WASHINGTON, DC - The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board has announced that Master Sergeant Jessica Hughes, US Air Force, CPhT, has been selected as the 2013 PTCB CPhT of the Year. PTCB also announced the year's finalists: Rico Powell, CPhT, and Linda Henson, CPhT.
PTCB's CPhT of the Year Program honors and recognizes individual achievement in patient care, leadership, service, and mentorship as a way to encourage and support excellence and innovation among all pharmacy technicians. "PTCB was especially pleased to receive so many remarkable nominations for the 2013 CPhT of the Year," said Everett B. McAllister, MPA, RPh, Executive Director and CEO of PTCB. "PTCB is honored to have this opportunity to recognize Master Sergeant Jessica Hughes, the CPhT of the Year, and finalists Rico Powell, CPhT, and Linda Henson, CPhT, for their outstanding contributions to their pharmacies."
Jessica Hughes, USAF, CPhT, is the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) of Pharmacy Support at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ. During her deployment to Afghanistan in 2008, MSgt. Hughes prepared 1,300 IV medications, 70% of the total workload, and provided drug therapy support to more than 900 Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) patients. MSgt. Hughes was leaned on as a 'pharmacist' as well as a technician, she said, because she worked overnight shifts when there was no pharmacist available.
"The experience opened my eyes to much more than what I normally see in a clinic setting; I was called to traumas, and had to make IVs and TPNs," said MSgt. Hughes, "and I was asked about things that were new to me, but I was depended upon to find answers."
In her current role at McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, MSgt. Hughes oversees the vault, logistics, and clinic inspections, plays an active role in front-line pharmacy operations, researches medication shortages, and serves as tobacco cessation instructor. She achieved a 70% quit rate among the more than 200 program participants in her most recent cessation course. MSgt. Hughes served at Scott AFB from 2004-2011 where she processed 540,000 prescriptions annually and was in charge of inpatient service, pharmacy logistics, and, temporarily, satellite pharmacy. She oversaw the compounding of more than 2,000 sterile products yearly, and was responsible for 23 emergency crash carts. MSgt. Hughes has been awarded the Air Force Achievement Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Air Force Commendation Medal, and is the first technician in her pharmacy to become qualified in the Tech Check Tech USAF Program.
PTCB launched the inaugural PTCB CPhT of the Year© Program in July. More than 550 CPhTs were nominated from all pharmacy settings. PTCB selected eight candidates to appear on the ballot and invited public online voting to select the honoree and finalists, who will be recognized at a ceremony in Washington, DC on October 29. The other five semifinalists were CPhTs Jennifer Comford, Heather Krehl, Stephanie Rice-Erlenbusch, Lauren Seals, and Sheila Woodruff.