Official Newsjournal of the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists

ICHP KeePosted

November 2018

Volume 44, Issue 08

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Pharmacy Tech Topics

KeePosted Info


ICHP Pharmacy Technician of the Year Award

Get to Know Me and What I Learned - Andrew Gibbs

Get to Know Me and What I Learned - Dominique Sowell

Call for Entries: 2015 Best Practice Award


President's Message

Directly Speaking

New Practitioners Network

Educational Affairs

Leadership Profile


Government Affairs Report

College Connections

The Transition from President Elect to President

6th Annual Residency Panel held at Chicago State University

APPE Tips From A Seasoned Student


Officers and Board of Directors

Welcome New Members!

Family Night at the Ballpark

2015 Student Video Contest

Upcoming Events

KeePosted Info

Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists
4055 North Perryville Road
Loves Park, IL 61111-8653
Phone: (815) 227-9292
Fax: (815) 227-9294

Official Newsjournal of the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists

Jacob Gettig

Jennifer Phillips

Scott Meyers

Trish Wegner

Amanda Wolff

Brittany Reuber

ICHP Staff

Scott Meyers

Trish Wegner

Maggie Allen

Heidi Sunday


Jo Ann Haley

Jan Mark

Amanda Wolff

Brittany Reuber

Jim Owen

ICHP Mission Statement
Advancing Excellence in the Practice of Pharmacy

ICHP Vision Statement
ICHP dedicates itself to achieving a vision of pharmacy practice where:
  • Pharmacists are universally recognized as health care professionals and essential providers of health care services.
  • Patients are aware of the training, skills, and abilities of a pharmacist and the fundamental role that pharmacists play in optimizing medication therapy.
  • Formally educated, appropriately trained, and PTCB certified pharmacy technicians manage the medication distribution process with appropriate pharmacist oversight.
  • Pharmacists improve patient care and medication safety through the development of effective public policies by interacting and collaborating with patients, other health care professionals and their respective professional societies, government agencies, employers and other concerned parties.
  • Evidence-based practices are used to achieve safe and effective medication therapies.
  • There are an adequate number of qualified pharmacy leaders within the pharmacy profession.
  • Pharmacists take primary responsibility for educating pharmacy technicians, pharmacy students, pharmacist peers, other health professionals, and patients about appropriate medication use.

KeePosted Vision
As an integral publication of the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists, the KeePosted newsjournal will reflect its mission and goals. In conjunction with those goals, KeePosted will provide timely information that meets the changing professional and personal needs of Illinois pharmacists and technicians, and maintain high publication standards.

KeePosted is an official publication of, and is copyrighted by, the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists (ICHP). KeePosted is published 10 times a year. ICHP members received KeePosted as a member benefit. All articles published herein represent the opinions of the authors and do not reflect the policy of the ICHP or the authors’ institutions unless specified. Advertising inquiries can be directed to ICHP office at the address listed above. Image disclaimer: The image used in the Pharmacy Tech Topics™ advertisement is the property of © 2015 Thinkstock, a division of Getty Images.

Copyright © 2015, Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists. All rights reserved.


ICHP Pharmacy Technician of the Year Award

ICHP, through the Division of Marketing Affairs, is pleased to announce the first annual Pharmacy Technician of the Year award!  Please see the criteria and instructions below and consider nominating a deserving pharmacy technician with whom you work.  The deadline for nominations is June 9, 2015.

Award Purpose: The ICHP Pharmacy Technician of the Year Award is established to identify and recognize exceptional performance by a certified pharmacy technician within the State of Illinois.

Award Criteria:
The candidate must:
• Be a current ICHP technician member
• Be a PTCB certified pharmacy technician for at least two years
• Demonstrate at least one of the following:
- exceptional contributions to his/her pharmacy worksite
- exceptional contributions to ICHP as a volunteer member
- exceptional contributions to the practice of pharmacy in Illinois

Nomination Process:
A call for nominations will be made in the March/April KeePosted each year.  That announcement may be augmented with appropriate e-mail blasts.
The nominator must:

· Be the technician’s supervisor, colleague or co-worker.  No self-nominations will be accepted.

• Provide the following information:
  o Worksite name, address and telephone number.
  o Technician name and year certified.
  o Describe the technician’s contributions in detail.
  o Provide the nomination to the ICHP office by no later than June 9th for 2015.

Selection Process:

· All nominations are reviewed by the Division of Marketing Affairs at their June conference call.

• The Division will select two finalists for consideration and present them to the ICHP Board of Directors at the July Board Meeting.
• The ICHP Board of Directors will select the award winner from the two finalists presented by the Division of Marketing Affairs.
• The Division of Marketing Affairs may recommend one of the two finalists by providing detailed discussion points to the Board of Directors.
• The Board is not required to select a recipient if no candidate seems qualified.


· The Award will be presented at the ICHP Annual Meeting in September, if a technician is selected.

• The Award recipient and her/his nominator will be notified immediately following his/her selection by the Board of Directors.
• The award recipient will receive a complimentary full registration to the ICHP Annual Meeting.

· The award recipient will receive a plaque to be presented at an appropriately agreed upon time during the ICHP Annual Meeting. The nominator will be invited to participate in the award ceremony. 

To nominate someone for this award, please forward a detailed letter of recommendation identifying the specific accomplishments of the nominee with respect to each criteria above to: ICHP, 4055 N Perryville Road, Loves Park, IL 61111-8653, or email to

Get to Know Me and What I Learned - Andrew Gibbs

by Andrew Gibbs, 2015 UIC-Rockford, PharmD Candidate

Hello everybody. My name is Andrew Gibbs and I am a fourth year pharmacy student at the University of Illinois Chicago – Rockford campus. I grew up and attended high school in the very small town of Milledgeville, Illinois. After high school, I attended Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) for two years.  I was accepted into UIC – Rockford as part of the Rural Pharmacy (RPharm) program at which time I moved to Rockford. I am currently employed at The Medicine Shoppe in Sterling, Illinois, where I have worked during summers and breaks as a pharmacy intern since 2010.

My interest in pharmacy began during my senior year of high school when I was applying for colleges and had no idea what I wanted to do. I was always drawn toward the medical field and pharmacy seemed like the best match for me, as I enjoyed science and math. After my freshman year of college I applied at all of the local pharmacies back home and was given an opportunity by an independent pharmacy owner who has been my mentor throughout pharmacy school. Working at a pharmacy in a small town, you get to know all of your patients on a first name basis, which is vital to developing a trusting relationship with them. My work experience, as well as skills I have learned during my APPEs, will benefit my patients when I graduate and hopefully, when I return to the community.

During my four years at UIC-Rockford, I was involved in organizations including APhA, IPhA, and NCPA. Through a member of these organizations, I was provided opportunities to volunteer in the Rockford community. In addition to attending blood pressure and blood glucose screenings, I participated in medication take back day through Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful for the past three years. During my P3 year, I was elected an executive position as secretary of the UIC-Rockford chapter of NCPA. This position allowed me to expand upon and develop my leadership skills. I also volunteered for two years to talk to rural high school students from northern Illinois about the profession of pharmacy.

When I am not at school, on rotations, or studying, I have several hobbies and activities that I enjoy doing. One of the most self-fulfilling things that I enjoy doing is exercising. It allows me to stay healthy and is a great stress reducer from pharmacy school. I also have a dog that takes up a majority of my spare time and keeps me busy. During this past year, most of my free time has been devoted to studying or working on projects during APPEs. When I do have a day off, I try to make it back to see my family as often as possible.

As I am writing this and counting down the days to graduation, I am wondering where I will end up. I am hoping that there will be a position open for me at my current place of employment that involves implementing the clinical skills that I have acquired though my pharmacy school training. In the future, I plan on being involved in organizations that I believe in and that will help me get the most out of my career and practice. Through my participation in the RPharm program, I learned to be a member of an interdisciplinary team and want to be a part of that in practice. When I have some experience under my belt, I eventually want to be a preceptor to students and provide them with a unique experience.

During the past 5 weeks, I have been on my APPE rotation at ICHP in Loves Park with ICHP Vice President Scott Meyers and fellow UIC-Rockford student Dominique Sowell. I have enjoyed learning while on this rotation and appreciate the opportunities to get involved while here. I have been involved with numerous committee meetings and I have had opportunities to travel to Chicago for a meeting with law makers and a trip to my former undergraduate campus, SIUE. While on rotation, I have learned the importance of getting involved with state legislature when it comes to bills affecting the pharmacy profession. I always knew that this was important but until I spent time with Scott, I never knew how much it really mattered to my future profession. I am also taking away from this rotation the amount of work that goes into making an organization successful and beneficial to its members. In addition, I was also involved in reviewing CE material for pharmacy technicians and learning about the ACPE accreditation process. My classmate and I also drafted a position statement on medical marijuana that was sent to the committee and drafted rules for the Tech-Check-Tech program.

Get to Know Me and What I Learned - Dominique Sowell

by Dominique Sowell, University of Illinois at Chicago College Of Pharmacy-Rockford Campus, 2015 Pharm.D. Candidate

Hello all! My name is Dominique Sowell and I am a fourth year pharmacy student at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy – Rockford Campus.  Born and raised in Rockford, Illinois, I received my high school diploma from Auburn High School. I decided to further my education by attending Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA). I graduated magna cum laude and with honors from XULA with a Bachelor of Science in biology, with Minors in chemistry and accounting in 2011. I decided to move back to my home-town and matriculated to UIC College of Pharmacy- Rockford in fall 2011.

During my first year of pharmacy school, I joined several pharmacy organizations to help give back to the community I grew up in. I am currently a member of ICHP, APhA, SNPhA, and AMCP. I have participated in numerous blood pressure, blood glucose, immunization and educational events during my time at UIC. As an advocate of furthering the pharmacy profession, I have participated in ICHP’s Legislative Day three times. I competed in UIC’s Pharmacy and Therapeutics Competition in 2014 as a member of AMCP. This competition helped me to develop a variety of crucial skills that pharmacists who serve on P&T committees use to determine which medications will be included on a formulary. I participated in the 2014 Urban Health Program’s Pipeline events for high school students. These events were designed to provide high school students with exposure to the wide array of healthcare professions available and allowed me to become a mentor to high school students in the Rockford area. I was also one of four P4 students chosen to represent the UIC- Rockford campus during ACPE accreditation in 2014.

In my free time, I enjoy volunteer work, community service, and spending time with family. While in college at Xavier, I was a tutor in biology, chemistry and math and assisted my peers in their studies. I volunteer as a Tax Preparer with the Goodwill in Rockford, where I utilize my skills in accounting to help low income families file their taxes annually. I am also a lecturer at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Rockford. Additional hobbies include reading and running. I recently signed up for the Color Vibe 5K run in Rockford and am now training for the competition. I am newly engaged to my high school sweetheart, Ronald Webb, Jr. We plan on tying the knot in summer 2016.

Through my pharmacy education and the many experiences in different healthcare settings, I have learned the importance of effective communication and collaboration with other members of the healthcare team, which is vital to providing optimal patient care and safety. UIC College of Pharmacy at Rockford has provided me with the knowledge and expertise necessary to become an exceptional pharmacist. Upon graduation, I plan on working as a community pharmacist. I am currently looking for employment in northern Illinois.

For my last APPE rotation, I have spent the past 5 weeks at ICHP Association Headquarters in Loves Park, IL with VP Scott Meyers as my preceptor. I have had the opportunity to partake in numerous regulatory meetings. I even got the chance to travel to Chicago to meet with lawmakers and other pharmacy associations to discuss differing points of view on new legislation affecting pharmacy practice. I worked with Andrew Gibbs, another P4 student on rotation at ICHP from UIC-Rockford, on a rough draft of ICHP’s position statement on medical marijuana and submitted it to the professional affairs committee for further review. We also developed a rough outline of the JCAR’s Illinois Pharmacy Rules regarding the Tech-Check-Tech program and submitted them to Mr. Meyers for revision. I have learned about the ACPE accreditation process and what is required in developing and offering Continued Education (CE) courses for both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. I was fortunate to be able to aid in the revision of a Pharmacy Tech Topics module. Andrew Gibbs and I co-authored a career center article titled, Navigating Pharmacy Career Search in Today’s Changing Job Market.  

Spending my last six weeks of rotation at ICHP headquarters has been delightful. I have learned so much from Mr. Meyers and the ICHP staff. Prior to this rotation, I had no idea about the enormous amount of work that goes into running a pharmacy organization. I have gained a greater appreciation of ICHP and will be a lifelong advocate and member!

Call for Entries: 2015 Best Practice Award

The objective of the Best Practice Award program is to encourage the development of innovative or creative pharmacy practice programs or innovative approaches to existing pharmacy practice challenges in health systems within the state of Illinois.

Applicants will be judged on their descriptions of programs and practices employed in their health system based on the following criteria:

  • Innovativeness / originality
  • Contribution to improving patient care
  • Contribution to institution and pharmacy practice
  • Scope of project
  • Quality of submission

If you have any questions related to the program please contact Trish Wegner at

Previous Winners


Arti Phatak, Pharm.D.; Brooke Ward, Pharm.D., BCPS; Rachael Prusi, Pharm.D.; Elizabeth Vetter, Pharm.D.; Michael Postelnick, BS Pharm, BCPS (AQ Infectious Diseases); and Noelle Chapman, Pharm.D., BCPS

“Impact of Pharmacist Involvement in the Transitional Care of High-Risk Patients through Medication Reconciliation, Medication Education, and Post-Discharge Callbacks”

Nicole Rabs, Pharm.D., Sarah M. Wieczorkiewicz, Pharm.D., BCPS, Michael Costello, PhD, and Ina Zamfirova, BA

“Development of a Urinary-Specific Antibiogram for Gram Negative Isolates: Impact of Patient Risk Factors on Susceptibility”

Kathryn Schiavo, Pharm.D.; George Carro RPh, MS, BCO; Abigail Harper, PharmD, BCOP; Betty Fang, PharmD; Palak Nanavati, PharmD
“Outpatient Oncology Treatment Center Approach to Enhancing Continuity of Care Related to Dispensing Oral Chemotherapeutic Agents”

Fatima Ali, PharmD; Sarah Wieczorkiewicz, PharmD, BCPS; Jill Cwik, PharmD; Robert Citronberg, MD, FACP, FIDSA
“Procalcitonin-Guided Duration of Antimicrobial Therapy for the Treatment of Lower Respiratory Tract Infections”

Online entry form 
Submission deadline: July 1, 2015

Applicants must be a member of ICHP practicing in a health system setting. More than one program can be submitted by a health system for consideration. Past submissions may be re-submitted if not previously given the award. Any new data should be included.

Instructions for preparing manuscript
Each entry for the Best Practice Award must include a manuscript prepared as a Word document, double-spaced using Times New Roman 12-pitch type. A header with the paper title and page number should appear on each page. The manuscript should not exceed 2000 words in length (not counting references), plus no more than a total of 6 supplemental graphics (tables, graphs, pictures, etc.) that are relevant to the program. Each picture, graph, figure, and table should be mentioned in the text and prepared as a separate document clearly labeled.

The manuscript should be organized as a descriptive report using the following headings:

  • Introduction, Purpose, and Goals of the program
  • Description of the program
  • Experience with and outcomes of the program
  • Discussion of innovative aspects of programs and achievement of goals
  • Conclusion

Submissions will only be accepted via online submission form. The manuscript will be forwarded to a pre-defined set of reviewers. Please do not include the names of the authors or affiliations in the manuscript to preserve anonymity.

All applicants will be notified of their status within three weeks of the submission deadline. Should your program be chosen as the winner:

  • The program will be featured at the ICHP Annual Meeting. You will need to prepare a poster to present your program and/or give a verbal presentation. Guidelines will be sent to the winner.
  • You will be asked to electronically submit your manuscript to the ICHP KeePosted for publishing. This program will be accredited for CPE and will require that you complete material for ACPE accreditation.
  • You will receive a complimentary registration to the ICHP Annual Meeting, recognition at the meeting and a monetary award distributed to your institution.

Non-winning submissions may also be considered for publication in the ICHP KeePosted, but your permission will be obtained beforehand.

Thank you to PharMEDium for providing a grant for the 2015 Best Practice Award!


President's Message
Pharmacy Residencies

by Linda Fred, ICHP President

As we have recently gone through residency matching season, I thought this might be a good time to reflect on that topic. It was a very successful match this year with more than 3600 applicants matching with a position. The percentage of PGY1s who matched increased by 6.5% over last year – and for PGY2s the increase was 12.5% higher than last year. Those are some nice increases, but it still left more than 1500 PGY1 applicants without a match – and only 270 positions remaining for the post-match process, and 208 applicants for 112 positions for PGY2s. So, there is still some work to do here.

I freely admit - I’m part of the problem. I have been “talking about” starting a residency at my practice for probably five years. Something always seems to get in the way. I’m too busy --- we’re too short staffed --- it’s too much work. There are always reasons not to do it, even though they might not be very good ones, the biggest one usually being “I just don’t have time.”

Let’s talk about some reasons to do it, though.

Residency training is good for our patients. Residency training produces a cadre of pharmacists with the advanced practice experience we need to take care of our aging population with the associated myriad of chronic diseases. The needs of the patients in a team based model of care are best served with pharmacists as an integral part of that team and the better trained we are, the better we are able to serve the important role in medication therapy management that we need to fulfill.

Residency training is good for the profession. Population health management is the future of medicine. I talked a little bit last month about team based care in an acute care facility, but team based care is ballooning in the ambulatory world. Systems are looking for additional ways of extending the primary care practice access and pharmacists can be another extender. Many pharmacists have been bemoaning the increased number of pharmacists in the marketplace. The growth in number of schools, as well as the growth in admissions in existing schools, has even created a glut in some regions of the nation. But there is still a lot of growth happening related to the Affordable Care Act, and although we are doing more and more outpatient management, hospital censuses continue to be strong in many places. At least in my world, we are continuing to hire more pharmacists. And we are asking them to take on greater levels of responsibility in every setting. Residency training supports this growth in intellectual demand.

Residency training is good for the hosting organization. Residencies bring in financial support – to the extent that they are basically self-sustaining once you are past the start-up. The bigger “win” is in the scope of services supported by residents. In the same way that pharmacists are able to extend the reach of a provider’s service, residents help extend the reach of a pharmacy department’s service. Residents are commonly used to investigate, pilot, and implement new services. They are engaged in research. They are the extra support you need for the extra things you and your staff always wanted to do and never seemed to find the time to do. They also provide a built-in mentoring system for the pharmacists and a residency is great for professional staff recruitment (both pharmacists and other professional staff).

Residency training is good for the individual pharmacist. I think it is obvious that residency training opens career doors – but it’s more than that. Residence training builds a kind of professional poise, a level of confidence that eases integration into the professional team.

I know I am preaching to the choir for a lot of you, but the point of this is really to reach the people out there like me: those of you who have the desire, who have a suitable practice site, who have the depth of staff resources to support the program, who have a medical staff that is begging for more services, who have a desire to do more research. You all know who you are. It’s time to step up. Look again at the short list of benefits I’ve listed. I’m sure it isn’t a comprehensive list. But after looking at this list, I think it is apparent that the benefits far outweigh the things that are keeping you from moving ahead with the program. This is important enough and beneficial enough for you to make yourself make the time to get it done.  

If you don’t have a residency program but have a practice site that can support one, I urge you to make the move this year. The recommended window for your accreditation application to take residents starting in July 2016 is July 1st through September 30th this year. The ASHP website has a tremendous wealth of resources to help you get started. There are workshops at the ASHP national meetings. The colleges of pharmacy have resources available to support starting residencies. Existing residencies will help you start your residency. ICHP is exploring starting a residency directors’ network. There are many people out there who will help you take the plunge.  

It was a great resident match this year – strong improvement over last year – but still not good enough! We still left almost 2000 applicants without a residency option. Make this year the year you move your practice site to the next level! We’ll see you at Midyear at the Residency Showcase!

ASHP press release on this year’s match:

ASHP Residency Resources:

Directly Speaking
Where’s the Beef?!

by Scott A. Meyers, Executive Vice President

The 1984 Wendy’s slogan has become an American catchphrase. Even though Wendy’s ended its use in 1985 and only revived it briefly in 2011, we frequently hear it used in a variety of situations. Well, today’s “where’s the beef?!” is referring to the suddenly stripped compounding rules in the final draft of the Pharmacy Practice Act Rules revision that went before the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules in mid-April.  So where’s the beef? There is no beef or compounding rules at all. No Compounded Sterile Preparation Standards (Section 1330.670) and no Pharmaceutical Compounding Standards (Section 1330.640) that previously existed in the Rules. The almost completely new Pharmaceutical Standards (Section 1330.640) in the first draft of the rules are gone too. This particular new section would have required compliance with all USP compounding related chapters including 795, 797, 81 and more.  What’s left?  Nothing! Nada! Zip, zero and zilch!

So what happened to them? They were stripped from the draft because of the number of concerns expressed during the comment period last year. The Department staff has assured us that they will return shortly, but time was running out on the rest of the original draft and the Department wanted to codify that which was not contentious now before going back to and refining the Pharmaceutical Compounding Standards.

There’s good news in this seemingly bad news. While some will contend that we could face a few months of the Wild West in compounding in Illinois, the federal standards still apply and perhaps that means that USP 795, 797, etc. are more in effect than ever?! Besides that, we know that the Department staff is already working on the next draft of these important standards taking into account everyone’s concerns with the previous draft and whittling away at most of the contentious language, so the turnaround will be quick.  

More importantly, with the rapid response to a seemingly dangerous situation, it gives ICHP a chance to reintroduce new and revised Tech-Check-Tech regulations. If you recall, last year the draft of Tech-Check-Tech regulations ICHP provided to the Department was stripped out because of a last minute objection from IPhA. Their concern centered on the use of this proposed process in the community pharmacy practice setting. So to make sure there is no confusion or last minute dissent, ICHP is working with IPhA to draft language that ensures these rules will apply to the inpatient setting only and only where pharmacists and a clinical pharmacy program are already present.  

We will work with IPhA to make sure that the rules are concise and yet provide a base for process verification. We will work with our members to make sure the regulations are workable and valuable and identify all the necessary components for compliance. Tech-Check-Tech is not a new or complicated process. Illinois would not be the first State to implement such a practice. With all the common ground we have fought on with IPhA, this shouldn’t be a difficult task to accomplish.

My hope is that the lack of beef in the compounding standards in the first set of Pharmacy Practice Act Rules will provide extra beef in the next set!

New Practitioners Network
Crucial Conversations in Hospital Pharmacy Practice: Relevance to the New Practitioner

by Michael Cusumano, PharmD, PGY1 Pharmacy Resident HSHS St. John’s Hospital

The importance of strong communication in healthcare has gained attention in recent years. Poor communication has been among the most commonly attributed root causes for medication-related sentinel events reported to The Joint Commission since 2004,and in 2006, the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality and the Department for Defense jointly released the TeamSTEPPS toolkit, an evidence-based approach to enhancing team communication and performance.2 TeamSTEPPS is now being systematically implemented in several Regional Training Centers across the United States and in the coming years it will be evaluated with respect to whether this training improves patient outcomes. The new practitioner, however, may find that communication challenges are not uniquely encountered during clinical decision making. New practitioners may need, for the first time in their careers, to discuss scheduling disagreements with fellow pharmacists, provide recommendations or feedback on workflow or process changes, address complaints or suggestions made by employees in other departments, or participate in committees or other meetings attended by managers and administrators. Those interested in the topic of effective communication may enjoy the broad perspectives and insights of the mainstream-oriented bestseller Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High.3

First published in 2002, this book seeks to provide guidance on holding effective conversations where “(1) stakes are high, (2) opinions vary, and (3) emotions run strong.” The authors do explicitly comment on the importance of communication in healthcare, referencing incidents of wrong-site surgery and the statistic of 98,000 annual preventable inpatient deaths from To Err is Human. Greater emphasis is given to general workplace interactions and familial or spousal disagreements. There were two insights in this book that I have found to be absolutely spot-on and relevant to professional interactions in healthcare: the concepts of “silence or violence” and the “shared pool of meaning.”


Silence or Violence

I learned several useful communication tools from the TeamSTEPPS model that have helped me to speak up when I observe a safety risk. In practice, however, it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate a safety issue from a clinical decision that I do not understand due to my own lack of clinical experience as a new practitioner. The concept of “silence or violence” from Crucial Conversations provides some insight on our potentially inadequate behavior in these circumstances. It is an approximate paraphrase of “fight or flight,” and it suggests that it is natural for otherwise mature professionals to inappropriately remain silent – or, alternatively, to speak with counter-productive hostility – when we do not know how to better address a potential disagreement.

The “silence or violence” response is a potential pitfall for the new practitioner in each of the situations described above.  I have found that it is particularly easy to fall into this trap regarding process complaints from other departments or professionals. For example, if a nurse expresses frustration with a pharmacy-related process, such as missing medications, it is easy to passively accept the criticism and hope it doesn’t recur.  Worse, it is tempting to become defensive and accuse the nurse of having unreasonable expectations. The bulk of the book’s chapters provide advice on moving beyond this “silence or violence” gridlock with strategies termed “Start with Heart,” “Learn to Look,” “Make it Safe,” and others. These strategies reflect, respectively, verifying one’s own good intentions in conversation, maintaining vigilance for signs that oneself or others are feeling unsafe in a conversation, and increasing others’ comfort in speaking openly. Fortunately, for the task of addressing inter-professional process complaints, the new practitioner usually isn’t responsible for having a complete “crucial conversation" on the spot. It is often sufficient to relay the complaint to a manager and follow up to see what steps you can take in addressing it. The key insight provided by the book is that our naturally avoidant or defensive response to a complaint does not help solve the underlying problem.


Shared Pool of Meaning

The authors of Crucial Conversations argue that the ultimate goal of many of their tools is to ensure that all relevant information is known to everyone having the crucial conversation; that is, the goal is to expand a shared pool of meaning.  In my brief experience as a new practitioner, this has been a helpful concept for avoiding the pitfall of “silence or violence.” Instead of trying to decide whether I am concerned or uncomfortable about a potential safety issue, I often just need to clarify what I am observing or ask for more information. Similarly, when others are making a decision with which I disagree, I do not need to work up the nerve to tell them that I disagree. Instead, the first step is to clarify that they have the same information that I do.

As such, some of the verbiage I picked up as a student has required refinement. As a student, I often tried to approach practitioners with an explicit recommendation or intervention. As a pharmacist, there are probably more situations in which I have to ask a question or clarify that another provider was aware of certain information than there are situations where I am immediately ready to make an intervention.

In the coming decades, I believe that research on communication in healthcare will equip us with robust communication tools to confidently address at least those exchanges with other providers where we need to collaborate in clinical decision-making. In the meantime, I have found the above-described concepts useful in guiding my transition from student to practitioner.


1.      The Joint Commission. Sentinel event data: Root causes by event type 2004 – 2Q 2014 (Sept 2014). (accessed 2015 Feb 23).

2.     King HB, Battles J, Baker DP, Alonso A, Salas E, Webster J, Toomey L, Salisbury M. TeamSTEPPS(™): Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety. In: Henriksen K, Battles JB, Keyes MA, Grady ML, editors. Advances in patient Safety:  New directions and alternative approaches (Vol. 3: Performance and Tools). Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2008 Aug.

Patterson K, Grenny J, McMillan R, Switzler A. Crucial conversations: Tools for talking when the stakes are high. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2012.

Educational Affairs
Growing Pharmacy Together – A Tale of Two Associations

by Trish Wegner, BS Pharm, Pharm.D., FASHP

2015 marks the year when we collaborate with our neighboring association, the Missouri Society of Health-System Pharmacists, to host our Spring Meeting. It was a perfect marriage of the presidential themes of “collaborate” for ICHP and “garden” for MSHP. This collaborative effort allows us to share ideas, see “old” friends and meet new friends – a perfect environment for growth.

Prepping the soil was our keynote, Dr. Michael Frisina, who spoke of the need to work harmoniously with others and have a committed workforce to ensure optimal patient care. He shared a memorable formula: Performance = fx (Technical Skill) (Behavior Skill).  In other words, performance occurs when you have a function of both technical skill and behavior skill. If either is zero, there is no performance – ten times zero is still zero. So you can have someone with a high level of skill, but if they are not willing or able to work well with others, the end result's performance is not up to par. We all have a part to play in the healthcare world. Each day of the meeting was planned and planted with presentations to nurture our continuing professional development.

The poster session provided a bumper crop of projects with 47 poster submissions total – a new record! Congratulations to all the winners: Best Original poster – Kushal Shah for “Evaluating pharmacists’ role in Hepatitis C treatment”, Best Encore poster – Ed Rainville for “Pharmacy consults on adult hospitalized patients with delirium”, and Best Student poster (tie) – Blaine Johnson for “A business plan to enhance access to quality care among veterans in rural communities” and Megan Ashley LeBaron for “The forgotten transition of care: Discharge protocol from hospital to community pharmacy”. Winner of the Best Platform presentation was Michael Santini for “Vancomycin use and monitoring following rapid testing of bloodstream cultures for Staphylococci and oxacillin susceptibility”. The other platform presenter, which represents the highest scored original research poster abstract submission, was Bryan McCarthy for “Effect of new services and related marketing on employee e-prescription capture rate in an academic medical center retail pharmacy”. ICHP collaborated with MSHP to judge each other’s posters. Congratulations to the MSHP winners and many thanks to all the poster judges and abstract reviewers for volunteering their talents.

Nothing can flourish without the sun, and the exhibit program provided that much needed sunshine – ongoing and necessary support and information for our continued growth. Many thanks to our meeting Silver Sponsors Astellas, Chiesi, Daiichi-Sankyo, and Omnicell. Lots of thanks to all of our exhibitors – we had 42 in all. We could not offer such quality programming for our low registration fee without them.

Gardens need planning and pruning – plants may need to be moved to a better location, trees need to be cleared of any dead branches. So, too, our organization needs to be evaluated
and tweaked. The Town Hall is one way to do that – an opportunity for our members to tell us what needs fixing and what is working well. ICHP plans to continue offering a Town Hall at each state-wide meeting and we need your input. This is the only way we can grow and sustain our services and membership. Suggestions at the Town Hall will be discussed and reviewed at an upcoming ICHP Board meeting.

Thanks to all of you who participated in the meeting! You enriched our collective experience and helped us to grow pharmacy together! Every speaker and poster presenter offered seeds of knowledge accompanied by a sprinkling of networking with colleagues, ultimately creating a colorful and bountiful garden.

Help us in “Playing Our Part: Providing Excellent Patient Care” by attending the ICHP Annual Meeting September 10th through the 12th at the Drury Lane Conference Center in Oakbrook Terrace. It will be another great opportunity to learn and collaborate. See you there!

To view more pictures from the 2015 Spring Meeting visit -  

Leadership Profile
Alicia Juska, PharmD, BCPS, Residency Program Director, Swedish Covenant Hospital

Where did you go to pharmacy school? 
University of Illinois - College of Pharmacy

Trace your professional history since graduation: where have you trained / worked, any special accomplishments?
I graduated from the University of Illinois in Chicago where I received my PharmD degree and went on to complete my Pharmacy Practice Residency (PGY-1) at Evanston Northwestern Healthcare (ENH), which is now a part of the NorthShore University Health System. After residency, I was hired as a clinical pharmacist at Swedish Covenant Hospital (SCH), focusing on critical care. While staffing, I became involved with many department projects which led to my participation on several hospital committees. As we have a progressive practice site, I have been fortunate to present several posters at the ASHP Clinical Meetings regarding some of our pharmacist driven protocols, including heparin, insulin, procalcitonin, and sedation. I have also been a speaker at two of the ICHP Spring Meetings. In addition, recently three co-workers and I published a literature review on statin-associated incident diabetes in the Consultant Pharmacist.

Describe your current area of practice and practice setting.
I worked as a clinical pharmacist, obtained board certification, and am now the Residency Program Director. I started a new PGY-1 pharmacy residency at SCH, with four residents. In addition to developing a new program and structure, creating a residency manual and policies, preceptor education and motivation was key. The SCH PGY-1 residency is now in its second year. In addition, I currently serve as the Institutional Review Board Coordinator, editor of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Newsletter, and a member of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, Graduate Medical Education Committee, and lead the Residency Advisory Committee.  

What initially motivated you to get involved, and what benefits do you see in being active in a professional association such as ICHP?
Even as a student, I have always been involved in professional organizations. It is a great way to meet people, exchange ideas, and get energized about the profession. At every meeting you are able to speak with pharmacists throughout the country, find out current practice trends, and learn how various parts of the country deal with global issues affecting the pharmacy profession. My Director of Pharmacy, Ramesh Patel, re-introduced me to ICHP several years ago by encouraging me to speak at an ICHP Spring meeting. Being an active member of ICHP allows you to build a network of pharmacists with whom you can share ideas in order to learn about the profession, what is new, and what challenges are facing us in the future. Also, it is fun to reconnect with friends from school or previous colleagues working at other organizations.

What advice would you give to a new practitioner eager to become more involved within ICHP? To the new grad? To the student? 
This can apply to all three: Start small but get involved and talk to people. Attend a local meeting, talk to ICHP members, and ask about how you can get involved. Review the ICHP website for ideas and contact key people to join a sub-committee or submit an article to KeePosted. For the new grad, sign up to be a student mentor or serve as a poster reviewer. Also ask co-workers or preceptors who are ICHP members how they got more involved with the organization and if they know of any opportunities.

Is there an individual you admire or look up to, or a mentor that has influenced your career?
I have worked with many great clinicians and leaders during my career who have contributed to my personal and professional growth; however there are two individuals that I need to highlight. My mother, Irena Juska, Consultant Pharmacist at HCR-ManorCare, has been a great mentor and role model. She is committed to the profession and very dedicated to life-long learning. Prior to long-term care consulting and precepting students, she worked in multiple facets of pharmacy including owning her own retail pharmacy and being a Director of Pharmacy at La Rabida Children’s Hospital. She has always been a strong promoter of the pharmacy profession and its versatility. She has been a leader and active member in several pharmacy organizations throughout her career. She has always encouraged me to work hard and aim high when setting goals and then supported me until I reached those goals. She leads by example and has given me positive encouragement every step of the way. My second mentor is Zoon Park, previous Assistant Director at SCH. He is an extremely dedicated, hard-working, and well-read individual. We worked together over a decade and I admired how he embodied using evidence-based literature and team work to solve any pharmacy related issue.  On a personal level, he pushed me to constantly challenge myself and the status quo in order to improve. He always worked with you when something was hard with a favorite quote, “We learn together, we go together.” His constant encouragement during my time at SCH has definitely led to many of my professional achievements.      

As a newer practitioner, what is your vision for pharmacy in the future? Or what would you like to able to see accomplished within pharmacy?
It is my hope that pharmacists receive healthcare provider status in the near future. Pharmacists are highly trained, with many practitioners having gone on to complete residencies and obtain further certifications. Collectively we could do so much more for patient care if we receive legal authority to do so. I think the future possibilities for our profession could be endless, however we need to be creative in how to best maximize our impact on healthcare.     

What three adjectives would people use to best describe you?

Do you have any special interests or hobbies outside of pharmacy/work/school? Special accomplishments?
Any time I can spend outside is great.  I enjoy running, biking, and walking my dog along the Lakefront path.  I have always loved reading and watching movies.  Also, I love traveling, especially to beach destinations.  

Do you have a favorite restaurant/food?
Going out for tapas with my friends always guarantees a fun night out. Café Ba Ba Reeba has always been a great place, offering many sangria flavors. I like the idea of sharing small plates so that you can taste more dishes. 

Where is your favorite place to vacation?
Hawaii is my favorite place. There is something magical about those islands, where you feel relaxed the moment you get off the plane. The snorkeling, beaches, and flowers are amazing. Every island has a different character to it, but all are beautiful and the people are so happy and friendly.  

What is the most interesting/unique fact about yourself that few people know?
In the last three years I have developed a new passion for running. What started out as a challenge because I could not do it has turned into an activity that I really enjoy. In less than a year, I have run five half marathons and am currently training for the Chicago Marathon this year.

2015 ICHP Student Awards

Purpose and Criteria for Selection
The Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists is an organization composed of health-system pharmacists who strive to improve the delivery of pharmaceutical services in Illinois institutions.  The  organization recognizes that participation by the pharmacy student is important and necessary.  As a result, the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists wishes to grant a monetary award to a pharmacy student at each of the Illinois Colleges of Pharmacy based on the following criteria:

1. The recipient must be in the next to last professional year of the curriculum.
2. The recipient must be active in professional organizations and demonstrate a high degree of character and leadership.
3. The recipient must demonstrate outstanding scholastic abilities; a grade point average of greater than a 3.0 (based on a 4.0 system) representing a “B” average.
4. The recipient must be a student member of the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists.
5. The recipient must have a past history of employment in a hospital or health-system as a student pharmacist.
6. The recipient must be an Illinois resident or Illinois high school graduate.

Selection of the Recipient
The selection of the recipient for the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists’ Student Award should be determined by the Student Scholarship and Awards Committee of the College of Pharmacy and the Dean of the College of Pharmacy with approval of the Board of Directors of ICHP. The award consists of a scholarship of $500 and a plaque for permanent recognition.


Traiana M. Mangum, Pharm.D. Candidate 2016, Chicago State University College of Pharmacy along with ICHP Immediate Past-President, Mike Fotis

Oksana Kucher, Pharm.D. Candidate 2015, UIC Chicago Campus, Ann Jankiewicz, ICHP Past President, Tom Milan, Pharm.D. Candidate 2015, UIC Rockford Campus

Kimberlee Kabbes, Pharm.D. Candidate 2015, SIUE, Lisa Lubsch, SIUE Student Chapter Faculty Advisor for ICHP

*Who also was a winning recipient is Rebecca Myers, PharmD candidate 2016 from Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy (photo not available).

Government Affairs Report
Moving Forward Slowly

by Jim Owen and Scott Meyers

The deadline for substantive bills to come out of committee in their initial chamber has come and gone. There are a few committees who extended their deadline, which they allowed to do until after the Easter break. Many of the bills ICHP has been monitoring are moving forward slowly, both good and bad, while a few others sit in their committees with those extended deadlines. A few bills have been sent back to the Rules Committee in the House or the Assignments Committee in the Senate, virtually insuring those bill numbers (but not necessarily contents) are dead for this session. We always keep an eye on the intent of reassigned bills because their language could reappear as an amendment to a progressing bill. So here’s an update on the most important bills we are watching and working on:

HB0001 The Heroin Crisis Act – There is no new language yet, but progress has been made between the healthcare coalition and the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Lou Lang. It appears that the pharmacy take-back program is gone (whew!), but other alternatives are being investigated and the sponsor is leaning toward a State-funded mail-back program. The coalition is also working on an alternative to the 10-day supply limit for CII medications and will present that to the sponsor before publication of this article.  

Here is an overall summary of the bill’s existing language, in case you missed it with the last issue. This single bill amends 24 existing Illinois Acts and has some very onerous language for pharmacies. The bill requires all pharmacies to establish medication take-back programs that include controlled substances, but it does not provide for payment of the implementation or ongoing reverse distributor costs associated with such a program. The take-back receptacles will need to be placed where pharmacy personnel can observe them at all times but pharmacy personnel are not allowed to place any returned medications in the receptacle. These receptacles will take up valuable retail or patient waiting area space, will add to security concerns for the pharmacy, with additional risk of burglary or robbery and additional costs to the pharmacy related to increased insurance payments as a result of the risks. The bill also virtually requires the pharmacy to check the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) for every controlled substance prescription while leaving the prescriber without a similar responsibility. HB0001 also creates a confusing limitation on the day’s supply of CII medications allowed to be prescribed or dispensed. The prescriber is limited to writing for an initial 10-day supply with up to two additional sequential prescriptions for the same. However, if the prescriber is familiar with the patient and confident that no abuse or resale of the controlled substance will occur, he or she may prescribe up to three 30-day supplies of the controlled substance. The Act does contain several redeeming qualities such as expanded public access to naloxone, establishment of drug courts and a tightening of the PMP. ICHP is working with IPhA and IRMA to provide some alternative language for the problems with this bill in order to take a step forward in the fight against heroin and opioid addiction.

SB1611 and HB3519 Biosimilars – SB1611 remains in Executive Committee with an extended deadline while HB3519 has moved out of the Health Care Licenses Committee with an amendment to make the reporting to the prescriber within 5 days instead of the initially proposed 72 hours. Both of these bills would require pharmacists to notify a prescriber when an interchangeable biosimilar is interchanged with a product ordered by the prescriber. The Senate bill requires prescriber notification in a “reasonable time”. Currently the FDA Purple Book states “An interchangeable biological product is biosimilar to an FDA-approved reference product and meets additional standards for interchangeability. An interchangeable biological product may be substituted for the reference product by a pharmacist without the intervention of the health care provider who prescribed the reference product.” Both Illinois initiatives would restrict the access to and interchange of less expensive biosimilars, increasing the costs of medications and confusing patients on the safety and efficacy of the medications their prescription medication provider (insurance, Medicare or Medicaid) requires them to receive. ICHP is working with the sponsors of both bills to prevent passage of any language more stringent than that of the FDA.

HB3271 Certified Pharmacy Technician CE – This bill has now moved out of its Committee and the only opponent, the Indian Pharmacists Association, has agreed not to fight this bill any further. Sponsored by Rep. Michael Zalewski of Riverside, the bill would amend the Pharmacy Practice Act to require that all certified pharmacy technicians complete 20 hours of continuing pharmacy technician education every two years, including one hour of law and one hour of patient safety related CE. The amendment would also move certified pharmacy technicians to a two-year renewal on the opposite year as pharmacists and pharmacies. This would even out the workflow and cash flow for the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Registered technicians and student pharmacists would continue to renew annually. ICHP supports this bill.

HB3627 Expanded Access to Immunizations – Unfortunately, this bill has died in committee as a result of strong opposition from pediatricians and the Illinois State Medical Society on their behalf. There may be hope of moving this language into another bill; however, some additional compromises may be required.  ICHP, IPhA and IRMA are not giving up on this yet. Sponsored by Rep. Marcus Evans Jr. from Chicago, this bill that amends the Pharmacy Practice Act would expand the pharmacist’s ability to provide patients age 10 to 13 with all types of immunizations. Currently pharmacists may only immunize this specific population for seasonal influenza and TDaP.  

HB0421 Amends the Nurse Practice Act – HB0421 has been passed out of Committee in an amended form, but there is anticipation that a floor amendment will significantly change it again and send it back to Committee for further review. Rep. Sara Feigenholtz has sponsored this change, which would eliminate the requirement for written collaborative agreements between physicians and advanced practice nurses. ICHP is strongly opposed to this bill as it will be very difficult for any pharmacy to determine if an APN has prescriptive authority for the prescriptions they write.

SB0029, HB0207, HB0496, HB1335 and HB2508: The Right to Try Bills – SB0029 and HB1335 have been passed out of their respective Committees and await 3rd Reading in each chamber (3rd Reading is the actual vote for passage). These now two remaining very similar bills would allow patients who have been diagnosed by their physician as terminally ill, to petition pharmaceutical manufacturers to obtain investigational medications that have completed Phase I trials and that may provide relief for their condition. These bills provide limited liability protection for the physician involved, they do not mandate that the manufacturer must provide the drug or provide the drug free of charge. The problem is that these bills circumvent the current FDA policy on Compassionate Use and provide no real safety for the patients who may seek to use these medications. ICHP is opposed to these bills for those reasons but is not taking a vocal stand because these bills may not accomplish much if passed.

HB3774 Notification of the patient prior to shipping meds – This bill was tabled in Committee, virtually killing it. The bill sponsored by Rep. Monique Davis would have amended the Pharmacy Practice Act requiring all pharmacies and non-resident pharmacies to notify the patient in advance of shipping medication so as to allow them the opportunity to decline the shipment. ICHP is currently neutral on this bill.

A variety of bills amend the Public Aid Code – SB0832, SB1451, SB1467, SB1902, HB0122, HB0125, HB0336, HB2507, HB2525, HB3530 and HB4095 have all been referred back to Assignments or Rules. All of these bills would reverse much of the savings obtained by the SMART Act in 2012. The majority of these bills either ask to remove the four prescription prior authorization limit or exempt drug classes from the prior authorization requirement. Medications such as oncolytics, anti-retrovirals, immune-suppressants, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, anti-anxiety and smoking cessation products would be exempted by one or more bills. In addition, one bill would reestablish the ability of a prescriber to write a prescription for an OTC medication to be filled in a pharmacy in the same manner and reimbursement as prescription medications.  

Remaining bills in this group that are still alive are SB1465, which would cover new Hepatitis C treatments under Public Aid; SB1792, which would establish a diabetes pilot project paying for patient education for those under 18 years of age; and SB1802 and HB2743, which would require coverage of abuse-deterrent opioid analgesics as first line drugs under Public Aid and all insurances.

A variety of Opioid Abuse Prevention Bills – In addition to HB0001, there are several House and Senate bills that are aimed at opioid abuse prevention. Bills that are still alive: SB0073 and HB0438 will allow school nurses and other appropriately trained individuals to administer an opioid antagonist. SB1466 would allow pharmacists to dispense opioid antagonists to individuals who request it through a standing order from the Director of the Department of Public Health or other physician. SB1802 and HB2743, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, would require all insurers to cover the abuse deterrent opioid analgesics as first line drugs. SB1810 would protect any prescriber or dispenser of an opioid antagonist in the anticipation of an opioid overdose from civil and criminal liability. HB3219 and HB3517 both require CII prescription products to be dispensed in medicine locking closure packages. These two final bills are alive but ICHP, IPhA and IRMA have convinced the sponsors to hold these bills based on the increased costs to pharmacies, the lack of data regarding acceptance of the containers by patients and the complexity of the containers for elderly or disabled patients.  

We will continue to keep you, our members, informed and may reach out for your help should any of these bills become extremely troublesome and move quickly. We continue to work closely with our pharmacy allies: The Illinois Retail Merchants Association and the Illinois Pharmacists Association as well as with other health care organizations when it is appropriate. If you would like to get more involved in ICHP’s advocacy efforts, please email or call Scott Meyers at or (815) 227-9292.

College Connections

The Transition from President Elect to President

by Whitney Maher (P2), President-Elect and Kimberlee Kabbes (P3), President Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

“Are you a leader? Can you juggle more than one task at a time? Are you organized? What is your passion in the field of pharmacy? Are you willing to take time out to help others advance their education and careers?” All of these questions bounced around in my mind as I encountered fellow pharmacy students winding up another spring semester and prepared for our SSHP executive board elections. The year-long “internship” as President-Elect taught me how to work with others and use the resources at our disposal to accomplish big things. Our tight-knit team of executive board members and advisers played greatly to our advantage. Meetings ran smoothly, plans got made, goals were met, and we had a lot to show for it at the year’s end, thankfully. Each person’s actions were vital to the bigger picture, and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience that first year. I wanted to make sure this theme remained constant for the following year and was keeping my eyes open for standout leaders who were willing to take our chapter as their own and make it grow. 

Thankfully, I didn’t have to do much looking. A P1 student at the time with a great deal of initiative approached me about potential leadership opportunities (namely President-Elect) with our SSHP chapter. She had hospital experience and was already a member of ICHP through the hospital where she worked before school. Whoa! Now the focus could shift to other important things: the year ahead. So, how exactly does one go about starting this transition? 

The annual summer planning meeting, that is graciously hosted by one of our co-advisers each year, was the first experience I had as a true board member the year prior.  It immensely helped me to become acquainted as a returning officer the second year. It was my official introduction to the incredible group of peers that I would be learning “all things SSHP” for the upcoming year. We mapped out our plan, discussed what we wanted to carry over from previous years, and all of the new projects that would be implemented.

At the end of the summer, we hit the ground running with discussions of the summer leadership retreat, the ICHP Video Contest and Annual Meeting, Residency Happy Hours, and the Clinical Skills Competition. Visions of posters, presentations, speakers, membership, and budgets were dancing in our heads. With each individual to take charge of his/her specific duty, I zoned in on the big picture and attempting to delegate tasks to the appropriate chairpersons. It was during this time that I realized my President-Elect was just as valuable to me as the Immediate-Past President was when I was serving as the President-Elect. Who would have ever guessed?! From helping with the Clinical Skills Competition to generating new approaches on encouraging member involvement, as well as preparing materials for elections, she was invaluable in every situation. It dawned on me, over the course of this year, that the transition process, for these reasons, is a natural one.  

Much like the transition from Student Pharmacist to Pharmacist, we spend our early years learning and then gradually apply that knowledge with guidance. Mistakes are made and lessons are learned, but the important thing to remember is that we can set and reach goals. We just need to remember that as executive board members, we are acting as a voice for our student members, and the answer to our questions is usually just an e-mail, text, phone call, or Facebook message away!

6th Annual Residency Panel held at Chicago State University

by Hanh Nguyen, P3 Student, SSHP Vice President, Chicago State University College of Pharmacy

CHICAGO, ILL –ICHP-SSHP students at Chicago State University held its 6th Annual Residency Panel on campus March 3rd.  

This event provided about 50 students an opportunity to ask candid questions to current residents and residency directors. The panel consisted of 10 people; seven residents and three directors. Leading up to the panel, our chapter hosted a five-part mini-lecture series called “Residency Info Series”. Each weekly presentation was held over the lunch hour and was delivered by current and past residents. Topics included tips for the application and interviewing process; how to get the most out of Midyear Clinical Meeting; and how to stand out as a candidate. This mini-lecture series was intended to develop the foundation for understanding the residency process and the series concluded with the Residency Panel.

The goal for the day of the Panel was to give students insight on what a residency entails, what to expect during a residency, and how to go about applying for one. The first hour of the program was a question and answer session moderated by our chapter co-advisor, Dr. Diana Isaacs and myself. The second half of the program allowed for networking where students and panelists ate lunch and formed small groups for personalized discussions. This event allowed panelists to demystify the concept of residency and to be honest about what makes a desirable candidate and ultimately, a successful resident.

Specific questions that were asked were “How many programs did you apply to?  How many interviews did you have? Was this too little/too much?”, “How much does GPA matter?”, “Did you struggle with the thought of earning less than what you could have made while working because of loans, obligations, family, etc.?”, “What is the typical day like for a resident?”

The event planning required many hours of discussion and organizing by our executive board to make it all come together on the big day. It required plenty of motivation and organization to have rooms reserved; to have T-shirts designed and ordered; to help market the event; and encourage attendance; to set-up catering; to get funding; and to coordinate the arrival of our guests. 

This experience was invaluable for all of us. As students, we have never planned an event this large and it was quite a learning process. 
This experience strengthened my management skills by allowing me to effectively communicate within a small group. Taking on leadership roles like this really pushed me to do things I did not know I was capable of doing. 

I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to being involved in another ICHP-SSHP event like this in the future. This event took a lot of time and energy and I appreciate all the hard work and effort from everyone involved.  Thank you to all the panelists who attended and answered questions. Thank you to the students who volunteered their time. Thank you to the advisors who provided mentorship in this learning process. The event would not have been a success without them.

APPE Tips From A Seasoned Student

by Alex Mersch, 2015 Pharm.D. Candidate Roosevelt University

APPE’s, like pharmacy school, have the potential to make 30 weeks fly by and simultaneously take forever. That being said, I have compiled a list of ideas which I believe will benefit every student going on rotation next year or considering residency. This list is not exclusive and I highly encourage you to talk to other APPE students, preceptors, pharmacists, etc.

Be a professional.  Holding yourself to the highest standards is the quickest way to become a professional. Show the world that you are ready to be a pharmacist. How well you communicate with others, your appearance, how well researched your suggestions are, and whether you display empathy for patients will reflect on how ready you are to transition into a pharmacist role. The harder you work, the “luckier” you will get. An invitation for future employment, engagement on a high level project, or leaving with a strong network, are all examples of how being professional can benefit you. Take pride in your career, APPEs are the culmination of all your hard work in school.

Know: Who, what, where, when, and why. Knowing lab test values is necessary to provide care. The challenge is finding out how this relates to the patient’s health care story as a whole. Recommendations on outdated or poor information are a straight course to losing credibility in the eyes of your fellow health care professionals. Always ask yourself questions. Is the right patient receiving the right medication? Why are they receiving this medication? What do the patient’s labs look like? Can the patient afford or be willing to take this medication? What quality of life factors will this affect? I am sure you can think of plenty more as you look to provide patient care. When you suggest a treatment and consider the pros and cons always think to yourself if you would make the same recommendation to a family member. If you would not, do not make that suggestion.

Review.  Review.  Review. While the NAPLEX is over a year away, reviewing past material is always a good idea. Studying should not be limited to review books but should incorporate primary literature, guidelines, current pharmacy news, and skills review. Rotations will give you a better idea of the more pertinent material you need to know. Knowledge builds on knowledge and you will find that the more you review, the more efficient and less stressed out you will be on rotation. Always make it your goal to provide the best possible patient care you can.

Update your CV after each rotation. This is invaluable in terms of documenting your presentations and experiences. When you apply for future employment or residency, you will thank yourself for your ability to list off and articulate your experiences. Have two copies of your CV, a master copy with all your positions and employment articulated in detail, and another more focused CV tailored to where you plan on applying. This will allow you to remember and detail your fantastic experiences at an interview but still have a concise CV.

Make every experience relevant. Unless you are extremely lucky, you are going to have at least one rotation that is not going to be ideal. Be innovative in these scenarios. Talking with your preceptor about developing novel projects that are interesting to you and benefit the organization is a perfect win-win. Streamlining transitions of care, engaging in a PPMI assessment, providing education to staff, and looking into drug use evaluations are all experiences that do not have to be confined to a general medicine rotation. Always try to leave an establishment better than when you arrived regardless of your interests.

Stay involved. Attend conferences, volunteer, mentor at your SSHP chapter or get engaged at the state and national level with ICHP and ASHP. APPEs are not an excuse to become insulated to the world. Continue to find ways to follow your passions and give back to your community. While these do not directly affect your APPE success, I believe they are a valuable experience to being a well-rounded student.


Officers and Board of Directors


Immediate Past President 


773-292-8200 x4190

Director, Educational Affairs

Director, Marketing Affairs

Director, Professional Affairs

Director, Organizational Affairs 

Director, Government Affairs

Chairman, House of Delegates 

Technician Representative

Chairman, Committee on Technology 

Chairman, New Practitioners Network

Editor & Chairman, KeePosted Committee 
630-515-7324 fax: 630-515-6958 

Assistant Editor, KeePosted 

Executive Vice President, ICHP Office 

Regional Directors

Regional Director North 

Regional Director Central 

Student Chapter Presidents

President, Student Chapter
University of IL C.O.P. 

Student Chapter Liaison
University of IL C.O.P.

President, Rockford Student Chapter 
University of IL C.O.P.

President, Student Chapter
Midwestern University C.O.P.

President, Student Chapter 
Chicago State University C.O.P.

President, Student Chapter 
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville S.O.P


President, Student Chapter 
Roosevelt University C.O.P.

President, Student Chapter 
Rosalind Franklin University C.O.P.

ICHP Affiliates 

President, Northern IL Society (NISHP)

President, Metro East Society (MESHP) 

President, Sangamiss Society

President, West Central Society (WSHP) 

Vacant Roles at Affiliates — 
President, Rock Valley Society; Southern IL Society; Sugar Creek Society; Regional Director, South

Welcome New Members!

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New Member Recruiter
Annie Aberilla
Aderonke Adeoye
Mary Butler
Alyssa Cloud
Octavia Dunn
Amanda Durbin Kristi Stice
Crystil Garrett
Loai Hishmeh
Muhammad Ibrahim
Jenny Kasen
Melissa Kocek James Gazdziak
Carmen Kulig Miriam Loewen
Luke Landsmann
Steven Nguyen Bryant McNeely
Han Park
Ankur Patel
Derek Paw
Swapna Pillai Ann Jankiewicz
Beverly Salah
Leanne Shu Ann Wehmeyer
Soniya Tambe
Theresa VanSlette Trish Wegner

Family Night at the Ballpark

ICHP's Central Region is sponsoring a family night at the ballpark.

Springfield Sliders vs. West Virginia Miners
Thursday, July 16, 2015
Game Time 6:35 PM

Family Night at the Springfield Slider’s Game VIP Suite seating with catered meal and two drinks (soda or beer). Tickets are $21.50 for adults. Children 3 and under are free and we may have special pricing for children under 7 years of age. Registration deadline is July 2nd.

Robin Roberts Stadium at Lanphier Park
1415 North Grand Avenue
Springfield, IL 62702

Enjoy a summer game, camaraderie and great ball park food! All ICHP Central Region members are welcome. Since it is family night, you may purchase more than one ticket per person. You will need to register by calling the ICHP office at (815) 227-9292 to reserve tickets. Please state how many tickets and the ages of any children attending. The price of a ticket includes the game seating, meal and two drinks. Your credit card will be charged once all tickets are sold. Meeting new people and making friends will be priceless!

Tickets will be mailed to you once your order is processed. We look forward to cheering with you soon! Come enjoy this networking opportunity, and remember to bring your business cards. This is a great opportunity also for new residents in the area to get to know each other.

2015 Student Video Contest

It's time to start creating your videos for the 2015 ICHP Student Chapter Video Contest! This year's theme is 
Interdisciplinary Collaboration

This year, create a video with your student chapter to describe the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration to improve patient care!

Videos can be as simple (recorded on your iPhone) or as elaborate (using video editing software) as you want to make them, as long as they are under five minutes. Submissions can be done in a creative, original or humorous way (think parodies and commercials!).
The ultimate goal should be to creatively educate the average person on the potential role of health-system or hospital pharmacists and how they impact patient care.

2 entries per chapter allowed.

Submit your chapter’s video, application form, and mandatory written releases no later than TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2015 at 11:59PM via a file sharing/sending service, such as a Dropbox, SendThisFile or YouSendIt to If desired, written releases may be sent by mail to ICHP. All forms are available for download on the Student page of

Acceptable file formats for video: MPEG4, MOV, AVI, WMV, all not exceeding 100 MB!

You must provide copies of written releases from anyone pictured within the video, as well as releases for music included within the video (exceptions include music that you create yourself, is legally obtained within the public domain, or is royalty-free such as

Video content should be devoid of any specific chapter or institution names, as well as product endorsements.

By entering the contest, you irrevocably grant ICHP the right to post, publish, use, and/or modify such submission in any way for any purpose, without limitation, and without consideration to you.

Winner Selection
Once approved, we’ll post your chapter’s video to ICHP’s YouTube channel, and when the submission period ends, we’ll open the contest for voting.

Voting period runs from October 18 through the last day of National Hospital and Health-System Pharmacy Week, October, 24, 2015.

Videos will also be reviewed and voted on by a special committee (committee voting will count toward 50% of the final scoring). Videos will be judged by committee on the following criteria: clarity and relevance, creativity, originality, and professionalism.

Please note that ICHP reserves the right to choose not to post any video.

An ice cream social for your chapter! You’ll get awesome recognition online and in KeePosted. All submitting chapters will get points to qualify for the Student Chapter of the Year Award.

For more information on contest rules and applications visit:
Good Luck to you all! We look forward to some awesome videos!

Upcoming Events

Visit the ICHP Calendar for the most up-to-date events!
Thursday, May 14 at 12pm & Wednesday, May 20 at 3pm  
Champion Webinar on Allergic Emergencies (pharmacists and technicians)

Wednesday, May 27
New Practitioners Network & Pharmacy Directors Network Night at the Ballpark
Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals
Wrigley Field | Chicago, IL

Wednesday, June 3 at 3pm & Wednesday, June 24 at 12pm
Champion Webinar on Blood Clotting Disorders and Factors (technicians)

Wednesday, July 1
Submission Deadline! 2015 Best Practice Award Entries

Thursday, July 16
SSHP Night at the Ballpark
Springfield Sliders vs. West Virginia Miners
Springfield Sliders Baseball Club | Springfield, IL

Saturday, July 18th 7:45am-3pm
Habitat for Humanity Women Build
119th & S Union Ave in the West Pullman neighborhood in Chicago

Thursday, September 10 - Saturday, September 12
ICHP 2015 Annual Meeting
Pharmacist & Technician-specific CPE programming
Drury Lane Conference Center | Oakbrook Terrace, IL

KeePosted Standard Ads - 2015 May

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