An Essential Spotlight: Finding the Helpers – Phil Sulkin

Categories: Essential Spotlight
Can you describe your job/role in the community?
  • I am working for AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, a specialty pharmacy working to supply customers with highly cautioned medicines that require specific monitoring due to their potential side effect risks. The medicines in nature may be high risk, but they are also high reward. For example, these prescriptions help treat conditions such as hemophilia, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis. We also work with a lot of fertility, Hepatitis C, transplant, and cancer patients. All of our pharmacists are certified in these products and have ample knowledge of their properties. These medications are generally very expensive, making the average pharmacy unable to stock them, that is why they have specialty product centers such as the one I am working at. AllianceRx Walgreens Prime works to make sure that the people who are taking these medicines are aware of potential risks and requirements for consuming these drugs.
What has been your experience working during this time?
  • Due to the fact that these medicines are still in high demand, our operations have been modified, but we are still working each day. AllianceRx Walgreens Prime has dedicated a total of 6 pharmacists to come into work each day. The same 6 people are always on staff, with the idea that the consistency in staffing will mitigate our risk. My role is to review orders and make sure they are filled correctly. Before patients interact with any pharmacist, their temperature is taken, and they are required to wear gloves and masks. The pharmacists are walled off and there is now just one point of entry and one exit. In this industry, we are kind of used to this way of working, however now there is a greater understanding of how much these disruptions can impact things.
What about your job feels empowering/positive?
  • I have always been involved in a field where people’s health has been at the forefront, so continuing those efforts have been critical. Right now I am particularly noticing the American ingenuity. We learned quickly that we had to do what we had to do within the limitations we had, and people have stepped up to the plate and been so helpful and innovative during this time!
Is there any way Friendship Circle can help support your efforts?
  • Friendship Circle has done their part. Keeping everyone engaged during the day and keeping them in touch with the outside world is great.
Anything else you would like to share?
  • We have to keep pushing people to be safe and responsible and remind people that this is for the greater good! I want to thank the doctors and nurses, but also the unseen heroes such as sterilizers, pharmacy technicians, custodial workers, etc. I salute everyone involved in keeping our systems going during this time.

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