Courtney Zitterkopf is a Trellis Rx specialty pharmacist embedded at Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, Mississippi, where she supports neurology patients. Courtney has been in pharmacy for several years, so we were interested to find out from this energetic mother of two boys what makes working for Trellis Rx different. Here’s what she had to say:
What drew you to pharmacy?
I always liked science, so I wanted to go into the medical field. When I learned about pharmacy, I thought it would be a great way to help patients. I wanted to serve as a bridge between the pharmacy and the patient, giving them the information on the drugs they are prescribed and helping to make their lives better.
What kind of pharmacy work did you do before joining Trellis Rx?
I mostly worked in retail pharmacy. I did some recruiting and also worked in a compounding pharmacy — sometimes as a staff pharmacist, sometimes as a manager. My most recent work was in a local “mom and pop” type of pharmacy.
What attracted you to Trellis Rx?
I heard about the job from friends who work at Memorial Hospital. It sounds hokey, but this is a “unicorn job” for me. It offers real work/life balance: regular hours, days off, and plenty of vacation days. Even better, it lets me make a real impact on patients and allows me to work with others who care about putting the patient first.
How do patient interactions in the health system specialty pharmacy compare to retail pharmacy?
Oh my gosh, it’s night and day, and I love it so much! We have more time with the patient, and we’re involved in all aspects of pharmacy operations, including the clinical side. At Trellis Rx, I truly serve as that bridge between the retail and the clinical sides of the pharmacy. For example, I can call a patient, hear how they are doing and support their care. If they’re having issues, I’m able to send a note to the care team and say, “Hey, can you reach out to the patient?” or, “What can be done to help this patient?” Sometimes even the nurses come to us to ask for our recommendations.
Is there a particular patient experience that has impacted you?
I work in neurology, and I had a patient who was trying to get on a particular migraine therapy. It took about a year of trying because of insurance difficulties, but we just took the patient step by step through all of the insurance requirements until they were able to get on the medication. Once the patient was finally on this therapy, it changed their life.
What is it like to be embedded in a clinic?
It’s great! I’m physically in the clinic, so providers can call me whenever they or their patients have a question about insurance or a particular medication. It’s great to be so close to providers. For example, one provider is next door to me and will often walk into my clinic to ask me to talk to their patients. This kind of pharmacist-provider accessibility is rare, but it’s so beneficial for the patient.
How does Trellis Rx’s culture differ from other places you’ve worked?
Let me put it this way, if I were to call in and say, “Hey, my kid is sick,” Trellis Rx asks me what I need, and they give it to me — whether it’s a day off or to work from home. The company focuses on how to help me succeed first with my life and then with the company. Here’s another example: Every six months, our CEO travels here to individually meet with us and ask how the company can improve and better support us. But that’s not the end of the conversation. There’s a follow-up to fix anything that we mentioned needed adjusting. What other company does that?
Interested in learning about career opportunities at Trellis Rx? Visit our careers page to learn more about open pharmacist and pharmacy liaison positions.