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Inspiring Conversations with Dr. DeLon Canterbury of GeriatRx

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. DeLon Canterbury.

Hi Dr. Canterbury, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My story begins with my two parents, Sandra and Stanley Canterbury, who emigrated from Guyana, South America to Brooklyn, New York in the early 1980s.

I am so proud of my Caribbean background which sparked my initial interest in pharmacy! I had to understand how natural medicine and herbal products worked in the body to heal others

Sadly, my entrepreneurial journey with GeriatRx stemmed from a point of pain, anger, and frustration with health care and the direction retail pharmacy chain stores are heading.

Working as a Walgreens Pharmacy Manager, I felt completely unfulfilled, depressed, and burned out working at a high-volume store with incessant tasks that focused more on profit than patients. I knew for a fact that I wasn’t helping patients as I had once thought I would when I was in pharmacy school and felt trapped by my student loans to just keep going!

I knew I wanted to have a lasting impact on my patients, but found myself growing tired, frustrated, and bitter towards my peers, patients, and worse yet, myself. I had never felt so hopeless in my entire career, especially after the horror stories I would hear from my Black, Latino, and senior patients trying to navigate a complex health landscape

It was this pain point that drove me to launch GeriatRx, focusing on providing Comprehensive Medication Reviews with a focus on saving patients money using medication Deprescribing and genetic testing for overmedicated seniors!

I decided to become the patient advocate and voice for those who can’t manage to find their way out of a pill bottle, and are ready to fight back against a system that wants our patients sicker and tackle every ill with another pill!

I never thought that my passion for seniors would lead to international recognition, paid speaker events, and multiple podcasts, with TV and radio, features touting the word of how pharmacists continue to save lives and are a caregiver’s best friend.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Unfortunately, most people don’t quite understand that pharmacists are one of health care’s best-kept secrets. We assume there is some old guy in a white count putting pills in a bottle and slapping your name on a label, but little is really understood about how much knowledge and foresight we have about medications.

We know how to manage side effects, we know how to educate and counsel patients, and we even keep Doctors from killing our patients with incorrect prescribing habits or understanding drug-drug interactions, yet pharmacists are not recognized as a vital part of the health care team.

Pharmacists don’t get reimbursed for these vital life-saving services so people, unfortunately, treat pharmacies as if they are going to McDonald’s and have vastly unrealistic expectations about how many safety and quality measures have to be assessed before that pill enters the body!

Pharmacists do so much more! Just like how there are heart doctors or kidney doctors, there is a pharmacist behind the scenes working with them as a team with a specialty of expertise behind their names. Mine is a geriatric pharmacy, with a Board Certified Geriatric Pharmacotherapy credential from the Board of Pharmacy Specialties.

This ensures that all of my patients are getting the best quality care in senior medication management and deprescribing! Once this educational barrier is broken, patients are quick to realize how life-saving and valuable pharmacists can be!

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
GeriatRx is your personal pharmacist-led consulting service that focuses not only on chronic medication management but identifies that there is a lack of support for parents that are caregivers or for the elderly who need help in maneuvering a very difficult health care landscape.

We pride ourselves on being your advocate alongside your medical provider in creating the best possible care plan for you or your loved ones while empowering you with health education and invaluable resources.

Dr. DeLon Canterbury is a Board Certified Geriatric Pharmacist who founded GeriatRx on the premise that the majority of patients taking 15-18 medications annually are aged over 65, and unfortunately, preventable medication errors cost nearly $21 billion dollars annually.

Pharmacists have been shown to not only reduce medication errors that may prevent a trip to the emergency room or hospital, but can lead to savings for you, your family, and overall the health care system. GeriatRx wants to be there for you whenever your most pressing pharmaceutical needs may arise and you need an immediate resource, and we welcome you to join our community.

Ever since graduating from the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy in 2014, I dedicated my career to serving low-income and rural socioeconomic populations through multiple avenues of community service and volunteerism ranging from Henderson, NC to across the Raleigh-Durham Triangle.

Having a majority rural, low-income, and geriatric population I realized that if you don’t have someone to help motivate and support those patients then you are going to have a very difficult time having your patient take the medications as prescribed to them. I thrived on being a community resource and trusted figure in the Henderson and Durham communities.

Yet, the biggest challenge my family faced was when my grandmother, Mildred, started declining due to her dementia and had to move from Brooklyn to Georgia with his parents. My parents both worked endlessly in trying to accommodate them, but we kept finding her wandering out of the house and unintentionally hiding valuables.

We never understood why she rapidly deteriorated, until a local pharmacist at her clinic in Georgia identified that she had been erroneously prescribed duplicate medications that lead to her having severe side effects. This solidified my calling towards treating their most vulnerable population, and I never want to see my patients or my parents struggle as much as mine did when catering to Granny.

This is why GeriatRx was founded so that my patients know that you have a trusted health professional treating their loved ones as if they are my own family and fighting for you every step of the way!

How do you define success?
Success is discovering your passion that not only serves mankind but also allows you to get paid for your passion and expertise!

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