Pharmacy Month Featurette ~ Nancy Wade

October is National Pharmacy Month! This month, we will spotlight one of pharm-tastic pharmacy staff each week to tell you a little more about them and their role at VDH. 

This week’s pharm-tastic member of the team is Ms. Nancy Wade! Nancy retired in October 2022, but her positive impact on the pharmacy team at VDH will march on. Division of Pharmacy Services Director, Stephanie Wheawill, says, “Nancy is well known and appreciated for her expertise in public health. She is one pharmacist behind the scenes to many, but her retirement is going to be felt among our pharmacy staff and programs due to all of her knowledge and experience.”

Nancy began her career in public health at the Richmond City Health District 40 years ago and soon moved to VDH Division of Pharmacy Services where her work put her a little more behind the scenes but had no less impact. While working with Richmond City Health District in the wake of the Vietnam War, Nancy interacted directly with the public, filling prescriptions, administering vaccines, and working in general medical clinics. She noted that working in a structured environment with protocols for everything made it “feel like you could really help.” 

During her time at VDH, Nancy also worked as an HIV manager on the pharmacy team, providing leadership to inventory purchasing, managing grant funds, and establishing procedures to ensure the best use of funds, management of stock, and distribution of medications. According to Wheawill, “She managed over a $10 million dollar annual pharmaceutical inventory for the Ryan White Drugs Assistance Program” while also staffing the pharmacy, filling prescriptions, and assisting with the tuberculosis response and, later, the COVID-19 and monkeypox responses. 

When asked what she wanted the general public to know about those working in public health, Nancy’s first response was to stress “how hard everyone works, not just in pharmacy” and that public health workers are a “caring, dedicated group of people” who are just one part of a bigger picture. She says it gives you a “different perspective on humanity” and puts you in a place where you are always learning.

VDH would like to thank Nancy for her contribution and service. We asked what she would miss most about working at VDH, and Nancy said that she’d miss “interaction with [her] coworkers” and building “relationships with other people and being part of a team,” but she is looking forward to the opportunity to travel and spend more time with her family.