374th MDG pharmacy: Ensuring readiness

374th MDG pharmacy: Ensuring readiness

The 374th Medical Group pharmacy shelves are stocked with medication ready for use, Mar. 6, 2018, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. The pharmacy sees approximately 35,000 beneficiaries from Yokota Air Base, Camp Zama, Fleet Activities Yokosuka and the U.S. Embassy, Tokyo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Juan Torres)

374th MDG pharmacy: Ensuring readiness

Takako Ishida, 374th Medical Support Squadron pharmacy technician, looks for medication for a patient, Mar. 6, 2018, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. As part of their daily operations, the pharmacy verifies any patient safety issues and monitors all the medications that need refilling throughout the entire hospital, including the multi-service unit and urgent care. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Juan Torres)

374th MDG pharmacy: Ensuring readiness

The 374th Medical Group pharmacy monitors all the medications that need refilling throughout the entire hospital, including the multi-service unit and urgent care, Mar. 6, 2018, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. The pharmacy sees approximately 35,000 beneficiaries from Yokota Air Base, Camp Zama, Fleet Activities Yokosuka and the U.S. Embassy, Tokyo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Juan Torres)

374th MDG pharmacy: Ensuring readiness

Capt. Allison Stephens, 374th Medical Support Squadron pharmacy services, uses a pill counting tray, Mar. 6, 2018, at Yokota Air Base. As part of their daily operations, the pharmacy verifies any patient safety issues and monitors all the medications that need refilling throughout the entire hospital, including the multi-service unit and urgent care. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Juan Torres)

374th MDG pharmacy: Ensuring readiness

Master Sgt. Stacy Morrow, 374th Medical Support Squadron diagnostics and therapeutics flight chief, gives a patient her medication, Mar. 6, 2018, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. As part of their daily operations, the pharmacy verifies any patient safety issues and monitors all the medications that need refilling throughout the entire hospital, including the multi-service unit and urgent care. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Juan Torres)

Yokota Air Base, Japan -- With approximately 35,000 beneficiaries around Yokota Air Base, Camp Zama, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, and the U.S. Embassy, Tokyo, the 374th Medical Group pharmacy dispenses around 175 prescription medications a day, making it one of the busiest sections of the hospital.
The pharmacy is charged with providing safe, timely and effective medications to all patients at Yokota.

Unlike other sections of the 374 MDG which might be more hands-on with their patients, the pharmacy plays an important behind the scenes role for all Team Yokota members visiting the hospital.

“We’re not hands-on with the patient like other 374 MDG personnel,” said Staff Sgt. Aaron Munoz-Case, 374th Medical Support Squadron pharmacy narcotics noncommissioned officer in charge. “However, we do have significant input on how patients get treated and how they get better with the medications we provide.”

As part of their daily operations, they man the pharmacy front window, verify any patient safety issues and monitor all the medications that need refilling throughout the entire hospital, including the multi-service unit and urgent care.

“A lot of people think that behind the scenes we’re just putting pills in bottles, but there’s way more intricate details especially when it comes to taking care of our patients,” said Munoz-Case.

At the end of the day they do a narcotics inventory, making sure everything is secured, protected and safeguarded.

They also have 24/7 on-call pharmacy personnel that can be called during an emergency.

Readiness is one of the main factors at the pharmacy, ensuring Yokota Airmen are ready to complete their mission.

“We’re really keen on making sure we’re ready for any threat by supplying the active duty force with war-time-ready material and making sure everyone’s being taken care of in a timely manner,” said Munoz-Case.