I learned today that Dr. Tony Triplett has died and I feel compelled to ensure that the Whidbey Island community recognizes and remembers his legacy in the fight against COVID-19.
Tony and I worked together at WhidbeyHealth closely from the beginning of the pandemic – me as the Chief Nursing Officer and he as the Director of Pharmacy Services. Tony championed patient safety and worked tirelessly and collaboratively to ensure that WhidbeyHealth’s patients had access to the pharmaceutical treatments needed and that medications were delivered appropriately and safely. He was a dedicated and respected leader leading many significant initiatives at WhidbeyHealth such as opening the Community Pharmacy, creating an Antimicrobial Stewardship Program and adding more and varied chemotherapy and biotherapy treatments within the MAC – ensuring that patients have access to care close to home.
Tony and his team stayed abreast of constantly evolving COVID-19 treatments and worked with state leaders to ensure that WhidbeyHealth was regularly supplied with all recommended medication regimens. He and his team developed administration training protocols in conjunction with providers and nursing staff. Well before vaccines were available, Tony worked with the local health jurisdiction to plan for the distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines county-wide.
Tony and I once laughed that we felt like the proud parents of the vaccines because of all of the attention, care, worry, monitoring and planning that we gave to the vaccines. Those that received a COVID-19 vaccine from WhidbeyHealth, a monoclonal antibody treatment, or antiviral treatment, received these medications because of Dr. Triplett and owe a debt of gratitude to this steadfast leader.
For me personally, Tony was a bright, shining light during the darkest moments of the pandemic. He saw opportunities instead of challenges, fostered teamwork, placed patient and staff safety at the forefront of every decision and showed unwavering commitment to the community of Whidbey Island. He will be missed and he will be remembered.
Erin Wooley, RN