Craig Beavers, PharmD, may be Baptist Health Paducah’s director of cardiovascular services, but he carries with him a pharmacist’s unique perspective to the job.
“I always had interest in what pharmacists do and I liked science,” he said.
“I liked medical thought processes or background. I liked the whole medical field. I grew up in a very small town. A pharmacist is always central to what happens in a small town, so I thought, that’s something I’d be interested in doing. I’m kind of a people person.”
Beavers, who hails from Virginia, went on to graduate from the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy in 2009, before completing a postgraduate year one pharmacy practice residency and a postgraduate year two cardiology pharmacy residency at UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital in Lexington.
According to Baptist Health, his experience includes work as the cardiovascular clinical pharmacy coordinator at UK Healthcare and with the UK Gill Heart Institute, as well as director of cardiovascular services for Hospital Corporation of America and as a cardiovascular clinical pharmacy specialist with TriStar Centennial Medical Center in Tennessee, in addition to adjunct teaching.
“The nice thing about pharmacy or pharmacists, is we are very much into team-based care and that’s a big activity that I’m passionate about and, because of that, it helps more trying to really achieve the best goal for our community in terms of cardiovascular care,” he said.
As Beavers recalled, it was at pharmacy school when his eyes were opened to some more career paths for pharmacists, and how there can be way more to the field than helping patients through community pharmacy, or retail pharmacy.
“I started exploring a variety of different avenues and decided that I liked doing health system work and working with patients at the bedside and doing that activity and coming up with in-patient initiatives, transitions of care initiatives and those types of things,” he said.
“But then, I just always was drawn to the cardiovascular side of patients.”
In his career, Beavers also serves as chairman of the American College of Cardiology’s Cardiovascular Team Council. He’s an active member of the American Heart Association and has published papers, abstracts and textbook chapters, among other work, according to the hospital.
As director of cardiovascular services, Beavers explained his role is devised around strategic planning and managing operations. He’s served in the position for more than a year, and shared his excitement for Baptist Health Paducah’s work and advancements with cardiovascular care.
He said it’s “always” implementing new technology, such as its transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) program that began in fall 2019. A TAVR procedure is a minimally invasive alternative to open-heart surgery.
“We’re working towards developing new programs to help manage and treat cardiovascular disease patients,” he said, before giving community education as an example.
“We’ve been doing that always, but trying to enhance and spread that, coming up with and trying to integrate new technologies and processes. And I think those things are all really exciting. ... If you think about our region and the surrounding areas, we have the true opportunity to really own and manage our patients here in our community. We have the resources. We have the people and a lot of opportunity.”
Beavers said Baptist Health Paducah has recruited great providers with “top-notch” training and fellowships, including some that are homegrown with community ties. He emphasized that Paducah has amazing care.
“We’re very, very fortunate in terms of what we have the access to from a health care perspective,” he added.