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2021 W.L. Boddy Pharmacy Team: La Crete Apple Drugs

La Crete Apple Drugs
La Crete

The W.L. Boddy Pharmacy Team Award is awarded to a healthcare team (pharmacy staff team or multidisciplinary team that includes one or more pharmacists) who, by virtue of their collaboration skills and use of the pharmacist’s full scope of practice, positively impact the health of individuals in their community.

This year’s recipient is the pharmacy team at La Crete Apple Drugs, the only community pharmacy team in La Crete. The team consists of Cynthia Driedger, Nella Fehr, Damen Derksen, Karen Froese, Breanna Friesen, Kaitlyn Fehr, and Amy Wolf. This team offers direct patient care services to approximately 12,000 patients in La Crete, Fort Vermilion, north of Manning, and east of Fort Vermilion.

Their practice covers patients from a variety of social settings/backgrounds in all stages of life from assisted living settings, to home settings, and transitional settings.

The pharmacy team consists of three pharmacists, Cynthia, Nella, and Damen, who all have their authorization to administer injections. Nella and Damen also have their Additional Prescribing Authorization (APA). The team also has a registered pharmacy technician, Karen, and three pharmacy assistants, Breanna, Kaitlyn, and Amy.

The pharmacists have implemented prescribing into their practices and are an added resource for a community with limited physician services. Their technician routinely completes medication histories to ensure continuity of care and oversees the medication distribution to the community’s 88 bed assisted living facility.

Over the past year, the La Crete Apple Drugs pharmacy team has evolved to offer palliative care services to their patients. The pharmacy has also transitioned to an on-call model for local Homecare, EMS teams, and physicians to ensure that patients who wish to remain at home are able to do so. The La Crete Apple Drugs pharmacy team works with Alberta Health Services multidisciplinary teams, the inpatient pharmacist team, specialists, C-Endo clinic, and local physicians informally and through annual care reviews.

La Crete Apple Drugs stood by their community and patients through multiple natural disasters, most recently a forest fire in 2019. The team initially offered service to patients in the area by being one of the designated evacuation pharmacies for evacuees from across Northern Alberta. The team had to adapt again when La Crete was evacuated.

"They are continuously evolving their offer services to meet the needs of their community – whether it be through disaster management or through offering service to a niche patient population who would otherwise not be able to receive service in their own community," said Kaitlin Rafuse, a Pharmacist at the Northwest Health Centre , who co-nominated the team for the award.

"Not all Albertans live in urban settings with access to 24 hour pharmacies and for those living in remote, rural settings such as La Crete, the service provided by the pharmacy team at Apple Drugs is essential to the health and wellbeing of the population they serve,” said Jakie Schmidt a Palliative Care Resource Nurse, who wrote a letter of support for the team.