FORT RUCKER, Ala -- Faced with the need to practice social distancing in a crowded pharmacy waiting room, Lyster Army Health Clinic staff knew they couldn’t continue conducting business as usual.In a matter of a week, the pharmacy incrementally went from normal seating in a pharmacy waiting area to six-foot physical distancing with chairs, to limited foot traffic within the healthcare facility, to hand delivery with two drive-thru areas for picking up prescriptions.“Through a little innovation, imagination and inspiration, we have come up with a way to serve our public in the safest way we know how, and that is with a drive-thru pharmacy,” commented Lt. Col. Karen Holtzclaw, deputy commander for nursing and patient services at Lyster Army Health Clinic.The pharmacy leadership team, Army medics, healthcare personnel and the entire Lyster team joined together to support the new mission requirements of the pharmacy. With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 guidelines on social distancing, protecting the staff and patients created the opportunity to offer to drive-thru services for pharmacy patrons.Robert Yates, a patron utilizing the pharmacy drive-thru, said he appreciated the new service.“This is the first time I’ve used the drive-thru pharmacy,” he said. “It was easy to use and quick. I was really surprised how smoothly everything went.”Another patron, Kevin Conley, remarked, “It’s an easier function for us to just pull in and grab our medication and go. It’s a faster process. You don’t have to interact with as many people, so you can practice social distancing.”The rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic created a social distancing obstacle for pharmacies across the nation. Lyster leadership found it important to act immediately to promote social distancing and minimize the opportunities for exposure to COVID-19 to its beneficiaries and staff members, said Col. Jimmie Tolvert, Lyster commander.In a matter of days, pharmacy waiting areas went from standing-room-only to drive-thru services to minimize and limit the possibility of COVID-19 exposure, he added.“I am proud of our team meeting and exceeding the challenges,” the commander said. “We have our shoulders together, moving forward regardless of the circumstances. We found proactive, out-of-the-box ways to better serve our patrons. Lyster is committed to the safety and wellbeing of the Fort Rucker community.”For more information on Lyster pharmacy service, visit or follow their Facebook page at