Prescription Refill Center Celebrates 15 Years
Published May 3, 2022
POTEAU, Okla. – Last month, the Choctaw Nation Refill Center in Poteau celebrated 15 years of operation. The Refill Center opened in 2007 with the purpose of delivering prescriptions in a more efficient way to Choctaw Nation tribal members. The Refill Center services the entire United States and is available to anyone who has a Certified Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) card or is an employee of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
Today, the prescription refill center is located in a 15,000+ square foot space in the Poteau Clinic. On average, they can send out 4,000 prescriptions a day. The most scripts filled in a single day is 10,300.
“Several employees have been with us from the beginning,” says Candice Vaughn, Pharmacy Manager. “It has been exciting to see the improvements in technology that allow us to reach and exceed our goals. We started out with very manual processes and advanced over these 15 years to be very automated with only a few tasks remaining manual. The Refill Center has sent over 10 ½ million prescriptions since opening in 2007!”
The Refill Center “employs” several robots throughout the facility. A robotic arm fills pill bottles using the weight of the pills in a machine holding 254 bays of medications. “The robotic arm has several contingencies if it malfunctions, but we haven’t needed them,” explains Vaughn. Conveyor belts carry pill bottles and other items throughout the facility to be labeled and packaged for delivery.
“Rex and Wall-E are my favorite robots,” says Matthew Akers, Poteau Clinic Director. “These robots carry prescriptions from the back of the facility to the front desk to serve patients in person. This keeps the pharmacy technicians at the patient window to provide better customer service to our patients.”
About the Choctaw Nation
The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is a federally recognized tribe whose service territory covers approximately 11,000 square miles in southeastern Oklahoma. The Nation is comprised of over 200,000 members worldwide and is the third-largest tribe in the United States. The Choctaw Nation is led by the vision and guidance of Chief Gary Batton, Assistant Chief Jack Austin Jr., and 12 Tribal Council members. The Choctaw Nation plays a significant role in the growth of Indian Country and all of southeastern Oklahoma.
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