- Introduction: A Top-Level Look at the Future of Federal Medicine
- Military Health System in Time of Transition as Conflicts End
- Army Medicine: Redefining Its Role in the Generation of a Ready and Resilient Force
- Air Force Medicine: Averting an Identity Crisis
- Moving Forward with Reforming the Indian Health Service
- The Clinical Pharmacy Specialist's Growing Provider Role in VA
- Public Health Service Pharmacy: Accelerating Transformation
- Military Pain Management’s Future: Less Invasive, More Data-Driven Techniques
- Navy Medicine: Strong, Agile and Ready
- Telemental Health in VA: A New Source of Support for Veterans
USPHS Pharmacy Prepared to Lead Cont.
Emergency and Disaster Response
As a key component to protecting the nation’s health, PHS pharmacists also serve in critical roles in the national-response network, establishing the foundation to advance disaster response. PHS pharmacists collaborate with response partners and serve in leadership roles across the national response network and thus are well- positioned to further mission capabilities. From holding command positions in planning and operations to the management of the strategic national stockpile, PHS pharmacists are answering the 2011 CPO call to action by expanding upon their traditional roles. Critical positions held by PHS pharmacists include serving as regional health administrators and command of HHS Distribution Logistics and Rapid Deployment Forces.
Significant accomplishments are achieved through collaboration with federal, state and local responders in disaster missions. In recent years, during domestic deployments, PHS pharmacists have provided care to thousands of patients during Hurricanes Katrina, Gustav and Ike. With a history of service in missions inclusive of the 9/11 World Trade Center and anthrax attacks and multiple hurricanes, PHS pharmacists possess an expansive array of experiences in emergency response. During Operation Lone Star, PHS pharmacists collaborated recently with the state and local partners to provide free healthcare services for thousands of patients from underserved populations in rural areas of southern Texas. This provides additional and innovative ways to serve vulnerable and medically underserved populations. As customary, PHS also has the capacity and experience to continue to partner with DoD on disasters when such needs arise. Past examples include hurricane-ravaged Haiti, ship-based missions with the U.S. Navy and collaborations formed with the Iraq and Afghanistan ministries of health. This information has been chronicled in multiple publications and can be found at the following websites: http://www.usphs.gov/corpslinks and http://www.usphs.gov.
|Lt. Yiying Tsai counsels a patient on medications after Hurricane Ike. — USPHS photo|
On June 16, 2011, the 18th U.S. Surgeon General, Vice Adm. Regina Benjamin, released the nation’s first National Prevention Strategy. The National Prevention Strategy (NPS) is a shift from a focus on sickness and disease to one based on prevention and wellness. To further implement and amplify priorities of the NPS, PHS Pharmacy has developed a PHS Pharmacy Prevention Strategy.
The PHS Pharmacy Prevention Strategy outlines many of the activities that PHS pharmacists perform to enhance prevention and wellness. Pharmacists can contribute substantially to national prevention efforts by improving access to preventive care and wellness, increasing the quality and quantity of services and enhancing public health and health information technology infrastructures. In federal health systems, PHS pharmacists regularly serve as healthcare providers in disease prevention and implement prevention services in areas, including the prevention of prescription drug abuse, medical errors, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and others. PHS pharmacists also provide smoking-cessation services, reproductive and sexual health education and pharmacy-based immunization delivery. According to the American Pharmacists Association in 2011, more than 150,000 pharmacists in the U.S. have been trained in immunization delivery. CDC estimated that pharmacists across the nation administered approximately 20% of the influenza vaccinations, about 25 million doses, during the 2010-2011 flu season.
Although prevention begins with the availability of information and access to the healthcare system through communities, colleagues and friends, Americans will need additional access to the healthcare system. Our most-accessible healthcare professionals -- pharmacists -- should contribute significantly to the development of a more comprehensive preventive paradigm.
The PHS Pharmacy Prevention Strategy demonstrates how PHS pharmacists and the pharmacy profession are able to: 1) increase access to quality care and preventive services; 2) shift from treatment-focused to prevention-focused care; and 3) coordinate national prevention efforts within the profession. The strategy illustrates that PHS pharmacists are directly engaged in national prevention efforts with our U.S. Surgeon General and are prepared to lead in preventive efforts.
Our health system is changing, offering the pharmacy profession unprecedented opportunity. Pharmacists must be prepared to recognize and seize the opportunities afforded to us. We must be proactive and take steps to continue to build capacity, expand our scope and set our goals for national health impact. As demonstrated through our innovative initiatives, collaborative provision of healthcare, emergency response and capacity, and development of preventive strategies, PHS Pharmacy will continue to lead with our federal-pharmacist colleagues to advance pharmacy practice and the profession.