Mayaguez VA Clinic's Commitment to Veterans - VA Caribbean Healthcare System
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VA Caribbean Healthcare System


Mayaguez VA Clinic's Commitment to Veterans

Drive Thru sign at the Mayaguez Clinic

Veterans can wait safely in their vehicle for prescriptions, VA Staff will deliver in order to make sure social distancing guidelines are followed and everyone is kept safe during this pandemic.

By Teresa Rios-De Leon
Monday, April 27, 2020

Since December 28, 2019, the southern part of Puerto Rico has dealt with a staggering number of earthquakes. Although the frequency and intensity have decreased in the last three months, they continue to occur. Now as the rest of the world deals with COVID-19 pandemic, new challenges have surfaced at the Mayaguez Outpatient Clinic. How do we keep our Veterans and Employees safe, with out compromising our commitment to serving our patients well?

Responding to the multiple and potentially deadly earthquakes during December and January, the Mayagüez Outpatient Clinic administration and service chiefs established a rapid response internal text group called the Mayaguez Incident Command (MOPC HICS), the goal of the group was to ensure 24/7 communication between the administration and all service supervisors.

With the success of MOPC HICS, the first responders at the clinic are at it again. Given the threat faced by our veterans—many of whom are vulnerable and at risk—the Nursing and Pharmacy team at the MOPC have created an initiative called “Pharmacy Drive Thru”. A group effort initiated with the leadership of Mrs. Kirsee Marrero Nurse Manager, the Pharmacy Drive Thru was born.

THE PROCESS for Pharmacy Drive Thru

  • 3 Workstations were setup at the lobby with Nursing Staff and Pharmacy
  • Veterans are expected to wait in their cars until someone comes to triage
  • Medication refills and most other requests are processedat these multifunctional workstations
    • Patients then wait in their vehicles until their request is completed
    • Pharmacy delivers meds to the Veteran’s vehicle

    In some instances, patients request their prescription medications and/or other documents be sent to them by mail. There’s no need for a long line which would increase potential exposure to this vulnerable population. The Pharmacy Drive Thru at Mayaguez is working well for our Veterans.

    “This pandemic has changed everyone’s life, especially those who work for the healthcare system. As a nurse, I was determined to help stop the spread by sharing my knowledge with those in need. As soon as the news started informing the positive cases in Puerto Rico of Covid-19. I knew I had to do something and that I had a great team to accomplish the mission”, said Kirsee Marrero.

    The Mayaguez employees are all united to proactively avoid the spread. A schedule was created for the participation of the different disciplines to rotate at the checkpoints, the response was very positive. The whole team is working tirelessly fighting this invisible enemy, Nurses, Supervisors, Administrative Officers and the Clinical Director are working hand in hand during this crisis.

    “This crisis will change everyone’s lives forever, but it has also strengthened our ties as a VA family”, said Kirsee Marrero, VA Nurse Manager at Mayaguez OPC.


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