After cities were crippled by tornadoes, floods, and ice storms over the past year, state officials have come up with a way to ensure that residents are not forced to go without their medications when pharmacies are shut down due to natural disasters. The Kentucky Department for Public Health, along with the Kentucky Pharmacists Association (KPhA), is set to address such situations throughout the state with a mobile pharmacy unit.
“This state-of-the-art mobile unit provides pharmacists across Kentucky with the resources to care for patients in times of emergency and during other public health missions,” Jessika Chin, PharmD and KPhA president, said in a press release from the 2 groups.
A 28-foot trailer that is powered by generators, the mobile pharmacy is equipped with satellite phone capability, as well as the capability of being connected to telephone land lines. The unit would be deployed to the area where it is most needed in the case of a natural disaster or other emergency situation, and is expected to prove itself useful at disaster shelters.
Volunteer KPhA member pharmacists can be utilized to provide pharmacy care when the unit is in use. Services provided will include those typically provided by pharmacies, including patient counseling, vaccinations, public health education, and medication preparation and dispensing.
Funding for the mobile unit was provided through a federal grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. State officials will reportedly seek to purchase more of the mobile pharmacies in the future.
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