ICHP Leadership Profile - Desi Kotis

by Jan Kerestzes, PharmD, Marketing Affairs Division
January 19, 2011

Where did you go to pharmacy school?
I attended the University of Illinois at Chicago for both my BS in Pharmacy and my PharmD.

Trace your professional history since graduation: where have you trained/worked, any special accomplishments?
I completed pharmacy residency training at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH) in Chicago and have been there for my entire career. I also completed the ASHP Foundation Leadership Academy Certificate Program.

Describe your current area of practice and practice setting in an academic teaching hospital in the heart of Chicago.
I am Director of Pharmacy at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, which has 870 beds, is a National Comprehensive Cancer Center Network (NCCN) institution, and has the largest birthing center in the Midwest. We are also a Level 1 Trauma Center.

The NMH department of pharmacy is highly involved in training pharmacy students, pharmacy residents and other health professionals outside of the department. We precept Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) pharmacy students from Chicago State, University of Illinois at Chicago, Purdue, Drake and Midwestern University. We also offer a PGY1 pharmacy residency and partner with Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy to offer PGY2 pharmacy residencies in infectious diseases and critical care and a 2-year fellowship in infectious diseases. In addition, pharmacists in the department are responsible for teaching Pharmacy Therapeutics in Northwestern University’s Physician Assistant Program.

Besides the typical duties of a Director of Pharmacy, I precept IPPE students, APPE students and our PGY1 pharmacy residents in pharmacy administration. I also coordinate rotations at NMH for pharmacy technicians participating in South Suburban College’s Technician Training Program.

What initially motivated you to get involved, and what benefits do you see in being active in professional organizations such as ICHP?
Being involved allows you the ability to give back to the state organization, our residents, and our students.

Is there an individual you admire or look up to as a mentor that has influenced your career?
My career has been most influenced by my NMH family both past and present: Karen Nordstrom, Mike Fotis, Neal Grosshans, Gary Hubler, Mike Postelnick, Mike Reed, and by my UIC PharmD classmate Miriam Mobley-Smith.

Do you have any special interests or hobbies outside of work?
I love to garden, cook, eat, travel and shop.

Do you have a favorite restaurant or food?
I especially like the Ralph Lauren Restaurant in Chicago.

What is your favorite place to vacation?
I love Santorini Greece. (I’m Greek, you know.)

What is the most interesting/unique fact about yourself that few people know?
I love to iron clothes; it is my aromatherapy. I also am an avid Chicago Blackhawk Fan and have been since the 1980s. Go Hawks!

What 3 adjectives would people use to best describe you?
Passionate (especially about the profession of pharmacy), industrious, and decisive

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