Gibbs Pharmacy, in partnership with Professional Compounding Centers of America (PCCA), invited local veterinarians to an educational session at Hampton Inn & Suites last week with PCCA Vice President of Creative Development Chris Simmons.
Pharmacy Educational Coordinator Jennifer Stephens, CPhT, said that one of the missions of Gibbs Pharmacy is to educate and assist the community with their medical needs. They frequently host educational meetings on diabetes and heart health at the Lebanon Senior Center; however, they wanted to spread the word to veterinarians and other physicians about their compounding services.
Gibbs Pharmacy, Stephens explained, has two compounding pharmacists.
Compounding Director Frank Gailbreath said that their services come into play when a doctor needs a strength of medicine that is not commercially available. "We can make that specific strength, or we can create unique options for medicine," he added. "Treating an animal is different than treating a person. You can't just hand a dog a capsule. Tonight, we are hearing about those options."
Special speaker Simmons compared his profession to being the "MacGyver" of medicine. He showed slides featuring photos of himself working with various animals at Disney World and Sea World, to name a few. In one photo, he was challenged to create special eye drops for a Beluga whale. In another, he worked with small-clawed Asian otters to create an ointment that would stay on in water.
Simmons, a graduate of Ohio Northern University, worked in both hospital and retail pharmacy before becoming a PCCA member in 1992. In May 2000, he joined the PCCA staff.
"I like the challenge of problem-solving while helping our members meet their patients' needs," he said.
Simmons has provided problem-solving for Disney World Animal Kingdom, Sea World, Smithsonian, National Zoological Park, Australia National Zoo and the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. He is also a founding board member of Wild4Ever and was recently elected to the board of National Parrot Rescue and Preservation Foundation.
Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.