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The effectiveness of patient care has changed and evolved over the years. For all the new advances in technology and modern medicine, the quality of care is only as good as the provider — how they treat one person and everything they need.
Such is the credo of Keisha Taylor, a district manager for Avita Pharmacy in the Louisiana and South Texas areas. She knew combining her love of science and math with her passion for helping others would be a match made in heaven.
Keisha received her Pharm D. from Xavier University of Louisiana in 2007.
After working at Walgreens as a pharmacy intern and later a pharmacist, she submitted her resume to Avita upon learning that a new location in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was opening. After completing a comprehensive and collaborative interview process, Keisha officially joined the Avita team as a pharmacist.
“Being in the community is one of my passions — helping others, volunteering for my local community, or at my kids’ schools now,” she says.
Keisha has worn several hats during her time at Avita: staff pharmacist, assistant to the pharmacist-in-charge, pharmacist-in-charge, and now, district manager. Throughout this time, her outlook and approach to healthcare services have only become more true to her love of helping others.
“My transition to a [district manager] has expanded my reach beyond one pharmacy,” Keisha explains. “I can help patients and entities across multiple states achieve their desired health outcomes and goals by coaching, managing, and coming up with innovative ways to solve unique issues that arise.”
It is that desire for innovation that made joining Avita a no-brainer.
Established in 1968, Avita is the nation’s largest independent provider of pharmacy services and solutions for Ryan White/STD Grantees, AIDS Service Organizations, and Federally Qualified Health Centers. With more than 60 pharmacies across the nation, the organization is dedicated to individualized, compassionate patient care.
That commitment allows its staff, such as Keisha, to understand just how much work and care it takes to deliver exceptional healthcare services.
Avita’s vision is to unlock the full potential of health for patients with unique health needs as well as for its covered entity partners. For Keisha, that means healthcare professionals adding a personal touch to their services.
As she explains, “We’re taking care of the whole person. Going to a regular ‘big box’ pharmacy, everyone is kind of a number. At Avita, everyone is a person. We cater to the person.”
With deep expertise in HIV, PrEP, STI, and LGBTQ+ care, the Avita team prides itself in offering culturally competent care that considers the unique needs of every patient. During her time there, Keisha has had a front-row seat to the changes and advancements in care for the LGBTQ+ community — though there is still more work to be done.
She observes, “There’s still a stigma there. Within Avita, though, there’s so much education we provide to help eliminate the stigma, to help empower teammates, to be vocal within the communities.”
“It’s not as bad as it was in 2009, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement,” she says. “Avita prepares its team members to be sensitive to the LGBTQ+ community and to be an advocate.”
For two years, running, Avita has earned a perfect score for LGBTQ+ Workplace Equality from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index. This score signifies how a company “took concrete steps to establish and implement comprehensive policies, practices, and benefits pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer employees,” according to the Human Rights Campaign website.
In celebration of Pride Month, Avita partnered with Brooklyn-based street artist Jason Naylor to create its “beYOUtiful” campaign, which encourages people to “Be authentic. Be yourself. BeYOUtiful.”
The campaign invites its patients and professionals alike to “discover, love, and care for your whole self, inside and out.”
It goes hand-in-hand with Avita’s extensive knowledge of patients’ complex health needs — a concept Keisha knows well with her near two decades of experience.
Looking ahead, Keisha has high expectations for Avita.
“We hope to be further recognized for excellent patient care,” she says, “and to be the model for other pharmacies to follow.”
As a valued member of the Avita Pharmacy team, Keisha Taylor is a shining example of a healthcare professional who puts patient care first. There are few endeavors more noble and worthwhile.