To say that Avita Pharmacist-in-Charge Andy Doan is committed to his community is a vast understatement for many reasons. The simplest of them is this: Both as a pharmacist and a civic leader, Andy compassionately engages with multiple communities in the Austin, Texas area. There are the patients he serves at the onsite pharmacy at ASHwell Sexual Health and Wellness clinic. There is the LGBTQ+ community, of which he is a member and fierce advocator for. There is The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy, for which he is a preceptor and lecturer. There is Austin’s Volunteer Healthcare Clinic, where he manages medication therapy for financially vulnerable individuals.
“I always wanted to do something related to health care, but I also wanted to engage regularly with the community,” says Andy about choosing a career in pharmacy. “With providers, you see them for appointments, and you’re done. As pharmacists, we build not only professional connections but also the personal relationships we have with our patients.”
A passion for culturally competent health care
Early in his career, Andy helped Avita roll out its onsite pharmacy with covered entity partner ASHwell. It’s a unique set-up where the pharmacy is holistically integrated into the clinic’s day-to-day operations. “Interdisciplinary practice is something that’s often discussed but rarely done,” says Andy of Avita’s expertise in serving both covered entities and the LGBTQ+ community. “I was an Avita customer before my pharmacist days and saw firsthand how Avita provides care. This role truly leverages my passion for culturally competent and gender-focused health care.”
Andy goes above and beyond to practice excellent professional standards collaboratively. Take, for example, the relationship he’s built with his clinic partners. “I have an incredible rapport with the clinical staff,” he says. “I have a phone extension, email, EMR [electronic medical record] access, and a place in their daily huddle.” This setup allows Andy to take his responsibility for patients to the next level. Whether they visit his location or the other three Avita pharmacies in Austin, “I support their wellness journey,” he says. “I ensure they’re taken care of.”
Championing LGBTQ+ health equity
He’s also proven himself as an exemplary care provider for the LGBTQ+ community, which makes up most of his patient base. “It’s important to consider the nuances that folks who don’t work with this population regularly might not know about,” Andy says. “Like being mindful of pronouns and understanding that patients may have barriers to treatment such as being homeless or living in spaces where they don’t want roommates or family members to find out about their medications.”
Andy acts as a safe harbor to individuals who might hesitate to discuss their needs if not for his personalized and accepting care. “Some of our patients are sex workers,” he says. “Others are working through drug use and recovery. Some are exploring their sexuality. It’s our job to approach those situations from a completely objective and non-punitive view. Patients trust us even when they can’t trust their friends and family. That’s something we cannot take for granted.”
Building relationships inspires better care
In addition to being a licensed Texas pharmacist and preceptor, Andy is AAHIVP-certified by the American Academy of HIV Medicine. This certification is one of the first and only credentials offered domestically and internationally to physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and pharmacists specializing in advanced-level HIV care. He’s a regular contributor to Avita’s patient wellness campaigns and educational webinars. Also a lecturer at UT Austin, he’s spoken on topics varying from LBGTQ+-focused care in specialty pharmacy to pharmacy tips and tricks for the athletic trainer.
To his colleagues, Andy embodies Avita’s core values of compassion, collaboration, and resourcefulness. He’s been awarded the organization’s Everyday Hero Award, which is given to a team member who significantly impacts a patient, partner, or team member. In fact, he’s received more than 30 formal recognitions from Avita team members and executive leaders in the last year alone.
In his local community, you’ll find Andy doing some of his best work from a location far beyond the pharmacy counter. He’s an active resource and participant in LGBTQ+ outreach events; you can find him at Pride and leather events, bars and clubs, and fundraisers such as ArtErotica and the Hill Country Ride for AIDS. At these events, he talks to prospective patients about sexual wellness and HIV prevention and works toward engaging the local community. “It all comes back to putting yourself out there and being relatable,” he says. “It opens the road to more honest conversations when the barriers are down. And that’s the whole point of health care—establishing relationships so we can treat patients the best way we can.”
Team member snapshot:
Name: Andy Doan, PharmD, AAHIVP
Location: Avita Pharmacy onsite at ASHwell Sexual Health & Wellness, Austin, Texas
Currently reading: Calypso by David Sedaris
Hobbies: Andy enjoys running/going to the gym, drawing and painting, gaming, cars, and sleeping in.
Something people may not know about Andy: “I never learned how to ride a bike, so I can’t quite do a triathlon yet.”
Follow Andy on LinkedIn: Click here
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