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Kelly Mendoza

Kelly Mendoza

PharmD, MS, BCPS

Clinical Pharmacy Specialist Lead

PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center

Longview, WA

Her Story
Dr. Mendoza received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2015 from Midwestern University, College of Pharmacy - Glendale in Glendale, AZ and then completed her PGY1 Pharmacy Residency at Banner Estrella Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ. She then went on to pursue a PGY2 in Pain Management and Palliative Care at The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore, MD. After graduating, Dr. Mendoza started working as a clinical specialist in pain management at Kaweah Health in Visalia, CA as part of the ASHP Best Practice Award winning pharmacy-led acute pain service. She also became board certified as a pharmacotherapy specialist. In 2020, Dr. Mendoza transitioned to the outpatient space and practiced in chronic pain management in the specialty clinic and rural health clinics at Kaweah Health. Recently Dr. Mendoza moved to the Pacific Northwest to start a chronic pain management program at PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center (PHSJ).

Dr. Mendoza is involved in management of chronic pain for PeaceHealth patients on a referral basis from their primary care physicians. Dr. Mendoza has prescriptive authority and works under a Collaborative Drug Therapy Agreement (CDTA).

Describe the facility where you work (eg. Is it a teaching hospital? Health Center?)
PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center and the associated PeaceHealth Medical Group (PHMG) provides comprehensive primary and specialty care for more than 185,000 patients per year in Cowlitz County, Washington. PHSJ is the area’s sole community hospital and is a Level III trauma center. StPHMG provides residents with over 200,000 outpatient clinic visits per year in primary care, women’s health, behavioral health, neurology, cardiology, sleep disorders, and more. PeaceHealth is a not-for-profit healthcare system with medical centers, critical access hospitals, and medical clinics located in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska.

Recent Significant Projects
Dr. Mendoza’s role at PeaceHealth was to start a pharmacy-led chronic pain management practice within the primary care clinics to improve adherence to state and federal chronic pain management guidelines and opioid prescribing best practices. This involved writing a CDTA agreement and establishing criteria for referral to her practice. Dr. Mendoza currently has over 120 patients on her panel that are 100% compliant with urine drug toxicology requirements, pain agreements, and naloxone prescribing recommendations.

Initial Involvement in ASHP
Dr. Mendoza is currently serving as a member with the ASHP Section of Ambulatory Care Practitioners Section Advisory Group (SAG) for Pain Management and Palliative Care.

Why did you become involved in ASHP?
Dr. Mendoza has been a member of ASHP since 2012, when she joined at the beginning of pharmacy school.

Advice for Someone New to Specialty Area
It is important to understand the state and federal laws and guidelines around pain management and the rules and limitations around controlled substance prescribing. Chronic pain management involves attention to detail to ensure that all patients are compliant with state law, insurance requirements, and institutional policies. It also involves collaboration with other healthcare providers (behavioral health, primary care, etc) and knowledge of motivational interviewing techniques when having discussions with patients about medication regimens.

How would you explain the value of ASHP to a friend or colleague?
ASHP helped me as a student and resident by providing networking opportunities through annual conferences and meetings. ASHP continues to be valuable as a practicing clinician through its SAG opportunities that allow clinicians in the same field to collaborate and work on projects related to education and policy.

What is the value of ASHP for the profession?
ASHP allows for pharmacists to grow in leadership, advocate for the profession of pharmacy through membership and policy work, and advance in knowledge through CE events and conferences.

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