Felicity Winnett, RPh, this year’s winner of the Walmart Pharmacist Excellence in Patient Care Award, understands the connection between serving the individual patient and improving the overall health of her community.
“Felicity has established a genuine, welcoming pharmacy environment for patients and staff that incorporates core Walmart values, which include respecting the individual and providing the highest standard of pharmaceutical care,” says Felicity’s supervisor, Kelli R. Cox, Health and Wellness market director, Walmart. “I have heard her tell her team, ‘Patients can pick any pharmacy; it is the connection and personal care that they receive that will make them customers for life.’”
With undergraduate and pharmacy school degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, Felicity— who hails from the small town of Trinity, Texas—worked at pharmacies in San Antonio and Austin until she and her husband found home in the small community of Lockhart, Texas. There, Felicity began as a floater for Walmart in 1999 and became a Walmart pharmacy manager about 10 years ago.
“I have enjoyed not only living in a small community, but being what I think is an important part of the health care of Lockhart,” says Felicity. “I am always working on finding ways to promote the pharmacy and help it run as efficiently as possible.”
For Felicity, efficiency and patient care go hand in hand. “I believe Felicity is the epitome of what excellence in patient care is all about,” says Germaine Robottom, RPh, MBA, senior director, Health and Wellness, Central Division, Walmart. “She is an excellent example of what a good ambassador of Walmart should be to the community and to our patients. She is heavily involved in the local community, putting on many brown bag lunches on her own time for the community, including diabetes management, medication adherence, potential drug interactions, promotion of heart-healthy lifestyles, and flu prevention. She also travels to … schools to give presentations to [get] children on track to an early healthy lifestyle.”
It’s no surprise that Felicity’s care for her community goes beyond the pharmacy. Felicity is currently busy helping organize her daughter’s high school senior year activities, and has served as cochairman for her town’s annual Christmas event for 24 years.
What advice do you have for other pharmacists?
There are many areas of pharmacy, so while you’re in school be sure to experience as many of them as possible and find what you love. I personally love interacting with patients, but not everyone does. Do not make decisions based on financial issues alone. Your work environment will have a huge influence on whether you love your work. You could be doing this for many, many years. You have invested a great deal of time and money into your education, so be sure you love what you do.
What is the most important concern in pharmacy today?
Affordable health care is an issue we encounter daily. We try to help our patients to make the best decisions for their health as well as their pocketbook. Working with patients and their doctors can be a challenge, but can also be very rewarding.
What advice would you give to a new pharmacist?
This is a very rewarding career, but the work environment can be stressful. Do this work because you love the interactions, and the challenge of working through a difficult situation. It is very important to get to know your patients. Often, they are interesting and thoughtful and can make a challenging day much better. This relationship is the most important factor for a successful career.