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Be Active, Shape Your Future, and Demonstrate Leadership for Others Following in Your Path

Harold N. Godwin

Harold is so passionate about pharmacy that in addition to his almost 50 years in practice, teaching, and academic leadership, he has continually given his personal time to professional organizations as well as residency training and teaching pharmacy students. What is remarkable about Harold is that he has always been able to step back and view issues from the perspective of the whole profession, not just as a hospital/health-system pharmacist. He has rarely missed a national or state professional meeting, continues to be an instrumental part of whatever change is occurring (preferring not to be a victim), and continues to seize opportunities. His professional commitment is evidenced by his serving as president of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), the American Council of Pharmacy Education (now known as the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, or ACPE), the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), and Chair of the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS). In his 1991 Harvey A.K. Whitney Award Lecture, he outlined the converging paths leading to the development of pharmaceutical care, which moves pharmacists into direct patient care. He also recently received the profession’s APhA Remington Award.

Harold received his bachelor of science in pharmacy degree at the University of Kansas and his master of science degree from The Ohio State University. He completed a residency at The Ohio State University Hospitals. He is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Kansas, School of Pharmacy.

Harold ends his letter with excellent advice: a successful career is not a destination, but it is the journey to success that is so very rewarding.

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Be the Voice

Sandra Leal

Those who know Sandra know her as a staunch advocate for the pharmacy profession and a healthcare provider who has dedicated her career to addressing the needs of patients in underserved communities. Early in her career, Sandra served as Medical Director and Clinical Pharmacist at El Rio Community Health Center, a community health center providing accessible and affordable healthcare for underserved populations in Tucson, Arizona. This experience prepared her to later lead an organization that provides medication therapy management services to at-risk Medicare Part D beneficiaries, where she focused on reducing hospitalizations, lowering healthcare costs, and improving outcomes in patients with chronic conditions. Sandra’s immediate past position was Vice President of Collaborative Innovation and Clinical Strategy with Aetna, a CVS Health Company; she was the first pharmacist to hold this position in Medical Affairs. Her current role is Vice President, Pharmacy Practice Innovation and Advocacy with CVS Health.

So passionate is Sandra about being a voice of change and creating a dialogue for others who cannot speak for themselves that the theme of her address when she was installed as the 166th President of the American Pharmacists Association was “Be the voice.” Sandra advises readers to identify what their mission is and create the career that aligns with that.

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Build the Strongest Foundation of Knowledge and Skills That You Can

Thomas J. McGinnis

How many of us, when presented with three job offers, would choose the lowest paying? Not many, I suspect. But that is exactly what Rear Admiral (RADM, ret.) Thomas J. McGinnis did after graduating from pharmacy school, choosing to pass up two more lucrative offers to join the United States Public Health Service (PHS). Tom has spent his entire career in the PHS and, looking back on it, he has never regretted that decision.

Tom’s letter describes his remarkable career at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and later taking the helm of the U.S. Department of Defense’s TRICARE Pharmacy Program, which provides pharmacy care to almost 10 million members of the seven uniformed services and their families. His work has provided many interesting challenges and many opportunities to improve our citizens’ health. One of his most memorable and rewarding experiences was his deployment to storm-ravaged areas along the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Just before his retirement Tom served as Chief, Pharmaceutical Operations Division, responsible for pharmacy operations of the Defense Health Agency.

He earned his bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from Rutgers University and a certificate in general administration from the University of Maryland. He is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute.

Tom’s advice to young pharmacists is to record your observations, milestones, and lessons learned over time; build the strongest foundation of knowledge, skills, and contacts that you can; and build a strong personal foundation.

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Do Not Ask More of Your Staff Than You Are Willing to Give

Paul G. Pierpaoli

In talking with Paul, you might be struck by his communication style. His Harvey A.K. Whitney address, “An Iconoclastic Perspective on Progress in Pharmacy Practice,” is evidence of his straight-forward style. Paul is a consummate leader who is willing to fight for what is in the best interests of not only his staff, but his patients. He is willing to challenge the status quo no matter what the personal cost. He continues to be a dedicated mentor to numerous students, residents, and young practitioners by sharing his philosophy and experiences. Paul has given unselfishly of his time to an array of professional organizations and has also served as ASHP President.

Prior to retiring, Paul was Senior Vice President, Pharmacy Practice, at McKesson Medication Management. He had previously served as Director of Pharmacy at Rush-Presbyterian-Saint Luke’s Medical Center, Medical College of Virginia Hospitals, and the University of Connecticut Health Center. Paul died in 2020.

He received his bachelor of science in pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island and completed a residency and master’s degree at the University of Michigan.

He indicates in his letter: Do not agonize over work/personal life conflicts, as trying to compartmentalize your professional life and personal life can be a futile experience for a truly dedicated professional.

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Don’t Fret about Career and Personal Life Balance—There Is No Such Thing

Joyce A. Generali

As you meet Joyce it is immediately obvious she is a gregarious extrovert who has a great sense of humor, and with little prompting she will tell you a joke, many on herself. It is thus easy to imagine her early experience as a bus tour guide telling jokes to keep her charges engaged. Joyce has a serious side as she is an expert and proficient drug information specialist. She put together all the Black Box warnings and published them thus alerting and enabling practitioners to protect patients. Joyce brings a number of years of experience in conducting drug information centers and teaching as a pharmacy faculty while raising a family.

Joyce holds a bachelor of science in pharmacy from the University of Connecticut, School of Pharmacy and a master of science degree from The University of Kansas, School of Pharmacy. She completed residencies at the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals and Kansas University Medical Center. Joyce is currently Director, Synthesized Referential Content, Facts and Comparisons and Professor Emeritus, Kansas University School of Pharmacy.

In her letter, she gives the following advice: Saying goodbye to “perfect” and hello to “it’s done” and learning the difference between the two is a key to being comfortable with the decisions you make on how to spend your time.

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Final Thoughts

Susan A. Cantrell, Sara J. White, and Bruce E. Scott

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Find Your Passion and Pursue It with a Sense of Urgency

Ronald H. Small

In getting to know Ron, you will find him very principled and willing to be candid about his opinions. Ron epitomizes being his own person. He is one of the first people to justify and achieve being a Chief Pharmacy Officer and thus positioned himself at the senior administrative table. Since retiring, he has become a Certified Executive Coach (CEC) to pursue his passion for leadership development by creating and utilizing centers of knowledge and excellence in healthcare processes. Ron focuses on improving healthcare leadership performance by helping individuals to develop and sustain new perspectives, attitudes, skills, and behaviors.

He serves as a primary faculty for the Pharmacy Leadership Academy’s Leading for System Reliability in Safety and Quality Course. Although for most of his career he did not venture far from his North Carolina roots, he traveled to Asia and South America as a speaker and educator in his role as a consultant with Joint Commission International and Joint Commission Resources.

Ron’s bachelor of science in pharmacy and master of science in business administration degrees are from the University of North Carolina. He advises that in his experience, all great success stories have one thing in common: people with passion and a sense of urgency to succeed.

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Follow Your Heart, Seize Opportunities, and Realize There Are Always Trade-Offs

Kathi S. Lucas

Kathi is an example of a woman who “has it all.” She is a dedicated pharmacist and has still found the time and energy to be very active in Boy Scout leadership, even after her son completed scouting. Kathi has always consciously prioritized her family equally with her career, as her letter describes. Before the advent of the concept of transitions of care, Kathi worked collaboratively with nurses, physicians, social workers, and administrators as the bone marrow transplant clinical pharmacist who took care of both the ambulatory and inpatient stays. She is also an example of a clinical practitioner who moved into formal leadership positions but maintained her BCOP certification and indeed did choose to return to clinical practice.

She completed her bachelor of science in pharmacy at Auburn University and her master’s degree in public health at San Jose State University. Kathi is currently the Pharmacy Compliance Coordinator at Stanford Healthcare.

She gives this superb advice: Follow your heart, seize every opportunity, and know that there will always be trade-offs.

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Give to Others, and You Will Receive Tenfold in Return

Stephen J. Allen

It takes only a brief conversation with Steve for one to discover his passion for the pharmacy profession and for patient care. Steve translated his passion into action, leading the development of many notable American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Foundation programs and resources. The ASHP Research and Education Foundation is the philanthropic arm of ASHP and its mission is to improve the health and well-being of patients in health systems through appropriate, safe, and effective medication use.

Steve spent 25 years leading health-system pharmacy operations and then served as the Chief Executive Officer of the ASHP Research and Education Foundation for 19 years before retiring recently. He received his bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island and a master’s degree in hospital pharmacy from the University of Maryland. Steve completed a residency in hospital pharmacy practice at University of Maryland. He is a fellow of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

Steve’s advice to young pharmacists is: keep in mind that whatever you invest in this profession of pharmacy, it will likely return to you in tenfold benefits.

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Grow, Create, Lead

Max D. Ray

Max continues to be adroit in not only thinking about critical issues facing pharmacy but in putting his conclusions into publications so others can benefit. This skill is evidenced in his 1997 Harvey A.K. Whitney Lecture, “Letters from the Edge,” in which he writes three imaginary letters on what is meant by professional practice, the qualifications, and activities required. The letters are from 1940, 1997, and 2040. He has seized various opportunities throughout his career to contribute, moving from practice leadership and college faculty, to professional organizational staff, and culminating in being a college of pharmacy dean.

His bachelor of science degree in pharmacy is from the University of South Carolina and his doctor of pharmacy and master’s in hospital pharmacy degrees are from the University of Tennessee. He completed a two-year residency at Methodist Hospital in Memphis.

In his letter he states that serving a purpose bigger than ourselves is more important than embellishing your resume.

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If You Don’t Have a Mentor, Get One

Bruce E. Scott

Those who know Bruce will attest to the fact that success has not changed him one bit. He is still the same warm, personable, down-to-earth, and humble person he was when he began his career. An accomplished hospital pharmacy director, business leader, and visionary, Bruce exemplifies all the qualities we expect to see in a successful leader. He rose to executive leadership positions in numerous businesses and was one of the youngest pharmacists elected ASHP president.

Looking back on Bruce’s storied career in pharmacy, it is difficult to imagine that anyone would have been qualified to serve as his mentor. Yet despite his stature in the healthcare community and his many impressive achievements, Bruce acknowledges the important role mentors played in providing guidance and support on his path to success. Mentors helped him understand the importance of learning, encouraged him to develop a vision for his career, and helped him set and achieve his goals. And further, his positive influence as a mentor to scores of others will continue to reverberate through the profession for years to come.

Bruce is currently retired, although he serves on the Board of Directors of various companies and organizations. He has served in executive roles at Allina Hospitals and Clinics, and several healthcare businesses. He earned his bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy and a master of science degree in pharmacy administration from the University of Kansas, where he also completed his pharmacy residency.

His advice to young pharmacists on selecting a mentor is clear: Mentors are invaluable as a sounding board, providing an objective point of view and direction in support of your success.

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It Takes a Team to Create Change

Marialice S. Bennett

Marialice ventured into clinical pharmacy at its inception in the 1970s, learning as she went because clinical education and clinical residencies were just beginning. She was indeed a pioneer and risk taker. Her career has focused on instituting new clinical practices and training residents and pharmacy students. She has continued to be innovative in creating, implementing, and conducting Community and Ambulatory Pharmacy Residency programs as well as cofounding, with a physician, an employee interprofessional wellness health clinic (University Health Connection). Marialice is one of only a few women who have served as president of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA).

She completed her bachelor of science in pharmacy at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy. Marialice is currently Professor Emerita, College of Pharmacy, The Ohio State University, and former Director of the Community and Ambulatory Care Residency Program. She continues to collaborate with both ASHP and APhA to advance community-based practice and residencies.

In her letter she states that there were times it was necessary to ask forgiveness rather than permission in creating a new practice and that it would not have happened if we had followed all the politically correct channels.

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Just How Do You Know When to Make a Job Move?

Roberta M. Barber

When you meet Roberta, you will find an energetic dynamo who encountered and solved the challenges of balancing and integrating a successful leadership career with raising two children as a single parent. While there is not just one way to handle these challenges, she describes the trade-offs—which are so important to take into account—including the things to consider when you feel your job is not working out. Roberta identifies what an appropriate job fit really means.

Roberta completed her bachelor of science and doctor of pharmacy degrees at Union University Albany College of Pharmacy and her master’s of public health at Columbia University’s Joseph Mailman School of Public Health. Roberta is currently Assistant Vice President of Pharmacy Services, Virtua Health System in New Jersey.

In her letter she states, your career may take a winding path; taking the risk and finding the courage to move from one job to another will have you experience great joy, satisfaction, and reward in the journey.

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Learning to Ignore the Lies We Tell Ourselves

Jennifer M. Morris

Jennifer’s compelling energy and excitement for life is obvious in her pharmacy career as well as her governance responsibilities as a former member of the City Council in her community, or in her current role as Chairwoman of the Planning & Zoning Commission for the City of Marion, Iowa. She has a desire to continually “make things better” that is inspirational to all around her.

Jennifer received her doctor of pharmacy degree from The University of Iowa, College of Pharmacy and her MBA from The University of Iowa, Tippie College of Business. She is currently Manager of Ambulatory Care and Pharmacy Clinical Operations and Residency Program Director at Mercy Medical Center, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She is actively involved in the pharmacy profession through local and national pharmacy organizations. Jennifer has practiced in community and health-system settings with a primary focus on expanding pharmacy practice and improving the care provided to patients in ambulatory settings. Further, as Residency Pharmacy Director, she enjoys the opportunity to help others become their best version of themselves.

It is in the spirit of helping others that Jennifer shares her experience regarding the negative voices, described by some as imposter syndrome, many of us hear during various moments in our careers. Jennifer shares her advice in turning the negative voices to white noise in her letter “Learning to Ignore the Lies We Tell Ourselves.”

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Lessons Learned from Others’ Experiences Enrich Our Lives

Sharon Murphy Enright

Sharon is an extremely creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial pharmacist. She stretches beyond the bounds of pharmacy and healthcare literature and has always thought deeply about where pharmacy needs to go and how she can assist practitioners. Sharon is great at making and seizing learning opportunities and has developed and conducted two start-up education and training businesses—one of which she sold to a major corporation. She is a master at assisting people in applying business and non-pharmacy literature by developing and conducting educational programs for close to 100,000 pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. As course-master and faculty, Sharon was instrumental in developing, implementing, and conducting the yearlong online ASHP Foundation’s Pharmacy Leadership Academy. She is President of EnvisionChange LLC, consulting to practice organizations and emerging businesses on matters of strategy, opportunity, and transformation, but spends an increasing share of her time with her art: fused glass, watercolor, metalworking, and encaustic and alcohol ink creations.

Sharon completed her bachelor of science in pharmacy degree at the University of Connecticut and a master’s of administration, business, and behavioral sciences degree from George Washington University. She completed a residency at Yale–New Haven Hospital and Medical Center and the ASHP Executive Residency. Her letter indicates that since any knowledge has a very short and increasingly limited lifespan, it is only through continued growth and learning that we can continue to contribute. She ends her letter by saying, love your work but don’t make it your life.

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Cover Letters to a Young Pharmacist

Letters to a Young Pharmacist

Even More Sage Advice on Life & Career

Susan A. Cantrell, Sara J. White, and Bruce E. Scott

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Life Is What Happens While You Are Busy Making Other Plans

Debra S. Devereaux

Deb Devereaux approached her career with a well thought-out plan. She selected pharmacy as her career path because it would allow her the opportunity to build on her keen interest in science and the flexibility to raise a family while also pursuing a career. She spent summers working as an intern in various practice settings to determine which would be the best fit for her interests and methodically chose to pursue a business degree to help achieve her goals. Despite the meticulous planning, she readily admits that some other factors converged to influence her career path: personal relationships, her pharmacy colleagues and mentors, and serendipity. In the world of pharmacy, Deb’s career has turned out to be somewhat unusual. Leveraging the skills she developed in hospital pharmacy management and through her MBA training, she has become one of the nation’s experts on pharmacy reimbursement issues and the Medicare Part D benefit.

Deb is currently Principal and Chief Clinical Officer at the Rebellis Group. She received her bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from the University of Colorado and a master’s degree in business administration from Regis University. She has been a board-certified ambulatory care pharmacist.

Deb’s advice to young pharmacists is: approach life with a plan and a strong dose of open-mindedness and flexibility, seek out mentors, and help and support others.

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Living with Imposter Syndrome and Knowing That You Belong in the Room

Donald F. Gale

Don spent his career striving to not only make himself the best leader he could be, but to make all those around him the best that they could be. He is a leader that considers mentoring and developing others a personal responsibility. He also places a high value on building and sustaining relationships and developing high performing teams.

Don received his pharmacy degree from Ohio Northern University and has extensive experience in the profession serving in various executive leadership roles. Until recently, Don served as President of ElixirPharmacies, a division of Rite-Aid, serving patients with chronic illnesses through mail and specialty pharmacy services. Previously he served in various leadership roles in the long-term care pharmacy industry.

In his letter, Don addresses the difficult subject of imposter syndrome. He shares his personal journey of understanding thoughts of doubt and arriving at the realization that, yes, he belonged in the room with other very accomplished individuals.

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Love Being Exactly Who You Are

Daniel J. Cobaugh

You will likely leave your first encounter with Dan impressed by the charismatic and sincere person he is. You will find him very engaging and obviously someone who is appropriately confident and comfortable in his own skin. Arriving at his current state of self-confidence and comfort with himself was, however, a long and sometimes challenging journey. In the following letter, Dan explains that his strong belief of being comfortable within your own skin and loving who you are will enhance your enjoyment of life and of your profession, leading you through difficult times.

Dan is vice president of publishing at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and the editor in chief of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy. Prior to ASHP, Dan had a distinguished practice as Director of the Finger Lakes Regional Poison and Drug Information Center and the Director of Emergency Medicine Research at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York. As Associate Director at the American Association of Poison Control Centers, he implemented the nationwide toll-free number for poison centers. He is also recognized as a Fellow of the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology, a Diplomat of the American Board of Applied Toxicology, and has served as President of the Association of Poison Control Centers of New York State.

He received his bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from the University of Pittsburgh and his doctor of pharmacy degree from Duquesne University. Dan completed a residency at Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh and a clinical toxicology fellowship at the Pittsburgh Poison Center/Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Any readers who have wondered about their ability to contribute or their “fit” in the profession will find value in Dan’s message: Love being exactly who you are.

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Making Difficult Career Decisions

Michael D. Sanborn

Mike is the leader that every board of directors wants in a senior executive role in their organization. He is the ultimate professional and a great leader with a tremendous ability to develop and execute a strategic vision. Mike’s successful career is a testament to these abilities. His other admired characteristics include his thoughtful and reflective analysis of difficult situations. Thus, the thoughtful approach to making difficult decisions that he shares in his letter is not a surprise to anyone who knows him.

Mike currently serves as the President and CEO for Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas. His previous experience includes direct patient care and administrative and pharmacy leadership positions in large health systems and academic medical centers. He certainly gives back through his involvement in a number of community and professional activities including serving in leadership roles for the Dallas/Fort Worth Hospital Council, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Young Adult Oncology Coalition, and others.

He received his bachelor of science and master of science degrees from the University of Kansas where he also completed his residency training in pharmacy administration. He has enjoyed a very successful career and, of course, has faced several crossroads during his career. From those experiences he offers very thoughtful advice: objectively analyze the situation and distill the decision down to the elements that are most important to you.

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A Mantra to Live By: Sí Se Puede! (Yes, You Can!)

Melissa A. Ortega

When thinking of Melissa, words such as passionate, proud, value-centered, and the ultimate professional quickly come to mind. She has focused her career on championing pharmacy practice advancements locally and nationally across the care continuum. She is currently Vice President, Ambulatory Pharmacy Services at Tufts Medicine.

Melissa received her doctor of pharmacy degree from Nova Southeastern University and completed her pharmacy practice and health-system pharmacy administration residencies at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. She has served as President of the Massachusetts Society of Health-System Pharmacists and has made sustained contributions to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Recently she has served as Chair of the ASHP Section of Community Pharmacy Practitioners and on the ASHP Racial Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Taskforce.

Melissa’s letter is inspirational to all members of society, including those in the pharmacy profession, as she reflects on her professional journey as a minority in our profession. Honoring her Latin heritage, Melissa shares a mantra to live by: Sí Se Puede!

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My Cancer Experience Taught Me to Put Patients First

Robert J. Weber

Because of his close call with cancer, Bob is very focused on living in the moment, being a better family person, and putting patients first. He shares a patient’s perspective on enduring chemotherapy. He is also very dedicated and passionate about continuing The Ohio State Pharmacy Leadership Training Legacy and is the Director of the Latiolais Leadership Program in the College of Pharmacy. For several years, he has authored and coordinated the monthly Director’s Forum column in Hospital Pharmacy, which is designed to guide pharmacy leaders in establishing patient-centered services in hospitals and health systems. Bob brings several decades of leadership experience in two academic medical centers both in the service side and the colleges of pharmacy having begun practice as a critical care clinical pharmacist who maintains his board certification.

Bob received his bachelor of science, master of science, and doctor of pharmacy degrees from The Ohio State University, College of Pharmacy. He completed a residency at Grant Hospital. Bob is a professor of pharmacy and Director of Ohio State’s MS in Hospital Pharmacy Administration and Leadership.

Bob gives this great advice: Please do not let hardships in your life change your course; establish the right course, and you will find out that hardships will be easier.

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Networking Is Not Overrated, It Is Underestimated

Barbara Schlienz Prosser

If you were to ask members of Barb’s team about working with her, you would hear terms such as fairness, caring, supportive, doing the right thing, and networked. Barb is a leader that understands the value of a team, getting things done as a team, and the importance of a network. As you will read, she learned these lessons early in her career and has used them in many aspects of her life.

Barb currently serves as Vice President of Health Economics and Outcomes Research for Soleo Health and has more than 30 years in the home infusion industry. She has helped develop and shape this industry through volunteer leadership positions in organizations such as the National Home Infusion Association, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and the Joint Commission, including serving as a Surveyor in the Home Care, Ambulatory, and Network Accreditation programs for the Joint Commission. Since her retirement in July of 2022, Barb has worked as a per-diem HEOR Associate at Soleo. She received her pharmacy degree from the University of Florida, College of Pharmacy.

Barb’s letter focuses on the value of networking. Through her personal experiences, you will relate to situations where you will benefit from your professional or personal network for help or support. As Barb states, it’s never too early in your career to network.

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Nurture an Enduring Passion for Patients and the Profession

Billy W. Woodward

During any discussion with Billy about his profession, you will almost certainly hear him say that it is about the people we serve and our genuine love, respect, and concern for them; that you must have a “fire in the belly” to fulfill your professional dreams; and that an enduring passion for the patients and the profession will sustain you in your career. His passion for his work and his profession is about a vision far greater than himself: It is about purpose and a better and safer care of patients.

He is currently President of Renaissance Innovative Pharmacy Services, Ltd., in Temple, Texas, and is also a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Texas. For 25 years he was Corporate Director of Pharmacy for the Scott & White Health System in Temple, Texas, and also served as Director of Pharmacy and Central Services at Methodist Hospital in Lubbock, Texas.

Billy actively supports the pharmacy profession through his work in professional organizations. He has served in leadership positions in the Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), the ASHP Foundation, and the International Pharmaceutical Federation. He has received numerous awards including the ASHP Distinguished Leadership Award and the Harvey A.K. Whitney Lecture Award—ASHP’s highest award for health-system pharmacy. Billy received his bachelor of science degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Billy provides a great insight: Passion and purpose will provide direction for you during those difficult and challenging times in your career.

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Pharmacists Finally Forged Their Place in the World of Public Health

Susan L. Sutter

Susan L. Sutter is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy and has spent her entire career caring for patients in her communities and advancing the practice of pharmacy. She is passionate about community pharmacy practice and is a great role model of a pharmacist who has maximized opportunities to serve and improve the health of her communities. Additionally, Susan is a great mentor and inspires others to practice in a manner that improves the health of their communities.

Susan has served her profession through leadership positions in local pharmacy organizations, national pharmacy organizations, the University of Wisconsin Alumni Association, and the Wisconsin Pharmacy Examining Board. She has been honored with the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin Distinguished Service Award and the Bowl of Hygeia Community Service Award, Alumni of the Year, and numerous other awards.

Susan believes there is opportunity and a significant role for pharmacists in caring for and improving the health of their community. She shares her experience and advice in her letter “Pharmacists Finally Forged Their Place in the World of Public Health.”

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Planning for the Future

Sara J. White

Everyone needs a “Sara” in their life! In a very nonjudgmental manner, Sara wants only the best for you. She takes time to understand you and your vision for your career and life, and helps you along the journey to your vision. Her title may be mentor, coach, or friend, but she is always there to support you during the difficult times along the journey and to congratulate you during the good times. In her letter, Sara discusses a portion of life’s journey that everyone should plan for—retirement.

Sara currently serves as a faculty member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Foundation’s Leadership Academy and a member of the Board of Directors of Omnicell, Inc. Formerly, she served as the Director of Pharmacy at Stanford Hospital and Clinics.

Sara received her bachelor of science degree from Oregon State University and her master of science degree from The Ohio State University, where she also completed her residency. She has served the profession of pharmacy in many leadership positions including President of ASHP. She has been honored as a recipient of many awards including the ASHP Distinguished Leadership Award and the Harvey A.K. Whitney Award, ASHP’s highest award for health-system pharmacy.

Here Sara tells us: there is no “right way” for a career to evolve, and it is never too early to start planning for the future.

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Pursuing Constructive Change in Pharmacy

William A. Zellmer

Guru is a Sanskrit term used to describe a mentor, guide, or expert in a field or movement. If health-system pharmacy had a master guru, it would surely be William A. (Bill) Zellmer. Bill spent four decades of his career as an executive at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). While he retired from his role as ASHP’s Deputy Executive Vice President in 2009, his impact on the pharmacy profession is still felt through his activities as a speaker, writer, and consultant. Bill is perhaps best known for his powerful, visionary writing that continues to inspire generations of pharmacists. As editor-in-chief of AJHP, Bill penned more than 200 editorials addressing contemporary—and sometimes controversial—issues affecting the profession. So powerful were his editorials that a compilation of many of them was published as the popular book, The Conscience of a Pharmacist—Essays on Vision and Leadership for a Profession, in 2002.

Bill received his bachelor of science in pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin and a masters in public health at Johns Hopkins University. He is currently president of Pharmacy Foresight Consulting, which supports clients in the areas of strategic and professional issues in pharmacy practice and education. As founding editor of the annual Pharmacy Forecast report published by the ASHP Foundation, Bill lectures frequently on trends and issues that impact pharmacy, health policy, and our healthcare system. He is passionate about preserving, sharing, and learning from the history of pharmacy and is a past president and engaged member of the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy. In his letter, Bill reminds us that pharmacy history can foster pride in being part of an endeavor that has a grand purpose in society, thereby creating a deeper bond with the profession.

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Serve Your “Every Patient”

Diane B. Ginsburg

Those of us who know Diane might describe her as someone unfazed by the level of stress that would send some right to the cardiologist, easily juggling priorities that would cause many to crack, and doing so in this season’s premier designer shoes. When things start to feel manageable, Diane purposely goes in search of new challenges. As an example, she decided to pursue her doctorate degree at one of the busiest times of her life, a decision prompted by tragedy. Teaching is her passion, and she realized the degree would help her be a better professor and administrator. She finished her PhD coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) with a perfect 4.0, and her dissertation in five months of course.

Pharmacy was not in Diane’s original career plans, but serendipity played a significant role in her career path. As with other aspects of Diane’s life, once she decided to be a pharmacist she was all in, working almost full-time as a pharmacy intern while in pharmacy school.

Diane is currently Clinical Professor & Associate Dean for Healthcare Partnerships at the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy. She completed her bachelor of science degree in pharmacy at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, a master of science degree in hospital pharmacy at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy, a doctor of philosophy in higher education administration and leadership at UT, and a two-year ASHP-accredited residency in hospital pharmacy administration at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. An active American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) member and volunteer, Diane is a past President of ASHP and former Chair of the Board of the ASHP Research and Education Foundation.

Diane’s letter describes the concept of “every patient” taught to her by her mother, a philosophy that has made her a better pharmacist.

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Social Relevance, Purpose, and Legitimacy

Henri R. Manasse Jr.

Many have experienced life-enriching conversations with Henri, and if you enjoy time with people who make you think, Henri will be at the top of your list. He often brings a social, moral, and global perspective to conversations and has a unique ability to connect those perspectives to practical aspects of your life. He is intensely devoted to his family, profession, friends, and his societal purpose. Here he draws from his personal family history through which he powerfully states that a profession must exist in a bigger social context.

Henri retired as the Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). He has served as Vice President for Health Sciences and Professor at the University of Iowa, Interim Vice Chancellor for Health Services University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center, and Dean and Professor at the University of Illinois, College of Pharmacy. He continually worked throughout his career to improve patient care by serving in leadership positions for professional organizations including the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the Federation International Pharmaceutique, and the National Patient Safety Foundation.

Henri received his bachelor of science degree from the University of Illinois, his master of arts degree from Loyola University, and his doctor of philosophy degree from the University of Minnesota. In recognition of his contributions, he received the Harvey A.K. Whitney Lecture Award, ASHP’s highest award for health-system pharmacy, and received several honorary doctor of science degrees from major universities. He was inducted into the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1996.

Here Henri encourages you to consider your role as a professional in a free and democratic society.

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Stay True to Your Values

Ernest R. Anderson Jr.

You will never meet a more values-centered person than Ernie. He has an incredibly strong foundation in his faith, has built a very successful career as a servant leader, and is proud of his success in building supportive cultures allowing individuals to thrive. His faith and values have certainly guided him through challenging times when there were conflicts with his values in his work environment. Such experiences served to strengthen his commitment to his values and through his letter you will benefit from his experiences.

Ernie is the founder of Ernest R. Anderson, Jr. Consulting, Inc., and consults in all aspects of pharmacy practice with health-system pharmacies. He is formerly System Vice President of Pharmacy at Steward Healthcare and has held various leadership positions in hospitals and health systems during his career. He is also Associate Clinical Professor of Pharmacy at Northeastern University College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Pharmacy at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. He is also active in various professional organizations and is an author and national speaker on numerous leadership and pharmacy practice topics. He received his bachelor of science and master of science degrees from Northeastern University College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions.

Ernie shares that there will likely be times in your career that your values are challenged and encourages you to carefully consider the values that are important to you and your life and stay true to them.

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There Is No Growth in a Comfort Zone and No Comfort in a Growth Zone

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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Venture Out of Your Comfort Zone

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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We Can Have It All, We Just Can’t Always Do It All

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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We Need More Pharmacists Outside of Pharmacy

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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What Are You Going to Do for the Rest of Your Life?

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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You Can Only Control Your Choices

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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You Need the Big E: Enthusiasm

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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Career Decisions Can Be Life-Changing

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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Choices Matter

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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Commit to Your Life Choices

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.

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A Conversation About Retirement

Bonnie Senst

Bonnie Senst’s passion for patient care was evident throughout a career of leadership in pharmacy practice, professional organizations, and healthcare consulting. Bonnie graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy in 1979 and her Master of Science degree in Social and Administrative Pharmacy from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy in 1989. She served in many leadership roles, including as health system director of pharmacy and other leadership positions, in senior consulting roles, and on the ASHP Board of Directors.

Sharing her retirement journey in this conversation is an example of Bonnie’s commitment to supporting others and giving back. She speaks to her retirement process, including knowing when the time is right to retire and going from “full speed” to retirement.

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Don’t Stop Playing!

Robert J. Weber

While still working as Administrator, Pharmacy Services, Department of Pharmacy, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, and Assistant Dean and Professor−Practice, College of Pharmacy, Bob Weber shares his thinking about his next act and/or retirement. He received his pharmacy degrees from The Ohio State University (BS, 1980; MS, 1982; PharmD, 2010) and completed his hospital pharmacy residency at Grant Hospital (now Grant Medical Center) and his critical care pharmacy fellowship at The Ohio State University (now Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center).

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old…we grow old because we stop playing!”

— George Bernard Shaw

Don’t stop playing! Specifically, don’t stop “playing” after you stop working. What Bob means by “playing” is making sure activities from your work or personal life continue into retirement or transition. The “playing” that he refers to should be done daily and must be fun, relaxing, and invigorating.

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Don’t Wait to Retire—Live Now

Christina Adams

Christina Adams grabs your attention with her first sentence: “I never wanted to be a pharmacist.” She traces her career and life to currently serving as the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists Chief Pharmacy Officer. Christina discusses how she maximized opportunities and the learnings and observations from how others are handling retirement. Christina completed pharmacy school at the University of Toronto in 2006.

Don’t wait until you are retired to do all the things you want to do in life. Set yourself up for retirement success, so that if you are one of those unlucky ones who never make it to retirement, then at least you can say, “I lived my life to the fullest,” and if you are blessed with a long life, then you have lots to look forward to in the years to come!

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Five Questions to Consider in Your Retirement Planning

David W. Fuhs

David W. Fuhs has worked his entire career to improve the use of medications in a variety of pharmacy practice settings, including hospital, ambulatory, and the pharmaceutical industry. After obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin in 1983, David completed a 2-year residency and concurrent Master of Science in Hospital Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in 1985. He then completed a 2-year critical care research fellowship and Doctor of Pharmacy degree at the University of Minnesota in 1987.

Helping others, especially patients, as well as leading and mentoring pharmacists and “giving back” have been hallmarks of David’s career. He demonstrates this value as he shares the five questions he views as important when planning for retirement.

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A Glance in the Rearview Mirror

Philip J. Schneider

Phil Schneider graduated with his BS in Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin in 1970 and his MS in Clinical Hospital Pharmacy at the Ohio State University in 1975.

Phil enjoyed a long and successful career in pharmacy practice, leadership, and academic environments. He is now enjoying retirement, and through his glance in the rearview mirror he advises us to find and build values that are important as a foundation during our professional career, upon which we can build when we retire.

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Healthy, Happy Family Plus Meaningful Work = Happy Life

Marianne F. Ivey

Marianne F. Ivey received her pharmacy degree at the University of Wisconsin in 1967, and her PharmD and MPH in 1987 and 1992, respectively, at the University of Washington.

Marianne has had a successful career of service and dedication to patient care, pharmacy services, research, and academic and organizational leadership. Marianne’s advice is to find the balance and resilience in your life, including a healthy, happy family and meaningful work.

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I Could Retire, but Should I?

Lea S. Eiland

Lea Eiland shares her career journey and her learnings, indicating she has realized the most important question—what do I want to do?—is critical. It sounds like an easy question, but have you ever really thought about it? What do you want to do? What brings you joy, excitement, or energy?

Lea graduated from The University of Texas at Austin (2001) and The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and then completed a pediatric specialty residency at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

Lea wishes she would have spent more time with mentors along her career journey as she questioned what’s next several times. They may have asked questions to broaden her thoughts. Time passed, and new opportunities came about. Goals were added but not as many as she had listed when starting out as a pediatric pharmacist in an academic position.

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I’ll Never Stop Working… or So I Thought!

Stephen Allen

Stephen Allen devoted his entire career to helping others and advancing the profession of pharmacy as an executive in pharmacy practice and association management. Steve’s career included 20 years of experience as a pharmacy executive in leading healthcare systems in the District of Columbia area and nearly 20 years as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Research and Education Foundation. He is a 1976 Bachelor of Science graduate of the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy and received his Master of Science degree from the University of Maryland in 1978.

Steve’s desire to help others continues today as he shares the personal and professional aspects of retirement. Steve shares his lessons learned including perspectives on transitioning from career to retirement and living as what his friends and colleagues call “the Poster-Boy of retirement.”

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Job Eliminated: Next Act or Retirement

Kathleen (Kathy) S. Pawlicki

Kathy Pawlicki traces her career and life, and with her decision to eliminate her position she discusses her decision-making process, such as what is best for her organization, what would happen with her professional career, could her household navigate financially, and what would others think?

Kathy received her pharmacy education at Ferris State (1984) and her MS from Wayne State College of Pharmacy. She completed a residency at Providence Hospital, Southfield, Michigan.

I may retire from an employed job but I will never retire from my career in pharmacy. Enjoy every step of your journey and remember your career doesn’t have to end when you stop receiving a paycheck.

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A Letter to My Younger Self

Jannet M. Carmichael

Jann Carmichael completed her BS in pharmacy at the University of Iowa in 1975 and her PharmD degree at the University of the Pacific in 1981.

Jann’s pharmacy career is devoted to advancing clinical pharmacy and patient care. Her talents and skills tell her story as she grew into her leadership roles and long career in the VA Healthcare System. Jann’s advice is to be grateful for what you have and savor the time you have it. And count among your friends and allies people who support you.