Abimbola Farinde

Abimbola Farinde, PharmD, PhD

Bayshore Medical Center, Pasadena, Texas

East Houston Regional Medical Center, Houston, Texas

Dr. Farinde attended pharmacy school at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas and completed her postgraduate year one residency training with an emphasis on primary care at Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System in Temple, Texas. She then proceeded to complete her postgraduate second year training at North Texas Veterans Healthcare System/ Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas, Texas. Having achieved this robust training, Dr. Farinde remains in Texas today where she provides HIV pharmaceutical care wherever the opportunity arises. She splits her practice time between two locations; Bayshore Medical Center in Pasadena, Texas, and East Houston Regional Medical Center in Houston, Texas. These two practice settings combine to form a hospital system with over 500 patients for whom acute care, critical care, labor and delivery, psychiatric services, and more are provided. There are currently over 200 providers including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and pharmacists on staff at the two branches of the facility. Farinde’s patient pool consists of a variety ranging from neonates to older adults that receive any number of healthcare services. The demographics of both facilities have remained fairly stable over the years and the level of care only improves with each passing year. The facilities strive to be up-to-date and groundbreaking when it comes to the innovative approaches that are taken to treat patients. Farinde estimates that approximately 25% of her HIV-infected patients are over the age of 50.

So, what motivated this pharmacist in the Lone Star State to pursue specializing in HIV care? It was a combination of desire to improve her knowledge base and skills and to become trained in an area of care that is advancing at lightning speed. “New and cutting edge drug therapies are being approved for HIV management and I would like to be involved in educating the public about any new developments as they arise in this area,” says Farinde, who has been engaged in the treatment of people living with HIV for just over five years now. Earlier in her career, Farinde had experience practicing at a military installation that contained a hospital and a state-supported living center that provided healthcare services to individuals with mental impairments and developmental delays. Farinde credits this experience as “an excellent opportunity to learn about different patient populations and the approaches that can be taken to provide effective, optimal treatment.”

Farinde says the most rewarding part of her job is making a difference in the lives of the people for whom she provides care. “I have always been a proponent of striving to do your best no matter the situation or circumstance and, as a healthcare professional, I am given this opportunity almost every day,” Farinde says. She enjoys interacting with her patients and providing them with knowledge that has the potential to improve their lives. “People feel empowered by the knowledge that I share with them and this is always a rewarding experience.” Farinde motivates her HIV-infected patients to adhere to their treatment regimens by informing them of the positive outcomes that can result from taking their medications appropriately, and at the same time informing them of the possible negative outcomes that can result from noncompliance. Farinde views patients who are resistant to compliance with their drug regimens as her greatest professional obstacle. Whenever she encounters situations such as these she “formulates a patient-specific plan that is designed to work to shift their mindset and show them the benefits of treatment compliance.”

Something that is successful at Farinde’s practice is the ongoing discharge counseling for patients that is conducted by pharmacists at their bedside. “The patients have the opportunity to ask any and all questions that they might have about their drug regimens. By being informed by a pharmacist, patients are more likely to understand what they are taking and why adherence is so important.” It is Farinde’s goal professionally to advance into a director position and still continue to teach students. Says Farinde, “As a person who has experienced tremendous growth over the years, I feel that I am well equipped to take on both of these roles in the near future.” Looking ahead to a decade from now, Farinde predicts that the field of HIV care will be progressive, dynamic, and largely patient-centered. “Patients are the driving force behind what we do as healthcare professionals and as the public’s mindset about HIV and AIDS continues to evolve for the better, more patients will seek care in order to take advantage of the new treatment options available.

In her personal life, Farinde sites her close relationship with her family as a source of support. Her family members provide her with feedback and suggestions when it comes to making important life decisions. In fact, her decision to pursue a career in healthcare was motivated by a conversation she had with her parents. “I valued the advice that they gave me as a child, and I still do as an adult.” As for why she is an AAHIVM Member, Farinde says, “I joined not only to increase my knowledge about HIV care and to network with other healthcare professionals who have a passion for HIV care, but I also believe that I have something to contribute to the organization, to help steer it into the future.”