William Beaumont Army Medical Center's Department of Pharmacy celebrated National Pharmacy Week during a small gathering at WBAMC's main outpatient pharmacy, Oct. 18.

The celebration welcomed patients and staff to include Col. Erik Rude, commander, WBAMC, to a short brief regarding WBAMC pharmacy operations and mission, concluded with a cake cutting by the youngest enlisted pharmacy technician and newest pharmacist at WBAMC.

"(National Pharmacy Week) is about getting to know your pharmacist and asking questions about safety issues," said Capt. Brian Baur, officer in charge, pharmacy, Spc. Hugo V. Mendoza Soldier Family Care Clinic. "Any questions that physicians or providers don't answer we can always answer about medications."

"Educate Before your Medicate--Knowledge is the Best Medicine--Talk with Your Pharmacist," are themes for this year's National Pharmacy Week.

"This is a very fitting theme because our pharmacists and technicians are central to educating patients on the medications they are prescribed by their providers," said Col. Stacey Causey, chief, Department of Pharmacy, WBAMC. "Patient education about their medications is the most important part of the patient's medication therapy. The ultimate goal of the education is to help the patient to achieve positive health outcomes."

During Fiscal Year 2017, WBAMC's Department of Pharmacy, to include outlying clinics and McAfee Army Health Clinic at White Sands Missile Range, filled nearly 1 million prescriptions for nearly 400,000 patients.

The Department of Pharmacy's impact is felt across the whole hospital as clinical pharmacists embedded within various clinics provide an extra level of education for inpatients. Pharmacists' impact is evidenced by the highest customer satisfaction ratings in Regional Health Command-Central, via the Joint Outpatient Experience Survey (JOES) a standardized medical care survey administered at all Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs).

"(Patient satisfaction) is really about talking to people every day and helping them better understand their medication," said Baur. "Even if there was a 30-minute wait time, seeing the smiles they get when they leave the window let me know I made a difference."

"We want to make sure they get the service they deserve and keep them happy as much as we can," said Baur. "We are usually the last stop; we want to make sure the entire interaction at WBAMC has been a successful and good experience for them."~