State Hospital pharmacy focused on holistic care

When many of us think about a pharmacy, we primarily think about the medications our healthcare provider has prescribed for us.

But when Kelly Holladay, director of the pharmacy at the Arizona State Hospital (ASH), considers her department’s role in treating patients at ASH, she sees a much more-integrated role.

“[This is about] more than just dispensing medication,” Kelly said “It’s about safeguarding our patients. We meticulously ensure medications are not just available, but also safe by vigilantly checking for drug interactions, allergies, and the correct dosages. Our team goes a step further by proactively assessing medication regimens to optimize therapeutic outcomes and strive to be an integral part of the team.”

Kelly has been a part of the ASH team for 13 years, providing services for patients in need of the highest and most-restrictive level of care in the state. A California native, she has lived in Arizona since 2007 and earned her doctorate in pharmacy from Midwestern University. She also earned board certification in Psychiatric Pharmacy (BCPP) from the Board of Pharmacy Specialties.

While she’s an employee of Cardinal Health contracted to work at ASH, she’s committed to serving the patients in the hospital’s care as a part of the ASH team.

“ASH holds a special niche,” she said. “We are deeply rooted in our mission to serve a community with psychological challenges and mental health vulnerabilities. As the pharmacy leader, my focus is not just on medication but on holistic care.”

“Our commitment extends beyond the pills, diving deep into understanding the unique needs of our patient population and ensuring our pharmaceutical approach is both empathetic and effective.”

What makes ASH special for her is the staff’s caring spirit.

“The complexity and challenges that come with the refractory nature of our patients can be daunting,” she said. “Yet, every single day, our dedicated team shows up, reinforcing their unwavering commitment to deliver top-notch care to those who need it most. It’s this heart and soul of ASH that makes it profoundly special for me.”

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