Dara Johnson, PharmD, BCPP
PGY2 Ambulatory Care Residency Program Director
Providence Medical Group
Consumer Relations Committee
This month’s CPNP Member Spotlight is about Carla Cobb, PharmD, BCPP who volunteers on the board for the South Central Montana Regional Mental Health Center. CPNP highlights members who volunteer to share their expertise in their local communities.
Carla Cobb is a psychiatric pharmacist for Capita Consulting in Billings, Montana and is also a Clinical Professor at the University Of Montana Skaggs School Of Pharmacy. She volunteers as a member-at-large and development committee chair at the South Central Montana Regional Mental Health Center. These roles include preparing for and attending monthly board meetings. This board has fiduciary responsibility to the organization so time is spent reviewing income statements and budget projections to ensure a balanced budget at the end of the year, something most psychiatric pharmacists are not trained to do. She has also had to learn to make difficult decisions about closing programs and/or laying off staff.
Carla stated her education and experience as a mental health professional has offered a unique insights to fellow board members, many of whom are legislators or committee members with little health care background. For example, she has recommended bringing a local community pharmacy in-house to better serve clients. As a pharmacist, she has had the opportunity to share information about new models of care to improve efficiency and access to care.
Carla is convinced that her volunteer service allows her to advocate for and serve the most vulnerable community members who may not have the voice to advocate for themselves. She notes that the most rewarding thing about volunteering is her impact on increasing access to care for people with mental illnesses and substance use disorders in the community.