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August 1, 2014

Volunteers ensure smooth operation at pharmacies

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Senior Airman Jason Couillard
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Retired U.S. Army Maj. Jim Duggins, 99th Medical Support Squadron volunteer, looks for medication on a shelf, July 30 at the satellite pharmacy on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The pharmacies on base fill approximately 830,000 prescriptions every year.

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Volunteering can be a great way to spend extra time by helping someone out. There are multiple personal benefits, as well as benefits for the organization receiving the assistance.

There are approximately 37 volunteers at the Nellis AFB satellite pharmacy, and four volunteers at the main pharmacy located at the Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center.

Some of the tasks the volunteers perform at both pharmacies help ensure prescriptions get filled in a timely manner.

“A critical aspect to the operation is they help with dispensing medication, and help patients at the window. They are also responsible for scanning in medication to be stored [in the bins] if the patient is not currently available to pick [up] their medicine,” said Capt. Joshua Hall, chief of the 99th Medical Support Squadron satellite pharmacy.

Volunteers are made up of a mixture of retired service members, spouses of active duty Airmen, widows and widowers.

Some volunteers are over 80 years old and have been volunteering anywhere from less than a year to more than 20 years.

The support from these volunteers is evident in how the pharmacy operates.

“One of the benefits of having volunteers is that they’re here to help and they take a lot of the manpower aspect off of us [by working] the window. This way, we get the medication to the patients a lot quicker,” Hall said.

Although the volunteers dedicate their free time to the pharmacy, their hard work does not go unnoticed.

“The benefits for the volunteers is that we try to recognize them by putting them in for awards and they seem to fare very well, and to have the satisfaction of doing a good job and being part of such a large operation,” said Hall.

On average, there are approximately 830,000 prescriptions filled annually at both pharmacies.

“I really enjoy it. I’ve been volunteering here for four years, I retired in 2006 and it helps me stay active. I continue to meet the very [same] people that I once served [with] on active duty. It’s a great mix of volunteers here at the satellite pharmacy,” said retired U.S. Army Maj. Jim Duggins.

Volunteering is a way to help people, whether it’s for the pharmacy, or one of your favorite organizations. All Department of Defense ID card holders are encouraged to volunteer for base agencies as well as local community volunteer opportunities.

For volunteer opportunities, please visit http://www.nellis.af.mil/volunteer.asp




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