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Reema Hammoud’s concern for her aging grandmother led her to trail her grandmother’s pharmacist and ask a multitude of questions — foreshadowing a career as a pharmacotherapy specialist and eventually creating one of the first pharmacy departments in the insurance industry.
Ms. Hammoud was born in Pakistan and moved to the U.S. when she was 14, enrolling in a high school outside of Detroit. When she arrived in Michigan, she volunteered as a hospital transporter to improve her language skills and learn the culture.
In 2006, after graduating from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, with a doctorate degree in pharmacy and becoming board certified in pharmacotherapy, Ms. Hammoud accepted a position with Walgreens — becoming the pharmacy manager for the highest-volume Walgreens in Michigan’s South District.
During her days off, Ms. Hammoud volunteered at a clinic that treated the underserved Hispanic community and learned Spanish so that she could explain medications to patients. She also realized that most of her patients had no insurance, so she worked with large pharmaceutical companies to negotiate contracts and reduce drug costs.
“I’ve always been very involved in counseling doctors or the patients directly about the right medical treatment,” she said.
She now manages a team of eight pharmacists who advise injured workers, tracks trends related to recovery and return to work, and is instrumental in creating effective pharmacy management protocols. Known for its diversity, Ms. Hammoud’s team comprises six women and two men representing such ethnicities as Asian, Black, Pakistani and Palestinian.
Ms. Hammoud and her team at Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc. are also helping doctors and their patients address the opioid crisis.
“To combat the opioid crisis, you not only have to follow guidelines and address the patient’s morphine equivalent dose,” she said, “but it’s working with the provider, educating the patient, counseling on the dangers of medications and empowering patients.”