March is Pharmacy Appreciation Month, and we are celebrating the pharmacists, technicians, assistants, and administrative staff that serve across our Northern Health region. Pharmacy professionals do so much more than supply medications to patients. Allow us to introduce you to a couple of Northern Health’s finest and their contributions to the pharmacy field!
Supporting teamwork and development
Meghan is a pharmacy technician and supervisor at the Fort St. John Hospital. She started her career with Northern Health in 2011, and recently transitioned to her new supervisory role. She is very involved in the workings of the pharmacy department, with numerous roles and responsibilities. She is a supportive colleague for the other pharmacy technicians, organizes rotational duties, and coordinates schedules.
Meghan is a vital part of the pharmacy department at the hospital. As a supervisor, she supports her staff - leading by example. She is always eager to jump in to help wherever and whenever she can. She also acts as an important liaison between the pharmacy department and other departments in the hospital, which supports smoother inter-department communication.
Translating pharmaceutical science into resident and patient care
Tara Luk is a pharmacist working in the Northeast in both long-term care and acute care. Born and raised in Vancouver, she made the move to the North in 2021 to complete the Northern Health Pharmacy Residency Program in Prince George.
At Rotary Manor in Dawson Creek, she has numerous roles and responsibilities including completing medication reviews with residents, their family, physicians, and care staff. She chairs the Medication Safety Advisory Committee (MSAC), which includes long-term care staff, liaises with the community pharmacy that dispenses medications, and attends multidisciplinary care conferences for residents.
She also works in the inpatient unit in Fort St. John Hospital. In the mornings, she attends rounds with the team, creates pharmaceutical care plans for patients, and provides input for physicians and the team as needed. In the early afternoon, she meets with the pharmacy team to identify ongoing drug-related issues. Her main areas of focus include antimicrobial stewardship and infection treatments, adjusting medication doses based on renal function, consulting on pain management, and completing medication reviews for complex patients. She also helps with discharge planning, such as applying for PharmaCare Special Authority for medications and providing patient education.
Tara has multiple projects on the go. She is working to create an infectious disease thought process flowchart for pharmacy and medical residents and represents the Fort St. John Pharmacy department on the local Joint Occupational Health and Safety (JOHS) Committee. She also sits on a committee to develop new clinical practice standards, where she provides input from a pharmacy perspective.
In her free time, she enjoys reading science-fiction/fantasy books, hiking, learning how to forage, hanging out with her dog, weightlifting, baking, gardening (indoor and outdoor), PC gaming, and playing Dungeons and Dragons and Magic the Gathering.
One additional fact about Tara is that she wears hearing aids. “Before I started pharmacy school, I thought I wouldn’t be able to function as a pharmacist due to my hearing impairment, but surprisingly it’s helped me build rapport with a lot of my older patients, and it doesn’t hinder me at all.”
Thank you so much to all the NH pharmacy teams out there doing the work they do! Northern Health is a brighter and better place because of it!