MU | Alumni Notes
Advancing Pharmacy Practice with Health Economics
Geoffrey Chepkondol ’ 17 Pharm . D ., has a knack for gravitating toward positions that help deliver the most positive impact to the greatest number of people .
In the early 2000s when Kenya was in the midst of a national HIV crisis , Chepkondol was there – working as a physician ’ s assistant and treating patients on a daily basis . He viewed his position as a way to directly impact as many lives as possible while his home country faced one of its most dire health care crises in decades .
But , in moving to the United States in 2005 , he learned that his medical credentials would not transfer to the U . S . health care system .
“ I started all over . I went to a community college and then moved on to the University of Montevallo for my bachelor ’ s degree in molecular biology ,” said Chepkondol . “ Around the same time , I was contemplating going to medical school or pharmacy school . Long story short , I decided to go with pharmacy school .”
Chepkondol noted that from his first interactions , the interpersonal experience is what made Manchester University stand out against other schools .
“ I felt more at home because of the way we were received , and more connected in the interview process at Manchester than at any other place I ’ d ever gone ,” he said .
That connection continued with faculty , staff and classmates over the next four years of his Pharm . D . program , he added .
Shortly after graduating , Chepkondol began working as a clinical pharmacist at Mercy Hospital in Springfield , Mo ., where he still works today . Though , not one to rest on his laurels – in 2018 , he decided to further enhance his pharmacy training with health economics to deliver more positive impacts in his chosen field . He received his Master of Science in Health Economics and Clinical Outcomes Research from Xavier University in 2020 .
“ I began to realize that in my role as a clinical pharmacist I needed to do more ,” said Chepkondol . “ I looked at health economics and clinical outcome research and saw that decision makers in the health care industry are faced with so many options when it comes to interventions in biopharmaceuticals and medical devices .”
With added credentials in health economics and clinical outcome research , Chepkondol hopes to serve as a backbone support for leaders in places like hospitals , missions and government insurance companies .
“ They can make an informed decision after comparing costs and options that are available ,” he explained . “ By earning a master ’ s in this field , I knew I would have the tools to help these decision makers make choices that are going to be cost effective .”
He said that by combining this education with his Pharm . D . training from Manchester , he is able to leverage his knowledge to help organizations like Mercy Hospital maximize their cost-effectiveness , which , in turn , means they can ultimately treat more patients .
While Chepkondol may not have the direct patient interaction he cherished in Kenya , he said he gains great satisfaction knowing that he is able to help more people than ever .
“ I just did a budget impact analysis . If it is implemented , and we ’ re able to save $ 2 or $ 3 million , that is a lot of money that can be spread around to treat other patients ,” he said . “ We can be saving more and treating more patients . So , you ’ re looking at decisions that could make even a global impact compared to when I was seeing patients one at a time .”
Chepkondol recalls how his time at Manchester helped prepare him for his role today .
“ I think one thing that really helped me at Manchester was a class taught by Dr . Robert Beckett ,” Chepkondol said . “ The course was Drug Literature Evaluation . That really helped me understand how to go about doing literature research , looking at different studies .”
Beckett said he is proud of Chepkondol ’ s accomplishments , both at Manchester University and in his professional career .
By Matt Walker
Manchester University | ManchesterRx 23