Introducing Mary Kay Gilbert: MN Nurses & Medical Marijuana

At a late June Canna.MN event – approximately 150 people gathered in an intimate warehouse winery for the celebration of “Women and Weed”. I had the opportunity to share a bit about what I am doing within the industry.

As an RN, CCM transitioning from corporate healthcare – I’ve seen first-hand the drivers of high healthcare cost and the challenges people face navigating the complexity of our healthcare system.  

You see – for the past 20 years, I worked to contain escalating costs by bringing cost containment solutions to health systems by managing care organizations and employer groups nationally.  I know change is needed and I see how integrating Cannabis as a medicine can have an opportunity to make an impact far beyond challenging the charges of a hospital bill.

With the escalating use and cost of specialty pharmaceuticals, we are no longer sustainable without an alternative. This plant has the power to truly heal (as it has for thousands of years) – not only certain aspects of our healthcare system but – more importantly on a personal level to heal lives!

While attending the CannMed conference last fall at UCLA Medical Center – I had the opportunity to hear the world’s top medical cannabis physicians present their latest findings with regards to treating a variety of conditions with cannabis.  My eyes and ears were opened to the vast opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.

Nurses are the most trusted profession and we outnumber physicians 4:1. We have an obligation to shepherd our medical community along in shaping this industry.

While I am working on a variety of projects – my top 3 areas of focus are:

  • Improving care coordination for patients using Cannabis as a medicine
  • Integrating new technology and therapies to advance the improvement of care for patients
  • Pushing the levers to gain insurance coverage for patients using Cannabis

I am launching PontCanna (Welsh for Bridge) as my consumer facing platform to build the bridge and break the barrier between Cannabis and traditional healthcare.  My expertise is in identifying solutions to improve outcomes by providing education, advocacy and care and cost guidance for individuals and organizations.

Medical cannabis has matured significantly and while the dramatic stories of patient improvement are always interesting, it is important that consumers and healthcare providers be provided with the practical information on how to “consume” and administer medical cannabis.  Watch for future insights from a Minneapolis Cannabis Nurse & learn more about how nurses are impacting this billion dollar industry.

Contact Info: Mary Kay Gilbert – MKG@PontCanna.net