Darnall Pharmacy Dept. wins prestigious awards

U.S. Army/Patricia Deal - Dr. Rania Kattura, Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center pharmacist, - discusses an anti-depressant medication with Lt. Col. Gwendolyn Thompson, - chief of the medical center’s Pharmacy Department. Kattura received the 2010 Mel - Liter Clinical Pharmacy Award for her outstanding clinical skills in - pharmacotherapy. - -

By Patricia Deal

Carl R. Darnall Army Medical

Center public affairs

The Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center's Pharmacy Department picked up two prestigious awards at the 2010 Joint Forces Pharmacy Seminar last month in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Dr. Rania Kattura received the 2010 Mel Liter Clinical Pharmacy Award, given by the Office of the Surgeon General's Pharmacy Consultant and U.S. Army Medical Department Pharmacy Department, to recognize a clinical pharmacist's outstanding skills in pharmacotherapy.

"Kattura is a hard-working and dedicated pharmacist, easily exceeding the normal duty requirements expected for clinical pharmacists," said Lt. Col. Gwendolyn Thompson, chief of the medical center's pharmacy department. "Her job is definitely demanding, as she provides medication reviews, discharge counseling and drug therapy intervention for the Department of Psychiatry. Yet she has done - and continues to do - so much good for the department."

Thompson nominated Kattura for the award based on her work in implementing the first psychopharmacotherapy service model at Fort Hood with both an ambulatory and acute care component, primarily focused on post-deployment trauma.

Using her faculty adjunct positions at local colleges, Thompson said Kattura also integrates an educational component to her position, mentoring pharmacy students and teaching the medical center's Family Medicine Residency Center the pharmacology module for behavioral health.

"In addition, Dr. Kattura was recognized for her contributions after the Nov. 5, 2009, tragedy at Fort Hood," Thompson said. "Dr. Kattura didn't hesitate to help as she willingly assisted mental health providers in medication management referrals, even though it would increase her clinical practice workload in the weeks immediately following this tragedy."

Thompson said Kattura continued to stand out in the pharmacy field. She said Kattura was recently named as an investigator to a $7.2 million Veterans Administration-Defense Department research program to study post-traumatic stress disorder among active-duty service members.

Also at the annual seminar, the pharmacy department was recognized for its ongoing efforts to limit medication-related adverse events under the medical center's Sole Prescriber Program.

The program currently oversees compliance with more than 250 patients with Sole Prescriber Contracts, Thompson said. She co-authored the program with the medical center pharmacy's clinical coordinator, Dr. Toby Cooper.

"Through the program, we make approximately 20 recommendations per month to providers in the Warrior Transition primary clinic and family medicine clinics specific to limiting overuse of medications with potential for abuse, misuse, diversion or overdose," Cooper said. "A best-practices model implemented throughout the Army Medical Department, the program is vital to any pharmacy. In place now for the past two years, it has resulted in improved compliance by our beneficiaries and a major reduction in emergency department presentations for adverse drug events."

The medical center's department of pharmacy is responsible for medication management of 145,000 beneficiaries receiving care at the medical center its and clinics, with seven pharmacies dispensing about 4,500 prescriptions per day.

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