Ireland Army Health Clinic Pharmacy and Binter Pharmacy staff will recognize National Pharmacy Week, Oct. 16-21. It's a time the staff enjoys because it gives them more time with the patients, according to Stephanie Rhoades, who is a certified pharmacy technician and has been working with IRAHC for ten years.

"This job is important to me because I know I am helping others, and not just with their medication needs," she explained. "Our patients are very special to us. Some of them truly hold a special place in our hearts."

She added that when a patient has a crises, such as a spouse passing away, staff takes time to cry with them--sometimes right at the window, or will come out to the lobby to give them a hug.

"And when I say 'we care,' I mean all of us here. We know a lot of them by name, and we remember events that we talked about on their last visit," she added. "Point being, we really do care about our patients. This job makes me feel very good about being where I am--our patients and my coworkers are amazing!"

Rhoades said pharmacy week is important because the staff wants people to know they are there to serve them. And, because the average person doesn't really know or even think about what really happens behind the scenes at their local pharmacy.

"To some, it's just a place to waste their whole day waiting when all we, 'have to do is slap a label on a bottle.' Our hope is that it sheds a bit of light on what we really do," she explained. "We also want our patients to know that medications alone are not going to make or keep you healthy."

Things such as regular blood pressure checks, self-education on diabetes prevention and management, and having a cholesterol check every so often are key to maintaining good health. Which is why Pharmacy Week will end with a Health Fair at the PX on Oct. 21st.

Capt. Alisa Snyder, a pharmacist and chief of pharmacy at IRAHC, said IRAHC looks forward to this week each year because it provides them an opportunity to recognize patients and staff.

"We know our patients have the choice to use other pharmacies, so we delight in the opportunity to acknowledge them and say 'thank you' for choosing ours," she said. "We also think it's important to acknowledge the staff for the superior work they do throughout the year because they all take pride in improving the patient experience and positively impacting our patients' health.

"Most folks don't realize what goes on behind the scenes--the job isn't just about filling prescriptions," she explained. "It's also about researching and working with physicians to optimize drug regimens; educating our patients on their medications; ensuring their meds work safely together for the best possible outcomes; keeping supplies in stock so our patients have what they need, when they need it--things like that. It's a lot of work and the staff deserves big kudos for what they do."

• The week starts with Col. Kevin Bass, the IRAHC commander, signing an official Pharmacy Proclamation in the IRAHC pharmacy.
-The staff provides free donuts to its patients throughout the day.
• Oct. 17 is Pharmacy Tech Appreciation Day and on this day most of the pharmacy staff will also wear Pharmacy Team shirts.
• Oct. 18 the staff will recognize Pharmacy Staff Appreciation Day and have scheduled an internal dessert cook-off between its members. The pharmacy staff will also hold a contest called "Trash-To-Treasure Thursday." Anyone who participates will use pharmacy recyclable trash to create something useful. These items will also be judged for a prize.
• Then, Oct. 20 is Pharmacist Appreciation Day,
• And the week will end with a Health Fair at the PX Oct. 21. Sullivan University students will be on hand to share health information with patients. Blood screenings and blood pressure checks are also available to patients as well as an opportunity to return any unused or expired medications.

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