|Charlotte pharmacist's commitment to community is part of mission|
|Dr. Amina Abubakar earns national recognition|
|Published Sunday, March 7, 2021|
|NATIONAL COMMUNITY PHARMACISTS ASSOCIATION|
|Dr. Amina Abubakar, owner of Rx Clinic Pharmacy in Charlotte, has earned national and state awards as the country's top independent pharmacist and devotion to community.|
The owner of Rx Clinic Pharmacy has earned accolades for advancing the science of preparing and dispensing medicine. In 2020, Abubakar was named Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year, a national recognition by the National Community Pharmacists Association.
“I speak around the country, I train other pharmacists to do what we do, so I have been very active at a national level and people recognize that,” she said.
In addition to the national honor, Abubakar earned the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists’ Bowl of Hygiea Award for community service.
“I think winning the award means that the work that I do resonates with leadership and it resonates as a big contribution to the profession,” she said. “I’m humbled. We’re in Charlotte, being recognized from a national level.”
Abubakar, who grew up in Kenya, came to the United States after high school. After being exposed to health disparities in her homeland, especially in the treatment of HIV, she wanted to learn how to support and understand the virus and help patients and families affected by it.
After graduating the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy in 2005, Abubakar started working at CVS Pharmacy in Charlotte, where she wanted to engage more with patients. After two years, Abubakar went to work for a home infusion pharmacy. For another two years, she worked with nurses that would take medications to patients’ homes.
Abubakar opened Rx Clinic Pharmacy (7308 E. Independence Expressway Suite I) in 2009, which became accredited as a specialty pharmacy. “Being in independent pharmacy means you get to personalize your services,” she said. “I feel like we just have room for more innovation and more in-tune because we don’t have this corporate, one standard for the whole state or for the whole country. It’s kind of, we’re learning what we need in our community and then we’re able to implement as we go.”
Rx Clinic, which employs 40 people, focus on preventative measures and how to educate the community through health fairs and seminars as well as provide resources like personalized services, in-home delivery and support.
“Amina is a tireless advocate for her patients, her community, her colleagues, and the future of pharmacy,” NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey said. “She is a deserving recipient of the Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year Award, demonstrating with her strong leadership what it means to be an independent community pharmacist.”
The pharmacy also is innovative with genetic testing, automation where a robot refills prescription and making pharmacists available to aid with barriers that patients face, such as language. Abubakar’s goal is to connect the pharmacy to its community-based origins and patients. As national chains grow and consolidate, she argues, there’s a disconnect between pharmacists and patients.
“I feel like we’re going back to working together and reconnecting the human-to-human relationship,” she said.
Her pharmacists are certified in precision medicine, an initiative was announced by President Barack Obama in his 2015 State of the Union address as “an innovative approach that takes into account individual differences in people’s genes, environments, and lifestyles.”
Abubakar has even been to the White House with efforts to push precision medicine.
“A person can come to our pharmacy and we can do a cheek swab and we can get your whole results and tell you which medications to avoid,” she said, adding precision medicine takes away stereotyping by taking genetics and drug interaction into account. “We are a pharmacy that has been built to take care of patients, meet them where they are and take care of those with those obstacles, so they can still have optimal health.”
Another focus is looking at the social determinants of health and being aware of the geographics of Charlotte. One project is addressing food insecurity through a partnership with The Males Place, a program that teaches African American boys to grow food and develop a community garden.
“We serve patients of all walks of life,” Abubakar said. “We are also very cognizant of areas that don’t have the resources.”
Talking about the different backgrounds of her employees, Abubakar says “We feel like we are able to really serve the Charlotte community because everyone in our team is a representative of our community.”
Abubakar says she is excited about the future, which soon includes moving the pharmacy to an old Rite Aid building. There will be more space for a community classroom as well as a bigger lab for a compounding pharmacy for personalized medications and producing CBD.
“I feel because of our innovation and advancing care we are gaining the shift and we are hoping that we are inspiring the next generation that says, ‘I can be that and I can do that,’” she said. “So, I feel proud to kind of represent that and still be cutting edge and being nationally recognized and so that’s why this has been very important to mentor the younger generations so we can move towards what it is today. It is very timely if you look at politics and leadership. I’m excited about that and for me to contribute just a small piece for someone who probably looks like me saying ‘Wow I can do that. I can be a pharmacy owner and I can be a leader and I can be nationally recognized or locally recognized.’”
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|Posted on March 7, 2021|
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