Trick or treating is in full swing, and candy is everywhere you look. While it's OK to indulge from time to time, you want to make sure that your little mummy or ghoul doesn't overdo it. (And, let's be honest, we need that friendly reminder as well.)
Halloween is a good time to be reminded that anything in excess any time of year is bad for you, including fruit juices and certain savory snacks, but you don't necessarily want to deprive the kids of any fun either.
Here are the four types of candies to avoid to promote better oral health while allowing for some indulgence in the spirit of All Hollows' Eve:
1. Sticky, chewy treats. Candies like gummy bears, taffy and even chocolate bars with caramel fillings, such as Twix and Snickers (we know, we know) stick around (get it?) longer than they should on your teeth, particularly when consumed in large excess (and they very well could be this time of year).
On October 3, some of the Gatti Pharmacy crew attending the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association's (PPA) 2015 Annual Conference in Grantville, PA where they were pleasantly surprised to see their fellow teammates honored.
Terri Wilkinson, our Pharmacy Manager and Technician, was presented with the 2015 Pharmacy Technician of the Year Award for her leadership, dedication and passion to help others. Each year. this award is given to the pharmacy technician who has "demonstrated a professional attitude in their pharmacy environment, who has shown leadership in the training of other technicians, and who is involved in PPA and other professional organizations and/or community service activities, and has shown overall pride in their work as a pharmacy technician," according to the PPA's press release.
Terri exemplifies this and more. She's been a part of the Gatti family for the last six years and held management roles as a pharmacy technician in Washington State prior to moving back to Pennsylvania. From day one, it's been clear that Terri's number one goal is to help anyone that walks into the pharmacy any way she can.
In addition, Stephanie Smith Cooney, who has been the sole owner and president of Gatti Pharmacy since 2010, earned the Pauline Montgomery Leadership Award, which is presented "to the female independent owner, manager, or employee of an independent pharmacy who has demonstrated leadership in pharmacy, politics/advocacy, and community as well as involvement in PPA," PPA's release added.
Over the years, Stephanie has implemented immunizations, including travel immunizations, medication therapy management services, and an auto-synchronization prescription program. Furthermore, she developed a community practice residency program with the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, where she serves as a mentor to residents. It is also important to note that in the last year, she has been a co-researcher on a project that was presented at the APhA Annual Conference in San Diego, CA
Last month, we discussed Baby Safety Awareness, but we discovered that September was also Childhood Cancer Awareness. To help those children fighting, local groups banned together to collect donations and toys to deliver to the Pittsburgh Children's Hospital. Gatti Pharmacy was contacted to be one of the locations to host a collection bin.
Kim, our office manager, noticed the bin in the gift shop and took the initiative to reach out to her crew at the Derry Fraternal Order of Eagles for contributions.
Through her action, she was able to gather roughly $200 worth of toys from the organization for the cause.
We are so lucky (and proud) to employ such a giving and thoughtful crew of people.
This is such a wonderful charity, and we glad to have been able to help.
Thank you to all who donated last month!
by: Stephanie Smith Cooney, Pharm. D., Gatti Pharmacy Owner
October is American Pharmacists Month, so I’ll take this opportunity to stand on the soapbox for a few paragraphs. If you’re not utilizing your pharmacist beyond the filling of your prescriptions, you’ll want to read on to expand your understanding of how pharmacists, as members of the healthcare team, can help you.
It may surprise you to know that pharmacists are not currently considered healthcare providers, according to typical definitions recognized by governing bodies. There are many services that we provide outside of the traditional medication dispensing process. With healthcare moving towards value and quality based models in place of the traditional fee-for-service models, pharmacists are ideal partners to be added to the healthcare team to help these models succeed. Many studies demonstrate the benefits that pharmacists add to healthcare teams in the way they help care for patients, with their unique medication expertise.
As the medication experts, we encourage you to “Know Your Pharmacist, Know Your Medicine”, as spearheaded by the American Pharmacists Association. It’s always a good time to review your medications in detail with your pharmacist, so if you never have or it’s been awhile, consider doing it now. In conversations with my patients, it’s always surprising to me that they have no idea what to expect from an in-depth meeting with the pharmacist. Too often, it’s easy to assume a pharmacist just safely puts the right medication in the right bottle. But, each year, improper use of prescribed medications leads to more than 1.5 million preventable medication-related adverse events and results in a $290 BILLION cost to the healthcare system.
Pharmacists are the Medication Therapy Management (MTM) experts, providing services that help to protect the public from medication errors and at the same time educate them about their prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, and herbal supplements. Other important services that pharmacists perform during MTM sessions include:
-Yearly review of medicines, including an action plan, documentation, and followup visits as necessary
-Medicine education for the public to help emphasize purpose, drug interactions, side effects, and correct dosing
-Counseling on medication adherence to identify ways to make it easier to take mediations and keep prescription costs within reach
-Providing immunizations for the public, and helping patients know what immunizations they need
-Diabetes care training, for example, blood glucose monitoring, proper insulin injection methods, foot care, and eye care
-Health maintenance counseling and guidance, which might include smoking cessation, asthma treatment, and nutrition management
-Blood pressure screenings, cholesterol screenings, and anticoagulant management
Pharmacists play a key role in preventing and identifying medication dosing errors, serious drug interactions, and life-threatening drug allergies.
Make it a priority to get to know your pharmacist-always your partner in good health.
When not taken properly, not only will medicine be ineffective, it can actually harm. Unfortunately, sometimes those that need medicine the most are our older family members who might have trouble being in charge of their own medications due to confusion or memory issues.
Family Can Help
Other family members can often help those in their family that are having a bit of a problem being fully in charge of their own medicine. That effort is made much easier by dealing with a pharmacy that understands these issues, especially when the patient and other family member are separated by distance.
Finding a Pharmacy That Will Help
When choosing a pharmacy to help you coordinate the medication for someone in your family that is unable to take care of their own medication, here are some questions you should ask:
Does the pharmacy offer delivery service and mailing?
Being sure that the pharmacy can deliver to your loved one's house (or room if in an independent living facility) is an important choice in choosing a pharmacy. This is especially important if the caregiver is not living in the same city. Mailing of prescriptions, even for a local pharmacy, is also an important service to have available as some patients are not able to answer the door during the day due to mobility problems or hearing impairment, or may not want the interruption of a delivery person at their doorstep.
Does the pharmacy have charge accounts?
These days, patients often don't need a charge account due to financial reasons, instead, it is the convenience of a charge account that is the main draw. Charge accounts make it very convenient to have the prescription and the payment as separate transactions. Charge accounts should be able to be setup so that the patient doesn't have to handle money each time, but instead, another family member can pay the bill just once a month. This is very convenient and reduces confusion and stress for the patient. The pharmacy having the ability to securely store credit card information is also a helpful service.
How much time is the pharmacy able to spend time on the phone with you?
Pharmacies are notorious for being busy places. Patients can easily pick up on this "rushed" feeling when on the phone with the pharmacy. It is important that when you choose a pharmacy, you know up front whether a pharmacy has enough staff on hand at all times in order to spend as much time on the phone as you or your loved one needs.
Does the pharmacy specialize in problem-solving?
Many pharmacies are part of a chain and although they employ many fine people, the employees can only do so much when faced with a situation that is outside the rules of chain. You do want a pharmacy with structure, but not so much structure that the team members are unable to think on their feet and adjust to the needs of the patient and caregivers. Problem solving may also include identifying packaging solutions and reminder tools to help patients improve their medication use. Prescription synchronization programs and special packaging solutions are examples of ways a pharmacy serves as a problem solver.
If you have any doubts or concerns, never hesitate to speak with us. Our patients are our number one concern.
Want to stay updated on pharmacy news and events? Ask to be put on the e-mailing list at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Gatti Blog
Information, tips and more from the Gatti Pharmacists and staff.