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Excellence in Pharmacy Practice: Paragon Award winner Pouliot puts patient safety first

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Katie Pouliot

CRANSTON, R.I. — Pharmacy manager Katie Pouliot was recently surprised by a visit from Ken Hopkins, the mayor of Cranston, the city where the CVS Pharmacy she manages is located. Hopkins had heard that Pouliot was named a national Paragon Award recipient and was there to recognize Pouliot for her service to the community. “I was very surprised and honored when Mayor Hopkins came to my store to give me a citation,” she says. “He thanked me and the store team for our dedication and was very appreciative of all we do.”

The company’s annual Paragon Awards recognize the best of the best among CVS Health’s colleagues and are among the highest honors awarded by the company. Not only did Pouliot win a Paragon in 2022, she was also a recipient of CVS Health’s Excellence in Patient Safety and Quality award. Recipients of this prestigious award demonstrate an overarching commitment to patient safety across multiple dimensions in their pharmacy practice. “Patient safety is an important part of providing care as a pharmacist, and something I am extremely committed to.”

Pouliot started her career as a pharmacy technician in 2013, and continued with CVS Pharmacy as an intern, then staff pharmacist and is now the pharmacy manager at store #212. Her interest in pharmacy began at a young age with a desire to help others. “When I was seven years old, my aunt was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and quickly regressed physically and mentally,” she says. “Later in life, when I was thinking about what I wanted to have as a career, I remembered my aunt and how I wanted to help her and knew I wanted to do something in the medical field, which led to my career as a pharmacist.”

Pouliot is known for her ability to unify her team and for being a trusted leader. Her store is a CVS HealthHUB, which provides expanded health and wellness products and services, and she has been instrumental in ensuring that the store’s Care Concierge team is well informed about the array of pharmacy and health services the store offers the community and are able to provide advice and counsel to patients.

In addition, Pouliot played an important role in the launch of one of CVS Pharmacy’s first COVID-19 rapid test outdoor kiosks. Her collaboration with field management, with her staff and, most importantly, with patients was instrumental in rolling the kiosks out to additional CVS Pharmacy stores across the country. Pouliot says this, along with so many of the other changes made as a result of the pandemic have allowed pharmacists to take on an expanded role, freeing up time for patient counsel and purpose-driven work.

For example, a MinuteClinic medical clinic is located inside her store, and Pouliot’s team works hand in hand with the MinuteClinic providers to provide the best possible care for their patients. “We are in contact to discuss past medication history and possible interactions with other medications. I review medication interactions with health care providers and offer alternatives to treat patients if needed,” she says, adding that as a pharmacist she also interacts with providers as partners for services like immunizations, preventive care for chronic diseases, patient assessment for hormonal contraceptives, nicotine cessation and other treatment support.

Pouliot says CVS pharmacists are not just expert resources but truly local community health care partners who take the time to support patients’ individual health care needs. “I take the most pride in helping the elderly population,” she says. “It is gratifying to be able to help patients to understand their medications and answer any questions they may have.” Pouliot also says she and her pharmacy team take pride in counseling patients on how to use new devices, like blood glucose meters. “This helps provide the best patient care and helps to ensure patient adherence in managing long-term health complications with diabetes, for example,” she says.

Pouliot counts her district leader as one of her many mentors and as a key person in her support system. “When he asked me to become the pharmacy manager at store #212, I was nervous and unsure that I could handle the challenge, considering it is one of the busiest pharmacies in the company,” she says. “But his belief in me, along with his guidance and encouragement, have enabled my growth over the past few years.”

“Our Cranston store has truly thrived thanks to Kaitlyn’s leadership,” says Jarrod Nedvidek, district leader for CVS Pharmacy. “She not only delivers excellent patient care, but she also manages to help keep her team’s energy up and engagement high.”


ECRM-08-202222

Adheris Health

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