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We’d like to share our continued thanks to our wonderful pharmacy professionals during this unprecedented time, and remind pharmacy professionals that you are also deserving of self-care and mental well-being. Read this special thank you message from Texas State Board of Pharmacy President Julie Spier, R.Ph.:

As we approach a new season, and potentially a new phase in the pandemic, we felt it was a good time to reach out to all of the pharmacists and technicians in Texas with a message of immeasurable appreciation for your work, and reminder that you deserve to cultivate wellness within yourself as well as the patients you serve.

First and foremost, we want to thank you again for all you have done to rise to the needs of our communities and fellow citizens of Texas. As stated in our last letter, you are all true heroes. You became access points for our communities to get primary doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and then boosters; you have distributed masks and COVID-19 tests; and above all, you’ve really just been there when our neighbors needed you most.

Out of all the healthcare professionals able to administer immunizations, pharmacists have been the primary administrators, with our pharmacies the hub of immunizations. You have shown that our profession is an indispensable cornerstone of patient care and that we are capable of extraordinary things.

In a business meeting early in 2021, I stated that this would be a year that defined us as practitioners and the entire profession of pharmacy. Looking back, it was both true and a complete understatement; I had no idea in that moment to what magnitude the profession would be redefined and our practices changed. It is for your incredible contribution to public health that I thank you on behalf of myself, the Board, Tim, and the entire TSBP staff.

Of course, we recognize as these words are written and as we seem to be moving from pandemic to endemic that this journey has not been easy, and it has come at a cost. The last two years have left us all proud of our efforts but also exhausted. While this fatigue is certainly not unique to pharmacy professionals, the toll the pandemic has taken on our profession is often overlooked by the media and others.

With all the stressors of the past two years considered, we want to call out the need for us all to practice good mental health habits. Maintaining our mental health is important even in the best of times—and absolutely essential in difficult times.

The Texas Pharmacy Association (TPA) has some great well-being resources for Texas pharmacy professionals, which can be found here on their website. This section has excellent reminders that as caretakers we must first take care of ourselves. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has a wealth of mental health and wellness resources for the general public and healthcare practitioners alike. Their Coping with Stress site outlines healthy ways to combat stress with an eye to the current pandemic, and their Support for Public Health Workers and Health Professionals site is geared specifically toward care teams such as pharmacy professionals. Both CDC sites have extensive additional reading and resources. We encourage you to read through these resources and try to do something daily that feeds your soul and brings you joy.

One of my favorite quotes is, “Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest between two breaths or the turning inwards in prayer for five short minutes,” by Etty Hillesum. I, like you, am not great at self-care, but I try every day to remember to pause, take a deep breath, and be grateful.

We are all truly grateful for you all and the care you have given and continue to give to the citizens of Texas every day.

Julie Spier, R.Ph.
President of the Texas State Board of Pharmacy