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. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 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.