LRMC pharmacists make finalist cut for national award

by Stacy Sanning
Public Affairs Specialist
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Julie Meek, LRMC Deputy Director of Pharmacy, is a finalist for the Health-System Pharmacist category of the Next Generation Pharmacist awards. — Courtesy photo

Two Landstuhl Regional Medical Center pharmacists were selected as finalists for the Next Generation Pharmacist awards, competing against fellow military pharmacists as well as their civilian sector peers. 

LRMC Deputy Director of Pharmacy U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Julie Meek is a finalist for the Health-System Pharmacist category and LRMC Behavioral Health Clinical Pharmacist Dr. Lindsay Morris is a finalist for the Rising Star Pharmacist category.   

The Next Generation Pharmacist Award program consists of 10 categories and one overall winner as the 2018 Next Generation Pharmacist. Meek and Morris were selected as one of three finalists in their categories from more than 600 nominations. 

Meek’s category, Health-System Pharmacist, is awarded to a pharmacist who works in a health-system setting, such as a hospital, longterm care facility, home care, or a health maintenance organization, and has demonstrated improvements in the coordination of care.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Leslie Walthall, director of LRMC’s Department of Pharmacy and Meek’s immediate supervisor, nominated Meek, writing that she works tirelessly to improve the practice of pharmacy at LRMC as well as throughout the military health system for all services. Meek has spearheaded a pharmacy training initiative that has been adopted as a best practice throughout military medicine.

Dr. Lindsay Morris, LRMC Behavioral Health Clinical Pharmacist, is a finalist for the Rising Star Pharmacist category of the Next Generation Pharmacist awards. — Photo by Marilyn Cole

Under Meeks’ leadership and direction, the pharmacy received zero medication management findings within the hospital and was applauded by The Joint Commission inspector as “unprecedented” for a trauma center hospital.

“In my 25-year career in the military, Lt. Col. Meek is far and away the best pharmacy officer I have ever served with,” said Walthall.

Meek said she is humbled and honored to be nominated and selected as a finalist for the Next Generation Pharmacist Award. 

“Most of the accomplishments mentioned were the successes of our entire pharmacy team, and I could not have done this without them,” said Meek. “In addition, I feel very lucky to have a leader and mentor, Lt. Col. Leslie Walthall, to look after me and recognize her people.  I admire this quality in a leader and I have been inspired to do the same for the staff that work for me.”

Meek has already turned this inspiration into action, nominating fellow pharmacist Morris for the Rising Star Pharmacist category. This category is for a pharmacist who has been practicing for fewer than five years and who is defining the future standard of pharmacy practice. 

“Her innovation and creativity positively impacts patients and staff each day,” said Meek. “Dr. Morris is always positive and optimistic and she is an energetic and enthusiastic force multiplier in our behavioral health clinics.”

Morris recently designed a new clinical pharmacy program focused on military members who are receiving behavioral healthcare. These patients often face unique challenges, including foreign combat, long family separations, significant loss of control, uncertainty in their future and other sustained stressful conditions. Morris’ efforts help service members better understand their medications and overall treatment plans, improving their health.

“I am earnestly grateful for the outstanding behavioral health team that welcomed me with open arms two years ago and for their continual support of me as their clinical pharmacist,” said Morris. “Without such an extraordinary department, none of this would have been possible.”

The winners for each category will be announced at the Next Generation Gala event Oct. 5 in Boston, Mass.