The community policing organization Building Awareness to Develop, Grow and Educate our Society (BADGES) honored two individuals who have made significant impacts in their community with the Steve Schulz Visionary Award during a banquet Feb. 21 at Kev’s Depot.
This award is given annually to individuals who have provided quality improvement to Kanabec County, through his or her vision of community.
ADULT VISIONARY AWARD: Dr. Brent Thompson, First Light Pharmacy Director
Congratulations to former SACK Coalition Chair and current coalition member – Dr. Brent Thompson! The coalition appreciates the dedication you have to our community and coalition.
Nomination letter by Barbara McFadden and Brian Smith:
Dr. Thompson is the director of pharmacy at FirstLight Health Systems in Mora, MN. He is also very involved with the Substance Abuse Coalition of Kanabec County (SACK), and previously served as chair of this coalition.
Dr. Thompson has demonstrated commitment to the community and has been involved in drug abuse prevention efforts in the community at many levels. Dr. Thompson was instrumental in the permanent Rx drop box which is kept at the jail and allows community members to safely dispose of unused medications. He advocated the importance of this service, and collaborated with SACK and the Kanabec County Sheriff’s Office to secure funding to help curtail the costs associated with disposal. He has been an advocate for promoting the drop box and the proper disposal of medications and sharps.
Dr. Thompson has been involved in the local Take Back Days, coordinating with SACK and the Sheriff’s Office to have a pharmacist from FirstLight Health System and proper disposal information available during the event. A past AwareRx campaign was led by Dr. Thompson in partnership with SACK and Public Health. Dr. Thompson has also surveyed the physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners within the FirstLight Health System on their use of the Minnesota Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (MPMP). Dr. Thompson then took the results from that survey and used it to encourage physicians, staff and administration within FirstLight to utilize the MPMP.
He also supported a grant which funded the Sheriff’s Office, providing deputies with naloxone and the proper training on administering this opioid overdose drug.
Through his efforts, along with others, we have started to see positive changes in prescription monitoring and over-prescribing here locally as well as in Minnesota and across the nation.
Brent is passionate about helping make his community a healthier place to live.