Dr. Sheila Stephens: A Comprehensive Healthcare Advocate
Author: Rebecca Edwards | Photographer: John Brackett
Betsy Sauter’s rescue cat Bo needed lifesaving medication for his arrhythmia but could not take pills. Christine Mauro’s daughter needed a specific medication that had to be compounded. Both were directed by physicians to see Dr. Sheila Stephens at Stephens Compounding Pharmacy. Neither Sauter nor Mauro knew anything about compounding, much less who Stephens was, and now they both say they could not live without her and her health-efficacy services.
“I know a lot of great pharmacists, but I’ve never seen the same level of interest. Sheila is passionate. She is cutting edge. She is a comprehensive healthcare advocate,” Mauro said.
Stephens says her mission is simple. “I want to help you feel fabulous,” which for her encompasses the mind, the body and the spirit.
For many people, this is refreshing. If you have ever had a health journey—whether it was a chronic illness or pain, or weight loss aspiration—you know that it is easy to feel frustrated, directionless or alone. You might have felt like a ping pong ball, bouncing back and forth from one doctor’s office to another, or one medication to another.
With Stephens, the hurting stops and the healing begins.
“She’s not like your typical pharmacist. She has a keen interest in you, your family, and your pet. We lose so much of that nowadays. Other pharmacists seem overworked and overstressed,” Sauter said.
Mauro could not agree more. “She pulls so many resources together. She has created an excellent network of physicians. Plus, I feel like I have a personal relationship with her. She’s not just my pharmacist. She’s my friend. When I need something she is there for me.”
Stephens earned her doctorate in pharmacy from the University of Florida. During her extensive career, she has served as the director of pharmacy at Hilton Head Regional Medical Center and Beaufort Memorial Hospital, as a clinical pharmacist at the University of Alabama Women’s and Infants Center and Summit Cancer Care in Savannah, and as an oncology pharmacist.
Passionate that better medical care begins with educating tomorrow’s healthcare providers, Stephens has also held an academic position as the assistant professor for South University in Savannah, and she is a preceptor for advanced practice Pharm.D. students for South Carolina College of Pharmacy.
Stephens’ areas of expertise include specialized training in bio-identical hormone replacement, pain management and endocrine disorders, and she strives to “help people be well before the disease stage.” She believes “no one size fits all” and that compounding meets so many more needs than off-the-shelf prescription medications. To this end, she views optimal wellness as a harmonious blend of integrative and traditional medicine, and she never stops expanding her services.
“She is constantly looking at her products and seeing how to perfect them,” said Mauro, who credits her entire family’s wellness to Stephens. Mauro estimates that she, her husband and her daughter collectively lost over 100 inches of fat with Stephens’ HGC program. “It was the most successful program I’ve ever done, and I’ve used them all!”
To better facilitate feeling fabulous, Stephens recently renovated her pharmacy to include a private consultation room where you can sit down, one-on-one with her and discuss all your medications, supplements and or health concerns or goals. Her aim is to gain a complete picture of your healthcare needs, prevent dangerous drug interactions, and optimize your wellness efforts.
“This atmosphere is meant to help you feel like you can breathe again and get back into balance,” said Stephens of the cozy room that is complete with a flat screen TV for lectures.
In addition, Stephens is gearing up for a sterile lab in hopes to begin making injectable forms of medications that are in short supply (like pain medications and anesthesia) and has started offering massage therapy, educational events, and free shipping to the Beaufort area. She also continues to stock her shelves with handpicked items such as liquid stevia (a healthy all-natural sweetener), her own formulated probiotic, anti-aging creams, and essential oils—just to name a few. Each product is what Stephens calls, “Sheila tested and approved. I only sell my favorites.”
During a time when most small, “mom-and-pop” businesses are struggling, Stephens Compounding Pharmacy is achieving steady success. Dr. Stephens credits much of this to her relationship with her physician base.
“Ninety-nine percent of the local physicians, I can call and discuss the best possible options for our clients,” Stephens said. “I want to be an integral part of your health care plan. I want to be another person on your team. When I speak to your doctor, he or she is not speaking with some stranger.”
To foster her medical relationships and promote healthcare advocacy, Stephens often invites and sponsors local physicians to seminars and conventions. “My hope is that they will learn more about holistic approaches,” she said.
Both Sauter and Mauro have been dedicated clients of Stephens from the moment they set foot in her pharmacy. Sauter’s cat Bo is doing well, and Mauro’s daughter is a healthy, happy student at the College of Charleston.
“I don’t think people really understand how much Sheila can do for them,” Mauro said. “I know. I used to be one of those people, and now I’m so thankful my physician referred her to my family.”
Stephens Pharmacy is located at 302B Pineland Station. Visit stephenscompoundingpharmacy.com or call (843) 686-3040 for more information.