Loving The Hustle (Danielle Plummer)
In 2019, I took a chance and left my job as a Walgreens RXM to form TeleMDcare, www.teleMDcare.com, a concierge service for tourists, which offers telemedicine, prescription services and delivery of DME.
Here’s my story. Thank you so much for sharing.
Danielle Plummer, PharmD
When I was growing up, I both listened to stories about my grandfather’s pharmacy in the mid twentieth century and also worked at my father’s independent pharmacy. With my family history, my interest in medicine and my love of making others feel well, I knew that someday I would become a third-generation pharmacist.
My journey to my current career followed a long and winding path which involved various roles including being a professional figure skater, a hotel manager, and a military spouse while I raised my three daughters. In 2016, I finally fulfilled my dream of becoming a pharmacist.
Retail pharmacy was extremely different when I was a teenager. Then, many pharmacies were owned by pharmacists, while Medicare Part D and PBMs did not exist. Today, large corporations, PBMs and insurance companies have too much power, but I still saw myself working in a retail environment. As an intern, my preceptors questioned my decision due to pharmacists having little control, but I assured them I knew what I was doing because I still would be able to counsel patients; however, after just a few years, it was time to move my career to another direction. My goal was to open a company which combined my experience as a pharmacist with my background as a hotel manager to resolve all the non-emergency medical needs for visitors in Las Vegas. I was fortunate to have a per diem hospital job while I built my company.
In 2019, I took a chance and left my job as a Walgreens RXM to form TeleMDcare, www.teleMDcare.com, a concierge service for tourists, which offers telemedicine, prescription services and delivery of DME. My dream of taking care of tourists from outside the retail box was realized when our first customer who was in town for CES left his medications in Germany. He was able to see a doctor via our app during a break from his meeting, and then had his prescriptions waiting for him at his hotel when the meeting was over. The days of having to get an Uber or taxi and go to an urgent care or hospital only to wait in line at a pharmacy were over!
When the Covid-19 pandemic took over this year, and telehealth became a household word, my company added a subscription service. This came about because we had as much demand for our services from our local community as we had from tourists. I was surprised how many of my friends did not have health insurance! Our subscription service includes unlimited telemedicine visits with some prescriptions for a low, monthly price. We also have companies offering the plan as a benefit to their employees and give a percentage of each subscription to non-profits. Once travel resumes, we’re going to be relaunching our concierge service for travelers in Las Vegas and then expanding to other high tourism areas. I’m elated to be supporting the health of our community, even if it is not what I had envisioned when I was in school.
Around the same time that I left my job at Walgreens, I received an email from the HER Foundation asking followers what they are doing to support International Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) Awareness Day 2019. I had HG with each of my three pregnancies but moved on with my life knowing that I’m lucky and forever grateful to have three healthy, happy daughters. I came across www.hyperemesis.org during my third pregnancy and was relieved to know I wasn’t alone. I was even a test subject in the HER Foundation’s first clinical study, which resulted in finding the gene which codes for HG, so receiving this email brought back a flood of memories.
When I was pregnant, there was no possibility I would have let anyone take a photo of me. I literally looked and felt like death. With a quick glance of #hyperemesis gravidarum on Instagram, I saw that women today are not afraid to post pictures of themselves with HG, and I admire how brave they are. To my dismay, however, I discovered that treatment has barely improved since my first pregnancy almost 22 years ago. Almost every time I work a shift at the hospital, there are women in our ER for excessive vomiting and dehydration, and I’ve had several ER doctors call me for advice.
I also remember when TPNs were first mentioned in pharmacy school and was dumbfounded to learn that I went through my three pregnancies completely malnourished when options for nutrition existed. If it’s possible to get nutrition through a tube, then why didn’t I get any during my pregnancies?
The combination of seeing pictures on IG, knowing the absence of nutrition I received when I had HG, and recognizing the lack of development in research and treatments for HG over the last two decades all prompted me to take action. I honestly believe that if this were a man’s disease we would’ve made progress, so in May 2019, I launched a blog to support women with HG, www.hgpharmacist.com. I also became a board member of the HER Foundation in December 2019, and today I’m excited to officially announce the launch of my HG Consulting business, offering support and medication management to women with nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. My mission is ensuring that every one of these women are treated with dignity and receive the best medical care possible throughout their pregnancy. My dream is to find the causes and treatments for HG, so that in the future, we will look back and see HG as a disease of the past. Please follow me on social media and contact me to be a guest on my blog or YouTube channel, or to share your experience or advice with NVP, [email protected] For more information on either of my companies, go to www.teleMDcare.com and www.HGPharmacist.com.
Thank you for all the support from our amazing group of Pharmacist Moms!