Filling more than 3,000 prescriptions is just a normal day in the office for Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune’s Pharmacy team.

The team’s ability to fill nearly 1.2 Million prescriptions in fiscal year 2019 following funding changes, Hurricane Florence and the transition to becoming the only trauma center in the Navy helped the team be selected as the United States Navy’s Pharmacy Team of the Year.

According to U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Kellye Donovan, pharmacy department head for NMCCL, her staff’s ability to adapt and overcome the changes NMCCL has faced made her nomination easy to write.

“They seemed shocked. I didn’t tell anyone I’d nominated them. I hope they are proud of what they do,” said Donovan. “They shouldn’t question the value of the service they are providing because the Navy doesn’t question it. The Navy applauds them for what they are doing.”

Being selected as Pharmacy Team of the Year for all Navy pharmacies is based on a nomination and then selection by a board of pharmacists and senior pharmacy techs.

This is the first time NMCCL’s Pharmacy team has been selected as the best of the best.

The selection is a testament to the team’s ability to embrace the multitude of changes NMCCL has undergone in the last two years; becoming a Medical Center then becoming the first trauma center aboard a Marine Corps installation shortly after.

These drastic changes have altered the types of patients being treated at NMCCL, which in turn affects the care being provided by all ancillary services within the Medical Center like the pharmacy, explained Donovan.

“We’ve expanded services,” Donovan said. “We’ve expanded the quality and the complexity of care we provide to our patients. We’ve expanded the number of prescriptions we applied to our patients under really reduced conditions either from natural disasters, or staffing standpoint or actual money resources and we’ve done it. We haven’t just barely made it by; we’ve improved the quality of it.”

Decreased wait times and an increased number of Interactive Customer Evaluation (ICE) comments are only the surface of how NMCCL’s Pharmacy Team has proven themselves as the best and continuously improving. Overall interactions with not only patients, but providers as well have changed, Donovan said, creating a more open and positive culture.

“This place is not a group of islands, it is one team. We are providing excellent patient care at all levels. It’s not just our ED and trauma component that are providing excellent patient care. It’s not just our ICU team. It’s all the services,” Donovan said. “We are all part of this team…We’re meeting the mission and exceeding it. We deserve for the rest of the Navy and the rest of military medicine to know that. We are doing great things at all levels. The pharmacy here is no exception to that.”

The announcement of the award came to Donovan from fellow officer pharmacists from across the Navy, and reaffirmed for her the high-quality work her she and her team had accomplished since her arrival at NMCCL about 15 months ago.

“The work I’ve been doing here is good, and not just good, it’s great. That with good strong leadership any team can meet any mission,” Donovan said. “Every team has the capacity to perform at the expectations you set for them. You just have to have the courage and confidence to set high expectations, and want the best for your staff and your team.”

The team will officially be presented the award at the Federal Pharmacy Conference banquet at the end of the month.