APhA Names Rite Aid Immunization ChampionRite Aid’s comprehensive pharmacy vaccination program, which targets more than a dozen diseases including flu, has earned the company the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) 2011-12 Immunization Champion award in the national corporation/institution category. The APhA, the nation’s oldest and largest professional society for pharmacists and related professions, honored Rite Aid with the award on March 11 in New Orleans at its annual meeting.
Rite Aid has used the APhA Immunization Certificate Training Program to train more than 11,000 pharmacists – covering every store nationwide – to administer vaccines as allowed by state regulations. Pharmacists are permitted to give flu shots in every state where Rite Aid operates, with some states allowing pharmacist-administered vaccinations against additional diseases such as pertussis, shingles and pneumonia. Rite Aid administered nearly 1.5 million flu doses this season – more than doubling last year’s total.
“Rite Aid made a company-wide commitment to boost public immunization rates for flu and other preventable diseases,” says Robert Thompson, executive vice president of pharmacy. “It’s truly an honor to be recognized by this highly respected organization.”
Rite Aid was selected to receive the APhA award based on the company’s comprehensive immunization strategy that includes:
- Coordinating a wide-ranging media and customer outreach campaign
- Securing an ample supply of flu vaccine starting in August when experts advised patients to get the shot
- Creating unique partnerships with community organizations and businesses;
- Collaborating with health care organizations to allow medical billing of flu shots at pharmacies;
- Advocating on behalf of pharmacists, including promoting and supporting legislationto expand patient access to vaccines provided by their community pharmacist.
According to Tammy Royer, vice president of pharmacy initiatives and clinical services, this award is “quite an honor and directly attributable to the hard work of all our associates in promoting immunizations and patient care.”
For more news on Rite Aid’s immunization program, please see the “Immunizations: Year-round Focus” story in this edition.