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Women in Pharmacy during COVID-19- By Vivian Tang (’14)

At Providence Medical Group (PMG) in Oregon, a team of ambulatory care pharmacists has been working hard to support their primary care providers given the everchanging landscape of research and data being published on COVID-19. Dawn Fuke (’99, PharmD ‘01) and Vivian Tang (‘14) have been collaborating with team members in Oregon and Washington to develop a centralized drug information platform to share their evidence-based summaries on COVID-19 medication-related topics such as treatment options, safety concerns, potential drug interactions, and recommendations for high-risk populations. This platform is shared system-wide to all providers within the Providence St. Joseph Healthcare system whose locations include California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Alaska. 
 
Within PMG leadership, Kristy Butler (‘96, PharmD ‘98), manager of the primary care clinical pharmacy services – Oregon region, has been overseeing the COVID-19 response plan for their department’s 30 pharmacists and support staff. Under her leadership, the pharmacy team quickly transformed its services into virtual and telephonic care. The transition aimed to continue the delivery of high-quality clinical and drug information services without negatively impacting patient care. Kristy has also been collaborating with medical leadership to ensure the team’s COVID-19 drug information platform continues to address the clinical concerns of their medical providers. Kristy shares, “We wanted to ensure there was no postponing of any important clinical care our patients needed in a way that ultimately also best services our communities”.
 
As the Director of Quality at Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center in Portland, Oregon, Sarah Dienes (‘08) has been busy collaborating with her institution’s medical leaders to prepare their COVID-19 response plan even before the first case was reported in Oregon. Some of her many activities have included overseeing distribution of their centralized personal protective equipment and sanitation supplies, coordinating response plans across their multiple medical, dental, and 340b retail pharmacy sites, designing policies & procedures to ensure staff have appropriate workflows to keep employees and patients safe and collaborating with executive leaders to ensure the needs of their staff and patients continue to be addressed and resolved. Sarah shares, “In my role, I have an interesting perspective in that my position is aligned with medical leadership but I come into it from a pharmacy background. This allows me to lead our COVID-19 response with a broad lens. In partnership with other leaders, we are reforming teams to serve our patients; medical, pharmacy, and dental staff are working together in our new care models.  I am so proud of my organization and how we have quickly modified our systems to redefine how we care for our patients and communities.”

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