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My Leadership Career: Learn to Step Outside Your Plan

Tricia Killingsworth and BS Pharm

To pursue your leadership career, find mentors, be nimble, be in it for your right reasons, understand the importance of culture and organizational design, give back, and find balance.

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Finding Your Leadership Path

Janice Glascock

May you find a path leading you to contribute in a way that returns satisfaction as a protector and advocate for your patients when they need you most. You are a pharmacist, a part of the most trusted profession.

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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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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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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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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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Go Out and Make It a Great Day

Lorraine (Lori) Lee

Each day, leaders are confronted with challenges; how you react to these challenges is what matters. Leading means a team is moving along to the same goals and aspirations; it means that we stretch ourselves and we stretch our team players; it means supporting each other personally and professionally.

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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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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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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.