March Newsletter

March Madness
By: SPA Executive Vice President Steven Webbenhurst

It’s that time of year again as the days get longer, we “spring ahead” with our clocks, and March Madness overtakes the weather as the hot conversation topic. March Madness brings together some of the top college basketball teams in the country, showcasing superior athletic talent. Competition runs rampant and most people have a favorite team they cheer for. Some teams always seem to reach the “Sweet 16” and there are always a few underdogs that make it, and are the new kids on the block.

When I moved to Spokane in 1993, I was part of the new kids on the pharmacy block. Walgreens was new to Spokane and some of the regulars weren’t so happy to have us here. I remember calling to transfer prescriptions from competitors only to be told there were no refills remaining, yet the patient’s bottle showed something different. We were competition, and especially for independent pharmacies, we changed the pharmacy landscape in Spokane.

But just as that landscape has continued to change, so has the attitude of pharmacists and pharmacies. Every day I transfer prescriptions in from other pharmacies and transfer some out to others as well. My focus is that I want what is best for the patient. Sure I hate to lose business by transferring prescriptions out to other pharmacies, but in many cases it just makes sense. Perhaps the other pharmacy is more convenient for a patient, or is their “regular” pharmacy. Being located in a medical complex, I fill a lot of prescriptions for patients that are being dismissed from the hospital or from one of the providers in my building (so it’s convenient at the time for the patient).

But I think the mindset in pharmacies has changed in the last few years. As we perform MTM services, vaccinate patients, facilitate prior authorizations, coordinate patient care and other functions for them, I think we all have what is best for the patient at the forefront of our mind. I see this regularly in my IPPE and APPE student pharmacists as well. This is a focus for them in pharmacy school, and WSU does an outstanding job.

Although there will always be competition between pharmacies for business (so that we all stay in business), I think the real competition today is to provide the best service and care for our patients. That is the focus in pharmacy today: service and care for our patients.

Trivia Night at Liberty Ciderworks

April 15, 2019

Trivia Night!

Come join us for a fun night of trivia while you taste some great ciders!

Pharmacists, technicians and students welcome. First 10 student members to register are FREE!

When and Where

6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Monday, April 15, 2019

Liberty Ciderworks
164 S Washington Street, Suite 300
(just north of Dutch Bros coffee)
Spokane, WA 99201


$10 per person.
First 10 student members are free!

Relax after a hard day at work or after a day of block testing with friends and future friends while playing trivia and enjoying some great ciders from Liberty Ciderworks (included with admission).

Register Now!

CE | Deprescribing pearls for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Do your patients complain about being on too many medications? Join SPA to learn the best strategies to reduce unnecessary medications!

Learn how to advocate for your patients and network with pharmacy peers.

Kelley Dunlop, Pharm.D.
Pharmacy Resident, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center


WSU Health Sciences Spokane
412 E. Spokane Falls Blvd
Spokane, WA 99202


Option 1: Breakfast Option 2: Dinner
Morning – 7:00 a.m. Evening – 7:00 p.m.
Sign in 7:00 a.m. Sign in 7:00 p.m.
Breakfast will be provided Dinner will be provided
Washington State University Spokane*
Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Sciences Building, Room 112
412 East Spokane Falls Boulevard
Spokane, WA 99202
Washington State University Spokane*
Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Sciences Building, Room 112
412 East Spokane Falls Boulevard
Spokane, WA 99202
Register Online
Register Online


SPA member: free
Non-member: $25


*Note: Pay for parking on the WSU Spokane campus at the blue parking kiosks. Limited one-hour street parking is available along Riverpoint Boulevard.

One hour of CE credit will be provided, Washington State Board of Pharmacy.

Registration closes Apr. 10, 2019.

2019 Lasagna Dinner

March 20, 2019

Keynote: USP 797/800 Update

Presenter: Michael Brandt, Pharm.D., FASHP
Pharmacist, MultiCare Deaconess Cancer and Blood Specialty Centers

Come learn about the USP standards and changes! USP 797 helps ensure patients receive quality preparations that are free from contaminants and are consistent in intended identity, strength, and potency. USP 800 provides standards for safe handling of hazardous drugs to minimize the risk of exposure to healthcare personnel, patients, and the environments. Washinton State University’s National Community Pharmacists Association Student Chapter and the Spokane Pharmacy Association are collaborating to provide a an opportunity to learn about these important USP standards and connect with others while sharing a delicious lasagna dinner.

When and where

Luigi’s Restaurant
245 W Main Ave
Spokane, WA 99201

Wednesday, March 20, 2019
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM


NCPA students – No charge
SPA members – No charge
Non-NCPA students – $25
Non-SPA members – $25

Registration closes on March 20, 2019.

Registration for this event is now closed.

September Social Event!

September 24, 2018

Trivia Night!

How much do you know?? Come join us for a fun evening of trivia, appetizers, beer, and wine!
Pharmacists, technicians and students welcome.

When and Where

6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
September 24, 2018

Nectar Catering and Events
120 North Stevens Street
Spokane, Washington 99201


$10 fee for SPA members
Student and technician SPA members are free!

Includes beer or wine and snacks

Come show us what you know. Registration is now closed.

May 2018 | Mann-Grandstaff Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Pharmacy Focus this quarter is on the Mann-Grandstaff Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) Pharmacy, in Spokane. It is named after two local Veterans who sacrificed their lives for their country and each received the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The Mann-Grandstaff VAMC Pharmacy Services supports the mission of the Veterans Health Administration by providing accurate, cost-effective, efficient, and safe pharmaceutical care to each Veteran served. Its core values are expressed through the acronym, “ICARE,” which stands for Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, and Excellence. These core values guide employees’ actions on a daily basis to ensure they are providing the best care anywhere to Veterans by:

  • Integrating the concept of pharmaceutical care into all phases of the pharmacy practice aimed at improving employee engagement and Veteran experience.
  • Employing a systems-thinking approach to continuously improve processes and behaviors aimed at increasing value and developing best practices.
  • Increasing patient educational efforts, particularly as they relate to medication related outcomes.
  • Providing clinical pharmacy support to fulfill National VA PBM Formulary compliance and optimize outcomes with medications.
  • Being good stewards of limited organizational resources and operating cost-effectively within the allocated medical center budget.
  • Providing timely service for prescriptions filled at the pharmacy.
  • Using clinical pharmacy specialists who practice at the top of their license to manage chronic diseases in primary care and specialized care for behavioral health.

The Mann-Grandstaff VAMC pharmacy department is composed of about 30 pharmacists and 23 pharmacy technicians. The pharmacy operates a full service outpatient department dispensing prescriptions and counseling patients. They also have an inpatient department providing unit dose and IV services. Inpatient pharmacist coverage after hours is provided through a remote link to Puget Sound VAMC. During after hours, inpatient medication services are provided through fully stocked Omnicell machines and ward stock. In addition, the pharmacy provides clinical pharmacy specialist services to the primary care and specialty clinics during regular business hours, assisting providers in the treatment of anticoagulation, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, tobacco cessation, and in formulary management.

The Mann-Grandstaff VAMC serves as a rotation site to students for six different advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs). Two of these rotations are ambulatory care, one in the primary care setting and the other in long-term-care/hospice. There are also rotations in acute care, community pharmacy, management, and (new for the 2018-2019 cycle) urgent care.

The Mann-Grandstaff VAMC has been providing an ASHP accredited PGY1 Pharmacy Residency Program for the past six years. Each year the Mann-Grandstaff VAMC receives applications from candidates all over the United States. A pharmacy team conducts interviews and chooses only two residents from a pool of highly qualified candidates. An ideal candidate for this position should possess not only a strong academic record, but also leadership abilities, a commitment to community, and good emotional intelligence. In other words, pharmacy residents are hired for their attitude and trained to develop their skills. Residents can get experience in outpatient, inpatient, clinical, administration, and long-term/palliative care. They also have the opportunity to select electives in infectious diseases, behavioral health, home-based primary care, and academia. Interested applicants must participate in the ASHP Residency Matching Program (The Match) and the Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service (PhORCAS).

The Mann-Grandstaff VAMC allows pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to practice at an advanced level to contribute to excellent patient care. Pharmacists at the Spokane VAMC have the highest “All Employee Satisfaction Scores” for the last two consecutive years. As a team member in the VAMC, it is important to have strong communication skills, emotional intelligence, and the ability to build long-lasting relationships.

2018 Allen I. White Lecture

The WSU College of Pharmacy will be hosting its 2018 Allen I. White Lecture next Tuesday, March 13, from 12 – 1 p.m.

Keynote speaker: Richard Okita, Ph.D.
Program Director in the Division of Pharmacology, Physiology and Biological Chemistry, National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Click here to read about Dr. Okita in the college’s lecture announcement.

The lecture is open to the public. People planning to attend are asked to click on the following site link to RSVP:

Get full event details on Facebook.

CE | Tobacco Cessation

March 21, 2018

Tobacco Cessation

Presenter: Kawkab Shishani, PhD
associate professor, WSU-College of Nursing
Spokane, Washington

Kawkab will be discussing how to approach the topic of tobacco cessation with your patients and the resources available in the Spokane area.

Here is the link to the pre-course activities:

When and where

*Washington State University Spokane
Room TBD
Spokane, WA 99202

March 21, 2018
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

*Note: Pay for parking on the WSU Spokane campus at the blue parking kiosks. Limited one-hour street parking is available along Riverpoint Boulevard.


SPA members – No charge
Non-SPA members – $25

Online Registration has closed

One hour of CE credit will be provided, approved by the Washington State Board of Pharmacy and the Idaho State Board of Pharmacy.


Part of the mission of the Spokane Pharmacy Association is to promote the competency of practitioners and maximize the profession’s contribution to patient care. One of the ways we do this is through providing high-quality continuing education opportunities for members and non-members of the local pharmacy community.

We hope you can join us for one of our recent and upcoming events:

Continuing Education Events

Social Events

Annual Meeting

The Spokane Pharmacy Association Annual Meeting & Continuing Education is an annual event celebrating the Inland Northwest Pharmacy Community.

What this event is

  • An annual meeting celebrating the Inland Northwest Pharmacy Community.
  • Features an excellent dinner, exhibitor showcase, auction, speaker, awards ceremony, and plenty of pharmacy community!
  • The SPA will present its awards: Pharmacist of the Year, Pharmacy Technician of the Year, Student Pharmacist/Pharmacy Resident of the Year, Speaker of the Year, and the Pharmacy of the Year.

Full event and registration details