Volunteers needed for MDG

  • Published
  • By Angela Woolen
  • Robins Public Affairs
Are you interested in helping the base pharmacy reduce long lines? Volunteers are needed at the 78th Medical Group but the pharmacy could use your help most.

The Robins pharmacy fills an average of 1,200 prescriptions per day which averages out to 133 per hour. That's three times as many as some local pharmacies. 

To help process those orders in less time, volunteers can make a difference.

Jean Martin has been volunteering at the pharmacy since 1996. During her nearly 20 years of service, she has helped count pills, alphabetize and store refills on the shelves, and performed call outs for orders after medication orders are completed.  

"They needed somebody so I just thought I'd be of help," Martin said.

She moved here with her husband retired Chief Master Sgt. Bob Martin and thought volunteering would be a good way to meet new people here at Robins. 

Martin works every Friday for four hours and has enjoyed the time she has spent volunteering. Knowing she can make a difference and being appreciated by the staff keeps her motivated to keep coming back, she said.

Unfortunately for the pharmacy, the Martins will be moving soon to be closer to their children. Their leaving will leave room for others to volunteer.

The volunteer program for the pharmacy or the clinic is open to anyone age 18 or older with base access. Training is needed by the American Red Cross and the 78th Medical Group. 

"There are roughly 20 volunteers in the clinic, mostly in the pharmacy," said Capt. Christine Ainsworth, 78th MDG American Red Cross liaison. There are also people who volunteer in Medical Records, Optometry and the Health and Wellness Center.

What the pharmacy needs most is consistency and dependability. Volunteers should be able to work in a fast-paced environment and be dependable, said Maj. Bridget Moore, 78th MDG Diagnostics and Therapeutics commander.

"The volunteers make up for shortages in manning. Our workload is still the same whether we have staff here or not," Moore said.

The pharmacy employs 22 military, civilian and contractors but Moore estimated with some of the gaps created, she needs more volunteers to keep the center running smoothly. Those volunteers would step in when someone may be sick or cannot come in to work. We only ask our volunteers to work a few hours, so we need more to contribute.

About six new volunteers would be ideal for the pharmacy, said certified pharmacy technician and volunteer coordinator Janie Sharpston, who works at the pharmacy. If those volunteers could put in four hours of work a week, it would help out. 

"We can have 500 people at the window a day. When patients are sick, they don't feel like waiting," Moore said.

To get started, visit or the Airman and Family Readiness Center or call Ainsworth at DSN 497-8135 or (478) 327-8135.