Pharmacy Conference Helps Local Pharmacy Technician Improve Professional Skills

Pharmacy Conference Helps Local Pharmacy Technician Improve Professional Skills

Sun Praire, WI, April 11, 2017

Bridgett Edgar, pharmacy technician at Pharm A Save in Monroe  recently attended the IPC Independent Pharmacy Conference in Scottsdale, AZ.  At the three day conference she participated in nearly 10 hours of continuing pharmacy education courses.

Meeting organizers said that during the educational sessions attendess were updated on the latest trends in prescription medications.  They were also brought up to date on the latest rules and regulations affecting the practice of pharmacy.   Edgar says she was pleased with the information she gained and will use it as she strives to insure her patients get the maximum benefit from the medication Pharm A Save provides.   Edgar participated in the meeting as the official pharmacy technician representative of the Washington State Pharmacist Association.

According Don Anderson, President and CEO of the Independent Pharmacy Cooperative (IPC) said a primary goal of the meeting was to provide formal business classes and a forum where pharmacy owners can learn from others whose experience will help them take better care of their customers.

About IPC: Formed in 1983 IPC is the nation’s largest group purchasing organization.  The cooperative serves the needs of nearly 6000 independent pharmacy owners across the country.  With locations in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and Phoenix, Arizona, IPC prides itself on providing access to programs and services that enable pharmacy owners to operate more modern, up to date and profitable pharmacies.    Continue reading Pharmacy Conference Helps Local Pharmacy Technician Improve Professional Skills

April is Community Service Month

Community Service Month – What does that mean to you? Do you get overwhelmed and wonder how in the world you could squeeze in one more thing?

Community service is a broad phrase. Some think about donating to a local organization with time or money. Others volunteer with a church. It doesn’t really how you “step out”, there are many ways to get more involved with your community.

I want to share with you some of the things that will be keeping us busy in April.  Pharm A Save Monroe has made it a goal to get out in the community even more this year.

April 1st 2017 – Pharm A Save Monroe donated instant ice packs to the Sky Valley Little League. This was our way of helping the kick off to their season be a successful one. Unfortuntly it rained out, but they are set for the upcoming season.

April 8th 2017Monroe’s Senior Center Auction!  Pharm A Save Monroe donated a basket of goodies to be auctioned off at this years East County Senior Center Auction. All proceeds from the auction go to support Monroe’s senior center. This year, we also have a table and will enjoy the dinner & dining experience, as well as fight of dessert. If you have never been to this auction, it is a wonderful night out for a great cause.

April 12th 2017 – Pharm A Save Monroe sponsors a lunch at the Monroe East County Senior Center on the 2nd Wednesday of each month. When United Way cut a vital piece of funding to our local senior center, we knew we had to help in anyway possible. We started this outreach in October, and since then have been able to spend time with those who can come.  The center has lunch every day, for a nominal fee. Lunch is open to all ages so we get a chance to catch up a variety of people.  Pharm A Save was able to offer flu vaccines and one on one time with our Pharmacist Shaunett Rph.  Having this time outside of the building and helping others is truly rewarding. A big shout out to Jacob and Candace at the Senior Center for a fantastic job of organizing and planning. And, thank you to the other weekly meal sponsors Brookdale Monroe and EvergreenHealth Monroe. What an absolutely rewarding experience this has been.

April 15th 2017 – Monroe will have their 21st Annual Community Easter egg hunt.    Pharm A Save Monroe will set up a booth and have games & prizes for the kiddos. Be sure to stop by and say hello!

April 15th 2017The Sky Valley Chamber Dinner and Auction – We have been involved in the auction committee and are looking forward to the 25th Annual Dinner and Auction for the Sky Valley Chamber (Sultan and surrounding areas). The event is a Masquerade theme, and is taking place at Camp Houston in Gold Bar WA.

April 29th 2017 – Healthy Kids day at the Monroe WA YMCA – We will be set up with goodies for the kids as well as information for the parents on how we can help with keeping kids healthy. We offer free vitamins for children, so this will be a great opportunity to share this with the families.

There will be more in the coming weeks. Pharm A Save will be hosting the “Blue Door” from the Monroe Boys and Girls club the week of May 14th. I encourage you to follow their project on twitter : @MonroeBlueDoor

If you see us out in your community, be sure to come say hello! We have a busy year ahead!

 

 

 

Spring Fever….

As soon as the weather changes, as soon as we get to at least 50 degrees, I am opening the doors in my house, opening the windows and letting all of the fresh air in. My mind goes into overdrive and I am wanting to get outside and work in the dirt that I call MY garden. If anyone else looked at the mess,  they would wonder why I waste my time with that mess. It is MY rewarding mess.

As soon as the days get longer, we feel the need to clean out and purge. That’s a good thing. Get rid of all of the stuff that has been building up with no use or no where to put it. This happens also when families are trying to find useful places for old medical equipment that is no longer needed.

If you have a wheelchair, a walker, used hospital bed, you can donate it to Good Will or maybe post it on a board at your local senior center. Once the word gets out that these type of items are available, they will go quickly. Remember to clean them up so they are clean and ready for the next user. A little Pine Sol or Clorox mixture go along way.

Then there are the “soft goods” like packages of diapers, pads and washable pads. As long as they have not been used, the nursing homes, adult family homes and senior centers are always appreciative with that type of donation.

So , when the sun starts to shine,  the days get longer and the breeze starts to clean the air, remember that all of “the stuff” can be paid forward to be part of someone else’s stuff.

Let’s talk again,

** Remember, when you wake in the morning, Give thanks!

Sue Graafstra

Pharm A Save Medical Equipment and Supply

360-794-4641 ext 200

http://www.PharmASaveMonroe.com

5 Tips to Help Save Your Vision

Eight out of 10 people living with vision loss worldwide could have saved their sight through prevention or treatment.1 Pretty amazing, isn’t it? Of course, seeing your doctor for eye exams and treatment is key.

Here are a few other things you can do help ensure your eyes have a bright future:

  1. Wear sunglasses. Sunglasses that block 100 percent of ultraviolet-A and ultraviolet-B rays give you a big bang for your buck. They can:
  • Delay development of cataracts.
  • Prevent retinal damage.
  • Protect delicate eyelid skin from skin cancer, non-cancerous growths, and wrinkles.2
  1. Eat right. You are what you eat. It’s an old adage, but there’s something to it. And when it comes to your eyes, it may still hold true. Recently, the Coimbra Eye Study found a lower rate of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in people eating a Mediterranean diet. This includes lots of:
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes such as beans
  • Fish
  • Cereals
  • Fruits (In the study, those who ate just over 5 ounces of fruit a day were nearly 15 percent less likely to have AMD.)3

The researchers found that fiber, beta-carotene, and vitamins C and E seemed to be most protective. (Surprisingly, people who consumed more caffeine also had less AMD.)3

Other research has also shown that zinc, lutein, xeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids may protect not only from AMD, but also cataracts and dry eye. You can find these nutrients in citrus fruits, vegetables oils, nuts, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, and cold-water fish like salmon.4 Some people should not take large doses of antioxidants for medical reasons. So be sure to talk your doctor or me if you have any questions about this.

If you are at risk for diabetes or AMD, you may also benefit from a low-glycemic index diet. What is this? Avoid foods that quickly raise your blood sugar, such as sweets and white bread.4

  1. Quit smoking. Smoking is linked to AMD and cataracts.2 Yes, I know it’s not easy, but if you smoke, quit, and if you don’t smoke, don’t start! If you need ideas for quit-smoking resources, I’d be glad to help.
  2. Send kids outdoors. Here’s one for your kids: Recent research is pointing to a possible benefit of more time outdoors early in life, especially between the ages of 14 and 29. Although researchers don’t understand why, this appears to decrease the risk of nearsightedness (myopia). So, send your kids outdoors, but don’t forget the sunglasses and sunscreen.5
  3. Use eye protection. Two-and-a-half million eye injuries occur in the U.S. each year. Using standard protective eyewear could prevent most of these injuries. If you or your child plays sports, make sure the eye protection meets the specific requirements of that sport. Not sure? Check with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).2

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition. 

Sources:

  1. AAO: The Bright Future of Vision Care. Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/news/bright-future-of-vision-care Accessed 2-3-17.
  2. AAO: Top 10 Tips to Save Your Vision. Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/top-10-tips-to-save-your-vision-2 Accessed 2-3-17.
      3.  AAO: Mediterranean Diet May Keep AMD at Bay. Available at:          https://www.aao.org/eye- health/news/eating-mediterranean-diet-may-keep-amd- at-bay         Accessed 2-3-17.
  1. AAO: Diet and Nutrition. Available at:
    https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/diet-nutrition Accessed 2-3-17.
MedlinePlus: Can Extra Time Outdoors When Young Reduce Nearsightedness? Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_162315.html  Accessed 2-3-17.

Thank You for the Honor, It’s What We Do Everyday

Thank You for the Honor, It’s What We Do Everyday

 On Thanksgiving Day, families across the country will come together around dining room tables. Many will share a bountiful feast and give thanks for many blessings. What better time than the month of November to also give thanks for our customers?

We are particularly grateful this year: In the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Pharmacy Study, Health Mart independent pharmacies were ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Chain Drug Store Pharmacies.” We outpaced other “brick-and-mortar” chain drug stores in four of five categories:

  • Our stores
  • Our cost competitiveness
  • Our pharmacists
  • Our non-pharmacy staff

The pharmacy study is now in its eighth year. This year, it was based on responses from 14,789 pharmacy customers who filled or refilled a prescription during the three months prior to the survey period of June 2016.

Personalized service. The survey also found that health and wellness services enhance customer satisfaction. We’re pleased by this finding. It validates the approach we use. This includes highly valued services such as consolidating medication pick-up, medication therapy management, and individualized disease health coaching.  You will be seeing some other valued services coming soon!

This kind of personalized service is a contrast to the approach offered by many large chain drug stores. By contrast, we take the time to care for you and your family right in your community. We take the time to hear our patients and provide trusted advice to answer your health questions.

Trusted advice. Patients can trust the advice offered at their local Health Mart pharmacy. Our pharmacists’ extensive training and expertise can help set your mind at ease. That’s because you know you can rely on their considerable knowledge to provide informed care and help you achieve optimal results from your medications.

How do we do this? For one, we simplify the language of prescription coverage—making it easier to understand without compromising accuracy. We also provide clinical services that can help you stay well. And we partner, as needed, with health care providers to enhance the quality of your healthcare.

Customer loyalty. Personalized service plus trusted advice is clearly a winning combination. And, as seen in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Pharmacy Study, Health Mart is surpassing the industry average in customer loyalty.

We accomplish this in many ways. For example, we don’t treat you as a number. We know that you’re a unique person with unique needs, which we strive to address. We accept most insurance plans and make it easy to transfer prescriptions. It also helps that our locally owned pharmacies are a part of the community—close to where our patients work, shop, and live.

Again, thank you for honoring us with this award. It means a great deal to us. But awards or no, we’ll keeping doing what we enjoy doing: delivering the very best care possible for our patients.

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.

 

Source

  1. J.D. Power press release: “Health Mart, Publix, Sam’s Club, Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy Rank Highest in Respective Segments.” Available at: http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/jd-power-2016-us-pharmacy-study. Accessed: 10-4-16.

News about the Flu Vaccine

It’s really tough to stay on top of all the health news these days. We’re here to help. Since the flu season is right around the corner, here’s a snapshot of recent news stories about the flu vaccine.

Flu shot helps people with diabetes. The seasonal flu vaccine is now recommended for everyone 6 months and older.1 But for some people it can be a matter of life and death.

During a seven-year study, British researchers looked at a group of nearly 125,000 people with type 2 diabetes—people who have a higher risk of cardiovascular problems.2 In those with type 2 diabetes, the flu vaccine was linked with reductions in flu-season hospital admissions, including a:

  • 30 percent reduction in admission for stroke
  • 22 percent reduction in admissions for heart failure
  • 19 percent reduction in admissions for heart attack
  • 15 percent reduction in admissions for pneumonia or influenza

Among those who received a flu shot, the death rate was 24 percent lower than in those who had not been vaccinated. The study didn’t prove a cause-and-effect connection between the two. But the results are pretty compelling.

Limits of the flu vaccine “twofer.” How do infants benefit when their moms have a flu shot during pregnancy? Previous studies showed a benefit, for sure. Now we know how long it likely lasts. Researchers in South Africa assessed more than 1,000 infants whose moms received a flu shot while pregnant. During the first eight weeks after birth the vaccines were 85.6 percent effective.3 After that, effectiveness ranged from about:

  • 25 percent at eight to 16 weeks
  • 30 percent at 16 to 24 weeks

It’s helpful to know this because current vaccines don’t work well in infants younger than six months, and infants have high rates of the flu. Talk to me about other ways you can protect your baby. That includes washing your hands often, keeping your baby away from sick people, and making sure everyone else in your family is vaccinated.1

 Get your flu shot. If you’re like many people, getting a flu vaccination can easily slip your mind. But a flu shot is too important to get bumped to the bottom of your priority list. Every flu season is different, and every person responds to the flu in a different way. The flu can lead to hospitalizations and even death. The flu season often begins in October, so there’s no better time than the present.

Long-term protection. More good news? Another study has found that flu vaccines offer moderate protection for about six months. That’s the length of most flu seasons. The study’s findings suggest that a flu shot in early fall may prevent the greatest number of cases.

Want to get a jump-start on that flu shot instead? Well, then, October is your month. Call us  or just stop by for your flu shot options.  We are ready if you need us.  If you do catch the flu this season stop in for your flu needs and talk with our pharmacist about your symptoms.  We are here to help.

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.

 

Sources

  1. What You Should Know for the 2015-201 Influenza Season. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2015-2016.htm Accessed 8-13-16.
  2. Flu Shot Tied to Fewer Hospitalizations, Deaths in Type 2 Diabetes Patients. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_160085.html Accessed 8-31-16.
  3.  Pregnancy Flu Shot Protects Newborn for 8 Weeks: Study. Available at:       https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_159719.html  Accessed 8-31-16.

 

The Flu Vaccine – An Insurance Policy for the Whole Family

The Flu Vaccine – An Insurance Policy for the Whole Family

No, it’s not foolproof. But an annual flu vaccine is a great way to insure against the flu. The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine each year. It’s designed to protect against the three or four flu viruses most likely to cause illness during the upcoming flu season.1

For most people, a flu vaccine can protect you throughout the flu season, which typically lasts from October to May. The best policy? Get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine becomes available, ideally in October.1

For young kids. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests the nasal spray vaccine for healthy children ages 2 through 8. For young children, it may work better than the flu shot (and be a little less scary, too). But if it’s not available early in the flu season, don’t wait. Go ahead with the flu shot.1

Remember: even healthy children are at risk of flu complications that are serious enough to land them in the hospital. Signs of pneumonia include chest pain and fast, difficult breathing. 2

If you’re pregnant.  In recent years, several studies have shown that the flu vaccine is safe and effective, no matter your stage of pregnancy. The flu shot protects both you and your baby. In fact, it is much more dangerous not to be vaccinated. In addition to pneumonia, the flu can lead to premature labor and other complications.

If you’re pregnant, just given birth, or are breast-feeding, however, don’t get the live (nasal mist) vaccine. You should have an inactivated version instead.3

If you’re over 65. As you age, the flu vaccine may not last as well as it does in younger, healthier people. If you’re over 65 or have a weaker immune system, you may not create as many antibodies. And, your antibody levels may drop more quickly.1

A recent study has found that a high-dose flu shot is more effective in seniors than the standard dose. Approved for people 65 and older, the Fluzone High-Dose vaccine contains four times as much as the standard dose. With its use, the researchers believe that about 25 percent of flu cases in seniors could be prevented.4

The CDC doesn’t recommend this vaccine for all seniors, though. Be sure to talk with your doctor or me to see if it’s right for you or someone your love.

Where to get a flu vaccine. You can always see your doctor or go to a health or student clinic. But you can also come to our pharmacy and the pharmacists can give you a flu shot. We even bill your insurance! We make it easy for you. If you have any questions about how to do this, just let me know. Walk ins are welcome.

Other ways to stay healthy—and keep others healthier—throughout flu season?

  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Stay away from sick people—as much as possible.
  • If you come down with the flu, stay home. 1 After all, your productivity won’t matter as much if you make everyone at your workplace sick!

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.