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Archive for the ‘PCD Staff’ Category

Andris Grinvalds is Our Student Pharmacist at Happy Druggist in West Jefferson for June. Please Make Him Feel Welcome!


This month, we are joined in the pharmacy in West Jefferson by Andris Grinvalds, a fourth year pharmacy student from The Ohio State University’s College of Pharmacy. We are very fortunate to have a pharmacy student at each of the three stores this month. Steve McVey is here in Plain City. Stephanie VanHouten, who we introduced you to earlier in the week, is at Karl Road. And now, we are happy to introduce Andris who will be doing his rotation with Paul and the staff in West Jefferson.

Andris will graduate in May 2020 and will then take the test to become a registered pharmacist. Andris will be in West Jefferson throughout June, so please stop by and meet him while he is in the store.

Here is what Andris tells us about himself:

Hello, my name is Andris Grinvalds and I am a fourth-year pharmacy student at The Ohio State University. I will be interning at Happy Druggist in West Jefferson with Paul Westervelt. I have had two community rotations in the past, but neither were at an independent pharmacy. So far, my first impressions of the people who work here have been great, and the community has been so welcoming. After meeting the team, I can tell it will be an enjoyable month.

I am not sure which field of pharmacy I want to pursue yet, but I am interested in hospital pharmacy, industry, and research. I am keeping an open mind while on rotations and hope to figure out where I want to end up. I currently work at The James Cancer Hospital and have been there for three years. I am planning on applying to a residency after graduation, but that may change depending on my experiences during rotations.

I first became interested in becoming a pharmacist in high school. I had a great chemistry teacher who inspired me to pursue a career related to chemistry and I wanted to combine that somehow with healthcare. I began studying chemistry at Michigan State University with the end goal being pharmacy school after graduation. In my junior year, I decided to switch my major to biosystems engineering, because I really liked math and thought engineering was a perfect combination of both math and science.

I graduated from Michigan State with a Bachelor of Science degree in biosystems engineering with a concentration in biomedical engineering and a minor in brewing, distilling, and wine making.

After I graduated, my interest in pharmacy was still there and I decided to pursue a PharmD. I had some friends in the pharmacy program at Ohio State and they only had great things to say about the program. The following Fall, I only applied to one school, Ohio State University, and have never looked back!

In my spare time, I like to brew beer, read, and am also an avid hockey fan. Being from Michigan, I am a big Detroit Red Wings fan, but after living in Columbus for three years, the Blue Jackets are becoming a close second favorite team.

As for the homebrewing, I had the idea while I was taking an elective brewing class in my engineering program. I loved it and even taught my dad to brew so we could brew together. He enjoys it as much as I do and started brewing regularly, as well. We both enjoy hoppy beers and generally only make a type of beer called IPA, which is a more bitter beer bursting with flavor. My dad and I even grow our own hops at my parent’s house in southwest Michigan where I grew up. Photos of the hops we grow can be found at the end of the posting. 

I had never worked in an independent pharmacy before this rotation, but after my first day, I could tell it would be a special month. I really like the personal atmosphere everyone at Happy Druggist has with the community. There is a great connection that I did not experience while on my previous rotations at larger chain pharmacies. I know I will learn a lot from Paul and the team and am looking forward to a great month at Happy Druggist Pharmacy!




Meet Our Student Pharmacist, Steve McVey, for the Month of June at Plain City Druggist.

This month, we are joined in the pharmacy by Steve McVey, a fourth year pharmacy student from The Ohio State University’s College of Pharmacy. We are very fortunate to have a pharmacy student at each of the three stores this month. Steve is here in Plain City. Stephanie VanHouten, who we introduced you to earlier in the week, is at Karl Road. Later this week, we’ll introduce you to Andris Grinvalds, who is rotating through at Happy Druggist, West Jefferson.

Steve will graduate in May 2020 and will then take the test to become a registered pharmacist. Steve will be with us here in Plain City throughout June, so please stop by and meet him while he is in the store.

Here is what Steve tells us about himself:

My name is Steve McVey and I am a fourth year pharmacy student at The Ohio State University’s College of Pharmacy and will graduate in May 2020. I am excited to be spending my June rotation at Plain City Druggist and getting to know all of you! I’m currently working as an intern for Meijer at the Sawmill Road location in Dublin and I’ve met some wonderful people from the Plain City area.

I’m originally from Salem, UT, a small town about an hour south of Salt Lake City. I grew up playing sports all through my childhood and throughout school. I played basketball, football, and ran track for Spanish Fork High school and graduated in 2008. From 2008-2010, I completed a service mission for my church in Portland, OR serving in the Latino communities.

I graduated from Brigham Young University in 2015 with a degree in Microbiology and a minor in Spanish. While at BYU, I met my sweetheart, Andrea, and we were married in 2012. We live in Columbus with our two boys and are expecting a third.

Most of my free time now is spent with my family exploring Columbus and the surrounding areas. Our boys really love visiting COSI, the zoo, and anywhere they can run around outside. When I get the chance, some of my hobbies include golfing, playing guitar, basketball (although it’s been a long, long time), reading, and fixing up our home.

I first became interested in pharmacy in high school. One of my health teachers would bring in different healthcare professionals to speak to us about their occupations. A pharmacist she invited in shared some information about pharmacy and how pharmacists can help serve people beyond the dispensing of medication. That sounded like the right career for me. I learned early on the importance and satisfaction of serving others as a Boy Scout and that passion for service has continued with me. I’ve always tried to be active in my community and for a time served as an assistant scoutmaster for a troop in Utah and also as a youth leader for young men. Some of my most fulfilling experiences have come from helping and serving others, and I hope to be able to do that here.

I’m still unsure about the what area of pharmacy I will pursue when I graduate next year, but I’ve worked in community pharmacy for about 10 years now and really enjoy it.

After graduation, we will be moving back west to be closer to family so we’ll have to see where that leads.

I’m excited to be working with Meghan, Tayler, and all the other wonderful staff here at Plain City Druggist and Midwestern Compounding Pharmacy!


Meet Our Student Pharmacist, Stephanie VanHouten, for the Month of June at Karl Road.


This month, we are joined in the pharmacy on Karl Road by Stephanie VanHouten, a fourth year pharmacy student from The Ohio State University’s College of Pharmacy. Stephanie will graduate in May 2020 and will then take the test to become a registered pharmacist. Stephanie will be at Happy Druggist on Karl Road throughout June, so please stop by and meet her while she is in the store. She may also be at Plain City on various days to learn about independent pharmacy.

Here is what Stephanie tells us about herself:

Hi! I’m Stephanie VanHouten, a current P4 at the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy. I am excited to kick off my summer of rotations at Happy Druggist – Karl Road. As a first year pharmacy student, I had the opportunity to spend a little time here on my initial community rotation and I couldn’t be happier to be back. I hope to learn as much as possible and get to know as many of you as I can while I am here!

I am unsure where I will end up when I graduate next spring, but I have a desire to serve the community as a pharmacist; the most accessible healthcare professional. Currently, I work as an intern for Walgreens and my favorite part of the job is getting to know my patients. I love being there to answer their questions, fill their prescriptions, and help solve their medical issues.

A love for science is what got me interested in pharmacy as a senior in high school. However, my path to pharmacy has had its twists and turns. After high school, I worked as a nurse aide for six years in the Dayton, Ohio area. This is where I developed my strong desire to help patients and serve my community. I realized early on that nursing was not the best fit for me and soon decided to refocus on pharmacy. I received my bachelors of Science degree in chemistry at Wright State University and, after touring many pharmacy schools, fell in love with the College of Pharmacy at Ohio State University. Go Bucks!


Currently, I live here in Columbus with my wife and our two cats, Simon and Lucy. In my free time, I love to relax with a good book, kayak a scenic river, or get dinner and drinks with my wife and our friends at one of Columbus’s many wonderful restaurants (I’m always looking for recommendations!). I also look forward to vacationing on Lake Bellaire in Bellaire, Michigan every July with my wife and in-laws. I am at home on a boat of any kind! And of course, I try to go to as many Ohio State football games as I can while I still get the student discount! My guilty pleasure is watching way too much reality TV.

I am looking forward to a great June with Kristie and the rest of the team here at the Karl Road Happy Druggist! There is something special about the relationship Happy Druggist has with their patients so I hope to learn how to take a piece of that with me into my career as a pharmacist. I also hope to gain some insight into what type of pharmacy I’d like to eventually pursue.

Please feel free to stop in and let’s talk “Big Brother” or “Real Housewives” and then I’ll answer all of your medication questions! Hope to see you soon!



Diabetes Simplified: A Guide to Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle with Diabetes. By Our April Student Pharmacist, Cambree Fillis.

Understanding Diabetes:

What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease state characterized by high blood sugar. It increases the risk for complications including heart and blood vessel disease(s).

In type 1 diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Patients with type 1 diabetes will almost always need prescription insulin, as insulin is needed for the body to turn the sugar consumed from meals into energy.

In type 2 diabetes, the body may still be able to produce some insulin during early stages, but it cannot use it effectively. Type 2 diabetes is also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes. The majority of patients with diabetes have type 2.

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What are some warning signs and symptoms of diabetes?

Warning signs and symptoms of diabetes include:

  • excess thirst
  • excess hunger
  • extreme tiredness or fatigue
  • frequent urination
  • blurred vision
  • irritability
  • slow wound healing
  • dry skin
  • tingling or numbness in hands and/or feet 

Why is it important to be mindful of elevated blood sugar levels?

Being able to avoid spikes in blood sugar allows for a longer, healthier life. Individuals who maintain a normal blood sugar level tend to have more energy and a better immune system capable of fighting off infections. Keeping your blood sugar under control also decreases the risk for heart attack, stroke, kidney injury, nerve pain, vision loss, and more.

Managing the ABCs of Diabetes and Incorporating Lifestyle Modifications

What are the ABCs of diabetes?

A1c: A1c is a measure of average blood sugar level over the course of three months. Your A1c provides a picture of how well blood sugar is controlled over time. An ideal A1c goal for the average adult, according to the American Diabetes Association, is 7%. By maintaining this goal and keeping diabetes under control, disease progression and risk of long term complications are reduced.

Blood Pressure: The higher an individual’s blood pressure readings are, the harder their heart is working. If the heart is working too hard, those individuals are at an increased risk for heart attack and stroke. For patients with diabetes, it is important to maintain a blood pressure goal of less than 140/90.

Cholesterol: There are two types of cholesterol: LDL and HDL. LDL, also known as “bad” cholesterol, is responsible for blocking blood vessels. Blockage can lead to heart attack, stroke, and other complications. Prescription medications known as statins can be used to lower cholesterol levels and are recommended for most patients with diabetes between the ages of 40 and 75. Discuss with your doctor if starting a statin would be right for you.

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What are appropriate lifestyle modifications?

  • Eat Well – Consider foods that are high in fiber and low in saturated fats, sugar, and salt. Substitute juice and regular soda with water. When eating a full meal, the American Diabetes Association provides recommendations to fill half of your plate with vegetables, a quarter with whole grains, and a quarter with lean protein.
  • Stay Active – A good starting place is to take three, ten minute walks daily. You can also increase your muscle strength by doing yoga, gardening, or with push-ups twice a week.
  • Quit Smoking – Talk to your pharmacist if you need advice on what resources are available to help you to quit.
  • Adhere to Medication Regimens
  • Monitor and Log Daily Blood Sugar and Blood Pressure Readings

Routine Eye, Foot, and Dental Care is Key

Eye Care: Diabetes may cause vision problems over time, including blindness. It is essential to see an eye doctor for an annual, dilated eye exam.

Foot Care: Diabetes may result in the loss of feeling and sensation in extremities, especially feet. It is important to visually exam each foot every day for blisters, burns, cuts, or sores. A visit to the foot doctor should be scheduled each year.

Other tips include:

  • Wash feet every day with warm (not hot) water
  • Do not soak feet
  • Dry feet thoroughly, including in between each toe
  • Apply lotion as needed to avoid dry and/or cracking skin
  • Do not walk barefoot

Dental Care: Diabetes can cause gum and teeth problems. Practicing good dental hygiene is important. Schedule an appointment to see a dentist at least once a year.

Also consider the following:

  • Use fluoride-containing toothpaste
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Floss daily
  • Limit sugary foods and beverages

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Recommended Vaccinations

What vaccinations are recommended for adults with diabetes and why?

Diabetes tends to weaken the immune system, making it more difficult to fight off infections. Some of the more serious complications, however, can be prevented by receiving the proper vaccinations. These complications may otherwise lead to hospitalizations and sometimes even fatalities.

Adults, especially those with diabetes, should receive vaccines for the flu, pneumonia, tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Tdap), and shingles. Stop by the pharmacy to get your questions answered and to receive your vaccinations!

  • Influenza Vaccine – An annual flu shot will protect against the seasonal influenza virus. If you are 65 years or older, ask for the high dose.
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines – Pneumococcal vaccines will protect you from pneumonia. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to find out which pneumonia shot(s) are right for you- more than one vaccine may be required.
  • Tdap Vaccine – The Tdap vaccine will protect you from tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. You should receive this once every 10 years.
  • Zoster Vaccine – The most effective zoster vaccine is known as Shingrix. It protects against shingles in adults 50 years and older. You should receive two doses of the vaccine.


  1. American Diabetes Association (ADA). Statistics About Diabetes. Last reviewed March 2018.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017. 2017.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Working Together to Manage Diabetes: A Toolkit. February 2016.
  4. National Diabetes Education Program. National Institute of Diabetes. 4 Steps to Manage Your Diabetes for Life. January 2016.
  5. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC. What You Need to Know About Diabetes and Adult Vaccines. August 2018.


Sending Easter Blessings.


We want to wish everyone a very peaceful and Happy Easter. Please spend time with family and friends and enjoy the day.

If you need anything while we are closed on Easter Sunday, please call the emergency after-hours number: 614-240-8421.

Have a blessed day.