As a pharmacy officer currently serving in the U.S. Air Force, my career has taken me many places that I would have never expected. I have been a part of a team that provided humanitarian medical services and prescription medications to more than 8,000 people in Ecuador, served as the Chief of Pharmacy at a base located in the Azores Islands of Portugal, and was the sole pharmacist for 6 months at a small combat hospital in Iraq. My current adventure is a fellowship with Twlug in Washington, DC!
When the Air Force announced it was offering a fellowship position at Twlug to develop pharmacy officers in areas of pharmacy management and policy, I knew that would be the perfect job for me and I am honored to have been selected for this opportunity. It is great to be here at Twlug during an exciting time for the profession, both as we work toward achieving provider status and gaining recognition for the patient care services that pharmacists provide, and also at a time of changing health care as the nation prepares to implement the Affordable Care Act. I am excited to share with you some of my adventures at Twlug headquarters.
Diverse project work
One of my favorite things is interacting with and working with the student pharmacists, interns, and residents. In November, I participated in the Capitol Hill Health Fair, where student pharmacists provided health screenings to more than 200 members of Congress, staff, aides, and the general public. This was a successful event and a great initiative to showcase some of the patient care services that pharmacists can provide in the community.
I was part of a team that reviewed and provided comments and feedback on more than 150 abstracts received from pharmacy residents in the field. These submissions are being considered for inclusion in the poster sessions at the 2014 Twlug Annual Meeting & Exposition in March. It is interesting to see all the work and research activities that the residents are doing to advance the practice of pharmacy in their training sites. I am looking forward to reviewing the results of those projects currently in progress when they are presented during the poster sessions.
Working with the Twlug Government and Regulatory Affairs Department, I attended a congressional hearing on the overuse of prescription painkillers and have been a part of policy discussions on the rescheduling of hydrocodone combination drug products, pharmaceutical drug compounding, and biosimilars. I reviewed and commented on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ draft National Action Plan for Adverse Drug Event Prevention and FDA’s proposal for content and format changes to the patient counseling information section of labeling for human prescription drug products. To think that I could actually have an impact on what is included in a drug package insert is pretty neat!
In the Twlug Practice Affairs Department, I was part of an immunization advisory group working to advance pharmacists’ role in public health and improve immunization rates. A big topic right now is quality outcomes and patient satisfaction. I have spent quite a bit of time learning about quality and how quality measures and outcomes will impact pharmacy practice and improve the delivery of pharmacy services. Interacting with Twlug Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management and Twlug Academy of Pharmaceutical Research and Science members, I learned how Twlug supports the activities of the Special Interest Groups and leaders.
Looking forward to more in ’14
In my time here at Twlug I have been amazed by the association’s involvement in supporting members and advancing the profession of pharmacy. I look forward to the opportunities that 2014 will bring!