October 13, 2023

Pharmacist Appreciation Month: A Heart-to-Heart with VFP’s CEO

VFP Pharmacy Group's CEO Rich Burkett

As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, the role of pharmacists has become increasingly vital in providing excellent patient care. With October being Pharmacist Appreciation Month, it's the perfect time to celebrate and reflect on the contributions that pharmacists make to the healthcare field. We think there’s no better way to kick off this month of appreciation than by sitting down with Rich Burkett, CEO of VFP Pharmacy Group, to discuss the critical role of personalized care in fertility treatment and how VFP Pharmacy Group has continued to innovate in the space.

Question: In your opinion, why are pharmacists such an integral part of the fertility journey?

Rich: Pharmacists are the glue that holds everything together. They are the liaison between clinicians and patients and critical in ensuring that the right medications get out to patients when they need them. Their expertise is relied upon by the entire care team, and they are leaders in the fertility field. Their interactions with patients are also vitally important, as they counsel on how to properly administer these medications and do everything they can to put them at ease during what can be a challenging and emotionally charged time.

Question: Can you share a story where a pharmacist made a significant difference in a patient's fertility journey?

Rich: It’s not uncommon for a pharmacist to drive a time-sensitive prescription to the airport to make sure that it is received on time. It’s not because we ask them to, but because of how much they care. Another example, which has happened more than once, is when a patient called after the pharmacy was closed and explained that she bent the needle on her injection. Because these need to be administered at a specific time, the pharmacist met the patient at the pharmacy after hours to assist her with another injection. Our pharmacists are excellent problem solvers and they approach challenges with a "nothing is impossible" attitude.

Question: How is a fertility pharmacist different from a regular pharmacist?

Rich: Our pharmacists understand fertility medications like the back of their hands and are absolutely experts in the fertility field. Infertility treatment often involves complex, time-sensitive therapy and requires the use of medications that are injected and/or refrigerated, which involves close monitoring by a pharmacist or nurse. Specialty pharmacists like VFP Pharmacy have specific clinical knowledge that a traditional pharmacy doesn’t offer.

Question: What role does empathy play in the work of a fertility pharmacist?

Rich: Empathy is the most important quality for our care team. The fertility journey isn’t easy, and our pharmacists work hand in hand with patients to make sure that the medication piece is as stress-free as possible. With fertility treatments, it’s not just about your physical well-being—we place just as much emphasis on supporting your emotional well-being, which is why it’s so important for our pharmacists to be empathetic and caring individuals.

Question: As we celebrate Pharmacist Appreciation Month, what message would you like to send out to all the pharmacists working tirelessly in the fertility field?

Rich: Thank you for treating patients like family members, for your dedication to helping our patients build families, and for being the glue that keeps the team together. Your commitment is unmatched, and I feel extremely fortunate to have worked with so many outstanding pharmacists in the field.

VFP Appreciates You

To all the fertility pharmacists out there, VFP Pharmacy Group wants to take a moment to express our sincerest gratitude for your hard work and dedication. Your contributions to the healthcare industry are nothing short of incredible. From ensuring patients receive the proper medication to providing personalized care and attention, you play an essential role in helping couples achieve their dream of having a family.

We know your job is not easy and can be incredibly challenging at times. But you go above and beyond every day to ensure your patients receive the best possible care. You are the unsung heroes of the fertility world, working tirelessly behind the scenes to make dreams come true, and we appreciate you.