Flourishing in the Midst of Crisis

March 30, 2020 • Posted in Blog

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Focus on the “Local”

D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A.
Executive Director

It may seem ironic in this time of coronavirus* epidemic that The Tennessee Center for Bioethics & Culture’s theme for 2020 is Human Flourishing. Of course, the theme was chosen before the populace was on such intimate terms with the infection. The theme was also chosen before tornadoes** struck Middle Tennessee; before we knew we would need a hefty dose of encouragement in 2020. In this month’s post, several Tennesseans are featured. From a pharmacist in western Tennessee to a group of studio singers in Music City, these can help us to flourish amongst the storms of life, like the wildflowers pictured above.

* Coronavirus information/updates:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) update
Tennessee Department of Health link
Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity (CBHD) — Ethical Issues
National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) — Triage matters

** Helping Middle Tennessee tornado victims — local news channel has compiled a list here

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Meet Phil Baker, Pharm. D.

Pharmacist Phil Baker consented to a telephone interview this week, and we talked about his work. This Memphis native has several initiatives about which he wanted to inform our readers.

1) Good Shepherd Pharmacy — This is a membership pharmacy, a 501©3non-profit corporation, that does not accept prescription insurance. Instead, the members pay a monthly fee to obtain medications at or below cost, and to be helped through clinical pharmacy services, like complete medication reviews (done at least annually), and transitional care, which means “transition from hospital to home,” where 80% of medication errors are made, according to Baker. Check it out here: Good Shepherd Pharmacy.

2) Remedichain — This is a process by which unused medications can be donated to be used by patients who could not normally afford them. Given that in a single year in the United States, more than $100 billion worth of meds are destroyed, something needed to be done. Dr. Baker and colleagues use blockchain technology to retrieve and dispense high-value medications, like chemotherapeutic agents, to those who need them. You can read more here: REMEDICHAIN.

3) FlipYourScrip — This is a national program to donate your unused and unexpired prescription medications for others to use. You can start by texting (you don’t have to download an app):

#FlipYourScrip to 1-833-999-1003
The full instructions are available here.


The program does not include opioids or other such controlled substances. If FlipYourScrip cannot use the unexpired medications you possess, they will refer you to a local “take back box,” and will even reward you for using it. Thank you, Dr. Baker, for cutting this Gordian knot!

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Ten Two Six Music Group sings encouragement
to all who will listen