Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) and State Rep. Marisa Marques were on hand for the ribbon-cutting of the new Genoa Healthcare in El Paso, Texas, in an impressive run of NACDS RxIMPACT in-district activities, which hit a total of 58 this week.
NACDS.org spoke with Dale Masten, Genoa’s director of government affairs, previously, about why it’s important for legislators to be part of touring pharmacies and inaugurating new businesses in their communities. Masten said, “An old boss of mine said to me that unless you tell people what you’re doing—and show them what you’re doing—they don’t know what you’re doing.”
Recent feedback from NACDS RxIMPACT pharmacy tours has been prolific and enthusiastic, clearly illustrating the importance of showing the value of pharmacy with real-time, concrete examples. Barry Fuchs, Pharm.D., Kmart’s pharmacy district manager, reported that the pharmacy team successfully conveyed the “value of pharmacists in the healthcare arena as an accessible and trusted health professional” to the legislative assistant and deputy director for Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) on June 5.
Fuchs enumerated the benefits of pharmacist-led disease state management, including proven results in reducing emergency room visits and hospital readmissions. Fuchs said of the tour, “It was a great opportunity for us to showcase our excellent pharmacists and speak about critical issues facing pharmacy and pharmacists.”
The tours also give legislators a chance to reflect on the personal impact the stores in their communities have had on their own lives. During Rep. Joe Wilson’s (R-SC) tour of the BI-LO in Columbia, S.C., on June 6, the congressman told the pharmacy team that two of his sons began their careers at the store, bagging groceries when they were in high school. One son is now the attorney general in S.C. and the other is a surgeon. The congressman emphasized his appreciation for the services he has received over the years at the BI-LO near his house, and specifically praised the pharmacist he said had always been there for him.
NACDS RxIMPACT pharmacy tours communicate the integral role pharmacy plays in communities across the country. Legislators come away from the tours better informed about the role pharmacists play in their communities—providing face-to-face, accessible healthcare services to their constituents—which leads to better overall health outcomes and reduced costs.