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Week #3: Shift Happens! by Sharone Aragon
Shift Happens! You are the key to change!
February 10 to February 14

My third week at AACP was spent at the 2014 Interim Meeting (IM14) in Crystal City. The best way for me to summarize IM14 is to use a Wordle, a word cloud that highlights words that appear frequently in text provided by the Wordle user, which I was introduced to at AACP. The IM14 Wordle highlights the themes of IM14 – how to develop academic leaders to lead and manage the new challenges colleges of pharmacy are facing. These challenges include new pedagogies, interprofessional education expectations and new accreditation standards.
Key highlights and quotes from IM14:
• “If you react to change when it is on your doorstep, it is difficult; be prepared for change.” – Linda Cabe Halpern, Ph.D., Vice Provost for University Programs at James Madison University
• Rear Admiral Scott F. Giberson discussing the future of pharmacy practice and the potential pharmacists and physicians have on transforming health care
• Panel of community and retail pharmacy leaders discussing partnership opportunities between community pharmacies and academic institutions to develop residency programs that create pharmacists prepared to handle the changing healthcare environment and expand research opportunities
• Gary R. Matzke, Pharm.D., School of Pharmacy at Virginia Commonwealth University, sharing VCU’s approach to preparing current pharmacists and student pharmacists for Interprofessional Team Practice
• L. David Harlow III, B.S., Pharm.D., Chief Pharmacy Officer, Martin Health System, discussing the role of the “Primary Care Pharmacist”
• “Innovations in Teaching and Learning,” was presented by Holly Ludgate, Ed.D., who is a Senior Director for Program Development at New Media Consortium. Dr. Ludgate showed a video of a young girl who created a blog and video series on healthy cooking. This young girl, about 7 or 8 years old, was already experienced in using media and technology to teach others about her passion in the kitchen. Dr. Ludgate asked, “What if this was a student in your classroom?” She used the story of this young girl to emphasize that the days of “sage on the stage” teaching are gone and integration of technology and innovative teaching methods are necessary to keep up with the new students of today.

What I can take away from these sessions is that, “Shift happens! You are the key to change!” With changes in higher education and the healthcare environment, we need to be prepared. Part of that preparation involves strong leadership and motivating others to work towards a specific goal. A leader is not defined by status, hierarchy or titles. A leader is defined by the change they helped create and the leaders they developed along the way.

So will I become a leader over night? No, but I plan to find out what strengths I have and how I can develop them to lead and motivate others. It is easy to keep up with the same old routine, but sometimes, shift happens. I can complain about it and get nowhere or I can find the positive outcomes in the middle of all the shift. I choose the latter. What about you?

Sharone Aragon
Long Island University
Pharm.D. Candidate Class of 2014


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