AXIS Pharmacy is proud to name Lisa Yeung “Employee of the Month” for June 2020. Lisa is a Pharmacy Technician in the Compounding Department and has been a team member at Axis for 2 years. She previously worked at Ballard Plaza Pharmacy for over 19 years.
When asked what makes Lisa the exceptional employee that she is, Dave Doane, CEO of AXIS Pharmacy Northwest, said,
“Lisa is such a valuable member of the Axis team. Consistent, cheerful, great with customers, and able to see through the daily challenges to meet our customers needs. Her even temperament is such an asset when things get hectic, she keeps things on track. I enjoy working with her, she is kind enough to laugh at my jokes, and helps keep things light and positive throughout the day.”
Lisa graciously took the time to answer a few questions about her career, life and a few fun facts about herself and we’d like to share it with you here.
What was it that made you decide that you wanted to work in this field?
“I have always been a science buff and have a BS in Biochemistry from UW. I worked in a couple of Biochemistry labs and found that I missed the human interaction and the sense of helping people on a more immediate basis. I started to search the want ads and saw several positions for Pharmacy Technicians. I researched on how to become one and attended North Seattle College. A few weeks before graduation, my classmate, Fareida Idrees, who is now a Pharmacist at Axis, mentioned that there was an opening at a compounding pharmacy called Ballard Plaza Pharmacy. I went for an interview that day and was hired. I probably did not realize it at the time, but it was the ideal position for me. It was an opportunity to use my science background to train in compounding and work more directly with patients in a retail setting.”
Do you have an office nickname? If so, what is it and why do you have that name?
“Ms. Yeung, because there is another Technician also named Lisa, in the compounding department.”
Tell us something that people are surprised to find out about you.
“I taught in the Pharmacy Technician program at North Seattle College for over 15 years.”
Do you have any hidden talents?
“I can juggle up to 4 objects.”
Give us a brief description of “A Day in the Life” at your job.
“My main responsibility is to process prescriptions, both new and refill. I make, answer and triage a significant amount of phone calls. I perform customer service and answer non clinical questions. I do some insurance billing and problem solving. I perform a lot of data entry by creating and updating patient profiles and compounding formulas. I assist the pharmacists in researching new formulas and update existing formulas in accordance with new and changing laws, regulations and research findings. I do some ordering, inventory, cashiering and preparing items to be mailed. I also handle the scheduling in the compounding department.”
What is one of your most prized possessions?
“A pair of original Rollerblade Lightning inline skates that I bought after I won $100 playing bingo (the one and only time I’ve ever played bingo for money).”
What do you like to do in your time off/spare time?
“Outdoors: hiking, inline skating and longboarding
Indoors: Watching TV and movies, baking, playing pickleball, engaging in “retail therapy”
What is your favorite aspect of your job?
“Being able to problem solve and offer solutions to patients that need a customized prescription. We are able to help some patients that cannot take commercially available products for many reasons. They may have allergies, or the dosage form of the commercially available product is not something they can take. Some prescriptions can be complicated and may take a lot of time to research, and require teamwork to come to fruition. Many patients or prescribers call us as a last resort, and when they find out that we can help them, the sound of relief in their voices and the possibility of hope makes all the hard work worthwhile. It is also very satisfying to have individuals with different areas of expertise work together to find a solution.”
What is something that people would be surprised to know that you do in your job?
“We do a great deal of veterinary compounding, so I get to talk to clients about their pets, which can range from dogs, cats, rats, birds, hedgehogs, reptiles, and many other types of animals.”
Have you ever pulled a prank on someone or had a prank pulled on you?
“I can’t tell you that because then the person I pranked would know it was me. I can assure you that it was harmless. I can’t recall if someone pulled a prank on me at work. We mostly just tell jokes or share funny things to have a laugh to alleviate stress.”
What has been one of the most rewarding moments/experiences in your job?
“I have had the opportunity to train several pharmacy technicians and sometimes help them find employment. It is both challenging and fun. It has provided me with an opportunity to share my experience and respect for this profession.
It is also great when patients and clients send us pictures and cards, or come in and even bring their pets to show us that they are doing well. It gives us a boost and always brightens our day.”
What has been one of the most challenging moments/experiences in your job?
“Laws and regulations regarding compounding can be very complex and ever changing. These changes can occur frequently and can affect any and all aspects of how we fill and process prescriptions. Researching, preparing for and finally putting these changes into effect can be expensive, time consuming and stressful for all parties involved. It can be difficult to navigate these changes while keeping up with the day-to-day duties of the job. It can also be a challenge to explain these changes to prescribers, patients and clients, which can involve educating and reassuring them.”
Complete this sentence: “I am happiest when…”
“I am trying a new restaurant or cuisine with family and friends.”
If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing that you would buy?
“A pug and someone to clean up after the pug.”
Tell us about something that you’ve gained professionally and/or personally from your job?
“Working in a retail setting has improved my communication skills, taught me how to work through stressful situations and about conflict resolution. It has also allowed me to fine-tune my organizational, problem solving and multitasking skills. Teaching has made me a more confident public speaker and has improved my writing and presentation skills.”
“Personally, it has helped me grow up and mature as a person. It has taught me to be more sensitive and to be a better listener. I have also had the opportunity to work with and train under people who besides my parents, have been very influential in my life. My teacher Dr. Kathy Moscou, the original owner of Ballard Plaza Pharmacy George Stimac, and Compounding Pharmacist Stuart Sommerville, who at 83 years old is one of my best friends.”
If you could only eat one meal, every day, for the rest of your life, what would it be?
“Jollibee or Ezell’s fried chicken, Jollibee gravy over rice, Cheesecake Factory cheesecake and a Mango Green Tea milk tea from ShareTea. And a side of kale to make it healthy.”
Do you have a favorite quote or motto?
“Lead by example, practice what you preach. Actions speak much louder than words.”
What is your favorite part about working at Axis?
“Getting to know all the employees here at Axis. They have been very welcoming and are genuinely nice people who are always willing to help. Also, the pharmacy building itself is a great place to work. It has allowed our lab to grow and improve. And of course the potlucks. It has been a delicious way to learn more about the people I work with. Food can be a gateway into people’s lives and cultures.”
What advice would you give to someone looking to get into your line of work?
“Have a strong foundation by getting a good education. Research the school you want to attend, and take advantage of externship opportunities. You learn the most through hands-on training. These opportunities can open the door to employment. Also, explore the many types of settings pharmacy technicians can work in to find a good fit for you, such as retail, in-patient, compounding, LTC, mail order and even insurance companies.”
Is there anything we didn’t ask that you’d like to share about yourself?
“I fought a bully in the 7th grade and won.”
Now that’s the story of someone you’d really like to have in your corner, isn’t it?
Congratulations, Lisa Yeung, for being our first featured “Employee of the Month”. We appreciate all you do for us here at AXIS Pharmacy Northwest and are grateful to have you on our team!
**Please note that while Lisa did remove her mask briefly so that we could get a picture of her smiling face, we at AXIS Pharmacy Northwest are adhering to all required safety guidelines and all members of our staff wear a mask at all times.