SEATTLE – The pioneering research of Washington State University pharmacist and educator Stephen Setter could ensure that aging Americans will prolong their ability to live independent lives in their own homes, improving their quality of life and saving themselves (and often the state) the high cost of nursing home care.

Setter makes that lifestyle a reality for countless Spokane elders, leading a national trend toward pharmacists becoming more involved in drug therapy decisions and in counseling patients.

He will discuss his research in “It Takes a Community: Managing In-home Medications for the Elderly” from noon to 1:30 p.m. March 7 at The Rainier Club, 840 4th Ave., Seattle. Tickets are $30 per person and include lunch from noon to 1:30 p.m., with registration to begin at 11:30 a.m. To reserve a spot, visit http://www.wsu.edu/theinnovators or call toll free, (877) 978-3868. Registration will continue until capacity is reached.

As one of 10 certified geriatric pharmacists in the state, Setter consults with Elder Services, a social work agency that takes a community-based approach to improving the care of geriatric patients. Older patients often suffer from chronic diseases that require the attention of a number of doctors, each prescribing a variety of medications. As a result, overmedication can adversely impact their quality of life.

As part of a team of health care providers, Setter makes regular in-home visits to elderly patients to assist them with prescription-related issues and often reduces or eliminates medications. He also trains in-home caregivers, educating nurses, social workers, physical therapists and family members about drug interactions and the tell-tale signs that a patient is cognitively impaired due to medication.

The result is that, with assistance, geriatric patients are able to remain in their homes and retain their lifestyles for a longer period than they could otherwise manage.

Setter serves on the Parkinson’s Regional Center of Spokane board and is a pharmacy consultant to the Northwest Inland Alzheimer’s Association. He has lectured and published extensively on numerous pharmacological topics, including geriatric pharmacy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and managing diabetes and its complication.

He received a degree in veterinary medicine from Michigan State University and a pharmacy degree from WSU. He completed a postgraduate fellowship in geriatric pharmacy at WSU. In 2001, he was named Pharmacist of the Year by the Washington State Pharmacy Association.