Four winners of the SingleCare Best of the Best Pharmacy Awards joined Drug Topics® to share their knowledge with fellow pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.
When Drug Topics® sat down with a group of winners of the 2021 SingleCare Best of the Best Pharmacy Awards, humbled quickly became the word of the day.
“I’m very honored, very humbled, by this national award,” said Triet “Tony” Nguyen, RPh, pharmacy manager at Safeway in Annandale, Virginia, and winner of the 2021 Above and Beyond Award. “I guess my customers appreciate my service to them, and that’s why they nominated me.”
For the third year, prescription savings service SingleCare held their Best of the Best Pharmacy Awards, recognizing 25 outstanding pharmacy professionals from around the United States. This year’s awards generated thousands of nominations and honored 10 pharmacists, 10 pharmacy technicians, and 5 pharmacy teams who go above and beyond on a daily basis.
“We are honored to be able to celebrate the pharmacists, techs, and teams that continue to go above and beyond to provide exceptional care and support for their customers,” said Rick Bates, founder and CEO of SingleCare. “As pharmacy staff across the country have been stretched beyond their limits over the past year, these awards are especially meaningful in recognizing the critical work pharmacists do to support their communities each and every day.”
Jennifer Bourgeois, PharmD, of Market Street Pharmacy in McKinney, Texas, was recognized by her customers as winner of the the 2021 Best Pharmacist Award. For Bourgeois, the recognition is proof positive that she is serving where she is best fit. “I think being in health care sometimes seems thankless,” she said. “We’ve put in so many hours, and we’re happy to do that, but just to be recognized by the people that we’re actually showing up for means the most. That’s really what we’re all there to do: to take care of our people, our patients.”
Eric Geyer, PharmD, winner of the 2021 Most Influential Pharmacist Award, was also humbled by the recognition. “For the past 2 years, I’ve really leaned in to trying to be a voice for professional pharmacy,” he said. Geyer recently transitioned from a retail pharmacist role to working as pharmacy director for The Centers for Families and Children in Cleveland, Ohio, overseeing operations for 5 outpatient or community-based pharmacies, in addition to managing the operations of pharmacy residents and a clinical team—all while navigating the complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s exciting for us in community pharmacy to be able to have such an instrumental role in the availability of the vaccine for our communities,” said Bourgeois, who transitioned into a clinical role at her pharmacy just as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout began. “But also, the demands on community pharmacy right now are at an all-time high. Our roles and our responsibilities… the list just keeps getting longer.”
For Sidrah Alam, a pharmacy intern at Wegmans Pharmacy in Leesburg, Virginia, and 2021’s Best Up-and-Coming Pharmacist, these challenges demonstrate the impact that the pharmacy profession has on the wider health care industry.
“It’s amazing to see how we have [an] impact no matter what setting we’re in,” Alam said. “I think a lot of people don’t realize that all of health care is important, and that we’re all part of this team to make sure that all of our patients are comfortable and getting the best care.”
Alam is a pharmacy student at Shenandoah University Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy in Fairfax, Virginia, and will be graduating in May 2022 with dual degrees: Alam will receive her doctor of pharmacy degree as well as a master of science degree in pharmacogenomics.
“Pharmacists have been on the front lines, and I hope that we stay that way,” she said. “I hope that everyone realizes the impact that we can have.”