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ICHP Leadership Spotlight Interview
Leadership Position in ICHP:
2019 ICHP Sangamiss President Elect; 2020 ICHP Sangamiss Chapter President
I am a Clinical Pharmacist at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, IL. I float between nursing units as a Medication Therapy Management pharmacist. I work on Post-operative surgical, Oncology, General Medicine, and Intermediate Care floors. I also staff the Central Pharmacy and the OR Pharmacy. Every day is different, but variety is the spice of life! I have been in this role for 5 years at Memorial Medical Center, and similar roles for the 2 previous years, for a total of 7 years of experience in the pharmacy world as a Staff-Clinical Pharmacist.
Why Pharmacy is for me:
I attended the St. Louis College of Pharmacy immediately out of high school. Early on my mother, an elementary school principal, suggested pharmacy to me as a future profession. One of the elementary teachers at the school had a daughter, Suzanne Bartlett, who was a pharmacist. The teacher mentioned that pharmacy had been good to her daughter, and that if I was talented in math and science, I should look into it as a career. I evaluated the suggestion logically, as I typically do. I liked that I could work in a small town, or a bigger city. I liked that I could support myself on my own, or start a family. I liked that there were several different avenues that I could take with the degree. And I liked that I would be helping people “feel better” in the medical field, along with understanding how and why they do. And with my degree, I have lived in the small town of Pittsfield, IL, and I have moved to Denver, CO all while supporting myself independently. After Colorado, I moved back to Illinois, but this time Springfield. I met and married my husband and we have recently started our family, all while I have done my best to improve patient care through hospital pharmacy over the past 7 years.
Pharmacy issues that keep me from sleeping at night:
How will the world of pharmacy evolve to stay relevant with the ever improving available technology? What measures are we going to take today to secure a role in the medical field 10 years from now? How is the pharmacist of today going to stay on the cutting edge of education with the rapid improvements in artificial intelligence? Patients know more, medical doctors can ask complicated questions to applications and computer systems- what will keep the role of the pharmacist one of importance and necessity? I think safety, foresight, and critical clinical evaluation of patient issues are going to be at the forefront of securing our profession in future years.
I think the proactive preservation of health will also be a role in which pharmacists can become a large part. Pharmacists are positioned at the front line- we have a prime position to help manage disease states and prevent a number of comorbidities. I hope the future embraces the knowledge and capability of the pharmacist and their access to patients and patient care.
ICHP is a Wonderful Resource Because:
It provides a professional networking opportunity, along with current educational lectures. It is an excellent way for pharmacists in areas around the state to embrace learning and socializing.
I joined ICHP when I moved back to Illinois. The hospital system I was hired by has a big presence with ICHP, and it was an easy choice to make. It was an opportunity to stay current in my knowledge, network with other pharmacists, and grow as a life-long learner.
Special Thanks to:
My husband, Lucas, for making me who I am today in my career. Lucas is also a pharmacist; he works in the Intensive Care Unit at Memorial Medical Center. I admire his intelligence, but also his love for pharmacy and his natural drive to learn more. He has encouraged me to seek more educational opportunities, both for my own knowledge and to teach others through presentations and committees. Because of him, I have further developed myself as the life-long learner that I wanted to be when I graduated. I am thankful to have such a solid support source in my life.
Advice for a Student:
Cultivate the skill of being a life-long learner- it comes more naturally to some than others, but it is what will keep our profession relevant in the future. Also, develop good problem solving skills- it is a big piece of what makes an effective pharmacist.
My Special Interests or Hobbies Outside of Work:
On Tuesday evenings, I play bocce ball at Obed and Isaac’s Brewery; on Monday evenings in the summer I play on the Memorial Medical Center Pharmacy slow pitch softball team; and my latest adventure is my 5 month old daughter, Mia! My husband and I welcomed her, our first child, in March. We have enjoyed learning and loving her every day since she came into our lives.
You May Not Know This About Me:
I can drive a stick shift vehicle. Between the ages of 16 and 22 or so, I was a terrible driver! I had (I think) 4 speeding tickets and two other moving violations the second one being an accident which totaled my car. My dad was so upset that (when he started speaking to me again) he insisted the next car I was allowed to drive be a stick shift- that way I would have to pay more attention! In the end, I was pretty good at driving the silver Ford Focus stick shift, and was able to teach others! It was an obstacle turned into a fond memory.
3 Adjectives People Use to Describe Me:
Helpful, Personable, Planner.