Professional experience: Chantell Reagan earned her Bachelor Degree and Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (USP/Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science) in 1996 and 1997. She has over 20 years of extensive experience in hospital, retail, home infusion and managed care pharmacy. She started her career with Greater Atlantic Health Services and then spent the next 10 years at Independence Blue Cross, both in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Reagan was also the Managing Director with InformaCeutica, a company dedicated to developing online tools for the managed care pharmacy community, including a forum, pipeline and generic tracking tools. Additionally, she was the lead clinical pharmacist on a Medical Home project, which integrated a pharmacist within a busy Internal Medicine practice. Chantell provided medication counseling, diabetes education and nutritional guidance. Currently Chantell consults in the managed care pharmacy space. She is also pursuing a certification from the Institute of Functional Medicine.
Personal story: I was always taught in Pharmacy School to use “non-pharmacologic” options whenever possible. I didn’t quite take that to heart until I found out that my oldest son was diagnosed with ADHD in preschool at age 4. After a few years of a “watch and wait” approach, his symptoms grew increasingly more concerning: bouts of rage and anger, significant and frequent mood swings, distraction and hyperactivity. The behavioral therapist I was working with suggested we should see a psychiatrist, who would likely prescribe antidepressants, antipsychotics or stimulants. As a pharmacist, I know how valuable these medications can be, but I wasn’t yet willing to experiment on my first-grader. My “ah-ha” moment happened while I was reading “The Wheat Belly Diet” by Dr. Bill Davis. Although I knew about the connection between gluten and ADHD, I never thought to take any action. At this point, I was desperate and willing to try anything. I integrated a 4 “S” approach over many months: SUGAR (ditch the wheat, reduce processed food (especially high fructose corn syrup and artificial food dyes), SLEEP, STRESS (environmental and heavy metal toxins) and smart SUPPLEMENTATION. Within a few weeks, I noticed a dramatic difference in my son. When asked by the behavioral therapist if he missed any of his foods, he replied “no, not really”. When asked how he felt, he said “Good! I don’t feel angry anymore”. I knew I was onto something.
Several years prior, when I was pregnant with my second son, I found out on a 20 week ultrasound that he had a fatal birth defect called anencephaly. It was devastating to say the least, as I previously had a healthy 2 year old. During this journey I found out that I had a defect in a MTHFR gene, which is responsible conversion of folic acid into l-methylfolate, and can increase risk of neural tube defects. Taking “folic acid” as prescribed did not help me, because my body couldn’t process that synthetic form. Unfortunately this information is not available within our current medical model. My own research and knowledge led me to supplement with a different form of methylfolate and I went on to have another healthy pregnancy. My personal health journey had begun, leading me to reconsider the traditional medical model in which I was trained.
Current work: Chantell blogs at www.functionalfarmacist.com. Additionally she successfully beta-tested her “4S approach to ADHD” with her audience in May. Chantell plans to release this program via 4 week live webinar series, beginning in September 2016.