Photographed from left to right: John Beckner, RPh – senior director of strategic initiatives, National Community Pharmacy Association; Tedene Halliwell, RPh – pharmacist, Balls Food Stores; Michael Halliwell, RPh – director of pharmacy and whole health, Balls Food Stores; Gina Luchen, PharmD – executive fellow, American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists; Amanda Applegate, PharmD, BCACP – clinical services coordinator, Balls Food Stores; Emily Prohaska, PharmD, BCACP – clinical services coordinator, Balls Food Stores; Janelle Ruisinger, PharmD, FAPhA – clinical Pprofessor, University of Kansas School of Pharmacy.
Kansas City pharmacy chain Balls Food Stores has received the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Foundation’s 2018 Pinnacle Award for its contributions to the practice of pharmacy.
The retailer opened its first pharmacy in 1993, led by Director of Pharmacy and Whole Health Michael Halliwell, who has spent the duration of his career with the retailer scouting out ways to improve pharmacists' care and has since expanded to 20 locations in the Kansas City, Kan., region.
Pharmacy staff provide expanded clinical services such as immunizations, medication therapy management and travel health consultations. Additionally, the retailer is one of only two retail pharmacy chains in the nation to provide pharmacogenomics testing, which helps assess if a medication is safe and effective based on an individual’s genetics.
The pharmacy's Start Now program that the retailer provides focuses on individuals with diabetes and cardiovascular disease and educates patients on self-care while working toward medication optimization, administering nearly 1,000 biometric screenings annually. The retailer also works to encourage medication adherence through a computer system that Balls Food’s pharmacists helped develop. This proprietary system works to address any problems that arise with a patient's medication instead of using an automatic refill system.