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06/03/2022

Wentworth-Douglass Employee Spotlight: Elizabeth Snarr

"Employee Spotlight" is a bi-weekly feature for staff and the community to get the know the individuals that make Wentworth-Douglass Hospital a comfortable place for patients, and a great place to work for employees.

 

Elizabeth Snarr, Clinical Oncology Pharmacist

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What is your official job title?

Clinical Oncology Pharmacist

How long have you worked here?

 Almost 15 years

Please describe your typical day and responsibilities.  

Medications play an important role in the treatment of cancer. As a member of the cancer care team, I help coordinate the medication plan from chemotherapy infusions to chemotherapy dose preparation and safety checks. I counsel patients on what medications need to be taken at home, answer any questions about cancer medication and what to expect during treatment and ensure that each medication is given at the right time and dosed correctly.  I work with the medical and nursing staff to maximize the benefits of the drug therapy while trying to minimize the toxicities.  I also look at patient’s current list of medications to identify any worrisome drug interactions and then provide guidance on managing these interactions. And I precept pharmacy residents and pharmacy students. 

Why did you choose to come to WDH? 

WDH has a great reputation, and the Seacoast location is ideal. There is a vast array of opportunities for pharmacists in a range of specialties. I have seen the role of the oncology pharmacist expand from the more traditional operational role of preparing chemotherapy to being integrated and involved in the care of patients in the clinic.

What do you enjoy most about working here? 

The people. There is a culture of teamwork, professionalism, and mutual respect.

How would you describe your work experience at WDH?

Rewarding. WDH invests in employees and offers opportunities to grow and develop.  The role of the oncology pharmacist continues to expand with medications having a key role in the treatment of cancer.

What would you say to someone who is considering applying to work here?   

Do it.

What is your favorite part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is direct interaction with patients. Beginning a new cancer therapy can be frightening. Helping patients understand their treatment and educating them on what to expect is extremely rewarding.  

 

BONUS QUESTIONS

What did you want to be when you grew up?

It was a toss-up between joining the PGA tour and being Office Barbie.

What qualities do you admire most in a person?

Honesty, hard work and the ability to run fast.

What keeps you up at night?

The slow pace of the cancer treatment pipeline

What is your proudest moment? 

In 2015 I had the opportunity to compete in the Grand to Grand Ultra, a 275 kilometer self-supported foot race from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to Grand Staircase Escalante in Southern Utah, completed in six stages over seven days.

Crossing the finish line is my proudest moment.

Is there anything you have recently learned about Wentworth-Douglass?

I’m celebrating the news of a recent grant proposal approved by the Wentworth-Douglass Hospital Foundation to catalyze the implementation of pharmacy driven pharmacogenetics throughout the Wentworth-Douglass health system to improve the quality and safety of medication prescribing.

Pharmacogenetics is a field of precision medicine that aims to tailor medical treatment to each person. It looks at how your DNA affects the way your body will respond to medications.

  • Approximately 99% of people have genetic variations that make them unable to process certain medications in the way they are intended.
  • 50% of medications can be ineffective including several regularly prescribed medications used to treat such conditions as depression, cardiac conditions, pain, and cancer without pharmacogenetic testing.
  • Pharmacogenetic testing can help prescribers determine which drugs and doses are right for each patient.
  • Testing is done with a painless cheek swab.
  • Look for more to come on this in the next year.

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