WASHINGTON — The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board on Friday announced that it had names Hortense Jones of Durham, N.C., its 2015 Pharmacy Technician of the Year.
Jones works at Durham’s Lincoln Community Health Center (part of the Duke University Health System) as the pharmacy technician supervisor, where she oversees a team of 11 pharmacy technicians who process mor than 1,000 prescriptions on a daily basis for some 30,0000 medically underserved patients.
“I am truly humbled by this honor, but this is about our pharmacy team more than me,” Jones said. “My leadership philosophy is to find the strengths of each employee and build an essential role for them on the team that matches their assets. As a result, they become fully engaged in advancing patient safety."
Jones works to ensure that the LCHC’s patients — 55% of whom are uninsured, 28% of whom are in Medicaid and 59% of whome live at or below the federal poverty level — have access to care, coordinating medcation access with Durham County’s Project Access. She also crated a training program for her team that involved them experiencing the pharmacy from a patient’s perspective.
“Hortense is amazing. She grows and changes with the complexity of health care," pharmacy director Carolyn Robbins said. “She has a remarkable ability to build and engage her team. She embraces new practices, new processing systems, and critical roles for technicians in health care.”
In addition to her work at the LCHC, Jones is also a member of the Durham Technical Community College’s pharmacy technology program. She also worked to help get the program accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacies and coordinates the college’s training program at LCHC.
“[Pharmacy technicians] can advance their careers by continually engaging in knowledge. They need to get involved, serve on boards, and learn about legislation and programs that have an impact on patients," Jones said. “They need to be persistent too. If they think something can be done to assist a patient, they need to speak up, and work with their team to get it done.”