Department Spotlight: Pharmacy

By: Alana Ridge

April 17, 2024

A collage of inpatient and outpatient pharmacy team members across Renown Health.

When it comes to each patient’s healthcare journey, medication is often a key chapter. After all, medication is one of the most common treatment methods to help patients on the road back to health. In 2023, 4.83 billion prescriptions were filled in the U.S., and with this number only anticipated to rise annually, having an expert pharmacy team on your side to make certain you are prescribed the ideal dosage to treat your condition, prepare your prescriptions on time and help you manage your medications responsibly is important. 

Fortunately, at Renown Health, we have best-in-class inpatient and outpatient pharmacy teams to fill both prescriptions and promises for excellent care. Renown Pharmacy plays a vital role in helping us foster a health system that prioritizes patient well-being above all else. This department exemplifies the impact that a unified, expert pharmacy team can have on patient outcomes now and in the future. 

The Masters of Medication

Spanning three hospitals plus ambulatory locations across the health system, Renown’s growing pharmacy team – full of dedicated pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and even medical assistants – manages medications in a wide variety of patient settings, touching nearly every aspect of the healthcare continuum:

  • Outpatient Retail Pharmacies
    • Renown Regional Medical Center – 75 Pringle Way
    • The Healthcare Center – 21 Locust Street
    • Renown South Meadows Medical Center – 10101 Double R Blvd 
  • Inpatient Pharmacies
    • Renown Rehabilitation Hospital
    • Renown Regional Medical Center (including Renown Children’s Hospital)
    • Renown South Meadows Medical Center
    • COMING SOON: Conrad Breast Center Pharmacy (in honor of Kristina Ferrari) in the Specialty Care Center at Renown South Meadows
  • Ambulatory Pharmacies
    • Anticoagulation Services – Institute for Heart & Vascular Health (IHVH)
    • Pharmacotherapy Program – IHVH and Renown Medical Group Locations
    • Congestive Heart Failure Pharmacotherapy Program – Center for Advanced Medicine B at Renown Regional
    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Pharmacotherapy Program – Renown South Meadows
    • Endocrinology Pharmacotherapy Program – Renown South Meadows
  • Additional Pharmacy Programs
    • Medical Reconciliation
    • Pharmacy Residency

Clinical pharmacists at Renown bridge the gap between medicine and compassionate support, making sure each patient receives personalized care one prescription at a time. 

“There are various roles pharmacists play within Renown,” said Clarissa Munoz, Clinical Pharmacist in the Renown Regional Inpatient Pharmacy. “Staff pharmacists work diligently to ensure correct medications are dispensed, and if compounded, make sure they were prepared properly. They also work hard to answer medication messages and phone calls, help verify orders and make sure ode trays/RSI kits are appropriately stocked and ready when needed. Clinical pharmacists work from satellite pharmacies on the floor and focus on reviewing patient charts and aim to provide additional interventions to the providers to optimize treatment strategies. We also serve as a resource for nursing staff and help answer medication questions.” 

“My role in the pharmacy is pretty expansive,” added Chanelle Ajimura, Clinical Pharmacist in the Renown Regional Outpatient Pharmacy. “I maintain inventory to confirm patients can receive their medications in a timely manner both for our discharge and retail patients while balancing the Meds to Beds program, which offers medication delivery to the bedside and bedside medication counseling; collaborating with an interdisciplinary team to find the most affordable price for patients; and verifying that the dose, strength, indication, etc. is appropriate for the patient from start to finish.” 

“In the pharmacy, I make sure patients are receiving appropriate drug therapy by checking for major drug interactions and ensuring appropriate dosing,” added Courtney Church, Clinical Pharmacist in the Renown Regional Outpatient Pharmacy. “I also make recommendations to providers so patients can get cost-effective therapy.” 

Our pharmacy technicians work behind-the-scenes ensuring efficient medication management, making a difference in the lives of patients every day. 

“A pharmacy technician is responsible for making sure the patient gets their medications on time and at the lowest price possible,” said Nate Graham, Pharmacy Technician in the Renown Regional Outpatient Pharmacy. “This is done by working with patients, insurance companies and case workers. We fill prescriptions, enter prescriptions into our system, receive and send orders for medications and maintain a clean pharmacy with an accurate inventory.” 

“We do a variety of things; the task people probably know the most is counting out the medications and putting them in the amber vials,” added Rachel Vallin, Pharmacy Technician in the Renown Regional Outpatient Pharmacy. “We also help patients at the front of the pharmacy, ring out their prescriptions, answer some basic questions (deferring to a pharmacist as necessary) and billing insurance. Meds to Beds is my favorite part because I feel the most involved. I take medications to patients who are discharging up to their hospital rooms so they have it with them when they leave.” 

“As a technician, I confirm that all medications of new admissions are available in our machines prior to admitting and then maintain stock during each patient’s stay,” added Tammara Axtman, Pharmacy Technician at Renown Rehabilitation Hospital. "I also assist our nurses when needed in regard to any of their questions with both EPIC and Omnicell.” 

Our pharmacy team is also on the move all across our health system, thanks to our Ambulatory Pharmacy programs. For patients experiencing a serious heart, lung, or endocrine condition that requires ongoing drug therapy maintenance and guidance, our ambulatory pharmacies step in to carefully monitor how their medications impact their health and well-being. 

“Our role as pharmacists in this department is non-traditional because we actually see patients in the exam rooms face-to-face,” said Cory Lankford, Ambulatory Care Clinical Pharmacist for Renown’s Anticoagulation Services. “We modify their medication regimens and drug recommendations under collaborative practice agreements.” 

“Because our role is so unique, we have a lot of opportunities to make a positive impact on patients,” added Janeen Abe, Ambulatory Care Clinical Pharmacist for Renown’s Anticoagulation Services. “We do a lot of direct patient interaction, including counseling patients on their medications and helping them navigate through their disease state.” 

“As a medical assistant in this department, we’re called the patient ‘liaisons’ to orchestrate who they should go to whether it’s a nurse, a provider or a pharmacist,” added Kiara Scruggs, Medical Assistant for Renown’s Anticoagulation Services. “We look at each patient’s medications and help with the Warfarin blood thinner monitor. We get to do a lot with patients."

A key resource within the Pharmacy department and the emergency admission process, our Medical Reconciliation ("Med Rec") team stays on top of each patient's medication records. By ensuring each medication regimen is accurately reflected in each patient's chart and that patients continue to take their at-home medications while admitted to the hospital, this team provides vital insight into medications that could be a contributing factor to each patient's symptoms, including drug interactions.

“Our medication reconciliation pharmacy technician team are true detectives,” said Heather Townsend, Clinical Pharmacy Supervisor. “When a patient arrives to the hospital, Med Rec works with patients, families, caregivers and outpatient pharmacies to compile a list of medications the patient has been taking a home. This list is used to make sure medications are not contributing to the patient’s symptoms and to assure medications are continued throughout the hospital stay. The addition of the medication reconciliation team has been one of the greatest advancements in medication safety.”

“As a Med Rec Tech, we interview patients and family members and call pharmacies, skilled nursing facilities, etc. to obtain an accurate and complete medication list/history to outline what the patient is currently taking on a daily basis,” added Kara McGee, Medical Reconciliation Pharmacy Technician. “We make sure that we document the correct medication, dose, route, frequency and directions. This information is crucial because the nurses, pharmacists and physicians look at our work to figure out if any medications are contributing to the patient's health condition, and for the continuation of home medications on admission.”

“Even though the Med Rec Tech might seem small in the hospital realm, it is very vital for patient information and beneficial to the patient's health,” added Brizza Villafan, Medical Reconciliation Pharmacy Technician. “There is never a dull moment in this work.”

No matter the diagnosis, having Renown Pharmacy as an integral part of your healthcare team is a win-win situation for both you and them: you receive access to medication to help you heal, delivered to you with precision and care, and the pharmacy team has the opportunity to care for you and make a positive impact, a role they take seriously.

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A Unified Goal

Even though our pharmacy department is busy serving patients across all our hospitals and several outpatient locations, they all unite under a common goal: helping patients on their recovery journey. 

“A day in the pharmacy can look different for me depending on what position I'm staffing, but the ultimate goal is always the same: getting the correct medication to the patient in a timely manner to help with their treatment,” said Cindy Dye, Clinical Pharmacist in the Renown Regional Inpatient Pharmacy. 

“The opportunity to see our interventions help patients meet their goals is very rewarding,” added Cory Lankford. “Other providers see that, and they keep referring their patients to us. I love the relationships I build with my patients.” 

A crucial part of this department’s success is their ability to work seamlessly as a team. They rely on each other to deliver on their promise to each patient. 

“Our team has worked hard to get to where we are today,” said Nate Rojprasitporn, Clinical Pharmacist in the Renown Regional Outpatient Pharmacy. “Our prescriptions are an indicator of that. Even when we are short staffed, we are all team players and pull together to take care of our patients.” 

“Every day, we ensure patients are able to receive their medications after surgery, an ER visit or doctor’s appointments,” added Heidi Sooudi, Pharmacy Technician in the Renown Regional Outpatient Pharmacy. “Even when our billing system is down, we provide medications.” 

Over at Renown Rehabilitation Hospital, it’s all about breaking down barriers to care. Medication is a significant part of the rehab healthcare puzzle. 

“The goal of the rehab pharmacy is to remove barriers to the patient returning home by optimizing their medication regimen,” said Andy Wright, Clinical Pharmacist at Renown Rehabilitation Hospital. “We are part of the integrated interdisciplinary team that works together in that unified goal. The physicians, nurses and therapy departments all communicate freely with the pharmacy to address concerns in the patient’s progression towards their improved outcome.” 

“Our team takes pride in our work, and we make sure that we provide anything our patients need,” added Tammara Axtman. “When one person needs help, we all pitch in when needed, without hesitation.” 

Safety is always the top priority at Renown, and the pharmacy team takes this commitment to the highest level, coupled with a strong dedication to best-in-class patient care. 

“The pharmacy department is all about the safety and throughput of medications,” said Courtney Lujan, Clinical Pharmacist in the Renown South Meadows Inpatient Pharmacy. “From repackaging items to compounding them, medications make it to the floor for patient use after being touched by several pharmacy team members, in order to always ensure the safety of our patients.” 

“We do our best to provide exceptional patient care and work hard to verify the best course of action is taken and that it is safe, effective and has the patient’s best interest in mind,” said Clarissa Munoz. 

Many of our Ambulatory Pharmacy teams, especially Anticoagulation Services, have the unique opportunity to develop strong one-on-one connections with patients during exams. Most importantly, with their interventions, they get to witness their patients experience marketable improvement in their health. 

“I enjoy interacting with my patients and seeing them improve over time,” said Janeen Abe. “We manage a lot of patients with diabetes, and it is so nice to see them improve after a short amount of time.” 

“We have patients that have very serious issues,” added Kiara Scruggs. “It’s a good feeling to know we are making a difference, even if it’s something small. Additionally, this is the quickest-response practice I have worked for. The response time is always fast – usually by end-of-day.” 

Continuing to surpass patient expectations, shortly after the only 24/7 pharmacy in the region announced it is no longer open overnight, the Renown Outpatient Pharmacy team stepped up to fill the community’s need.  

“I am proud of the pharmacy team and its leadership in their mission to expand services to the community,” said Clarissa Munoz. “Most recently they have shown this by expanding outpatient pharmacy services at Renown Regional to be 24/7 when Reno lost its only 24-hour community pharmacy.” 

Challenges are inevitable. Earlier this year, Change Healthcare, one of the largest healthcare technology companies handling patient payments across the U.S. healthcare system, experienced a major cybersecurity breach, affecting health insurance companies all over the country. Despite this setback, Renown Pharmacy worked hard to safeguard patients’ access to medications. 

“One of the things that makes me proud of this pharmacy is how we handle abnormal situations,” said Nate Graham. “For example, during a recent cyberattack which shut down our access to insurance companies, the entire pharmacy team not only did everything possible to try to find workarounds to help our patients, but also everyone stayed calm, didn’t panic and did what was needed to be done at the time. We all worked very hard to get everything back to normal.” 

Regardless of where you go within our health system to fill your prescriptions and get the medication counseling you need, or whether you’re an inpatient or outpatient, Renown Pharmacy has you covered every step of the way. 

Important reminder for Renown patients: The pharmacy team works diligently to make sure your medications are ready in a timely manner. It is important to keep in mind they are working to verify patients are getting the appropriate drug therapy, which involves communicating with each patient’s provider to prescribe the best dosage and resolve drug interaction issues. On top of it all, your expert team always works to find cost-effective alternatives that your insurance will cover. Rest assured they have not forgotten you and are working as quickly as they can! 

Leading with a Culture of Kindness

Kindness is heavily ingrained in our culture at Renown. In fact, team members are encouraged to sign a kindness pledge, committing themselves to Fighting the Good Fight with kindness by fostering a culture rooted in our Cultural Commitments: Caring, Collaboration, Integrity and Excellence. 

Our pharmacy team is a shining example of upholding our culture of kindness and our Cultural Commitments, exhibiting the utmost kindness not only with their patients but also with each other. 


“Being a pharmacy tech has shown me to have a lot of grace, patience, understanding and communication with others; in order to provide excellent patient care each of those traits come into play,” said Kaysie Clawson, Pharmacy Technician in the Renown South Meadows Outpatient Pharmacy. 

“In the pharmacy, we always step up every time a new task comes our way,” added Rosie Martinez, Pharmacy Technician in the Renown Regional Outpatient Pharmacy. “We work well as a team.” 


“I honestly believe our whole team at Renown Rehabilitation Hospital works well together, from liaisons and admissions to leadership,” said Tammara Axtman. “We all collaborate in Microsoft Teams meetings prior to admission through discharge processes. Our pharmacy staff ensures our patients know they can contact them at any time even after discharge if they have any questions. I feel like that is what makes us such a great place to work. The whole team here cares about the patients, and we want to bring the best care to them.” 

“Our core staff has worked together for over 20 years,” added Andy Wright. “We laugh, joke and share a small workspace to do the best we can. Some days are more challenging than others, but we get through them together." 

“I am so proud of our team,” added Jeannette Benson, Clinical Pharmacist in the Renown South Meadows Outpatient Pharmacy. “I just joined this team, and everyone has been very friendly and helpful teaching me the system and workflow. I enjoy my workplace’s collaborative environment.” 


“Renown Rehabilitation Hospital is a great place to see our patients Fight the Good Fight,” said Andy Wright. “Our team helps patients work hard to accomplish their goals. When faced with perhaps the greatest challenges of their lives, we facilitate our patients to achieve as best they can so they can live their fullest lives. We fight because they are in the fight of their lives. And when you see them hit the gong, signifying the completion of their journey here, the raw emotion is beautiful to see. Renown Rehabilitation Hospital is the very embodiment of every value of Renown, and I am fortunate to be a part of this very special place.”

“Our Med Rec team is successful because we all show up with a positive attitude,” added Christine Nielsen, Medical Reconciliation Pharmacy Technician. “We pride ourselves on having integrity, empathy and respect for every patient, Renown employee and community healthcare provider that we connect with daily. Each member of our team excels at communicating clearly, actively listening and providing helpful feedback. We support and encourage each other to succeed every day in every situation.”


“I strive to help, understand and perform well as a part of the pharmacy team,” said Kaysie Clawson. “I love the trust and team effort that goes into our everyday job. Everybody has taken the time to guide me and teach me how to be a better pharmacy tech.” 

“My supportive coworkers and supervisor keep me here,” added Nate Rojprasitporn.

“We are proud to step in when we suspect a medication error,” added Jennifer McNeil, Medical Reconciliation Pharmacy Technician. “We read through hundreds of notes trying to find our answers.”

Pharmacy Pride

The pharmacy department stands tall, the pride in their work emerging from the countless lives they impact and the expert care they provide. Their pride doesn’t just live and breathe in their accomplishments but also in the difference they make in the lives of patients and families every day. 

“What I am most proud of is that pharmacy here at Renown Rehabilitation Hospital has actively worked to cultivate relationships with all disciplines so that they feel free to come into our department to enlist our clinical knowledge,” said Andy Wright. “As an important part of the team, our fellow disciplines come to the pharmacy to help the patient. Also, the pharmacy conducts medication education with our patients upon discharge to the community and they are given our number to ask any follow up questions. The best thing is the care that truly reaches beyond the doors of our building.”

“Our Med Rec team is successful because we all show up with a positive attitude,” added Christine Nielsen. “We pride ourselves on having integrity, empathy and respect for every patient, Renown employee and community healthcare provider that we connect with daily. Each member of our team excels at communicating clearly, actively listening and providing helpful feedback. We support and encourage each other to succeed every day in every situation.”

Impressed by how rooted Renown is in the local community and the enthusiasm every team exhibits for their patients, several pharmacy team members were inspired to work for our health system right away, whether right after pharmacy school or upon a cross-state move to Reno. 

“Choosing to start my career at Renown was one of the easiest decisions I have made,” said Clarissa Munoz. “Reno is home and the patients we serve have always been my community. I wanted to be a part of a healthcare system that truly cares about its community and that continuously adapts to what the community needs. I continue to choose to work at Renown because in the short time I have been here I have been impressed by the compassion my colleagues have for their team and their patients.” 

“I was able to work at Renown in the business office when I was getting my prerequisites for pharmacy school, and I knew that I wanted to come back and work in the Renown pharmacy,” said Courtney Lujan. “The pharmacy department at Renown is very progressive and allows pharmacists to practice at the top of their licensure.” 

“I am originally from Las Vegas, and when I moved up here, I learned how large Renown is in the community,” added Kiara Scruggs. “I was drawn to the Fight the Good Fight slogan.”

Many of these team members were also drawn to Renown because of the learning opportunities we offer and our professional reputation, especially within the Pharmacy department itself.

“As the second-ever Med Rec Tech ever hired at Renown over a decade ago, I stay not only because of the daily interactions with my patients and coworkers but also because of the constant learning environment,” said Ruth Balch, Medical Reconciliation Pharmacy Technician.

“I chose to work for Renown because we are the only trauma center in the area, and Renown has a very good and professional reputation throughout the community that I wanted to be a part of,” added Kara McGee. “I am most proud of the reputation that the Med Rec team has created with the nurses, pharmacists and physicians. We are greatly trusted and relied upon by the other staff members, and we have all worked very hard to have the rapport that we do with our team.”

Your career fight is our fight too, and Renown Pharmacy is rapidly growing to meet the expanding needs for expert pharmacy services locally. From our 24/7 pharmacy at Renown Regional to our future pharmacy at the Conrad Breast Center, we’re looking for devoted, passionate pharmacy team members just like you.  

A good coworker in our pharmacy department is...

  • "Someone who understands the importance of the work they do, how it impacts patient care and is driven by this knowledge to do the best work they can each day they work.” - Tim Bartlett, Clinical Pharmacist in the Renown Regional Inpatient Pharmacy.
  • “One you get excited to work with. You can rely on these colleagues to help answer your questions, give second opinions or even check in to see how your day is going. However, great coworkers go beyond the setting of work and those are the ones you can bond over shared interests. Having those strong relationships helps going to work just a bit more enjoyable.” - Clarissa Munoz
  • “Trustworthy; committed to accuracy, patient care and follow through; caring and honest; and a hard worker. We work great as a family and lift each other up.” - Jennifer McNeil
  • “Someone who is a real team player. Our department is by no means a one man show.  It takes a lot of collaboration to do what we do every day. So a good coworker is someone who comes in and works hard, communicates and focuses on helping the team, and can do all of it while having fun.” - Cindy Dye
  • “Approachable and open minded. We have an excellent work culture here, which is one of the things that drew me to this team. We are not afraid to go to anyone and get their opinions and ask for help.” - Janeen Abe
  • “Reliable and shows up to their shifts, cares about their job in the sense that they do their duties with integrity and honesty from start to finish, is a team player and will help their coworkers if other areas of the pharmacy need assistance.” - Chanelle Ajimura
  • “Willing to listen, communicative and dependable. Caring about the people you work with and also the people you're helping is important.” - Rachel Vallin
  • “Able to work as a team and fill in gaps in the workflow without being asked.” - Jeannette Benson
  • “Assists both patients and coworkers in a professional manner and communicates to the team to ensure patients are receiving great care.” - Courtney Church
  • “Diverse and open towards the different teams you’re working with. Everyone has different personalities and work styles. We all do things differently, but we respect that we do things differently.” - Kiara Scruggs
  • “Dependable. We are one of the highest-functioning teams at Renown.” - Ruth Balch

What are you waiting for? Fight the Good Fight with us by applying today at Our pharmacy team can’t wait to greet you with open arms. 

"Renown chose me. What keeps me here is the goal of our pharmacy that embodies the true meaning of Renown: helping hurt people regain strength and improve their quality of life in order to go home and live their best life,” closes Andy Wright. 

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