Pharmacy and Nutrition Go Hand in Hand
Meet Dr. Shaneka Baylor PharmD, BCACP, BCGP
As a franchise owner of Chefs for Seniors- Arlington/Grand Prairie, TX, and CEO of Divine Hands Health and Wellness, LLC, Dr. Shaneka Baylor offers her clients a unique combination of pharmacology and nutrition.
Healthy and nutritious food first
After struggling with her weight in college, Dr. Baylor made a decision to adjust her lifestyle by focusing on “healthy and nutritious food first.”
This change produced significant results and prompted friends and co-workers to seek her advice. They were surprised to find out that her ‘silver bullet’ was – “a whole-food approach to nutrition.”
Born and raised in Texas, Dr. Baylor obtained her PharmD at Texas Southern University. She then left the nest to pursue a Pharmacy Practice Residency in Public Health at the University of Missouri in Kansas City.
“My residency was like no other at the time,” said Dr. Baylor, she gained an in-depth understanding of Drug Therapy Management and was able to structure a comprehensive approach to addressing health disparities.
Dr. Baylor obtained Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) board certifications in both Geriatric Pharmacy (BCGP) and Ambulatory Care Pharmacy (BCACP). Additionally, she is a Certified Diabetes Educator and is pursuing a Masters in Nutrition and Wellness at Benedictine University with an expected graduation date of May 2021.
“Life has a funny way of teaching us our strengths.”
Before embarking on her entrepreneurship journey, Dr. Baylor worked as an Ambulatory Care Clinical Pharmacist at a county hospital where she co-founded a PGY-2 Ambulatory Care pharmacy residency. Her leadership abilities led others to consistently ask her to consider management roles. Although she did not see herself in a management role at the time, her passion for nutrition led her on the path of entrepreneurship.
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”– Oprah Winfrey
Fueled by her excitement for nutrition, Dr. Baylor started not one, but two businesses.
She founded Divine Hands Health and Wellness, LLC in February 2019 in an effort to “educate my community about nutrition in order to help improve their chronic conditions and work to decrease medication burden.”
Her clinical pharmacist background allows her to counsel patients on the dietary changes that do not affect the pharmacokinetics of the medications they take.
As Chefs for Seniors, Inc franchise owner in Arlington/Grand Prairie Texas, Dr. Baylor is committed to “improving seniors’ lives through nutrition.”
Clients are given a choice of four menu options and her chef purchases and prepares meals at clients’ homes. This service allows seniors to be engaged in their meal preparation without being consumed by the hassle of shopping and preparing the meals themselves – an ideal service for our elderly friends and family during a pandemic.
Disparities in healthcare
When asked how our profession can help alleviate disparities in healthcare, Dr. Baylor responded,
“It will take a lot to end racial disparities in healthcare. I think it is imperative that we as pharmacists speak up when we see racial inequities in healthcare and work to even those inequalities. We all work in different environments so it is important that we take the time to talk to our patients so that we can serve them better and reach them where they are. There is a lot of bias in healthcare and people of color often get dismissed or ignored. Our voice is the biggest thing we have.”
Dr. Baylor continues to use her voice to advocate for patients. She hopes to utilize the recent pharmacist provider status legislation in Texas to foster collaboration with physicians within the next year. This will enable her to assist with disease therapy management while creating comprehensive nutrition plans.
This is only the beginning; lookout for the next piece in this series highlighting how one pharmacist turned her tragedy into triumph.