Salt Lake City Based Grocer Participates in Pandemic Preparedness Exercise with CDC and NACCHO
Salt Lake City, UT, 2015-9-4 — /EPR Retail News/ — Associated Food Stores is improving their emergency preparedness procedures in its pharmacies. The Salt Lake City based grocer partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) to participate in a pandemic flu exercise on August 30. Results from the exercise will be used to create national plans including pharmacies as strategic health care providers in administering influenza vaccines in the event of a pandemic.
Associated Food Stores was one of two pharmacies in the U.S. who participated in the 2015 Scripted Surge Pandemic Influenza Pharmacy Exercise. The exercise was designed to assess how a pharmacy would handle an increase in patients seeking pandemic influenza vaccines and routine health and prescription drug services during a pandemic emergency, with the objective of increasing points of access beyond health departments and hospitals during a real emergency. More than 60 people from Associated Food Stores, the CDC, NACCHO, Salt Lake County and Utah Health Departments and other local agencies participated in the exercise at the West Jordan Macey’s.
As part of the exercise, Associated Food Stores created an emergency preparedness plan that determined waiting areas, staffing and workflows. The plans and procedures developed for the exercise will be implemented in each of Associated Food Stores corporately owned pharmacies and shared with their member stores to prepare them to better serve their guests and communities in the event of a real emergency.
“Participating in the pandemic flu pharmacy exercise with the CDC and NACCHO has helped prepare us for future emergencies. We were able to identify potential areas in pharmacy workflows that could be improved to support the surge in patients we could see during a flu emergency,” said Denise Kunkel, Member Pharmacy Operations Manager at Associated Food Stores. “We were able to create action plans to ensure we continue to provide the care our communities have come to know and expect from our pharmacies.”
Final results from the exercise will not be available for several months, but Associated Food Stores will continue to work closely with the CDC, NACCHO and the Salt Lake County and Utah health departments to develop new plans and policies for their pharmacies.
Photos from the event for media use can be found below.