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What is your current leadership position in ICHP?
I serve as a faculty advisor to the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS) College of Pharmacy ICHP chapter.
What benefits do you see in being active in a professional association such as ICHP?
ICHP keeps me closely connected to the broader Illinois health-system pharmacy community. My role as a faculty advisor affords me the privileged opportunity to work with students aspiring to be health-systems pharmacists. I highly encourage students, new graduates and seasoned pharmacists alike to become involved with ICHP – the learning and networking opportunities are invaluable and beneficial to all levels of clinicians.
What initially motivated you to get involved in ICHP?
In 2010, I moved to Chicago and was fortunate to join the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Pharmacy Department. In my early days at Northwestern, I met a number of pharmacists who were actively involved in ICHP. I joined ICHP eager to interact and collaborate with a group of like-minded practitioners. I found a professional home – and more – in the ICHP community. I am proud to be a part of an organization that is dedicated, both from a clinical and policy perspective, to advancing the profession of pharmacy.
Where did you go to pharmacy school?
I attended pharmacy school at Purdue University. I was actually an Industrial Engineering major up until my senior year of undergraduate (also at Purdue) when I happened to work closely with a few inspiring pharmacists and decided to change my career path. A lucky break, to be sure.
Where have you trained or worked?
I completed my PGY1 residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2007. After finishing the residency, I stayed on at the Brigham and helped launch pharmacy services in the Emergency Department. In 2010, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to join the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Pharmacy Department critical care team and made the move back to the Midwest! In 2012, I joined RFUMS as clinical faculty and was able to return to the practice of Emergency Medicine.
Describe your current area of practice and practice setting:
I currently work in the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Emergency Department as one of the ED clinical pharmacists. Our ED is a Level 1 trauma center and my hour-to-hour responsibilities include bedside participation in medical emergencies, therapeutic consults, responding to drug information questions, patient counseling and overall participation in patient care as part of an interprofessional ED team. The work is fast-paced and rewarding.
What advice would you give to student pharmacists?
Say “yes”! During this transformational time for our profession, there is no shortage of exciting and fulfilling opportunities for pharmacists and pharmacy students. I have benefited throughout my career by saying yes to different opportunities as much as possible.
What pharmacy related issues keep you up at night?
I am concerned that the pedagogy of traditional, didactic lecturing is insufficient to prepare pharmacy students for the versatile, ever-expanding role of a pharmacist operating within the context of a clinical team. I am an advocate for exploring alternative techniques to train students to interact with patients and interprofessional teams. Recently, I started incorporating mannequin-based patient simulation into my courses at RFUMS, with the goal that having students practice in a simulated real-world environment, where it is safe to make mistakes, may help prepare them for clinical rotations. I am currently conducting research on how these simulations may enhance student performance and retention of knowledge. It is my hope that these types of learning experiences in pharmacy school may help to prepare students to enter and excel in clinical practice.
Do you have any special interests or hobbies outside of work?
I love traveling, spending time with family and friends, and teaching my inquisitive 18-month old son, Finnbar, about hot topics in the pharmacy world, such as medication safety, billing for services, and the changing role of pharmacists in an evolving, value-based healthcare economy. It’s never too early to start training the next generation!
What is your favorite place to vacation?
My favorite getaway is the Dingle Peninsula on the western coast of Ireland. My husband has family there and we cannot wait to make our first pilgrimage with Finnbar, whose name is grounded in his Irish roots!
What 3 adjectives would people use to best describe you?
I think (and hope!) they would say I am compassionate, thoughtful and hardworking.