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The Coast Guard Pharmacy Community consists of 15 billeted pharmacist positions, two of which are administrative billets and 13 field billets.
Headquarters, Washington, DC – Pharmacy Program Coordinator/ Pharmacy Chief
Health, Safety, Work-Life Service Center (HSWL SC) – Pharmacy Consultant
The field billets are O-5 (Commander) grade billets. With only 13 pharmacists assigned to field billets, and almost 40 Coast Guard clinics and over 150 independent duty sites, each pharmacy officer not only is responsible for total pharmacy operations at their assigned clinics, but has responsibility of collateral sites assigned to their area of responsibility, as well. These collateral sites include clinics operating with pharmacy techs (either Armed Forces “C” school or OJT trained), sickbays with health services technicians, Coast Guard Cutters, small boat stations, Port Security Units (PSU), and Strike Force Units, to name a few.
The clinic pharmacies are, for the most part, one person operations. Pharmacists may be given supported by health services technicians who have attended “C” school training or were trained on the job and completed the Pharmacy Watchstander program (Quality Improvement Implementation Guide [QIIG] 41).
Information regarding opportunities for pharmacists serving with the Coast Guard can be found via the following link:http://www.gocoastguard.com/find-your-career/officer-opportunities/programs/health-professions.
Coast Guard clinics provide ambulatory care services, with Coast Guard active duty members having priority. All others are by space availability. Coast Guard pharmacy service is opened to Uniformed Service members and their beneficiaries. However, for prescriptions written by outside (of the clinic) providers, only those 13 clinics with a pharmacy officer available will be authorized to fill and dispense these prescriptions. The Coast Guard pharmacy formulary is based on the DoD Basic Core Formulary. No specialty clinics exist in Coast Guard clinics, so the pharmacy does not routinely carry specialty pharmaceuticals.
Experiential (Extern) Program
Due to the limited locations of Coast Guard pharmacy officers and their vast responsibilities, the decision to support a college of pharmacy’s Experiential (Extern) Program is solely dependent on the individual pharmacy officer. Colleges of pharmacy wishing to inquire into the possibility and availability of establishing an MOU with the clinic are to contact CDR Paul Michaud, CG-1121 at (202) 475-5171. He will forward your request for consideration to the pharmacy officer assigned nearest the college. Be advised that room and board and travel is the sole responsibility of the student.
The Coast Guard does not have a scholarship program for pharmacy. As well, it does not have a program to help with student loans. Other agencies within the U.S. Public Health Service do offer this and interested persons may visit their website at https://usphs.gov/.
Pharmacy Awards Program
This program was established in 2006. Annually, one pharmacist and one pharmacy technician is recognized for excellence in pharmaceutical services, ensuring patient safety, exemplifying devotion to duty, honor, and country, professionalism, and the Semper Paratus spirit. Presentation of the award is held during the Joint Forces Pharmacy Seminar in October. A complete detail of the award program is available in the Pharmacy award information/package.