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College of Pharmacy

College of Pharmacy Alumnus Honored by USPHS Pharmacists

Posted on: July 15, 2020


Commander Ryan Buff, Pharm.D., has been honored with the 2020 Managerial Excellence Award by the United States Public Health Service Pharmacists. Cmdr. Buff joined the United States Indian Health Service after receiving his Pharm.D. from UofSC in 2007.

Cmdr. Buff was recognized for his efforts to improve pharmacy services at the Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, New Mexico, where he currently serves. As assistant chief of pharmacy services, he oversees a large outpatient pharmacy that fills around half a million prescriptions annually.

Under his direction, the pharmacy has experienced significant clinic growth, the addition of a PGY-2 pharmacy resident program, 10 additional full-time employee positions, and the development of a physical assessment training program for pharmacists available throughout the PHS. Most recently, he spearheaded the implementation of a new patient workflow process that has dramatically improved medication refills and patient satisfaction scores.

We are pushing the boundaries of the pharmacy profession and we want everyone to know that ...

Cmdr. Ryan Buff, Pharm.D.  U.S. Indian Health Service

Buff is grateful to the guidance and training he received from his past mentors, including his father, College of Pharmacy Professor Emeritus and alumnus Wayne Buff, 1997. “We are pushing the boundaries of the pharmacy profession and we want everyone to know that. The solid foundation and success of the outpatient pharmacy here provides us with the opportunity to greatly expand our services.”

Buff says COVID-19 has hit the Navajo Nation particularly hard. He credits the focus of his team in allowing them to focus on best practices in providing care to their patients during the pandemic. “Due to shifts in demand and workload, we have adapted by accelerating inpatient training for both pharmacists and technicians. Our outpatient workflow has also been modified to provide a curbside medication delivery service, which promotes social distancing and limits exposures for our patients.”

Buff is humbled to receive the award. “This is an affirmation of the impact and dedication our staff demonstrates in public health initiatives daily, and I challenge all rising pharmacists to seek out opportunities to impact lives within their communities.”

Buff resides in Cortez, Colorado, with his wife, Julia, and their two sons, Connor and Kiran.



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