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Adam King, CPhT      PTCB-Certified for 8 years

Adam says: “My greatest challenge is training the next generation of pharmacy technicians. It is a challenge to remember that the student in front of you doesn't have the same knowledge base. It is gratifying when they graduate and enter their new careers though.”

Patient Safety Highlight: At the compounding pharmacy where Adam works, many compounded medications were not dispensed in child safety packaging. Adam researched available packaging options, and found a child safety bag that the pharmacy now uses to package creams and troches. This ensures packaging will help prevent accidental ingestion by a child. His state recently passed a law that allows pharmacies to dispense Narcan to patients taking opioid medications. As a Certified Pharmacy Regulatory Specialist, Adam assumed the leadership role to put in place a process to implement this law in his pharmacy. He obtained copies of the law and standing order, created prescription blanks, and wrote pharmacy policy. The pharmacy’s compounding software and prescription software were not set up to interface so Adam revised both systems so that all technician staff, both those in the lab and those in front-of-house, would have access. Any staff member is now able to access the status of a prescription. Adam is an adjunct professor at two colleges. He instructs potential pharmacy technicians and teaches medical terminology, third party billing, and calculations. He is also involved in leading veterinary education programs.


Amanda Kuzma, CPhT      PTCB-Certified for 8 years

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Amanda says: “My greatest challenge is pushing myself to be the best CPhT I can be and to unfailingly provide the best care to my patients. I cherish the relationships I'm able to build with each of them and am truly grateful for the positive impacts they have had on me. I have come to cherish the relationships I’ve nurtured and cultivated over time.”

Patient Safety Highlight: Many newly-diagnosed diabetic patients at her pharmacy have no idea how to test their glucose. Amanda took it upon herself to be the ambassador for helping them. She helps patients pick out a meter that best suits their needs, sets up the meter, and explains how to use it step by step. She voluntarily reviews every detail to make sure the patient leaves feeling comfortable about self-testing. She has done this for patients who must inject their insulin as well. Amanda’s efforts have resulted in high ‘scorecard’ reviews by management. One of the pharmacy’s top priorities is to show customers that the pharmacy genuinely cares about their health, so Amanda identified more areas for improvement. The pharmacy implemented her advice to call patients by name to connect on a more personal level. The pharmacy has a goal each year for the number of administered flu shots, and Amanda came up with an effective plan for success: ask every person who walks into the pharmacy if they are ready for their flu shot. She involves front store associates asking too. When flu season comes around, the question “Would you like to get your flu shot today?” is heard all day long around the store. Amanda works to motivate staff to keep asking.


Glen Gard, CPhT      PTCB-Certified for 6 years

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Glen says: “While working in a hospital IV room, I received a label for a neonatal ampicillin with the incorrect concentration and no compounding instructions. The pharmacist there was new and I spent time explaining our reference materials and how to properly enter the order. That experience began a journey of promoting an environment where technicians feel comfortable calling out errors and we developed protocols and SOPs to provide better care for patients.”

Patient Safety Highlight: Glen's current employer, a national home infusion company, quickly promoted him into an advanced position to train sterile compounding technicians and pharmacists. When visiting company locations, he saw technicians doing sterile compounding with improper technique, and incorrectly cleaning the clean room and donning garb. He immediately asked to assist with training, and went “on tour” to personally educate the entire pharmacy staff across company locations on sterile compounding. He reinforced knowledge and re-educated staff on procedures. In one week, he completed training and conducted competency reviews for more than 50 employees. He developed a “boot camp” for techs and traveled across the country teaching proper sterile compounding technique, garbing, and cleaning, as well as pharmacy policies. Glen scripted, created, and produced 14 clean room training videos. As the “star”, he demonstrates clean room cleaning, garbing, hand washing, and gloved fingertip testing. The pharmacy staff is now required to view the videos and be tested after each as part of their education. The company’s accreditation agency has asked to use the videos to broaden training.

Leslie Jackson, CPhT       PTCB-Certified for 16 years

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Leslie says: “The greatest challenge encountered during my time as a PTCB-Certified Pharmacy Technician has been diversification of the traditional technician role in order to advance our profession in the corporate world. I strive to carve out new paths for my fellow technicians and demonstrate our invaluable services in areas such as inventory management, reimbursement, data analytics, auditing, and compliance.”

Patient Safety Highlight: Leslie started at the company as a pharmacy technician and has worked her way up to advanced positions including Data Analyst, Compliance Officer, and now Director of Compliance. Leslie has been a leader through multiple accrediting body audits, including URAC, ACHC, CHAP, and the Joint Commission. She is focused on project management and organization. Throughout the multiple accreditation audits, Leslie pulled the company together to work as a cohesive unit. This quality can be seen in the company's successful results from the audits. Leslie identified a need for a Compliance Department and has built the department from the ground up. She shows passion for pharmacy and patient care in her role as Director. She has handled multiple accreditation audits within a short time frame. Leslie juggles many issues via spreadsheets and keeps the company compliant with laws, regulations, and accreditations. She expanded her department by hiring a Compliance Specialist as her right hand. She serves on committees to advance patient safety, including the Quality Management Committee. Leslie created an initiative to increase influenza immunization rates within the company annually.


Mary Johnson, CPhT      PTCB-Certified 2 Years

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Mary says: “As a PTCB CPhT, facing international prescription practices across three countries while upholding US prescription standards has posed my greatest challenge. Verifying prescriptions written by non-US providers abroad at a DoD pharmacy presents many challenges, but they are not insurmountable. Understanding the range of standards overseas and effectively communicating US standards ensures our pharmacy provides safe and appropriate care overseas.”

Patient Safety Highlight: One of the unique challenges Mary faces is filling prescriptions from providers in Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. She standardized the prescription requirements for 55 international providers. This ensures 14,000 prescriptions annually are correctly filled and accurately translated, thereby reaffirming safety goals and preventing 200 patient referrals. She authored and presented "European Prescription Regulations and Standards Compared with Federal Guidelines in the United States" at the 2016 Joint Federal Pharmacy Seminar to 2,000 DoD personnel. Her article on this topic was published in APhA’s journal. Mary recently undertook an initiative to eliminate double-range narcotic prescriptions. Knowing this is a best practice in the continental US, she concluded it is in the best interest of patients to adapt these guidelines overseas. Currently, there are no such guidelines for Air Force pharmacies in the European theatre. Her initiative has been elevated to senior leaders across Germany, demonstrating the importance of a policy change for standardized dosing for opioids.


Nicole Bernabe, CPhT       PTCB-Certified 7 years

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Nicole says: “Finding clarity in the decision-making process has been my greatest challenge. Moving into healthcare IT and the tech side of the pharmacy industry came with many new challenges that required decisiveness and the ability to pivot quickly when the environment or circumstances change. Learning that patient outcomes were directly attributed to my choices, making sound decisions, and knowing how to adapt to the unexpected has been my most difficult challenge.”

Patient Safety Highlight: As a Customer Success Specialist at a national company that provides pharmacy owners with cloud-based software to open new telepharmacies, Nicole coaches and acts as subject-matter expert to 900+ active telepharmacy users across 130+ locations in 10+ states. This includes 450+ PTCB-CPhTs. Nicole has created training material, implemented best practices, and developed a template of policies and procedures for new telepharmacies to use and follow. More than 90% of new community-based telepharmacies opened in the US use her manual to ensure safety, proper filling, compliance, and standard operating procedures. Nicole holds webinars and refresher training to ensure regulatory compliance in community telepharmacies. As the bridge between CPhTs and software developers, she brings new ideas to the product development team for features that will improve workflows and enhance the experience for pharmacists, technicians and patients. Most recently, Nicole identified that filling a partial prescription could be confusing from a workflow perspective, so she created a detailed specification to fix it. She led the charge for an improved translator, and helped map out a pharmacy management system.


Robert George, CPhT      PTCB Certified 7 years

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Robert says: “My biggest challenge as a PTCB CPhT has been needing to use the skills I've learned and maintained while serving at a hospital in Afghanistan. The job of a pharmacy technician is difficult in itself, but being a technician in a deployed environment presents experiences you've only seen in the movies.”

Patient Safety Highlight: Robert is the project officer for the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Tech-Check-Tech Program to enable eligible technicians to pursue a Tech-Check-Tech qualification enabling them to check refill prescriptions alongside another Tech-Check-Tech-qualified person. Some technicians are able to check prescriptions independently where no pharmacist is available, such as a remote/deployed environment. Robert coordinated with the unit’s IT professionals to standardize this training platform to incorporate a computer based and realistic “prescription checking” proficiency analysis exam. This exam is augmented with mandatory review of missed questions with a supervising pharmacist. This training platform covers more than 2,000 DoD technicians who provide pharmaceutical services to five million beneficiaries. Robert was initially selected to lead the Air Force’s Pharmacy Technician Training Program at the Defense Health Agency’s Medical Education and Training Campus (METC). He stepped up to be the Enlisted Lead for the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Within 6 months, he familiarized himself with the intricacies of working among three different military services. Shortly after, he was appointed the Senior Enlisted Lead for the Ancillary Department, overseeing 50 technician instructors in pharmacy, physical therapy, and nutritional medicine.


Vote now for one of the following nominees:

Adam King

Amanda Kuzma

Glen Gard

Leslie Jackson

Mary Johnson

Nicole Bernabe

Robert George

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