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Denise M. Kolanczyk, PharmD, BCPS, AQ-Cardiology
What is your current leadership position in ICHP?
I am currently one of the members of the Marketing Affairs Division.
Where did you go to pharmacy school?
I attended Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Indianapolis, IN.
Trace your professional history since graduation. Where have you trained / worked, any special accomplishments?
Upon graduating in 2009, I began a 2-year Pharmacotherapy Residency at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis, IN. It was also affiliated with Butler University. I received training focused in internal medicine, ambulatory care, and academia. It was the first big step that aided in my development of being a clinical pharmacist and educator.
My first position was a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Cardiology at The University of Chicago Medicine. In addition to my patient care responsibilities, I precepted pharmacy students from Chicago State University and the University of Illinois-Chicago on medicine/cardiology APPE rotations. I also was heavily involved with our pharmacy residency programs, and later became the residency program director for the PGY2 Cardiology Residency program.
Describe your current area of practice and practice setting.
I obtained a position with Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy with a practice site at Loyola University Medical Center in the fall of 2014 that aligned well with my career goals. I spend 50% of my time on campus which is dedicated towards teaching, service, and scholarship. I spend the remaining 50% practicing as a clinical pharmacist in internal medicine at my practice site, and round with a general medicine team daily. I precept both IPPE and APPE students. I also precept 1 or 2 PGY1 pharmacy practice residents at Loyola University Medicine Center on their general medicine rotation.
What initially motivated you to get involved, and what benefits do you see in being active in a professional association such as ICHP?
During my time as a resident in Indiana, I was a member of a state level, professional pharmacy organization. I was the resident liaison and worked closely with the chapter officers. I enjoyed networking with others throughout the state and the volunteer opportunities. It also taught me the value of getting involved outside your institution and how that can aid in your professional growth and development.
ICHP offers a lot of different opportunities for professionals to get involved. I think it’s great we have a specific network devoted to new practitioners. It’s a great resource for new pharmacy graduates, especially those from out-of-state coming to practice here, to show them what ICHP is all about and the ways to get involved.
Is there an individual you admire or look up to, or a mentor that has influenced your career?
It is challenging to pick just one mentor as I have a few that I call upon or walk down the hall to talk to. During my second professional year at Butler University, I began to realize my strong interest for clinical pharmacy. Dr. Alexander Ansara (Butler University/Indiana University Health) was one of the first professors I had who opened my eyes to the world of both clinical pharmacy and academia. Throughout my advanced pharmacy practice experiences and residency, I also developed a strong interest in student precepting and teaching. Initially, I wanted to be a teacher when I was younger, and I was intrigued that you could do both as a pharmacist. Dr. Ansara later became my APPE preceptor for general medicine, residency project mentor, and PGY2 internal medicine/cardiology preceptor. I have modeled approaches to student lectures, topic discussions, and clinical practice based on observations and feedback I received from him. We still keep in touch, and recently collaborated on a publication together.
Do you have any special interests or hobbies outside of work?
I enjoy traveling to new places each year. I visited Hawaii and Arizona for the first time in 2016. I’m in the process of planning a trip to Germany, France, and possibly Austria for next fall. I like watching sports, and am a big baseball fan (Go White Sox!). If able, I enjoy visiting stadiums that I haven’t caught a game at while I’m traveling. I was able to visit two this past season: Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ and Target Field in Minneapolis, MN. When I’m home in the city, I enjoy trying new recipes. I’ve been able to enhance my culinary skills and recipe bank over the past several years.
Do you have a favorite restaurant or food?
My go-to favorite is Osteria La Madia in the River North neighborhood of Chicago. In addition to their wood-fired pizzas, they have the best oven-roasted artichokes I’ve ever tasted.
What 3 adjectives would people use to best describe you?
Happy, caring, ambitious.