Helping Hands: Pharmacy to the Rescue

Written By: Tiffany Buckley, PharmD, BCPS, Advanced Practice Pharmacist

Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Helping Hands stories authored by School of Pharmacy faculty, staff, students, trainees, and alumni who stepped up to assist their family and friends, colleagues, and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus has quickly transformed life as we knew it. While this pandemic has brought much destruction, it has also highlighted the human capacity for resilience and flexibility in the face of adversity.

When Clifton T. Perkins, a psychiatric hospital in Howard County, Md., was inundated with staff shortages during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the pharmacy department volunteered to embrace non-traditional job roles to support essential functions such as food delivery and infection control. The normal operations of the pharmacy department were reworked to allow pharmacy staff to offer support.

To ensure patients received nutrition, Dr. Marie Mackowick, pharmacy director, and Dr. Jae Park, assistant pharmacy director, volunteered before and after their scheduled shifts to deliver morning and evening meals to patient units.

To help with infection control, pharmacy staff worked alongside psychologists, social workers, and physicians to help sew more than 800 masks for patients. Dr. Mackowick spearheaded sewing operations, delegating tasks and teaching novices sewing techniques. Dr. Park played a vital role in the mask-making assembly line, performing the final step of pleating and putting ear loops on masks. Erika Kreidler, pharmacy technician, utilized her prior sewing skills to flawlessly craft masks. I also learned how to sew, which allowed me to assist and teach others.

Dr. Nate Darling, pharmacist, worked diligently with pharmacy technicians Courtney Hankerson and Sharice Coleman to ensure that pharmacy operations ran smoothly, and that there was no delay on medication administration.


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  • Thank you to everyone in Pharmacy!!! The hospital is lucky to have you. Continued health to all!

  • Teamwork makes the dream work! Dr. Mackowick and her team really pulled through and assisted the hospital through a difficult time, especially the Department of Nursing. The Pharmacy Department will always be remembered and appreciated for their “boots on the ground” collaboration with many departments, but the Nursing Department needed the help the most, and Marie and her team, among other staff members, were ready, willing and able without a moments’ hesitation — and for that, we are grateful.


  • Great Article in the age of Coronavirus, our new NORMAL! Congrats to my Niece Tiffany Buckley and your Coworkers! Be SAFE and be WELL!

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