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Bay Pines VA Pharmacists Deliver on Prescriptions, Promises to Support Veterans’ Whole Health Needs

Dr. Idi Idiong
Bay Pines VA Healthcare System's Pharmacy Services Chief Dr. Idi Idiong leads a team of 164 pharmacists who support more than 100K Veterans across 10 counties, throughout southwest Florida.

Across VHA healthcare, there is one group who supports the needs of every patient, regardless of that Veteran’s need. Although their interactions are often brief, it’s the work behind the scenes that the 164 pharmacists at Bay Pines VA Healthcare System do that makes an impact on Veterans.

“No doubt about it, pharmacists are critical to healthcare,” said Bay Pines VA Chief of Pharmacy Dr. Idi Idiong. “They make valuable contributions that help improve safe medication use, advance patient care, and improve cost efficiency.”

Last year, the team provided 1.3 million prescriptions to Veterans across southwest Florida. This included 900,000 prescriptions to outpatients and 400,000 prescriptions to inpatients. 

The team directly supports all of Bay Pines VA’s facilities, which include C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center, Lee County Healthcare Center, and seven VA clinics – in addition to the State Veteran’s Nursing Home in Port Charlotte, Fla. 

In addition to providing medication to Veterans, these leaders are also difference makers in prescribing resources and supporting patient education about each medication prescribed. 

“We’re experts on the thousands of medications, and we work to educate patients on how each medication works in the body, and the way to use each one safely and effectively,” continued Dr. Idiong. “We take this responsibility seriously because Veterans look to us for answers, and there’s nothing more rewarding than when we’re able to provide them with this important information to assist with their health care journey.”

When Dr. Idiong and her pharmacists are not educating Veterans, they turn inward to welcome opportunities for increased responsibility in their personal and professional lives. 

 “We train eight pharmacy residents and several pharmacy students annually,” continued Dr. Idiong, who expressed that many of the mentors in pharmacy services exceed the standard by leading through example. “Many of our pharmacists have earned advanced board certifications which means they are highly knowledgeable in their practice area. This reflects such a strong commitment on their part to ensure Veterans receive the best care.

Dr. Idiong added that her team’s commitment is making a difference, and Veterans are letting them know.

“From Nov. 2022 through Oct. 2023 (FY23), we obtained a 92.4 percent trust score rating for outpatient pharmacy, which exceeded the VHA national average,” added Dr. Idiong. “We are so proud of this score because it comes directly from Veterans; we are focused on increasing that this year because they deserve our very best.”


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