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Margie Villareal-Florees, CPhT
Trace your professional history since graduation: where have you trained / worked, any special accomplishments?
I trained as a technician “hands-on” at my first job in 1991 at St. Anthony Hospital, in the Douglas Park area. I worked there for 4 years, until I applied at UIC Hospital Pharmacy in 1994 and I have been here ever since. I started out working on the “Robotic” automation, worked my way throughout Central Pharmacy (clean-room, pre-pack, narcotics) then billing and front-office administration until a position opened up for an Investigational Drugs Pharmacy (IDP)/ Medication Use Policy (MUP) Technician and I applied for it. I’ve always considered IDS/MUP an interesting place to learn and work. I enjoy working with the PI’s, RN’s, Coordinators as well as the patients we serve.
Describe your current area of practice and practice setting.
My daily activities include busy preparation for ongoing studies and serving our patients. Responsibilities include IDS and MUP Pharmacists with daily activities of managing the service, which is maintained in accordance with hospital policy, JCAHO, state and federal standards. I also assist with ordering, handing all shipments of investigational agents, inventory, temperature monitor, and expiration logs. I am also involved with drug handling and preparation, packaging, IV preparation admixture, labeling and delivery.
I have involvement in research activities, accountability records, IRB approvals, patient consent, and HIPPA consent. I support, train, and supervise pharmacy students. I have computer knowledge and assist with various data entry and information pertinent to IDS and MUP, hospital computer systems and other databases. I also maintain compliance through hospital cost saving programs for the children’s vaccine program.
What initially motivated you to get involved, and what benefits do you see in being active in a professional association such as ICHP?
It is great for professional growth, educational opportunities, networking, shared practices, and it is fun seeing and meeting new people. I think it is important to get involved, network with other technicians and stay current in pharmacy.
What advice would you give to a new practitioner eager to become more involved within ICHP? to the new grad? to the student? to a technician?
Jump right in and try new things. Challenge yourself. Most of us can do way more than we think. There are worse things in life than failure…like not trying!
Is there an individual you admire or look up to, or a mentor that has influenced your career?
There were so many and still are that have influenced me and continue to be a mentor I can’t limit to just one or two. These are the following people who I owe credit to today:
Michael Rajski, PharmD
Roberto Garcia, PharmD
Juliana Huang-Chu, PharmD, BCOP
Linda Grider, PharmD, MBA
Michael Pacini, PharmD, BCOP
Gloria Sporleder, CPhT
What is your vision for pharmacy in the future? Or what would you like to able to see accomplished within pharmacy?
I see continued expansion of pharmacy technician roles. As the new practice model for pharmacists evolves, so will the need for the expansion of pharmacy technician responsibilities. There is unlimited opportunity for us! I hope to see accredited training programs more available for future technicians so baseline competence is in place to better handle expanded roles.
What three adjectives would people use to best describe you?
Energizer, dedicated, compassionate.
Do you have any special interests or hobbies outside of pharmacy/work/school? Special accomplishments?
I am a devoted mother and grandmother, I enjoy spending my time with my husband, children, grandchildren and other family members. I also enjoy volunteering at to help others whether it’s here at UI Hospital & Health or my church.
Do you have a favorite restaurant/food?
Yes, I do it’s Mexican food, but I enjoy cooking it too.
What is your favorite place to vacation?
Too many to name, but when I am on vacation I enjoy the mountains and warm beach weather. I enjoy the outdoors.
What is the most interesting/unique fact about yourself that few people know?
I am a grandmother who loves to ride her motorcycle.
Anything else, you would like to share?
Live life to the fullest!