Despite such challenges, the Family & Children’s (F&CS) Pharmacy continues to address unprecedented demand by providing essential medications on a timely basis. When the City of Tulsa and the surrounding areas were in quarantine, a courier mail delivery service was introduced to get medications to clients as quickly as possible.
“Early on, a lot of our clients depend on transportation to get their medications, and when things shut down, that became a huge concern for them,” said F&CS Pharmacy Manager Daniel Huerta. “We also have clients who walk here (and still do) to pick up medications, and so having the delivery option was important. We hope to obtain more funding to cover the delivery costs so that our clients will continue to benefit from these services.”
The on-site pharmacy (located at the Sarah & John Graves Center) is also vital because people without insurance coverage have little to no access to care. On average, one in five uninsured adults go without needed medical care due to cost. Studies show that the uninsured are less likely than those with insurance to receive preventive care and services for major health conditions and chronic diseases.
From March 1 to August 21, F&CS Pharmacy generated 397 deliveries, 693 prescriptions and 157 clients during the pandemic.
F&CS clients may order refills any time, day or night, through an online medication ordering system or by leaving a message on the pharmacy phone line at 918.712.3407.
Huerta said it’s important for clients to call ahead before coming to the building and to ensure medications are ready for pickup to alleviate wait times at Graves.
“Just confirming information is important so the courier can drop off medications at the correct address,” he said. “Also, having a phone number in great in case there are delivery issues as well as the time someone will be available to provide a signature are some details, we need to help things run smoothly.”
Adhering to CDC guidelines by keeping F&CS Pharmacy staff and clients safe has not always been easy, but over time, it has been adopted as customary practice. Upon arrival at Graves, everyone must wear masks and undergo temperature checks.
“I think we’ve done a good job of adapting to things as much as we can and to ease anxiety about what’s going on in the world,” Huerta said. “We just need to do everything we can to be available and to be accessible.”
F&CS helps take the burden of worrying about the cost of medicine off clients and ease worries amid a pandemic. Because of this benefit, clients can maintain their mental and physical health.