Second-year pharmacy student Colin Beauvais has always been a self-starter and an active student as the Vice President of Legislative Affairs. So when he expressed an interest in the business side of pharmacy, his preceptor and faculty mentor helped to guide his entrepreneurial spirit in setting up a travel clinic serving the Portland, Oregon area. CPPS had a chance to catch up with Beauvais to hear the latest about his business plan.
Can you share more information about the travel clinic you set up?
In many parts of the world, diseases that we often do not need to worry about in the United States are very prevalent today. These diseases are caused by a number of different organisms and manifest into conditions such as yellow fever and Japanese encephalitis, among others. The travel vaccination clinic that we have been developing at Pacific NW Specialty Pharmacy is essentially a destination where anybody can schedule a consultation for a region they are planning to travel to internationally. From the demographics that I analyzed, many of the people that would use our service would be traveling as a part of a business function, a variety of mission trips, or for leisure.
The travel clinic will provide much-needed counseling to patients traveling to these destinations about risk reduction, the proper use of medications and vaccinations for the prophylaxis (prevention) against diseases common to the region(s) where they will be traveling, as well as providing our patients with travel updates courtesy of several internet resources including the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
The region where they would primarily serve would be the greater Portland, Oregon area and the areas of southwest Washington state. We also plan (tentatively) to be offering this service starting with one day a week with the intention to expand to more days as demand for this service grows. The expense of offering this service for more than one day until demand grows would be cost prohibitive because we would need a pharmacist or pharmacy intern on staff to administer the vaccinations and counsel our patients.
The only individuals involved on this project include myself and my immediate preceptor who also happens to be the owner. This expansion of our services to include the travel vaccination clinic will be funded by the owner, Janet Coleman, and should be fairly affordable to create. This service would also be economically beneficial after enough business has been built in this area. This service will eventually be taught to pharmacy interns doing their APPEs and IPPEs and will offer an intrinsically and professionally valuable experience to our students.
What inspired you to set up a travel clinic?
The inspiration to create a travel clinic was essentially the culmination of a talk the owner/preceptor and I had about my goals for this internship. I went into my IPPE community pharmacy rotation with a mindset to learn as much as I could and to try to get some more experience with the business interests I have. After voicing my interests in learning more about the business side of pharmacy, we discussed several projects I could work on for a relatively short period of time each week. Janet had said that she had always wanted a travel vaccination clinic, so I started doing cost analysis and research to show proof-of-concept.
The inspiration to create a travel clinic was essentially the culmination of a talk the owner/preceptor and I had about my goals for this internship.
What has been the impact so far as a result of the travel clinic?
The travel vaccination clinic is mostly in the implementation and sourcing phase, so the direct impact is still to be determined. Pacific NW Specialty Pharmacy is moving physical locations and is planning to open up this service upon launch if everything goes accordingly. We have already delegated an area in the blueprint to be the counseling room for this service. We are also currently waiting on the Washington State Department of Health to start processing applications for yellow fever vaccination certifications. Upon approval, we can then order the needed vaccines and be put on the authorized list of business that can offer this service.
What do you hope to accomplish with the travel clinic?
With this travel clinic I hope that several important factors are satisfied. First, I hope to increase access of this service to the community. Second, I hope to increase the skills of all the students to eventually do an IPPE or APPE at Pacific NW Specialty Pharmacy making them all more competitive in the job market. Lastly, I hope to create a new revenue stream for the owner within her pharmacy. This should help diversify the revenue stream and help protect the business in the event that more costs are levied upon pharmacies as they historically have been.
What role did your preceptor and any mentors play in helping you to set up this travel clinic?
Dr. Julie Akers is one of my close faculty mentors and also played a pivotal role in helping me establish this travel vaccination clinic. At the beginning of this project, she helped provide information about how travel clinics are managed and provided valuable insight about how to create one. As I developed the rough cost-analysis and projected revenue streams in different scenarios as part of the proof-of-concept she provided ideas to find out roughly how much mark-up other pharmacies with this service in the area were offering.
My preceptor, Janet Coleman, was also very instrumental in creating this service. It was her initial passion and gave me a significant amount of creative freedom to build it toward her vision. Janet granted me access to our supplier websites where I was able to gather the Actual Acquisition Cost (AAC) and estimate the gross profits of different scenarios assuming standard conservative markups. Throughout the process, I approached her with drafts of ideas and proof of concept and got feedback to tailor it in ways which fit the current branding and message of Pacific NW Specialty Pharmacy.
Where can people go if they want to learn more about this travel clinic?
After the official launch of this service which is estimated to be early Fall 2020 (although subject to change depending on availability of vaccines) would be a good time to reach out! If people want to learn more about this travel clinic, I would recommend reaching out to Janet Coleman at email@example.com or myself at firstname.lastname@example.org. The best way to contribute to the development of this service would be to schedule a consult after we have started officially offering this service if you live in the southwest part of Washington state and plan on traveling abroad!