ProHealth Is Proud of Our Optum Super Hero

April 15, 2024


Selected out of more than 9,000 nominations, Nicholas is part of a select group of 400 exceptional Optum team members. Coming from five different countries, the Super Hero Class of 2023 represents the best of the best for the way they strive for excellence and live our Optum values.


Get to know Nicholas

Nicholas Boemio, PharmD, BCPS, is warm and approachable. He reflects genuine curiosity. It is easy to see he has a keen listening ear.

As an only child, he soon realized the importance of connecting with others. "When you don't have siblings, you either find things to do or you find people to do things with. This helped me be an initiator. I strive to keep on doing this, building good relationships."

This also rings true when it comes to clinical practice. "Interpersonal skills are just as important as medical knowledge. As caregivers, we want to do evidence-based work."

"We want to do what is right for the patient. Do it because it has been rigorously tested. But being able to work with people is central. Without those soft skills, it is hard to do the rest."

His reaction to the Super Hero recognition is not surprising. It is filled with appreciation for his colleagues.

"It never crossed my mind that I could be named a Super Hero; I just do my job. I feel my success is not just about me."

"I couldn't do what I do without the support of my teammates. Having their respect is very meaningful. I am grateful for the recognition. It reinforces that I am doing what I should be doing."

The making of a pharmacist

Nicholas' journey into pharmacy stemmed from a love of science and a willingness to help. "When I was looking for a career path, medicine was a choice. But I am not built for the gore."

"Pharmacy threaded the needle of the things I wanted, and it was in the background, no blood or guts. I just didn't realize it could take you in so many directions. For instance, primary care."

His experience with the Veterans Health System further sparked his passion for primary care. "I trained with the VA. We ran our own clinics. We helped take care of high cholesterol, diabetes, and other complex medical problems. I specialized in older adults."

"I enjoy working with older adults. They are complex, pharmacologically speaking," he adds, opening up about his motivations.

"Each patient is like a puzzle. Years and years in the health care system have made them very complex puzzles. They often take many meds at once. My job is to combine the pieces to create a coherent picture."

"My goal is to optimize their medication regimes so they can effectively manage their conditions. And do so without having to take too many pills or spend a lot of money."

A role of his own

Early on, Nicholas knew he preferred a proactive role in patient care. "Throughout school and during my residency, I really enjoyed working in primary care. This made me realize I wanted to use all I knew to holistically take care of patients."

Recalling his parents' support through this journey, he laughs, "It is hilarious to try to explain what I do at family gatherings. I am a pharmacist who doesn't dispense medications."

He is grateful for the possibilities of his current role.

"ProHealth has given me the opportunity to expand what I do. I am happy I ended up here. We have a very unique program. I like having access to clinical info. that allows me to team up with the care team. And I am just a click away in the EHR if someone needs a pharmacy consultation."

Nicholas also finds meaning through population health management. "I can impact more lives this way, as opposed to working with one patient at a time."

Meaningful Successes

Despite working behind the scenes, Nicholas finds reward in success stories. "You don't always get to hear about the outcomes, but when you do it is incredibly rewarding."

"A good example is a patient from our opioid de-escalation program. She had severe abdominal pain. Along with her primary care doctor, we tapered the dose. Both the family and the patient were worried. They feared the pain was going to be unbearable."

Instead, we were able to get her off completely. And we did it without impacting pain. As a result, her cognitive function improved. Her family thought she was the way she was because of her age and her medical problems. They never thought it was the opioid."

In a field often dominated by technicalities, Nicholas embodies compassion and connection. He has tried to become a trusted partner in health. In this pursuit, he has been transformed — unwittingly, yet rightfully — into a caring Super Hero.