ASHP Recognizes Pharmacists, Pharmacy Department's Care for Patients During Boston Marathon Bombing and Oklahoma Tornado



6/2/2014 The pharmacy department of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and Barbara Poe, D.Ph., M.B.A., FASHP, pharmacist-in-charge, Moore Medical Center in Moore, Okla., were honored today with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ (ASHP’s) Chief Executive Officer’s Award for Courageous Service. The awards, given to the recipients for their outstanding efforts to serve patients, were presented during the opening session of ASHP’s Summer Meetings in Las Vegas.

Established in 2000, the ASHP Chief Executive Officer’s Award for Courageous Service recognizes individuals or groups of individuals in health-system pharmacy who go beyond the call or assignment of duty to serve patients or assist pharmacists in serving patients, under emergency conditions or in times of natural disaster or other cataclysmic events. The award honors incidents of inspiring, unselfish service under adverse conditions.

Massachusetts General Hospital — Department of Pharmacy Team

In the immediate aftermath of the bombing at the Boston Marathon, the Department of Pharmacy team at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) made tremendous contributions to patient safety. MGH Pharmacy staff assisted in the emergency department as victims of the bombing arrived. When the city was put on lockdown as police searched for the bombers, the staff ensured the continued provision of pharmacy services to patients.

Pharmacists on Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT), who were on site at the finish line expecting to treat typical race issues of dehydration and dizziness, were suddenly taking care of runners and spectators injured by the bombing, providing both medical and psychological support.

This extraordinary crisis went far beyond the training of many, but the entire MGH pharmacy staff rose to the challenge. Their dedication to patient care and commitment to the profession meant they could make a critical difference for patients in this trying time.

Barbara Poe, Moore Medical Center

Ms. Poe was the pharmacist on duty at the Moore Medical Center when the catastrophic tornado ripped through Moore, Okla., on May 20, 2013. Poe and a pharmacy technician took cover under a desk while the hospital suffered a devastating direct hit from the maximum-strength tornado. In the aftermath, Poe helped spearhead the continued relief and recovery efforts. Within a week of the tornado’s devastation, she coordinated a group of volunteer pharmacists and organized a mobile pharmacy unit to provide prescription medications and vaccines to those displaced by the storm as well as volunteer workers. Ms. Poe also worked with her local quilting guild to make and provide quilts to those in central Oklahoma who were impacted by the tornadoes.

Today, Ms. Poe is a pharmacist at the Norman Regional Health System in Norman, Okla. Her courage and selflessness in the aftermath of the Moore tornado demonstrate the critical difference one person can make in a disaster response, as well as the important contributions pharmacists can make to emergency preparedness and response.

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