Published on April 21, 2020 by Sarah Waller  
Alison Thomas
Alison Lyons Thomas, a 1998 alumna of Samford University’s McWhorter of Pharmacy has worked as a clinical pharmacist on the same unit at Northside Hospital Forsyth in Cumming, Georgia for eight years.

We are normally considered a cardiac med-surgery unit, but since March 16, 2020 we have become the COVID med-surgery unit. We have been fortunate enough to have the supplies we need, and our nurses and patient care technicians have done a beautiful job of re-focusing from cardiac care to COVID-19 patients suffering from respiratory, GI, and infectious disease issues. 

I have the honor of working alongside these caregivers to assure isolation-appropriate timing of medications, pain-staking monitoring of ADRs and patient appropriateness for all medications, most notably the highly publicized hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, Actemra (to name a few). 

Yes, it is quite tiring to work a 10-hour shift in an N95 mask all day, but I am blessed to have a fresh one provided to me each day.

I continue to have as my mantra a simple remark from a former preceptor, Beth Schenk. “It doesn’t matter how many degrees you have or how many fancy calculations you know. If you can’t get the right medication to the patient in a timely manner, the rest is meaningless.”

I look forward to getting back to normal: bedside educations, student precepting, looking at smiling faces. But for now, I will continue to resolutely represent my profession and myself with all the grace and dignity I can muster. 


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.