ICHP Leadership Profile: Rochelle Rubin, PharmD, BCPS

by Christie Schumacher, New Practitioners Network E-Board Member
December 23, 2010

Rochelle Rubin, PharmD, BCPS
Chair, New Practitioners Network

Where did you go to pharmacy school?

I went to the University of Florida for my undergraduate education/pre-pharmacy coursework and graduated from their College of Pharmacy in 2006. Even though I have relocated to Illinois, I am still a devoted Florida Gator sports fan.

Trace your professional history since graduation: Where have you trained/ worked? Any special accomplishments?

After graduation, I completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency with a focus on ambulatory care at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA. The residency had practice sites at the Wilkes-Barre VAMC and Wyoming Valley Family Practice.

Upon completion of my residency, I took an Assistant Professor position at Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy in conjunction with a clinical pharmacist position in diabetes and lipid management at Dreyer Medical Clinic.

Describe your current area of practice and practice setting.

My practice is in a private physician based medical clinic where three pharmacy practice faculty from Midwestern University provide diabetes and lipid management services. I have collaborative agreements with all primary care, endocrinology, cardiology and nephrology providers which allow the pharmacists to manage the patients’ diabetes and lipids in accordance with national practice guidelines. I am also a preceptor for Midwestern University students and residents at this site.

What initially motivated you to get involved, and what benefits do you see in being active in a professional association such as ICHP?

I was always involved as a student and I wanted to get involved again as a practitioner once I started working in Illinois. I knew very few pharmacy professionals here since I went to school and did my residency out of state. I thought ICHP would be a great way to get to know other pharmacists and get involved in an organization that I can help.

What advice would you give to a new practitioner eager to become more involved within ICHP?

Make that first step and send an email or talk to someone about ICHP. I volunteered to help with the New Practitioners Network (NPN) as a way to get involved slowly. Fast-forward three years, and now I am the NPN Chair. It is incredible how easy it is to get involved and feel like you are contributing to a bigger purpose besides just establishing a way to meet new pharmacy professionals.

Is there an individual you admire or look up to, or a mentor that has influenced your career?

I still admire my residency directors and think about how my residency shaped who I am as a practitioner now. As a teacher and preceptor to residents and students, I think about how I can have a positive influence on my trainees. It is hard to imagine that I am in that position already; I still feel like I’m a student myself sometimes!

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?

I think the biggest issue we need to tackle as pharmacists is billing for services. While there are billing codes available now, most insurers are still not paying them. Until we find a way to get paid for our services, the type of practice I have will never function independently without academic support. I know the outcomes are there to show that pharmacists involved in primary care reduce overall spending, hospitalizations, improve chronic disease control and patient understanding. Thus I would like us to be able to receive compensation, similar to other providers, for our hard work.

Do you have any special interests or hobbies outside of pharmacy?

My three biggest hobbies outside of pharmacy are knitting/crocheting, food and travel. I learned to knit many years ago; however, I never progressed past scarves and hats until my husband bought me knitting classes for the holidays one year. I learned to read patterns, perform fancier stitches and an obsession was born. Then I taught myself to crochet after I knew how to read all those patterns.

The other hobby is that my husband and I are foodies. We love to experiment with cooking at home, and try all kinds of new restaurants and dishes while out as well. We took cooking classes for a few years which kindled the interest and now we just figure things out on our own as we go. But I will admit that my husband does most of the cooking at home. He’s more creative than me.

Travel is where my husband and I choose to spend our time and money. I have been to 35 states and 24 countries. My favorite destinations have been Buenos Aires, Argentina, Osaka and Tokyo, Japan, and Stockholm, Sweden. I don’t have any major trips planned soon because I have been traveling around the United States to visit my family.

What is the most interesting/unique fact about yourself that few people know?

Surprisingly enough, I used to be the shy kid. I wouldn’t talk to anyone in school, was scared of dogs and the Disney characters, and was content to play on my own. I realized as I hit my teenage years that I would never get what I wanted if I didn’t speak up about it, so I gradually started becoming more outgoing. Who would have guessed that if they meet me now?

Anything else you would like to share?

I would just like to thank ICHP for making me feel at home in the Illinois pharmacy world! I have enjoyed getting to know so many wonderful practitioners and leaders in the profession, and I encourage anyone out there thinking about becoming more involved to take that first step. New Practitioners, feel free to email me at rrubin@midwestern.edu.

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