Colleen Jenkins, CPhT, draws from her experience as a breast cancer survivor to help increase medication access, improve care, and relieve the financial stress of patients in the St. Luke’s oral chemotherapy program.
With an understanding that cancer treatment was shifting toward oral agents, Jenkins helped establish the St. Luke’s oral chemotherapy program in conjunction with a PGY2 residency project in 2008. The program was ahead of its time when it began, only filling 10 to 20 prescriptions per week. At the time, Jenkins worked part-time but was responsible for developing essential procedures for outpatient dispensing, inventory management, and insurance billing that are still in use today.
Since its inception, the program has grown substantially, now filling 80 to 100 prescriptions each week and serving 300 to 400 active patients. Each prescription is complex and requires working with pharmacists to obtain prior authorizations, insurers to help obtain coverage for patients, and financial advocates to obtain assistance for patients.
Jenkins’s hard work has greatly contributed to the success of the program, which won an Innovator Award from the Association of Community Cancer Centers in 2011 and was selected as a finalist for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists award for excellence in medication use safety in 2012. Due to the program’s success, she now helps train and teach other pharmacists and residents about the work flow and tools developed for the program.
Although Jenkins’s organizational skills have helped the program to grow, her real passion is in helping patients. As a breast cancer survivor, she is able to understand the needs of her patients and has helped to improve care and ease the financial burden cancer patients face during treatment. She has assisted in obtaining millions of dollars of free drugs and hundreds of thousands of dollars of patient assistance funds, while creating and maintaining personal relationships with patients.
“She routinely calls and talks to patients, works with them to determine the best course of action, and ensures that their needs are taken care of, because she knows, as a cancer survivor, that as our patients battle cancer, the last thing they need to worry about is whether they can afford their potentially life-saving medications,” her nomination read.
For Mary Jane Magno, customer service is the key to improving patient care and pharmacy operations.
As the lead pharmacy technician at the Naval Hospital Lemoore Pharmacy, Magno manages 18 military and civilian technicians who provide care and customer service to the 32,000 active duty military personnel, retirees, and other beneficiaries of the Central Valley California military community. Excelling in both inpatient and outpatient settings, she monitors work flow and accurately processes 160,000 prescriptions each year and boasts a wait time of less than 10 minutes.
In addition to her administrative and clinical contributions to the hospital over the past 22 years, Magno has helped to improve the pharmacy in her customer service role over the last 5 years. Her efforts as a customer service representative led to the hospital’s recognition as the number 1 military treatment facility in Navy medicine based on a monthly performance overview for customer service.
Patients also recognized her work to improve service as many submitted positive feedback cards for the pharmacy and its staff.
“Mrs. Magno exemplifies the best qualities of what it means to be a patient-centered health care professional,” her nomination read.
Magno also helps to improve patient care and pharmacy operations through technology innovations. As the primary liaison for data service, she is responsible for managing data integrity for more than 14,000 prescriptions filled each month. Her dedication to this role has resulted in pharmacy cost-savings of more than $600,000.
Most recently, she helped to plan an automated dispensing system project at the hospital. Due to her technological expertise and leadership, she was assigned as a system administrator and trainer for the junior technicians in the pharmacy.
Her contributions to the pharmacy and its patients have been recognized with 2 Civilian of the Year awards and 3 Civilian of the Quarter awards.
Brenton Michales’ knack for recognizing and correcting potential problems has helped to improve customer service and operations at his pharmacy, allowing the pharmacists to place a greater focus on patient care needs.
In his current position as the lead technician at a CVS Pharmacy in Cortland, New York, he recognized an error in the computer system when a generic version of a drug first became available; the computer automatically substituted the brand name drug with a double dose of the generic. After calling the help desk, he confirmed that a mistake had been on the corporate level when the drug had been added to the computer system, preventing a number of patients chain-wide from potentially receiving a double dose of their medication.
His initiative and attention to detail also helped to earn his store top honors in its district in 2013. The store ranked first in adjusted prescription count, customer experience satisfaction, lowest percentage of out-of-stock medications, and medication management key performance measures.
“A large part of the success we experienced in 2013 was due to Brenton,” his nomination read. “He is extremely reliable and has an inner initiative that is very rarely found in today’s workforce.”
Michales’ dedication was recognized by his district supervisors and he was selected to act as support technician trainer for software enhancement rollouts for his district, offering assistance and evaluating pharmacy staff for compliance at multiple store locations district-wide. He has also assisted with the planning, set-up, and operation of multiple flu clinics throughout his district for the 2012-2013 and 2013- 2014 flu seasons. In addition, he is often asked to assist other locations within his district that are experiencing problems maintaining their inventory levels.
“In the constantly changing world of the practice of pharmacy, technicians like Brenton are needed now more than ever. Having a technician that we can trust and who supports the pharmacist is exactly what our profession needs in order for the pharmacist to be able to provide adequate patient counseling, administer vaccines, and whatever else is coming down the pipeline.”
Michales is currently continuing his education, and aspires to work in the policies and procedures department at the corporate level in the future.