Today, we thank Jason Wentzell and his team at Extend Pharmacy in Ottawa, Ontario.
As an Oncology pharmacist, Jason and his oncology specialty pharmacy team don’t just see their job as caring for patients, “this is about more than the patient, this is about helping everyone involved in the patient’s circle of cancer care.”
Extend Pharmacy has worked to evolve their offering by looking for new ways to serve people living with cancer and their families.
“Our vision is to help improve the cancer medication experience for lives affected by cancer.”
Recognizing there was a disconnect between primary care and hospital specialty practitioners when it came to accessible and timely cancer care expertise in the community, they set out to shape their practice to help close this gap. “Our vision is to help improve the cancer medication experience for lives affected by cancer,” he says. One of the many ways they bring this practice to life is through personal education and the support channels they established for family members and healthcare professionals who are helping people battling cancer.
A unique cancer care pharmacy
Jason and his team recognize an important cancer treatment paradigm shift that is resulting in more patients receiving take-home cancer drugs to treat their cancer at home, compared to receiving traditional intravenous chemotherapy in cancer centres. “Patients and their loved ones are increasingly tasked with safely taking their oral cancer and supportive care medications and managing potential side effects at home. Our experienced team has an in-depth understanding of cancer medication therapeutics and toxicity management, and we are just a visit or a phone call away to offer help and guidance,” he says. Since 2019, right before the COVID-19 pandemic changed the face of health care, the team at Extend have been offering a variety of services to cancer patients dealing with take home medications and oral chemotherapy. Their unique approach doesn’t end there. On top of dispensing prescriptions, they also provide individualised treatment monitoring programs and private on-site or virtual consultation for patients and family members to meet with the Extend team where they will answer questions, discuss medication, monitor their progress and liaise with the interdisciplinary cancer care team as needed.
For those unable to meet with the team in person due to COVID-19 restrictions or distance, Extend has built a patient-facing, symptom-monitoring virtual care program tailored to the patient’s type of cancer, their medication, and their health interests and goals. The web based portal allows patients to report symptoms based on their medications that are then monitored by the Extend team who can offer real time solutions to help alleviate those symptoms. They provide a medication delivery service for all interested patients under their care.
Improving oncology patient support through inter-pharmacy collaboration
From patients to their families and fellow pharmacists, Jason and the team at Extend Pharmacy continue to go above and beyond in their effort to create a more seamless process for patients, and a more meaningful impact on drug interactions for oral anti-cancer medication.
“We are building a network to support the educational and therapeutic needs of community pharmacists and enhance the role they play helping cancer patients.”
Jason and the team welcome the opportunity to collaborate with other pharmacists in the community to reach more patients, share specialized advice and expertise, and provide overall clinical support. For this purpose, the Extend Pharmacy team created a collaborative community of pharmacists who serve cancer patients. If you wish to learn more or get to know and connect with the Extend Pharmacy team, click here.
Jason’s story is just one example of how pharmacists make a difference in the lives of their communities. Kroll is here to support you and all pharmacists across the country in making the future healthier. Visit the TELUS Health Pharmacist Stories webpage to read other stories of pharmacists working hard to make the future healthier.