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ICHP Leadership Spotlight Interview
Meet Kayla DuBois, PharmD, BCPS, MBA
What is your leadership position within ICHP?
I am the Sangamiss Chapter President Elect. My main responsibilities in this role include organizing and hosting the monthly Sangamiss CPE presentations.
Where is your practice site?
I am currently at Clinical Pharmacist at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, IL.
Tell us about a time when you made a difference in patient care.
During one of my shifts, I had a patient with severe malaria who was not responding to standards of care. The ICU physician was requesting a non-formulary agent available only from the CDC under an Emergency Use Authorization. I coordinated the attainment of this drug, and was able to be the primary contact for this process from the time the CDC was contacted until when the drug was administered at the bedside. There were several unexpected challenges in this process, including the patient being placed on CRRT. As the facilitator, I streamlined the information and recommendations from all involved parties and helped develop the final plan to safely administer this life saving drug. I was able to witness the impact of my efforts firsthand, which was an amazing experience.
Tell us a story about how you selected pharmacy as your profession.
I first decided to become a pharmacist when I was in middle school. A few of our family friends were pharmacists, and after talking with them, I was convinced that I wanted to become a pharmacist as well. At that point in my life, I only cared about helping people. When I really think about my career, this has stood the test of time. The most fulfilling aspect of being a pharmacist is knowing that I help my patients each day. Especially during the global health crisis we are currently facing with COVID-19, I am so grateful that I have this opportunity to make an impact.
What makes ICHP great?
ICHP is a great organization because it unites health-system pharmacists across the state. While attending ICHP events, I have conversed with pharmacists and student pharmacists across a spectrum of healthcare settings. Illinois is home to various regions and includes some of the most rural settings to large cities, which are innovators of healthcare. ICHP events provide opportunities for practitioners across these very different settings to collaborate and share insights to their practices. ICHP gives us a greater sense of pharmacy community.
What initially motivated you to get involved in ICHP?
I became a member of ICHP as a PGY1 Pharmacy Resident and had the opportunity to present a Sangamiss CPE presentation. I also attended many of the Sangamiss CPE presentations during my residency year. I learned so much from the research I conducted for my own presentation as well as attending other presentations that I found great value in ICHP for helping to advance my clinical knowledge. I ran for the position of Sangamiss President Elect so that I could have more involvement in this great organization. I am excited to begin this new position and assist with coordinating the CPE presentations that are so valuable to our local pharmacy community.
is there an individual that you admire or look up to, or a mentor that has influenced your career?
I feel very fortunate for the path my career has taken. I began working at Memorial Medical Center as a medication reconciliation technician in pharmacy school and also completed a few of my fourth-year clinical rotations at Memorial. I then had the opportunity to complete a PGY1 Pharmacy Residency at Memorial and I am grateful to be a clinical pharmacist at Memorial. The pharmacists I now call my colleagues were first my teachers and mentors. They have been overwhelmingly supportive of my journey from student to resident to pharmacist and I continue to look to them to provide me with guidance and wisdom. I look up to the entire department – I have too many mentors to name!
What advice would you give to student pharmacists?
The best advice I can give is to walk into clinical rotations each day with an open mind – you never know what you might discover! When I began my rotations, I thought I knew exactly what my future would look like. Being a health-system pharmacist was nothing that I had ever considered and residency was certainly not a priority for me. As I was exposed to different practice settings and talked with different pharmacists, my plans suddenly changed. I thought my window of opportunity for residency had passed, as I had not been preparing for this throughout school as my classmates had been. Despite this, I matched to my program and I haven’t looked back since. Even if you think you have your future planned, come prepared with an open mind, a willingness to learn, and the courage to step outside of your comfort zone. Your possibilities are limitless.
What are your special interests or hobbies outside of work?
I co-coach a youth competitive cheerleading squad in my free time. It is actually the same cheerleading squad that I competed with throughout my childhood. Our athlete age ranges from 6 to 12 years old. I have had several girls who started at age 6, and I am able to see them grow as athletes and as people. Last year our squad won the State competition! I have always enjoyed cheerleading and I am so grateful that I am able to continue to be involved in the sport.
Where is your favorite place to vacation?
My favorite place to vacation is the beach. My family and I vacation to St. Pete Beach, FL each summer. There’s no better feeling than relaxing on the beach!