A groundbreaking held June 8 for a stand-alone satellite pharmacy at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will enhance the trusted care provided to Airmen and their families as well as retirees, the base commander said.
“They deserve that,” said Col. Bradley McDonald, 88th Air Base Wing commander, who added that ensuring Airmen are well prepared and mission-capable is extremely important.
The 10,000-square-foot facility, to be constructed near the AAFES Express in Kittyhawk Center, Area A, more than doubles the space of the one currently attached to the base commissary in Bldg. 1250.
It will offer customers ease of use and desired patient-focused amenities, such as a covered drive-thru, larger waiting and processing area, Wi-Fi connectivity and electronic recharging stations, said Col. Shari Silverman, 88th Medical Group commander.
The $10 million contract allows $6.6 million for construction, with another $3.4 million allowed for state-of-the-art robotic equipment and furnishings. Butt Construction Co. of Dayton will build the new pharmacy, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Louisville District acting as construction agent. Leo A. Daly is serving as the architecture and engineering firm.
All work is scheduled to be complete by spring 2019.
“We appreciate being your design and construction agent, and we pledge to deliver the satellite pharmacy the base requested on time and within the budget authorized,” said Lt. Col. Robert Newbauer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Louisville District deputy commander.
The new pharmacy has been designed to be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certified, so it is resource efficient, uses less water and energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. A project certified as LEED Silver saves taxpayer dollars as well, Newbauer said.
That is not the only way the pharmacy will save such dollars, Newbauer noted. When the veteran and retiree community has prescriptions filled at civilian retail pharmacies, the federal government has to pay the more costly civilian rates. Utilizing government pharmacies saves money.
“If we collectively do not deliver a positive experience when they do use this facility, they will seek to fill their needs elsewhere,” Newbauer said.
Creating that positive experience has been the first project of a patient work group activated this year by Silverman and other officials at Wright-Patterson Medical Center. Patients had input into the design, especially in the lobby area, she said.
The current Kittyhawk Pharmacy processes an average of 900-plus prescriptions per day – more than triple what a typical civilian retail pharmacy would perform. With more than 7,000 active-duty military stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB and another 100,000 military retirees living within 100 miles of the base, the new pharmacy will greatly enhance the wellness and safety of the workforce and their families.
“The type of prescriptions we receive has changed over time with the advance of technology,” Silverman noted. “We do receive electronic prescriptions, and this new pharmacy will allow us to accept those as well.”
The facility will house a robot capable of filling prescriptions at more than twice the current rate.
“We’re really excited to be getting this pharmacy; we’ve been waiting since about 2007,” she said. “We’re excited to continue to serve our heroes who have served our country, and their family members.
“Patients have a choice,” Silverman said, “and we want to be their No. 1 choice.”