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Jennifer L. Riggins

Jennifer is a busy medical affairs professional, association volunteer, avid sports fan, and mother of three young adult sons. She was initially drawn to the profession of pharmacy because it paid well, offered many diverse career options, and provided the flexibility that she valued. She freely admits the factors that first attracted her to pharmacy are different from those that keep her excited about her work now. She has spent her career in the pharmaceutical industry, working in various roles in medical information and medical affairs, and now consults for those same areas. While she is passionate about her work now, her first role as a neuroscience medical information specialist proved to be anything but her dream job. Her letter provides insight into dealing with such a scenario and other challenges that may come your way. She advises you to be courageous and bold, and to look for growth opportunities even if they take you outside your comfort zone.

Jennifer is now retired from Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis and has started a successful medical affairs consulting business. She had been with Lilly since 1993, serving in a number of progressively responsible positions in medical information, medical communications, medical digital, and global medical affairs. Jennifer received her doctor of pharmacy degree with honors from Butler University. Jennifer provides sage advice: stay true to yourself and find the right balance in your professional and personal life.

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Richard D. Caldwell

Fun and adventuresome are two words that will come to mind when you meet Richard. As you will read, he enjoys new opportunities and is often in search of new knowledge and experiences to satisfy his sense of adventure. International travel is one source of adventure for Richard. In his current role, he travels the globe experiencing and learning new cultures, has firsthand observations of healthcare and pharmacy practice in foreign lands, shares his pharmacy knowledge and experience, and, of course, enjoys the international food.

Richard was Senior Manager for International Markets for Omnicell directing global marketing efforts and providing consultations before he retired. He specializes in patient safety, workflow optimization, and pharmacy and nurse efficiency associated with medication automation. Prior to joining Omnicell, he was Associate Director and subsequent Director of Pharmacy Services at Stanford Hospital & Clinics in Palo Alto, California, and has held leadership and clinical positions in community and university hospitals. He also holds faculty appointments at several Colleges of Pharmacy, including University of California at San Francisco, University of Pacific, Albany College of Pharmacy, and Touro University.

Richard’s education and training journey began in his home state of North Carolina with a bachelor of science degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; residency at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois; and a master of science degree and residency at the University of Kansas. Richard tells us, don’t be afraid to venture out of your comfort zone.

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Susan A. Cantrell

You can easily spot Susan across the room at a meeting as she is always one of the best dressed. Her competence is more than appearance, however. She has successfully integrated marriage, family, and her career. While at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), she and her team developed and successfully grew ASHP Advantage as a division specializing in conducting cutting edge continuing education programs. Susan has always been an innovator, adopting new technologies and educational models for healthcare professionals.

Susan is currently Chief Executive Officer of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP), where she leads the organization in fulfilling its mission of ensuring patients have access to the medicines they need at a cost they can afford. Before joining AMCP in 2016, she was Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Americas for DIA (Drug Information Association).

Susan received her bachelor of science in pharmacy from the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy and completed a residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. She received her master’s in healthcare leadership at Western Governors University and a certificate in public health from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health. Susan’s letter offers the following advice: The best you can do is make sure you give equal consideration to career and personal factors when making career choices and deal with the guilt about missing the dance recital, soccer game, or important budget meeting.

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John Michael O’Brien

Those who follow the national health policy dialogue have likely heard of John Michael O’Brien. “JMOB,” as he is sometimes known, is a pharmacist who has long been on a mission to improve the healthcare system and advance patient care. His pharmacy career has followed a nontraditional path that led him to highly influential positions in the health insurance industry, academia, associations, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services where he served as then Secretary Alex Azar’s expert on pharmaceutical pricing policy. If you had met John right out of pharmacy school, his impressive career would have been no surprise to you; it was clear from the beginning he was destined to do important work in healthcare.

An avid sports fan and licensed pilot, John is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Pharmaceutical Council, a health policy research organization dedicated to the advancement of good evidence and science, and to fostering an environment in the United States that supports medical innovation. His letter provides insight for those young pharmacists who might wish to pursue a nontraditional pharmacy journey while still advancing the profession. Emphasizing the importance of building and nurturing relationships, he explains that you don’t have to work in pharmacy to advance the profession.

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Toby Clark

In addition to being a servant and skilled formal big “L” leader, Toby was committed to educating and training young people and as such was a consummate mentor as his letter outlines. He was an example of being extremely influential as a little “l” leader in professional organizations, having worked to assist informatics practitioners to achieve their own American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Section. What was less obvious as you got to know him was he was an avid sailor who has sailed his boats up and down the East Coast for decades. Toby brought to his mentoring over 45 years of leadership and pharmacy teaching experience in both community and academic medical centers. Toby died in 2015.

Toby received his bachelor of science in pharmacy degree from Ohio Northern University and his master of science degree from Wayne State University. He completed a residency at Bronson Methodist Hospital. He served as an ASHP Residency Program Lead Surveyor and Practice Management Consultant.

In his letter he gives the following great advice: One of the things that I learned is that an outward projection with a smile on one’s face as well as a happy hello works well in all human relations.

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Pamela A. Ploetz

If you know Pam, you know that she cares about you. Pam is a lifelong learner who sees the whole picture and has a unique ability to put it in perspective for you. She is a great coach and mentor focusing not only on successful careers but also on success in life. Pam summarizes a few life lessons in this letter. She draws from her personal experiences, shares her thoughts on the situations life can sometimes hand you, and reminds you that you are only in control of your decisions.

Pam spent most of her career at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics in various roles, progressing from staff pharmacist to Associate Director of Pharmacy Practice, Education, and Research, and Director of Pharmacy Practice Residency. She was also Clinical Associate Professor for the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy. She served her profession as President of the Wisconsin Society of Hospitals and the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin. Additionally she was Chairperson of the Wisconsin State Pharmacy Examining Board. She received her bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy.

Pam teaches you to take time when making core decisions and make sure they are the ones that are important to you.

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Susan Teil Boyer

Just ask Susan and she will tell you that knowing what you want to accomplish coupled with an enthusiastic drive to make it happen will get you a long way down the path of success. Susan’s natural enthusiasm in her work and throughout her life has certainly been a key to her success.

Her pharmacy practice roots are in hospitals where she advanced the practice of pharmacy in hospitals of various sizes. She has served in several pharmacy and hospital administration leadership roles including Vice President and Director, Pharmacy Services, MultiCare Health System, Tacoma and Puyallup, Washington. She has also provided leadership on regulatory matters as Executive Director of the Washington State Board of Pharmacy. Throughout her career she has positively impacted the pharmacy profession in numerous roles and has always been an inspiration in developing residency programs and mentorship of residents. Susan is currently primary faculty for the ASHP Pharmacy Leadership Academy and is an ASHP Consultant. Susan also enjoys giving back to the pharmacy profession through her leadership in state and national pharmacy organizations including serving on the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Board of Directors.

She received her bachelor of science degree from the University of Washington and her master of science degree from The Ohio State University where she also completed her residency in Pharmacy Practice and Administration. Susan tells us: if you are going to advance your career or your cause you need to have enthusiasm.

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Tim S. Fuller

Tim S. Fuller graduated from the University of Washington School of Pharmacy in 1969, and he completed the MS/residency program at The Ohio State University in 1974.

Tim has had a varied career working in hospital pharmacy practice and leadership, as well as in academic pharmacy. He also served as a consultant to Washington State Board of Pharmacy. His pharmacy journey has taken him across the country from the West Coast to the East Coast and the Midwest. He retired to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. He found that career decisions can be life-changing.

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Daniel M. Ashby

Daniel Ashby is well known within the pharmacy profession as a thoughtful and visionary executive with a great legacy of mentoring others and giving back to his profession. Until his recent retirement, he served as vice president and chief pharmacy officer for the Johns Hopkins Health System. He is also a past president of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and has been recognized with many awards for distinguished service including ASHP’s highest honor, the Harvey A.K. Whitney Award. However, his proudest achievement is serving as preceptor for more than 325 pharmacy residents. Dan received his Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy in 1971 and his Master of Science degree in pharmacy administration in 1977 from Wayne State College of Pharmacy.

In his retirement, Dan’s legacy of helping others continues as he provides thoughtful insights on the journey to retirement and reminds us that the choices you make along the journey really do matter.

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Christene Jolowsky

Christene Jolowsky graduated in 1981 with her BS in Pharmacy from the University of Minnesota and completed her MS/residency in 1983, also from the University of Minnesota.

Chris has had a rich career in hospital pharmacy and academia and as President of ASHP. Chris advises looking for opportunities that fit your skills and abilities, and she suggests that once you move down your path, don’t regret your choices.