Convenient, Friendly Pharmacy Services
Lincoln Hospital offers 24-hour pharmacy services to all patients in Acute, Swing Bed and Long Term Care.
Our pharmacist, Merilla Hopkins, oversees the medication program and the PYXIS pharmaceutical machine which is used to distribute and track medications even during non-traditional hours. With PYXIS, physicians can order medications even when our pharmacist is not in, as all orders are overseen by a professional pharmacist at a remote location.
Meet Merilla Hopkins, R.Ph.
Merilla, a 1987 Creston High School graduate, knows Lincoln Hospital well.
Before taking the position as our permanent pharmacist, she had been working with pharmacist Jerry Van Pevenage of Davenport Pharmacy for 10 years. A true professional, Jerry had been wearing the additional hat of hospital pharmacist for over 20 years. “I filled in for him and helped out. We really took care of things together,” she says of her hospital experience.
Despite growing up in Lincoln County, Merilla didn’t consider coming home to work after her graduation from WSU in 1993. “I hadn’t considered it at all as my husband Rob was working in Spokane and we were living there, but I saw an ad in the paper saying Davenport Good Neighbor Pharmacy was looking for a pharmacist.” With three job offers in front of her, Merilla and Rob chose Davenport. “We decided to be close to our families and close to the river — plus, Rob said he’d commute,” she laughs of the final deciding factor.
And the choice was a good one
“Jerry is really a great mentor,” Merilla says. “Clinical rotations in pharmacy school were all business. In big pharmacies, you really have no relationship with your patients. Here, you know people and what other medications they’re on. You get to know them and that life is not all business. That’s a big thing working with Jerry taught me.”
Merilla says she loved her time at Davenport Pharmacy and her decision to leave was made entirely on flexibility of hours. She will be working here part-time and can set her hours according to her family schedule. “I can do my paperwork at home too, that’s nice for my family.”
Another possible bonus is that most of her paycheck will make it home. “There was just too much good stuff to buy at the pharmacy,” she laughs of her home decor.
As for her duties here, Merilla will order and inventory all meds for the ER, Surgery, Acute Care and X-ray departments, as well as perform Quality Assurance for acute care, infection control and do monthly consulting and chart reviews for Long Term Care. She’ll also attend plenty of meetings and will be a good neutral resource for physicians looking for drug information.
“I also love learning and hope to do some patient education as well as be part of the Women’s Program,” Merilla says, noting hormone replacement therapy is just one interest of hers that she plans to stay on the cutting edge of.
“I’m comfortable here,” she says of Lincoln Hospital. “It’s a pretty natural position to walk into after 10 years here off and on. I know how things work and know what things need to be worked on. Now I can dedicate my time to improving them.”
For those wishing to contact Merilla, she has voice mail, and her desk is in the pharmacy alcove. She says her hours will vary, but the best time to catch her is before noon.