Lenore T. Coleman, Pharm.D., C.D.E., F.A.S.H.P.: Profile
To heal a village, it takes foresight, determination and lofty aspirations -- traits that Dr. Lenore T. Coleman is proud to have built her career upon. As a health activist and educator, this clinical pharmacist combines her entrepreneurial drive with her community compassion to teach people how to prevent and heal sickness, one village at a time.
Owner of four health-based organizations and co-author of a diabetes awareness book, Coleman realized early in her career that she preferred a hands-on approach to pharmacy, rather than the more structured hospital and retail methods. "I wanted to have the opportunity to work with people on a long-term basis and provide counsel on how to use drugs," she said. "This way, I could examine behavioral changes and lifestyle, such as what people eat, their exercise patterns, stress and high-risk behaviors. For people whom you see regularly, you can address these issues."
As a hospital pharmacist, community pharmacist, long-term care pharmacist, VA pharmacist and lastly a clinical science specialist at Bayer Pharmaceuticals, she has spent her entire career focused on diabetes, cardiovascular disease and medication compliance. In 2001, Coleman decided to branch out on her own.
Today she co-owns Total Diabetes Care and Medical Supplies, an ADA-certified education center. She also is the owner of Total Lifestyle Change, a nonprofit organization that arranges nationwide outreach and education for the medically underserved; Healing Our Village, a program that uses broadcast media as an innovative health education delivery system; and www.blackandbrownsugar.com, which provides diabetes education. Her book, also titled Healing Our Village and co-authored with Dr. James R. Gavin, president of Morehouse School of Medicine, focuses on strategies to effectively manage type 2 diabetes, with a focus on prevention and wellness.
Coleman believes that garnering awareness on disease prevention is the key to a healthier society. She said that many people who are uninsured put their health on the back burner and only seek care when they are motivated or sick. To help educate the public about prevention and wellness, Coleman actively goes out into the community and offers total health screenings. "Every town I go to, I detect so much disease," she said. "We want to reach out to people who may be okay today, but may be at risk because of family history or other factors."
Tragedy in Coleman's personal life has reinforced the importance of early disease detection and prevention. At age 38, her husband died of colon cancer when she was four months' pregnant. He was not even aware of his ailment at the time of his death, and his passing left Coleman to raise their two young children on her own.
Coleman draws from her personal experiences to keep motivated. She is currently planning to write books on prostate cancer, HIV/AIDS and nutrition; and she hopes to expand her Healing Our Village program on a national level. "It takes all of us to heal the village," she said. "Everyone needs to wake up each day and think about how they can keep themselves and their kids healthy."
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