Pharmacists endorse CHIP health program

Pharmacists Felicity Stahl and Tim Dyer say that the majority of medications they dispense are for people battling chronic diseases.

Felicity Stahl and Tim Dyer, pharmacists at Summerland Pharmasave, say that the majority of medications they dispense on a daily basis are for people battling chronic diseases.

They know that if people were willing to make some lifestyle changes, their need for medications could decrease.

Dyer and Stahl participated in CHIP, the Complete Health Improvement Program in February 2011.  As pharmacists, they recognized that diet and lifestyle were important to achieving better health. However, their pharmacy program had minimal nutrition training, so they chose CHIP to get themselves better informed in order to help their patients.

Dyer was 31 at the time, and since he had been eating vegetarian for a year, he was confident that he was in good health and was enrolling in the program just to enhance his education.

He liked the idea of the pre-post blood work to help him see if lifestyle changes would make any difference to his health.  And was he surprised when at the end of the four-week program his blood work revealed a 30 per cent drop in his LDL cholesterol.

He said that the knowledge he gained from the program has helped him in his practice as a pharmacist, particularly what he learned about how to address constipation, a problem that he gets asked about many times in the course of his day.

Both Stahl and Dyer said the education was beneficial but added that the camaraderie, which came from the group learning environment, was helpful.

Information sessions will be held on March 17 and 19 from 7 to 8 p.m. in Room 2 of the Penticton Community Centre, 325 Power St., Penticton.

A Summerland session will be held Wednesday, March 18 from 7 to 8 p.m. in the lower level of the library.

The program runs Tuesday and Thursday evenings from April 7 to 30, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.