Thursday, November 18, 2010
(photo by Cat DeBinder)
As the new integrated pharmacy chief, West plans to continue ensuring the needs of patients and staff members are met.
‘‘The pharmacy’s goal is to provide the best services possible, taking into account patient safety, cost and patient satisfaction while meeting the command’s mission and goals,” said West.
West, who reported to NNMC in late September, assumed the role Oct. 15, relieving Cmdr. Thinh Ha. Ha, who will detach from NNMC in June, will continue leading NNMC’s pharmacy and staff as the service chief.
No stranger to Bethesda, West was stationed at the hospital from 2001 to 2005 as a pharmacy resident. He has also served as the pharmacy division officer onboard the USNS Comfort during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.
As the patient population grows with integration, the pharmacy’s capabilities will need to expand as well. West is currently focused on preparing for the opening of the first new pharmacy location, which is scheduled to open in December in the new outpatient building, Building A, soon to be known as the America building⁄19A.
‘‘When the dust finally clears after the consolidation (between NNMC and WRAMC), there will be two outpatient pharmacies in Buildings A and 9,” he said.
There will also be two inpatient pharmacies in the Inpatient Building, Building B, soon to be known as Building 9A⁄the Arrow Zone. Additionally, there will be a pharmacy in Hematology⁄Oncology. The pharmacy currently located in Building 9 will continue servicing patients as well.
West added that the pharmacies at NNMC and WRAMC each have their own service chief responsible for daily activities. West will ensure integrated staffing requirements are met, and develop multi-service teams to consolidate and standardize policies and procedures, he said.
Assistant Deputy Commander for Clinical Support Lt. Cmdr. Sean Hussey is confident West is the right person for the job.
‘‘Cmdr. West brings with him the experience and expertise needed to positively impact the pharmacy department during this time of transition,” said Hussey.
West realizes he couldn’t do it without the support of the pharmacy staff and guidance from senior leadership, including Col. John Spain who once held the position as integrated pharmacy chief and who is currently deputy commander for Clinical Support.
West’s notable leadership traits are highlighted by his patience, flexibility and perseverance, said Spain, adding, ‘‘Those are the critical elements needed for any leader involved in integration.”
‘‘I am fortunate that Col. Spain is our Deputy Commander for Clinical Support,” said West, as he will continue to offer support.
Spain also believes he is fortunate to have West on his team. He said West has quickly grasped the complexities of integration and taken the lead in orchestrating key departmental actions to assist the transition efforts, including the timely and successful opening of the America building’s pharmacy.
At no point will patient service be disrupted or diminished — the NNMC integrated pharmacy will continue to offer all the services they have always offered.