Which of AACP’s strategic priorities do you support and/or identify greatly with and why?
All of them! However, if I needed to narrow it down to my top two, it would be Priority 1—Leading the Transformation of Pharmacy Practice, and Priority 4— Achieving Well-being for All.
Transformation—Throughout my career I have been lucky to practice in many different settings and have watched our profession continue to work diligently at justifying our value as team members and professionals. My role in ambulatory care has shown me just how magical it can be to utilize our skills, knowledge, and voice to make a profound contribution to patient care. I would love to see our profession continue to grow into the role that we are preparing our pharmacy students to have—as a valuable and vital member of the care team who should be reimbursed for their role and included in primary care of patients. The last two years, within the tragedy of the pandemic, our profession has started to gain momentum towards what we have the potential to be, and I hope to continue to be a part of, and a witness to, this continued professionalization and inclusion.
Well-being— I was DELIGHTED to see this as part of the strategic plan and I am engaging with this initiative in every opportunity! This is a life-long quest for me: I have always felt that our growth in mind-body-spirit is essential, yet have struggled personally and professionally with fostering well-being for myself and others. We have so many competing priorities that prevent us from having/taking the time to assess our needs and then meet them…until we are depleted. I am hopeful that our Academy making this a priority will encourage schools and colleges to embrace this and continue to elevate the importance for all of us to find the time to learn these life-sustaining skills for a healthy, grateful, wondrous life!
Why did you decide to pursue a career in pharmacy academia?
I am a life-long learner who was always looking for the next “thing” to learn…until I was given the opportunity to teach medical residents. Once I overcame my own barriers, I realized that it was my calling. Teaching means always learning. Even though I have been teaching the same courses for many years now, there is always a new pedagogy, technique, method, technology for teaching it differently, in addition to the new drug therapy, new evidence, and updated guidelines that come out.
Also I love clinical patient care, but at times felt limited within my clinical roles. I realized that to be able to teach patient care to the next generation of caregivers is my way of being able to care for MORE humans! Although teaching diabetes care and communication skills is what I get to do at CUW, I also hope that my students learn the importance of self-care, mindful awareness and compassion for themselves and others for the greater good.
What has been the greatest challenge in your career?
Balance. I follow my heart, and I want to do it ALL, yet I am still frequently humbled by the 24 hours in a day and the importance of being present in every moment – for my students, my patients, my family, my friends, my community, myself.
How many years have you been a member of AACP?
I joined in 2010 when I transitioned from medical education to pharmacy education, as one of the founding faculty of a new school of pharmacy. AACP was my main resource to understanding what pedagogy and pharmacy academia entailed, and then it became a network of generous and kind colleagues from many schools and colleges of pharmacy that were willing to phone chat and share ideas and teaching methodology to help me design my courses and lay the foundation for my own learning and growth. In the last few years, it has been a beautiful place to connect with others that share my passion for well-being and self-care. Starting the AACP Well-being and Resiliency Community has brought so many wonderful people into my life that continue to help foster my growth as an academician, a clinical pharmacist, and a person! It is truly my joy to participate and engage with this group and I am excited to see what continues to evolve within this dynamic community.
What advice do you have for new AACP members?
Be engaged with the communities that speak to your heart and your career: now and where you think you might go in the future. Get to know people. AACP is the richest resource available to pharmacy academia and is filled with opportunities and support!