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ICHP Leadership Spotlight Interview
Leadership Position in ICHP:
Pharmacy Technician Representative for the Northern Illinois Society of Health-System Pharmacists. I provide Pharmacy Technicians with an outlet of information on how they can become more involved in their profession.
President and CEO of UNITED Pharmacy Staffing located in Mount Prospect, Illinois
Why Pharmacy is for Me:
As a young man I never expected that an office job at a staffing agency would turn into a long-term career in the Pharmacy industry. But it was this start, over 30 years ago, that was the catalyst for me deciding to fulfill my dream of opening my own business.
I have now owned and operated UNITED Pharmacy Staffing for 16 years and throughout these years I’ve taken great pride in employing thousands of Pharmacists, Pharmacy Students and Technicians. Being an integral part of staffing solutions for numerous pharmacy enterprises has had a positive impact on me personally. It is very humbling to know that when I place a Pharmacist, Student or Technician on an assignment, I am helping to ensure a best outcome for what pharmacy is truly about, patient care.
Identifying caregivers who use their skills and expertise, to show compassion and commitment to providing the best care possible, because, when all is said and done, patient care is what it is all about. I have dedicated my life to dig for a deeper understanding of the everchanging needs of our industry. Each day I apply myself to do better and provide exemplary service to my employees and clients alike.
Challenges I face at my Site:
Balancing all daily responsibilities of being an independent business owner can be a challenge for sure! Whether it’s HR related, payroll-related or employee engagement related, I am committed to succeeding.
One challenge faced at work would be that I support a variety of healthcare facilities that have their own unique culture and way of doing things. To address this, I use my relational skills and strategic thinking to ensure I have identified the right person who will best fit the client’s needs.
Some employees may prefer working in a small, more intimate type of pharmacy setting while others prefer large corporate environments. It’s our job to discern which environment might be best for each employee.
It may come as no surprise that maintaining and retaining a qualified candidate pool that is willing to go from one place to another can be quite challenging. Employees may frequently change assignments depending on the needs of our clients. Agency work consists of long-and short-term contractual assignments usually lasting from 3-12 months in duration. Despite the constant change, I have found that for many employees, working agency contracts lends to the right work/life balance because of the flexibility it offers. It works best for people that have the ability to adapt to changing work environments as well as inserting themselves into the workflow while getting acclimated to new associates and peers.
ICHP is Great Because
The Association has afforded opportunities for professional growth, education, advocacy, access to information and most importantly networking with an elite group of pharmacy professionals who offer a wealth of knowledge and experience. I’ve met hundreds of pharmacy professionals and have become friends with many. We’ve supported each other throughout the years, and it’s been a pleasure being a member.
First Time Joining ICHP:
I’ve been an active member of ICHP for over 20 years. Initially, I decided to become a member to promote my staffing agency and exhibit at the annual meetings. Throughout the years, my relationship has grown with ICHP. Today, I share my expertise with the hope of supporting continuous growth while providing service to many affiliate chapters.
Special Thanks for Making Me who I am in my Career Today:
Hands down, my first boss Sheila Liberman, Registered Pharmacist. 30 years ago, she allowed me an opportunity to grow as an individual and a business professional. I worked with her for over a decade, she provided extensive training opportunities and put me through the ringer. Through her leadership and training, I learned discipline, commitment, perseverance and the ability to work through any situation and not give up. Today, I have a successful business and the roots of what she taught are still with me today.
Advice for a Student:
Begin networking immediately. At minimum, become a member of your State Association and an Affiliate chapter. Show up to the meetings, participate and take on a leadership role. Immerse yourself and begin networking with the leaders of these organizations. These leaders will present you with opportunities that will propel your career as a future Pharmacist. Don’t make the mistake of sitting back and thinking opportunities will come to you. You want to position yourself so that opportunities are coming at you rather than waiting around hoping something comes along.
My Special Interests and Hobbies Outside of Work:
I enjoy running, it’s a form of meditation for me. I will begin my run with something that’s been on my mind for a while, by the time I’ve completed, it seems that I’ve come to some sort of solution. It’s my time for discovery and problem solving.
Favorite Place to Vacation:
Each year, before my wife and I had children we would go to Galena, IL. We love the hills and beauty the area has to offer. We continued this tradition once we had children, and now, we visit Galena each Thanksgiving and stay the entire week. We relax, watch holiday movies, go shopping and enjoy a Thanksgiving Feast. It’s a great time for everyone to reconnect. We hope to continue the tradition and one day have the kids bring their families along.