Grand Canyon National Park is like a small city with 3,000 people living within the park and 3,000 more living just outside. Then add another five million visitors each year. The National Park Service recognized the importance of providing access to medical and pharmacy services to all the residents who live and work there, as well as park visitors.
Consequently, the Park Service partnered with North Country HealthCare, a community health center based in Flagstaff, AZ, to staff a health center inside Grand Canyon National Park. The closest pharmacy, however, was 100 miles round trip. Sometimes prescriptions were mailed, sent by courier, or a patient would have to make the drive. Unfortunately, these options were inconvenient for patients and many prescriptions were never filled.
“Each year the Park Service would request a pharmacy at the Grand Canyon clinic,” said Mary Lou Brubaker, PA-C, PharmD, Director of Pharmacy for North Country HealthCare, “so I kept looking at options that would allow North Country to operate a remote pharmacy at the Grand Canyon site.”
Mary Lou found her solution in telepharmacy. A pharmacist from North Country HealthCare can use telepharmacy to verify prescriptions and counsel patients while certified pharmacy technicians working at the Grand Canyon and Kingman medical centers dispense the prescriptions.
The Grand Canyon, a natural wonder of the world, now has some wonderful telepharmacy technology to help serve its visitors and residents with the medical care and counseling they need.