Celebrating National Pharmacy Week: October 16 – 22

10/16/2016 by Sarah Pena

Crystal Apodaca, Certified Pharmacy Technician, fills prescriptions at North Country's Flagstaff 4th Street location.
Crystal Apodaca, Certified Pharmacy Technician, fills prescriptions at North Country’s Flagstaff 4th Street location.

By Kimberly Chen, BSPharm, Director of Pharmacy at North Country HealthCare

October 16 – 22, 2016 is National Pharmacy Week. The purpose of this week is to raise awareness of what a pharmacy team can do to improve health and wellness. Here at North County HealthCare, we have an outstanding pharmacy team with decades of experience and training. Our pharmacists are dedicated to improving patients’ health outcomes and increasing understanding of their medical conditions and the medicines used to treat them. The pharmacy strives to ensure that every patient has the opportunity to engage with the pharmacy team in a positive and helpful way.

In recognition of National Pharmacy Week, the pharmacy team will be offering a free medication review and disposal event for patients on October 18 from 7 – 10 a.m. and 3 – 6 p.m. at the Flagstaff 4th Street location. Patients are encouraged to bring all their medications (regardless of what pharmacy filled the prescription) and over-the-counter and herbal supplements. Patients will sit down, one-on-one with pharmacy students, residents and pharmacy preceptors to review their medications. At the end of the consultation, the patient will be given a comprehensive medication list of all their current medications. Medications will also be reviewed for appropriateness, drug interactions and expiration/stability considerations. There will be medication disposal bins on site, where patients can safely and legally dispose of medications, including those that are expired or that have been identified by the team as something the patient should no longer keep. No appointments are needed and patients will be served on a first come, first served basis.

Although medicine can make you well, it also can harm you if it is not taken the right way. That’s why you need to know all you can about all the medicine you take. North Country HealthCare’s pharmacy staff is here to make sure that you receive the best and safest medications.

Here are some tips for using your medications safely:

Tell your doctor and pharmacist all the medicines you take.

  • Bring a medicine list with the names of:
    • Medicines prescribed by your doctors
    • Medicines you bought at a drug or grocery store (like medicines for pain or a cold)
    • Vitamins, herbs, and nutritional supplements

Tell your doctor and pharmacist what you can’t take.

  • Your medicine list should also include:
    • Medicines that you should not take (because of allergies or other problems).
    • Other allergies you have (to things like peanuts, shellfish, or latex)

Watch out for:

  • Any changes in your medicine, like a different color or shape
  • Any reactions or side effects that the doctor or pharmacist didn’t tell you about

Ask your doctor or pharmacist:

  • The name of any medicine you are given or asked to take
  • About anything that you don’t understand
  • For information about your medicines in writing

If you have any questions about your medicine, ask to speak to a pharmacist.

Get help

  • Ask a family member or friend to help you. This person can ask questions for you and help you speak up about any concerns you may have.

For more information about our pharmacy, click here or call 928.522.9403.

Kimberly Chen, BSPharm is the Director of Pharmacy for North Country HealthCare. She has been practicing pharmacy over 24 years and has been in Flagstaff since 2001.  Kimberly received her degree from the University of Cincinnati, James Winkle College of Pharmacy. Kimberly is passionate about patient care and improving patients’ access to services, especially clinical pharmacy services. 

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