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Leadership Profile
Rebecca M. Castner, PharmD, BCACP, AAHIVP

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What is your current leadership position in ICHP?

Currently, I am a member of the New Practitioners Network and Ambulatory Care Network. As far as leadership positions, I am the Immediate Past Chair of the New Practitioners Network.

Where did you go to pharmacy school?

University of Maryland, Baltimore

Trace your professional history since graduation. Where have you trained/ worked? Any special accomplishments?

I completed a PGY1 Residency in Community Pharmacy at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, LA, and a PGY2 in Ambulatory Care at UC Health – University Hospital in Cincinnati, OH. From there, I took a position at Chicago State University as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Practice in Ambulatory Care. I am proud that I have set up two successful ambulatory sites. The first was at Rush University Internists, an internal medicine clinic at RUSH. The second was at Christian Community Health Center, an FQHC PCMH where I focus on adult ambulatory care primarily in patients with HIV. As far as other accomplishments related to training, I earned both my BCACP and AAHIVP within the past year and continue to work on additional training programs and certificates related to my practice areas.

Describe your current area of practice and practice setting.

I currently practice as an ambulatory care pharmacist at Christian Community Health Center, a FQHC/PCMH that provides family medicine. I focus on adult HIV patients, optimizing both their HIV regimens and medications for their other acute and chronic disease states. My typical day at my clinical site may consist of anything from reviewing patient profiles and making recommendations to their HIV PCP or psychiatrist to meeting with patients to discuss a variety of topics including adherence, lifestyle modifications and risk reduction, management and monitoring of chronic disease states such as diabetes, or even medication reconciliation. I also precept pharmacy students and enjoy involving them in these activities.

What initially motivated you to get involved, and what benefits do you see in being active in a professional association such as ICHP?

I think there are many benefits of being active in an organization such as ICHP. When I first became motivated to get involved in ICHP, it was a result of talking to a former member, Diana Isaacs, who was Chair of the NPN at the time. I was new to the area and looking to become more connected in the local pharmacy world and more involved in activities to promote health in the community. ICHP is a fantastic resource for both of these areas. I found that the more involved I became and got to know the new practitioners, the more I learned about what is going well with my practice, as well as opportunities where I could improve through discussing with others. I also was able to develop working relationships with other pharmacists. With pharmacy being such a small world, I think being able to put a face to a name and getting to know personally what other practitioners are passionate about allows us to advance our practice far more than we could trying to do so alone. The more I found these benefits to be true, the more involved I wanted to become, and as a result I became the NPN Chair.

Is there an individual you admire or look up to or a mentor that has influenced your career?

I think there are countless individuals that have helped mold me and light my passion for pharmacy, starting from my first job as a pharmacy tech in high school. If I listed them all, there would be nowhere near enough room on the page! However, currently one individual stands out in terms of my advancement since I arrived in Chicago in 2012 – Dr. Nora Flint. I worked with Nora closely in the process to set up and develop the ambulatory clinic at RUSH. Nora is an incredible practitioner and administrator and is someone that I continue to attempt to model as I move forward in my career. I value Nora’s constantly professional demeanor, her work ethic, and her ability to support countless projects at once with grace. I am privileged to be able to say she is a mentor to me, and I would not have been nearly as successful in my endeavors in the past few years without her support.

Do you have any special interests or hobbies outside of work?

In my spare time, I like to draw, paint, play my guitar (although poorly!), do yoga, and most of all, play with my dog.

What is your favorite place to vacation?

Although I’ve only been once for a research class in undergrad, my favorite place I have been in the world is Palau. I hope to make it back there again sometime in the future.

What is the most interesting/unique fact about yourself that few people know?

Growing up, I was always very artistic and had to decide between graphic design and biology as my major going into undergrad. I considered doing medical illustration to marry the two, but realized I didn’t want to just draw body parts all day long!

What 3 adjectives would people use to best describe you?

Excitable, Optimistic, Empathetic

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