NorthShore Health Centers is known for bringing quality, affordable care that’s accessible to the community. However, their endeavors wouldn’t be possible without a crew of dedicated and knowledgeable employees and providers. Among those employees is Mike Wichlinski, the organization’s new Pharmacy Director.
Wichlinski is leveraging his experience and knowledge to make a difference in the community. Working from the Portage location on Scottsdale Street, he’s finding ways to positively impact those who work with him, the patients who come in for prescriptions, and, of course, NorthShore Health Centers as a whole.
“I graduated from Purdue in 1985 with a BS in Pharmacy and immediately began working for Walgreens,” Wichlinski said. “I worked for [Walgreens] for 33 years and left to work for Fagen Pharmacy doing a different role. I wore a lot of different hats and I really enjoyed doing it.”
Wichlinski’s years of experience and knowledge of many common pharmacy concerns make him a perfect candidate for the opening at NorthShore Health Centers. As he begins his work with them, he is already making plans to help the pharmacies become more efficient and better able to serve the community.
“First I want to streamline what we do in the pharmacies and I want them all to operate with the same operational standpoint,” Wichlinski said. “Then, I can take one technician and put them in another location and have them be just as comfortable. Same with the pharmacists. Then I can help to upgrade to some of the computer systems and inventory systems that are out there now.”
Changes at the pharmacy won’t simply happen behind the counter, though. Those who visit the pharmacy can expect the chance to have more face-time with the pharmacists. With an emphasis on being available, answering questions, and making the experience pleasant for patients, Wichlinski believes that they can improve patient outcomes across the board.
“The more discussions you can open up and the more comfortable [patients] are with the pharmacist and the pharmacy staff, the more they’re going to be willing to ask questions,” Wichlinski said. “They may go home and call back—that’s good and that’s when you know you’re making headway.”
Wichlinski even has plans for staff that can help in the future. By working with Purdue University, NorthShore Health Centers will begin working with pharmacy students. As fourth-year professionals, they’re on rotations and will be getting experience in the pharmacies before taking their licensing exams.
“The cool thing is that you can identify quality people right out of the gate, and when you’re expanding, you’ll know who you want to hire,” Wichlinski said. “You’ll know who likes this atmosphere and who works well with your staff.”
Thanks to the expertise and drive of Mike Wichlinski, the NorthShore Health Centers pharmacies can expect to see some positive changes in the future. From their medication collection boxes for unwanted, unused, and expired medication, to the face-to-face interaction between patients and pharmacists, they’re rolling out some excellent projects to aid the community.
To learn more about NorthShore Health Centers, visit them here!