Click for our latest updates on COVID-19

Main Content

A Pharmacist Who Works Directly with Patients

September 30, 2020

The Craig Hospital pharmacy is not your typical pharmacy, and Stacia Rumer is not your typical pharmacist.

In Craig’s spirit of innovation and commitment to understanding the patient experience, Stacia and other pharmacists step out from behind the glass to interact with patients.

“Because pharmacists are required to keep medications behind locked doors, that’s often where they stay. What I like about Craig is that we get to get out from behind those doors and meet with patients and their families,” says Stacia.

Stacia started at Craig 23 years ago, and she says it’s where she plans to spend the rest of her career. She was impressed from the get-go after watching how the Craig team turned a patient’s life around.

“I watched a patient with a spinal cord injury arrive severely depressed and leave with a willingness to go out and live a full life,” she says. “I thought any place that can create that level of transformation is where I want to be.”

Stacia grew up just a few miles from Craig Hospital, in southeast Denver. She attended the University of Colorado and earned a degree in pharmacy, eventually going on to earn her PharmD, or doctorate in pharmacy. Today, she is the Pharmacy Clinical Coordinator and has the pleasure of leading the Clinical Pharmacy Program.

“Our staff is so talented and self-motivated that I don’t have to do a lot of directing. Everyone has their passions and it all comes together,” she adds.

A standout innovation includes a program that delivers care even after a patient leaves Craig. The team makes sure patients are established with a neighborhood pharmacy and have a clear plan for getting medications delivered.

“This program is so unique and generates a lot of interest at national pharmacy conferences,” she says.

Stacia Rumer at Conference
Stacia Rumer at Conference

Recent career highlights for Stacia include earning a certificate from the Pharmacy Leadership Academy through the American Society of Health System Pharmacists and attending a workshop on resiliency through the Colorado Hospital Association.

“The workshop on resiliency was one of the more fulfilling things I’ve done in recent years,” Stacia says. “I’m inspired by patients at Craig who continually model resiliency for all of us.”

The workshop fit nicely with Stacia’s core values of gratitude, service and continual self-renewal. She helped share what she learned with other Craig staff through Lunch and Learn sessions. Another highlight, albeit silly, was winning a pharmacy team song contest. All 30 staff submitted a favorite song and you had to match up the song with the person. Incredibly, Stacia got 27 of the 30 correct.

Her favorite part of the job is integrating with physicians, nurses and therapists to provide patient care. She treasures the chance to sit down with patients and their families to help them understand their medications in the way they learn best.

“A doctor once told me early on that, ‘We don’t cure people here, we heal them.’ That stuck with me,” Stacia says.

She’s also proud that Craig serves as a clinical rotation site for a quarter of Colorado’s pharmacy students. Many comment that Craig is their favorite rotation because they get to step outside the box of the usual pharmacist role.

In her spare time, Stacia enjoys golf, yoga, and more recently, tennis. Her son, Joey (14), asked her to learn to play so they could play together. Recently, she celebrated her daughter Dana’s (18) high school graduation. Dana just started community college.

“There are traditions at Craig that make me cry every year—like the holiday celebrations and Hobie Day when we get patients and families out for a day at the beach,” Stacia says. “It’s that extra effort that defines Craig.”