Official Newsjournal of the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists
Volume 44, Issue 03
by Scott A. Meyers, Executive Director
While it seems a long time until October, this is probably the last KeePosted issue you will see until we’ve arrived in the very month of my birth. But I don’t intend on all of you celebrating my birthday, but I do expect you all to celebrate National Pharmacy Month (all of October), National Health-System and Hospital Pharmacy Week (October 15-21) and National Pharmacy Technician Day (October 17th)!
While summer is only hopefully about half over, it is a great time to begin your planning for the fall festivities celebrating our profession! First and foremost, begin by talking to the powers that be (administration) to get on the hospital or health-system calendar and to encourage them to help you celebrate. There’s always something going on in health care like National Pancreas Week or Toe Nail Fungus Month, so getting out there early will hopefully provide some extra privilege when you want to place information cards on the tables in the cafeteria or put an exhibit up on a bulletin board or display case.
Next, start designing that exhibit that calls attention to the role your staff members and colleagues play on the health care team. It can be fun trivia about medications or how to prevent medications errors. It really doesn’t matter as long as it is informative, interesting, and it helps to be a little fun. And it should always be a positive message!
Then it’s time to think about activities in the department. A special lunch or a bagel break on National Tech Day are both winners. A visitor tour of the narcotic vault is probably not a good idea, but maybe a tour of your department with your local legislators along with a discussion of how you’re fighting the antibiotic resistance or opioid epidemic wars would be. As you can see, fun should always be incorporated but not at the expense of your professionalism.
Finally, if you’re really ambitious, and I actually dare someone to do it and send me proof, go to your local city council, village board or county board and get a proclamation recognizing pharmacy’s contributions to local health. If you do, I’ll make sure you and your picture make it in the next KeePosted!
Don’t let this important month slip away without some sort of celebration. You work hard for your patients and your health-system. You need to celebrate at least once a year and recognize the contributions you make! Make it professional and fun at the same time, and then when it’s over, send me your story. But most importantly, just do it! You deserve it!
by Charlene Hope, PharmD, MS, BCPS, ICHP President
I was cleaning out my office the other day and found a company newsletter from Esso Resources that my Dad gave me sometime last year. It was published back in 1988. He was about the same age I am now and one of several employees interviewed and featured in the newsletter. My favorite part of the column was the conclusion: “A large company is not unlike a community in that everyone has to learn to work together,” says Selwyn. “There’s a lot more to success than just working hard. To survive in any organization you not only have to work harder and smarter, you have to be a team player and that means working with a lot of different people. Sometimes it isn’t easy but I look at it as a challenge.”
It is one of my favorite ‘ah ha’ moments, because it's the moment you realize that you are probably much more like your parent than you care to admit.
As far as I can remember, starting early in my pharmacy career, I have always held close, and shared with numerous co-workers, the mantra: "Come on you guys, we just have to learn how to work smarter, not harder." Throughout my career, I have always been driven by looking at processes and creatively thinking of ways to improve them, to lessen the workload or to create time for clinical pharmacy activities. Those experiences have now led me to my career interest in healthcare quality and patient safety.
So when I recently saw an editorial published in the BMJ Quality and Safety Journal, entitled, A ‘work smarter, not harder’ approach to improving healthcare quality, I was very interested in what it had to say.1 The authors illustrated our current state of healthcare today, which at times can be best summarized in a word – overwhelming. Responsibilities include everything from implementation of healthcare technology, meeting regulatory standards, and initiating or expanding current services to maximize reimbursement from insurers.
The issue for us in healthcare right now is that more and more is getting added to everyone's plate, but the plate is not getting any larger. We are often relegated to telling our staff to work harder. And naturally, working harder does not always get you the results you hope for. The authors offer the alternative approach of working smarter.
Smarter takes patience – it is taking the time to consider the impact of implementing a new initiative on current staff workload and involving the front-line caregivers in designing and testing alternative ways of incorporating the new work. The benefits include increased staff engagement, increased sustainability of the practice change and hopefully better outcomes. Naturally, there are often numerous forces within an organization that make "working smarter" easier said than done. It isn’t easy, but I look on it as a challenge. Opportunities are everywhere for working smarter – we just need to look for them!
For example, promoting a work smarter not harder mindset occurred most recently working with my pharmacy team on automated dispensing cabinet restocking practices and delivery times. Two technicians were assigned to pull and prepare the medications for different nursing areas and then deliver them at later times in the morning. Issues often ensued depending on the teams of technicians that were scheduled together (some working together better than others) and there was a lack of consistency or agreed upon standard of restocking practices for the department. After reviewing the current workflow and discussing the goal of becoming more efficient, it was decided that the two technicians would work together to pull the medications for all the assigned nursing areas together, and then they would both deliver the medications at the same time.
The result? Enhanced teamwork among the technicians. In addition, the positive comments from the technicians regarding the new process were numerous, and the time to complete the restocking was reduced such that there was an hour gained in time before the next tasks were due. The technicians were wondering what they should do with the extra time they had. Albeit a simple example, it was a great short term win for the pharmacy department.
We all have opportunities to work smarter if we take the time to look around us, reflect on what is working and what isn’t, make the necessary adjustments, and then watch the resulting enhanced teamwork and better, more effective patient care. What needs adjusting at your work site?
by Scott A. Meyers, Executive Vice President
The May 9th Board of Pharmacy Meeting was held at the Michael A. Bilandic Building at 160 N. LaSalle Street in downtown Chicago. These are the highlights of that meeting.
Department Update – Katy Straub is now serving as the Board of Pharmacy’s general counsel. Alex Cooper, previously co-general counsel for the Board, has taken another job outside of Illinois government.
NABP Annual Meeting – The Annual Meeting of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy took place in late May in Orlando and Phil Burgess was re-elected to NABP’s Executive Committee. Board member Al Carter presented on telepharmacy at the meeting.
Pharmacy Practice Act Rules – Board Counsels Katy Straub reported to the Board that the draft Pharmacy Practice Act Rules regarding mandatory counseling will be heard by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules on the 18th of July. If there are no objections, the rules will be adopted and implemented very soon.
Legislative Update – At each Board of Pharmacy meeting, ICHP or IPhA staff provides a summary of pharmacy-related legislation before the General Assembly. At this meeting, Garth Reynolds presented on behalf of IPhA. Garth highlighted many of the bills that appear in the July edition of KeePosted’s Government Affairs Report. Work is still underway on negotiations on several bills including a bill that would regulate Pharmacy Benefit Managers in Illinois.
Audience Comments – There was some discussion of the draft compounding rules which are expected to be published in the Illinois Register for public comment sometime in late summer or early fall. These rules will include meeting compliance with USP Chapters 795, 797, and 800. It is anticipated that while implementation at the national level does not become official until June of 2018, there is expected to be revisions shortly to some of the sections, especially related to office use.
Next Board of Pharmacy Meeting – The next meeting of the Illinois Board of Pharmacy will be held at 10:30 AM on Tuesday, September 12th at the James R. Thompson Center in downtown Chicago. Announcements and agendas are posted at least 14 days in advance on the IDFPR pharmacy website. The profession is welcome to attend the open portion of this meeting.
by ICHP Communications
by Antonia Kraljevic, PharmD
It’s almost Girl Scout cookie season! As the Girl Scouts travel from location to location trying to make money for their cause, you notice their sash filled with badges. You wonder what they mean or stand for; what they had to accomplish in order to receive the badge. You notice the titles on different badges which include cookie CEO, cookie business plan creator, or cookie marketing. What a wonderful idea to encourage the girls to learn new skills and pursue different avenues of learning, in order to earn new badges. Impressed by the amount of work the Girls Scouts have put into their cookie sales, you give in and buy a few boxes of those wonderful Thin Mints.
Historically, badges have been used to display achievements and skills. In today’s world of increasing technology use, the idea of digital badges is gaining momentum. Just as the Girl Scouts have their physical badges displayed on their sash, these digital badges can be displayed on a candidate’s online profile. Mozilla as a corporation was one of the first organizations to develop these badges; others include Purdue Passport, BB Building Block, and Wordpress. Large corporations such as Target have also encouraged their shoppers to collect specific badges to unlock coupons on their next purchases. The idea of digital badges has become vast and popular among today’s generations.
Digital badges have been identified by Gibson et al, in 2013, as a “representation of an accomplishment, interest of affiliation that is visual, available online, and contains metadata including links that help explain the context, meaning, process, and result of an activity.” Digital badges can be used as a measure of encouragement to develop new skills, accomplishments or interests among many different learning environments. They function to motivate and create incentive through their collection, and displaying them represents an individual’s achievements and competencies. As different levels of badges are achieved, they mark milestones and can ultimately lead to credibility in a certain area.
With increasing popularity, how can we apply this idea of digital badges to our professional environment?
Digital badges have been used in the educational setting. Each concept learned or completed assignment would result in a badge, furthermore encouraging students to complete their work and achieve skills across different disciplines.
Pharmacy digital badges can be created in order to create the same form of encouragement. Badges can be shared on websites and professional portfolios as a way to display particular skill sets to potential employers. Embedded in each digital badge is a URL that takes users to a website that validates and explains the certificate, enabling anyone to quickly and easily verify the person’s competence, as well as the credibility of the credentialing organization.
In an effort to provide education to ICHP members and encourage learning in novel and exciting new ways, digital badges may be created in order to recognize achievement. ICHP is considering partnering with industry and/or colleges of pharmacy to work on creating digital badges (Purdue College of Pharmacy has already created digital badges for its students). If this is something ICHP moves forward with, the initial focus will be on creating digital badges for technicians. Some possible badge ideas include the topics of Pharmaceutical Calculations, Presentation Basics, and Community Service. As you can see, these don’t all have to be directly related to pharmacy technician skills, but can include “soft” skills or other non-pharmacy skills that create a more complete picture of the technician’s experience.
Overall, this new move towards digital badges may be a great way to focus on accomplishments in the pharmacy field leading to potential opportunities for employees and employers.
1. Gibson D, Ostashewski N, Flintoff K, Grant S, Knight E. Digital badges in education. Education and Information Technologies. 2013;20(2):403-410.
by Jim Owen and Scott Meyers
The State of Illinois has a budget for fiscal year 2018 that began retroactively on July 1, 2017 – the first budget in two years. Three if you count 2018! While hospitals were happy because their funding didn’t get cut and universities were happy because they actually have some funding, the overall concern for Illinois is “This is business as usual!” The 2018 budget will spend more than the 2015 budget (the last one we actually had) and leaves a backlog of bills to be paid at nearly $8M. While the backlog was up to $15M before this agreement was reached, the loans to pay it down to the nearly $8M will be interest only loans for the first 12-years. Which means the can got kicked down the road quite a ways!
Most State agencies received a 5% cut in their funding and higher education is to receive a 10% cut, but 90% of the previous budget is much better than nothing. The Illinois Pharmacy Disciplinary Fund will be raided to the tune of $2M, just when we had built up some reserves from the previous raids. That money will go into the General Revenue Fund to be used on everything from healthcare to pensions to State Police. It is a wonder the General Assembly didn’t dissolve all the dedicated professional funds in this year’s process; they’ve raided them all so many times.
No major reforms were included in the budget bills, so the rumblings of businesses moving out of State have amplified in July. Many look at this budget as a defeat for Governor Rauner, and the other half of the pundits believe these votes will come back to haunt the democrats in next year’s election. One thing is for sure, if this doesn’t fire up the voters for one cause or the other, then democracy as we know may be doomed in Illinois.
On to a cheery note, the Pharmacy Practice Act extension was finally passed by both chambers in June and should soon be sent to the Governor for signature. This extension is for two years, not the normal 10, and will undergo some significant tailoring over the next year and a half. The extension calls for the creation of a Pharmaceutical Task Force to hammer out the details of what could be a major revision. The Chicago Tribune’s series of articles including the most recent in the Sunday, July 9th edition has continuously fueled an effort to establish workload rules for community pharmacists. The initial bill introduced by Rep. Mary Flowers, D-Chicago, was written in whole by the Teamster union that represents the Chicago-area CVS pharmacists in labor negotiations with CVS. The bill was unrealistic and so restrictive that by the end of the first year after implementation, more than a million prescriptions would have gone unfilled because of workload limitations. Of course the first draft of language introduced for the purpose of starting a conversation is often at the furthest end to reality with the knowledge that compromise will have to take place if you want to accomplish anything.
ICHP will be participating on the Pharmaceutical Task Force and will work to make sure that logical and fair workload requirements for all parties are established. We will make sure that the patient remains in the center of our focus. We will keep you informed as discussion moves forward and will welcome any member input. We hope that common sense and reasonable negotiations will produce a new Practice Act that serves the citizens of Illinois best.
What is your current leadership position in ICHP?
I currently serve as a member of ICHP’s Government Affairs Committee and as NISHP Treasurer.
What benefits do you see in being active in a professional association such as ICHP?
The top three benefits I gain being active with professional associations are:
What initially motivated you to get involved in ICHP?
When I first moved to Illinois, I wanted to learn more about the practice of pharmacy in this state, and I was eager to meet other pharmacists. A colleague recommended that I get involved with ICHP’s Government Affairs Committee, and I’ve been active ever since!
Where did you go to pharmacy school?
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy
Where have you trained or worked?
I completed my PGY1 Pharmacy Residency at the University of Michigan and my PGY2 Oncology Residency at Georgia Regents University (now Augusta University) and the University of Georgia. I am now an Assistant Professor at Rosalind Franklin University College of Pharmacy with a practice site at Rush University Medical Center.
What special accomplishments have you achieved?
I have BCOP and BCPS certifications. A more unusual recognition that I’m proud of was being featured in Pharmacy Practice News as a top pharmacist to follow on Twitter. ICHP members are welcome to connect with me @MeganPharmD.
Describe your current area of practice and practice setting.
In my academic role at Rosalind Franklin University, I am the course coordinator and primary lecturer for Pharmacotherapy IV: Hematology/Oncology and for an elective class, Advanced Oncology. In my clinical role at Rush University Medical Center, I established a pharmacist-run oral chemotherapy clinic. We provide counseling and monitoring for patients who are being initiated on oral anti-cancer therapies.
Is there an individual you admire or look up to, or a mentor that has influenced your career?
One pharmacist I look up to is Jim Stevenson. During my residency at University of Michigan, Dr. Stevenson served as a mentor to me, teaching me about pharmacy leadership. I especially admire his efforts to advance the profession, both nationally and internationally.
What advice would you give to student pharmacists?
Say “yes” to unique opportunities. Many students change their career plans throughout school, so keep an open mind and explore different paths. You’ll at least have an interesting learning experience, and you may even find your new passion.
What pharmacy related issues keep you up at night?
Provider status. Pharmacists are capable of making a huge impact on the American healthcare system, optimizing delivery of care and reducing costs, if we could be reimbursed for cognitive services. Pharmacists need to continue to push elected officials to support provider status legislation like Illinois House Bill 3833 and US Senate Bill 109.
Do you have any special interests or hobbies outside of work?
I’m an avid reader, I usually have two or three books going at once. I just finished The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee and now I’ve started The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization by Thomas L. Friedman.
Do you have a favorite restaurant or food?
There’s a Venezuelan restaurant in my neighborhood that has become my favorite go-to. They have the best arepas!
What is your favorite place to vacation?
I love visiting Charleston, SC – wonderful people, delicious food, beautiful architecture, tons of history, and of course, great beaches!
What is the most interesting/unique fact about yourself that few people know?
When I was an undergrad at Michigan State, I actually dual-degreed in Biochemistry and Classical Studies. So if you ever need any Latin poetry translated, just let me know!
What 3 adjectives would people use to best describe you?
Nerdy, thoughtful, and well-rounded.
Congratulations to Sandra Salverson, Jerry Storm and their team for winning the 2017 ICHP Best Practice Award!
The title of the submission is Implementation of Integrated Telepharmacy Services Achieve a Health-System Standard of Pharmacy Care. OSF Healthcare Pharmacy Department will receive a check for $1,000 and Dr. Salverson will present a poster on her submission at the Annual Meeting and also publish it as home study in an upcoming KeePosted. Thanks to PharMEDium for providing a grant for the award.
Thank you to the Best Practice Judge selection committee and judges: Tamkeen Quaraishi Abreu, Jaime Borkowski, Don Ferrill, Carol Heunisch, Antoine Jenkins, Denise Kolanczyk, Anthony Scott, Kanan Shah, Karin Terry, and Tran Tran.
For many of us, heart disease and stroke hit much closer to home than you may realize and we encounter it daily in our practice. This year, ICHP has committed to participating in the American Heart Association's Heart Walks in Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri. Because heart disease is the number one killer of all Americans, and affects the lives of so many of our lives, we have made this initiative a priority.
To reach our fundraising goals, we are encouraging all members to participate in our fundraising efforts. You have many options for participation, such as:
- Serving as a Local Team Leader (minor logistical responsibilities on the day of the event).
- Joining a Team as a fundraising walker (walkers who raise $100 or more will receive a special AHA Heart Walk shirt and are eligible for prizes).
- Making a personal donation to the ICHP team page even if unable to walk.
We seek motivated and dedicated members to serve as the Local Team Leader for each of the walks listed below. ICHP needs walkers who will not only walk and contribute themselves but also ask friends and family to donate to help us reach our goal in assisting the American Heart Association in fighting heart disease and stroke. If you would like to participate as a Walker to help raise funds, please go online here and register for the walk of your choice below. If you would like to participate as a Local Team Leader, please contact Tamkeen Quraishi Abreu (firstname.lastname@example.org) from the Community Service Subcommittee.
Join us at these upcoming Heart Walks!
by Amanda Finch, PharmD
L to R: Doaa Alejfri, Nathan Mitchell, Bridget Dolan, Talha Khan, David Antoine, Erin St Angelo, Jamie Salvador, Amanda Finch, Jessyca Mourani, Brittany Huff, Sarah Schaidle (All Northwestern Memorial Hospital), and Dan Fisher (Holy Cross Hospital)
The New Practitioners Network (NPN) hosted the second annual resident social at Millennium Park on July 18th in Chicago. La La Land, the highly praised romantic musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, was showing on the screen. Prior to the movie, residents enjoyed a picnic out on the lawn while discussing issues related to getting started in their new positions. It was a beautiful summer evening and everyone in attendance had a great time.
Thank you to Erin St Angelo for organizing the evening and Colleen Bohnenkamp for her guidance as NPN Chair. As a reminder, the NPN’s mission is to foster growth of new pharmacists and is open to any practitioner who has graduated in the last 10 years.
Looking forward to seeing everyone at the ICHP Annual Meeting!
by Christopher Leong, PharmD
I distinctly remember my last didactic quarter as a student at Midwestern University. I was excited about the rotations to come and nervous about post pharmacy school plans. Thus, I struggled to stay focused during lecture. I often daydreamed during class about what my career would look like – where I would be, what I would do, and how I would best serve my patients. One thing that I never dreamed of doing was teaching the very lecture that I struggled to pay attention to. Four years later, I found myself at the front of a lecture hall at Midwestern University, teaching about anti-epileptic pharmacokinetics.
As I drove down the once familiar road that leaves campus after giving the two hour lecture, I couldn’t help but reflect on the experience as a whole. Bluntly, I did not give the best lecture. There were a few concepts that I could have explained better, portions of the lecture that I verbally tripped over, and I had a few students start napping within the first ten minutes of lecture (which was hard to get upset about since I was guilty of doing this during my last quarter of pharmacy school as well). Despite all of this, I left the lecture with a sense of gratitude for the journey that got me to this point and the people who helped me along the way.
Unlike some of my former classmates, I did not have a strong sense of what I wanted to pursue after graduation as I entered my fourth year rotations. As I tried to navigate the system on my own, I found myself haphazardly applying to any opportunity that I could find, and ultimately, I felt overwhelmed. It wasn’t until a few of my preceptors sat down with me during my APPE rotations that I was able to find a sense of direction. I remember having long discussions with my preceptors about my interests, strengths, and career goals even after my six week rotation ended. My preceptors invested in me by giving their time, resources, and advice to help me achieve my career goals before I even knew what my career goals were. Our conversations were open and honest. I heard stories about how my preceptors’ career paths, things they wished they knew when they were in my position, and the joys and struggles of their current jobs. Those conversations plus my preceptors’ vote of confidence helped me set my sights on residency training, but more importantly, modeled for me the type of preceptor and mentor that I hope to be.
My time at the lecture podium at Midwestern University is something that I am deeply grateful for. I see it as the first step in a long journey of investing in the profession and the future generation of pharmacists, much like my professors and preceptors invested in me. To the preceptors who read this, keep doing what you are doing by investing in the trainees that you have. You truly make a difference in more ways than you may be able to see. To the students who are reading this, stay open minded and never say never. Someday, you too may find yourself lecturing at your alma mater.
Christopher Leong, PharmD
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Midwestern University, Class of 2014
by Kimberly Zaleski, PS-2, President
Our SSHP chapter at Roosevelt University finished the school year by hosting a Residency Roundtable event and by spending an afternoon at a local food pantry in Schaumburg, IL. First and second year pharmacy residents from Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, Mount Sinai Hospital, and NorthShore came to our campus to provide information about their residency and to answer questions second and third year pharmacy students had about applying for a residency and what to expect during their PGY-1 year. Not only did we have a great turnout of pharmacy residents, but many active SSHP members participated as well. It was great to see how interested our students are in applying for a residency in the very near future! Our chapter also hosted a volunteering event at a local food pantry as part of our volunteer outreach. Members spent an afternoon stocking the pantry with food as well as distributing food to those visiting the pantry.
The last event our SSHP held was an election for the new e-board. Interested and motivated SSHP members applied for leadership positions by submitting a brief essay to the secretary and other members of the e-board selected candidates for each leadership position. The president of our chapter is Kimberly Zaleski, the Vice President is Patrick Tednes, the Professional Development Chair is Michael Bolanos, and our Membership Chair and Webmaster is Anna Majerczak. Our goal is to focus on building our chapter and increasing participation among members. We believe this will be a great way to not only help members prepare for a residency but also to help prepare them for APPE rotations and even build upon their CV. We already have two events planned for summer, as the Class of 2020 just began their first term of pharmacy school. We will be selling White Coat Clipboards for students to keep in their white coats as they begin their IPPE rotations in September, lab coats for compounding lab, and drug cards for upcoming Top 300 drug quizzes. We are also going to present, “What to Gain from Your First Term of Pharmacy School” to the new students as well. We are excited to talk to the new students to not only bridge communication between the Class of 2019 and the Class of 2020, but to also give advice on how to adjust to pharmacy school early in the program and to be able to answer any lingering questions the P1s may have.
When we return to campus in September, our SSHP chapter is going to join our APhA chapter for a combined fundraiser called, “Pack the Bus.” This fundraiser is going to focus on donating enough school supplies to fill a school bus and provide school supplies to students in need. In addition to working with our APhA chapter, we hope to continue giving back to our community and hosting more volunteering opportunities for students to participate in. Besides focusing on growing our chapter and volunteering, we are already excited for the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting in December because two of our e-board members already have plans to present posters from research they performed this summer. We also plan to continue hosting past events, such as membership drives, Residency 101, quarterly journal clubs, CV workshops, and PhORCAS101! We are all very excited to be the new e-board of our SSHP chapter and we are hoping for a very successful year!
by Glenn Chanitthikul, third-year student, ICHP member
When I entered the College of Pharmacy at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFU) in 2015, I was unaware of the vastly different areas within the profession that pharmacists practice. Even within one health system, pharmacists take on different roles on the healthcare team, depending on their specialty. I was thrilled to discover that I could gain more health-system pharmacy experience through introductory pharmacy practice experiences at RFU. However, I wondered how I could better prepare for these experiences outside of the pharmacy curriculum. Where could I expand my clinical skills and abilities, and collaborate with an inter-professional medical team?
As a first-year student with a community pharmacy background, the best option for me was to get involved with RFU’s Inter-professional Community Clinic (ICC), which was founded by students in 2013. The ICC is a volunteer-based student-run clinic that operates within the RFU Health Clinics every Thursday. Patients from underserved communities of Lake County have the opportunity to receive free, quality healthcare provided by RFU students with faculty supervision. The ICC offers a variety of services including primary care, psychology, pharmacy, physical therapy, podiatry and diabetes education. Students work on inter-professional (IP) teams when evaluating patients. IP teams consist of at least three students from different professional programs including medicine, podiatry, pharmacy, and other health professions. Other additions to the team may include a fourth-year medical student or a Spanish interpreter.
When patients arrive to the ICC, the IP team is the first to evaluate the patient. We obtain their vitals, medication history, past medical history, perform a focused physical assessment, and investigate their chief complaint. In addition, student pharmacists review immunization schedules and administer all recommended immunizations the patient requires. After assessing the patient, the IP team is the first to discuss a possible diagnosis and treatment plan. I benefited the most from this discussion as a second-year student enrolled in pharmacotherapy courses. Through each case, I improved my critical thinking abilities as I utilized clinical guidelines and recommended pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment regimens to my team. After the discussion, the IP team presents their findings to a team of faculty providers, including pharmacists, physicians, physician assistants, etc. The patient appointment ends with the provider and IP team performing final assessments and discussing treatments and follow-up plans. The IP team then completes all patient documentation to be reviewed by the attending physician.
The ICC provided great opportunities for me to practice hands-on skills and improve communicating with patients. I learned how to express my empathy for patients who were struggling with chronic conditions, as they were long overdue for primary care. ICC patients often have limited resources and are very grateful for our services. We provide multi-disciplinary care and cater to all cultural and religious backgrounds.
This was the first time that I was given such responsibility for the care of patients and I was proud to start the process that directs them towards better health. Through the ICC, I realized every patient is unique and requires a patient-specific approach to treatment. By working on a team with students and providers, I expanded my knowledge about many other health professions. Likewise, other students learned more about pharmacy and the roles that pharmacists have within a healthcare system. They observed a broader picture of the clinical training that pharmacists receive.
I look forward to continuing my role as a student pharmacist volunteer within the ICC as I continue on to my third professional year of pharmacy school. Third-year students serve as advanced pharmacy students at the ICC and provide additional guidance to IP teams as needed. Advanced pharmacy students help IP teams prepare their presentations to faculty providers and assist with electronic patient documentation. In addition, they are available to IP teams to help interpret clinical guidelines and review drug regimens, monitoring parameters, drug-drug interactions, medication adherence, etc.
Through the ICC, I was able to gain more clinical experience and at the same time, help patients who come from underserved communities. My experiences at the ICC have complemented my pharmacy education at RFU very well and I believe this will increase my confidence on rotations and as a future pharmacist in a healthcare system.
by Ziad N. Dabbagh, PS-2, ICHP Historian
[Shaziya Barkat outside at Midwestern University Downers Grove Campus]
The Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists (ICHP) is a group dedicated to the promotion of health-system pharmacy practice. For pharmacy students, it offers networking opportunities, exposure to various practice settings, exposure to post-graduate residency programs, career opportunities, and demonstration of commitment to the profession.
As the new historian for Midwestern University's ICHP chapter, it is my role to stay up to date with and maintain the history of our chapter. I am currently about to start my year at Midwestern University as a PS-2 and have had the opportunity of serving as a member of ICHP last school year which allowed for many networking opportunities. I also took part in the ICHP mentorship program, which I recommend to any new incoming PS-1s who may be reading this. The ICHP mentorship program is a program where new students pair up with a second or third year student who is available to them as a mentor for the school year.
This month, I have had the pleasure of interviewing our previous year’s president, Shaziya Barkat, who has shared some of her experiences as a pharmacy student and her reflections pertaining to the presidency of ICHP MWU. Shaziya has just recently finished her third year of the four-year pharmacy program here at Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy. She originally began her journey into pharmacy school back in 2014 and has since participated in many organizations such as Phi Lambda Sigma, Rho Chi Honor Society, Illinois Pharmacists Association, and American Pharmacists Association’s Academy of Student Pharmacists, to name a few. When asked how she became interested in ICHP, Shaziya told me that she was initially drawn to the organization due to its dedication to helping students grow into professionals no matter what their goals were. Shaziya stated that "whether students decide to pursue a residency, fellowship, or a job right after graduation, ICHP tailors events to help us become competitive candidates for our desired positions. The warm and welcoming ICHP Executive Board when I was a PS-1 also drew me to joining the organization."
Reflecting on her experience as last year's ICHP president Shaziya notes that she has "grown a lot by being the former president of ICHP, both professionally and personally. By overlooking an Executive Board and working together to move the organization forward, I honed my skills in being a leader and team player. I also built on my time management and communication skills."
Through ICHP, Shaziya has had the opportunity to participate in various community service events such as the Costco Health Screening, where she conducted blood pressure screenings for community members and counseled patients on healthy lifestyle modifications and medication adherence. She has also organized philanthropy events at the local mosque, volunteered at booths sponsored by ICHP at various campus events, and worked with the ICHP team at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness Chicagoland walk.
Being a member of the ICHP e-board next year, I had the chance of asking Shaziya if she had any advice to the newly initiated e-board and current or future ICHP members. She advised “to make the most of every opportunity presented to you. Be open to new ideas and explore your interests – you might find something you never knew you would be passionate about.”
Envisioning the future of ICHP, Shaziya sees the organization growing in membership as well as opportunities for new members to take advantage of. She gave the example of the ICHP mentorship program, which was a new initiative that was started in the fall of 2015 and has since received lots of positive feedback. She is excited to see what the future of the organization may hold. Reflecting on the good times she has had, she notes that her “favorite part of being a part of ICHP was being able to network with individuals that [she] would not have been able to otherwise. [She has] learned a lot by meeting with pharmacists from diverse areas of the field as well as student pharmacists from other schools.”
Shaziya feels as if ICHP has prepared her for life after graduation in various ways. She notes that “it has provided [her] with mentors that [she] can have for a lifetime.” People Shaziya said she could turn to for advice, guidance, and inspiration. Looking forward to graduation, Shaziya’s plans are to pursue a residency and become a clinical pharmacist. She loves “patient interaction, working with various healthcare professionals, and applying [her] pharmacotherapeutics knowledge.”
Visit the ICHP Calendar for the most up-to-date events!
September 14-16, 2017
ICHP Annual Meeting
Drury Lane Theatre and Conference Center
Oakbrook Terrace, IL
Saturday, September 23, 2017 - Oakbrook, IL
American Heart Association - Heart Walk
Sunday, September 24, 2017 - Elk Grove Village, IL
Chicago Walk for PKD
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 12:00 PM
Streamlining the Crash Cart Model: Less is More
Elizabeth Short, PharmD, BCCCP
Champions LIVE Webinar
Accredited for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians |0.5 contact hour (0.05 CEU)
|Gary Block||Jennifer Splawski|
|Jaxson Burkins||Gary Peksa|
|Marnie Davis||Laura Meyer-Junco|
|Margie Filpi||Scott Drabant|
|Kari Heitzman||Heather Harper|
|Heather Horton||Sandra Durley|
|Theresa Simmons||Clara Gary|
|Eric Solis||Clara Gary|
|Dinally Velez||Clara Gary|