New Pharmacy Opens To Support Warriors, Families
May 1, 2008
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- A passionate advocate with a love for Soldiers, Family and Brooke Army Medical Center, Col. Thirsa Martinez has a motto: Let's take care of our Warriors.
"She takes on the responsibility of making sure that it happens, executes and implements it to the standards," said Brig. Gen. James Gilman, commander of BAMC and Great Plains Regional Medical Command, during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Warrior Pharmacy April 14.
Gilman references the work that Martinez and the Department of Pharmacy did to create a dedicated pharmacy and team for the Warriors in Transition and their Families.
The pharmacy team consists of a pharmacist and two technicians to staff the WT pharmacy co-located within the Urgent Care Pharmacy outside of the Emergency Department. Pharmacy hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on weekends.
The mission of the pharmacy is to enhance each patient's understanding of their medications, such as how medications should be taken, what interactions are possible, what side effects to look for, what are the warning signs when a medication isn't taken as prescribed, what to avoid, and how to refill their medications.
"We've all heard it countless times: 'Do you have any questions for the pharmacist''" said Martinez, director of the Department of Pharmacy. "Most of us politely say no and walk away, even though we might be clueless about this new medication."
According to Martinez, the Warrior Pharmacy was designed to drill down more real-time with Warriors and their Families for their medication therapy.
Its logo is "Know your Medicine; Know Your Pharmacist."
Some of the areas which the WT pharmacist will address with the Warriors are:
Aca,!Ac To check for herbals or other dietary supplements purchased on the outside against prescribed medication therapy.
Aca,!Ac To know that medicine is essential.
Aca,!Ac To read the label affixed to the bottle.
Aca,!Ac To understand the safety precautions.
Aca,!Ac To use the information present on the label.
Aca,!Ac To know what's in the medicine.
Aca,!Ac To read the medication labels to understand the active ingredients in the medicine.
Aca,!Ac To learn about both the generic and brand names, for example, acetaminophen is Tylenol.
Aca,!Ac To count the doses and follow the doctor's instructions when taking medication.
"Most important, said Martinez, "alcohol and drugs do not mix!"
"Our pharmacists play a vital role in our health care, besides being the expert in the preparation and dispensing of medications," Martinez said. "Pharmacists can help achieve the best result for medication therapy."
Martinez added Warriors should always carry their current medication list with them at all times and never leave home without it. "It can save lives if they are away from the hospital."