The JPS Health Network's Clinical Pharmacy Department is the recipient of the Board of Pharmacy Specialties 2023 Weaver/Penna Award. It is awarded annually by the Board of Pharmacy Specialists (BPS) to an individual and a patient care organization. That shows that an organization has advanced in care and quality through specialized training, knowledge, and skill, contributing to the advancement of BPS board certification of pharmacists.
JPS requires all clinical pharmacists to be BPS board-certified within six months of employment. Being board-certified ensures the clinical pharmacy team is knowledgeable in all areas and up-to-date in their field of expertise. The JPS Clinical Pharmacy department comprises 57 board-certified team members in ambulatory care and inpatient hospital settings, as well as two PGY-1 pharmacy residents and two PGY-2 Ambulatory Care Pharmacy residents. So, receiving this award ensures all the commitment the department dedicated to the care of patients paid off.
"Receiving this award demonstrates the hard work of our department over the last ten years and how we've advanced during this time," Elizabeth Johnson, PharmD, BCPS, Critical Care Clinical Pharmacist Supervisor, Emergency Medicine Clinical Pharmacist, said. "About ten years ago, we moved to require board certification for clinical pharmacists and enhanced our services as more training became available for pharmacists. Board certification aided our endeavors to round with the multidisciplinary teams and own more protocols and patient care aspects like protocols/practice agreements to optimize pharmacotherapy, including drug selection, dosing, and discontinuation. It allowed us to embed ourselves into inpatient and outpatient care at JPS. This award acknowledges this hard work and what we've accomplished as a team."
Board-certified pharmacists provide 24/7 bedside emergency response including, but not limited to, the emergency department, intensive care units, internal medicine teams, infectious diseases, oncology, psychiatry, cardiology, long-term care, and ambulatory care/patient-centered medical home.
"Many physicians here love the clinical pharmacy department, and they count on us," Lindsay Oehlkers, PharmD, BCPS, Internal Medicine Clinical Pharmacist, said. "They tell us daily, and so I think it is big for our department to be recognized for the work we do for our patients."
One of the requirements for the nomination process included a letter of recommendation where Alan Podawiltz, DO, MS, FAPA, Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, said he recommends the JPS Clinical Pharmacy department for the award because they continuously exceeded his expectation for their quality of care. They are willing to excel in helping their patient population.
"The board-certified pharmacists have become integral members of the team and proven to be essential and extremely valuable to patient care and the interdisciplinary team. We rely heavily on their medication expertise, and I can undoubtedly say that the service we provide patients is well beyond the standard of care because of our board-certified pharmacists," Podawiltz said.
The JPS Clinical Pharmacy department comprises individuals with different skill sets. Their talent and dedication ensure that each patient receives the best care and their work does not go unnoticed.
"You all provide amazing care by integrating yourselves into patient care teams, both in clinics and on the floors, with the rounding services, by doing pharmacotherapy therapeutic reviews of medication regimens, optimizing medications, providing direct patient care, and being the medication safety leaders here at JPS," Elice Ortega, PharmD, RPh, BCACP, Director, Clinical Pharmacy Services said. “Not only that, but you also are educating the next generation of pharmacists, nurses, and physicians. Each day you go home after work, you can proudly say that you've made a difference in each patient's life."