Serving as a Vital Source of Health Care Information

Jennifer Barrio, Managing Editor
Published Online: Monday, July 11, 2011
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Jamie Barnett, RPh, has been chosen as Walmart's Pharmacist of the Year. 


When Walmart chose Jamie Barnett’s pharmacy as a model pharmacy for his region, the reasons extended way beyond the physical workspace or workflow design. Barnett, recently named Walmart’s Pharmacist of the Year, has a model attitude—both behind the counter and in the community—that earns him respect and translates into positive outcomes for his patients.

Barnett began his pharmacy career with Walmart at the store in Maryville, Missouri, in 2004, and was promoted to pharmacy manager in 2006. In that time, Barnett has counseled patients with common conditions, such as colds, head lice, and toothaches, but he has also encountered some atypical situations. Barnett has treated a customer with a pulse rate of 188 (who was referred to the emergency department), a frantic patient who ran into the pharmacy with battery acid in his eyes, and a bullfighting clown who about lost his thumb in a rodeo accident.

No matter what his patients’ health concerns, Barnett says his guiding principle is to make himself available to every customer and try to provide him or her with the answers they are searching for.

Even when he is not behind the counter, Barnett makes a big impact on his community. He is a member of the Lions Club and the local school board, and serves as the program director for elementary basketball, coach for elementary girls’ softball head, and assistant coach for T-ball.

Barnett advances the profession of pharmacy through community outreach as well. He speaks about pharmacy careers at an annual college career fair geared toward high school seniors from northwestern Missouri. Barnett also gave a presentation about safe medication usage to a community group called Parents as Teachers and, along with other professionals, answered their questions about health care.

Barnett is rather modest about the impact he is making in Maryville, Missouri. It is apparent upon speaking with him, however, that his focus on customer care and dedication to his community made him an excellent choice for this honor.

Q What do you appreciate most about working at Walmart Pharmacy?

A For me, it has always been about the people. I have enjoyed working with all my customers, technicians, and fellow pharmacists throughout my career. I have worked at various pharmacies over the last 17 years but few have allowed me the ability to provide such a wide range of care with the “small town” feel that Walmart has. Walmart provides me with the resources and affordable prices to allow me to help people live better.

Q What issues are most important to your patients in Maryville, Missouri?

A My customers in Maryville want quality care and affordable prices delivered with a personal touch. Their biggest concern is finding affordable insurance and affordable medicine so that they don’t have to choose between medicine and groceries.

Q How do you educate patients about the role of the pharmacist?

A Each customer is unique and I have to be able to “read” them to know what kind of care they need. Some customers need a lot of information whereas others just need a quick overview. I provide prescription counseling, brochures, Web site information, and advice about over the counter medications and various home remedies. If I don’t know the answer, I do my best to find it for them.

Q Has there been a specific moment in your career that made you a better pharmacist?

A Winning this award has made me realize that I can make a difference in people’s lives and what I am doing is having positive effects. Treating other people the way you want to be treated is the right way to live. I have always felt this way and am proud to work for a company whose founder, Sam Walton, had the same beliefs as I do. I now have a better understanding that it truly is the little things that can make the biggest differences in my customer’s lives. Since being recognized for doing what I do, I am more conscious of treating people better. It has become a priority of my pharmacy in Maryville, Missouri. PT



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