmacists to allow her to treat simple conditions that don't require tying up the doctor's time for an initial consultation. "I think it's going to make a very positive difference for the patients in my community and hopefully my business as well." Bianca is also expanding into point-of-care testing. Her next big goal is to open a wellness practice separate from her pharmacy. She sees it as a higher level of functional medicine consultation. "The idea is to be able to sit down with these patients and delve into some of the bigger issues and see what we can do to really get their health on track." Bianca is cautiously optimistic that she can launch this venture within the next year.
GOOD PEOPLE: Bianca recently brought aboard a second full-time pharmacist. She has three long-time technicians who she describes as "amazingly phenomenal," and has hired a fourth technician. She describes her husband's title as human resources, which primarily consists of doing coffee and donut runs. "The shout-out that I like to give is to my entire support crew. If I didn't have the support that I have, I wouldn't be able to give what I give to the community. My husband supports me 200 percent. He will pack Santa up and down the stairs so the vintage 1950s Santa can make his showing every year. It's not a small task to be married to or be a parent of a pharmacy owner, at least in my world."
NCPA'S VALUE TO ME: "What I love about NCPA is that I have an advocate that I can call when I have questions, when I'm uncertain if I'm interpreting something that's happening in our organizations and in our profession. If I hit a wall and I say I don't understand what's going on here, I've always had such helpful people on the other line saying, 'You're not alone, we're here to help and support you.'"