Kelvin Lee, pharmacy director of Tulalip Clinical Pharmacy, is passionate about making a difference in the opioid epidemic. American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) face opioid-related fatalities at three times the rate for Blacks and Hispanic Whites (Murphy et al., 2014). Lee’s vision for the WellSpot prescription lockers is to create a program in which he uses kiosks to make naloxone kits easily available for tribal members and to promote the use of emergency kits.
With the time they save by using automated vial filling technology, Tulalip Clinical Pharmacy creates beneficial programs to serve the tribal community. In addition to kiosks, Tulalip was able to design a robust vaccination program which included collaborations with the University of Washington School of Pharmacy, curbside vaccination clinics, and vaccination clinics at local schools. “American Indian and Alaska Native people have suffered a disproportionate burden of COVID-19 illness during the pandemic,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D. Tulalip Clinical Pharmacy administered thousands of vaccines through its various outreach programs and continuously evolves to find more ways to serve the tribal community.
Lee is always looking for innovative ways to support the tribal community. As he says, “The more efficient we are, the more people we can reach on the reservation.”