Virginia Society of Health-System Pharmacists

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  • 03/31/2022 2:00 PM | Steve Glass (Administrator)

    VSHP Membership Spotlight

    Heather Robbins, CPhT


    What initially motivated you to join VSHP?

    I joined VSHP to connect with other pharmacy professionals in Virginia as well the various educational opportunities offered, including CE credits.


     Where have you trained or worked? 

    I worked retail pharmacy (Rite Aid) for 14 years before transitioning to hospital pharmacy- Riverside Health System, including Riverside Regional Medical Center and Riverside Doctors’ Hospital Williamsburg. I am nationally certified as well as licensed in the state of VA.

    Describe your current area of practice and practice setting:

    I currently serve as a Pharmacy 340B Analyst for Riverside Health System, responsible for oversight of the 340B program and maintaining compliance.

    What advice would you give to a new technician?

    Pharmacy can be stressful, but it is so rewarding! The work that we do is important and the world of pharmacy is constantly changing. A career is pharmacy can take you even further than you could imagine! 

    Do you have any special interests or hobbies outside of work?

    Crafting, spending as much time as possible with my niece and nephew, bringing awareness to and fundraising for Pancreatic Cancer research.

    What is your favorite place to vacation?

    Anywhere with a beach! My husband and I love taking cruises to the Caribbean!

  • 03/07/2022 2:48 PM | Steve Glass (Administrator)

    VSHP Membership Spotlight

    Sarah Wheeler

     

    What initially motivated you to join VSHP?

    I’ve always found that joining state and local pharmacy organizations is a great way to network, keep up to date with practice advancements, and learn from my peers. I joined VSHP when I first moved (back) to Virginia as a pharmacist.

     

    Where did you go to pharmacy school?

    The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy

     

    Where have you trained or worked? 

    I completed a PGY1 pharmacy residency at Cleveland Clinic Akron General, and a PGY2 ambulatory care residency at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin. My first post-residency position was as a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at VCU Health in the Adult Cystic Fibrosis and Anticoagulation clinics.

     

    Describe your current area of practice and practice setting:

    I now work as an Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Shenandoah University. My position is co-funded by Valley Health, and my clinical practice sites are the Page Memorial Hospital primary care clinics, which are designated as Rural Health Clinics. I primarily manage diabetes and hypertension. Because of our remote location, my patients may struggle to seek specialty care, so I often get asked to provide recommendations in challenging situations for other therapeutic areas which keeps me on my toes!

     

    What advice would you give to student pharmacists?

    Pick a pharmacy organization and get involved. Don’t JUST join. Attend conferences. Get involved in a committee. Talk to students at other chapters. Volunteer at patient care events. I found as a student that in the middle of the semester it was common to feel overwhelmed with exams and learning new material, and going to a conference or volunteering helped refresh me and reminded me of the reason I started training to become a pharmacist. I can say I know pharmacists in almost every state because of my involvement with pharmacy organizations as a student and early in my career.

     

     

    Do you have any special interests or hobbies outside of work?

    My husband and I adopted our first puppy last year, and since then my biggest hobby has been training her and doing different dog activities. We taught her scent work, and she can now very reliably find a single drop of birch oil hidden in the house or in our yard. So, if anyone ever misplaces their birch beer, we’ve got your back.

     

     

    What is your favorite place to vacation?

    I don’t have a regular vacation spot, but my goal is to visit every national park in my lifetime. One of my favorites has been Zion, and I’m excited to continue to explore the parks in the southwest US.

     

  • 03/01/2022 11:05 AM | Steve Glass (Administrator)

    VSHP Membership Spotlight

    Alissa Clayton-VSHP Mentorship Program Student Vice Chair

     

    What initially motivated you to join VSHP?

    I chose to join my student chapter of VSHP due to the unique opportunities for networking, career development, and residency preparation. I was especially intrigued by the VSHP Mentorship Program because I viewed it as a fantastic opportunity to gain mentorship and advice relating to specific fields of pharmacy that were of interest to me.

    What school are you attending and what year? 

    Virginia Commonwealth University, Class of 2022

     

    Do you currently work in a pharmacy and if so what practice setting?

    N/A

     

    What advice would you give to a P1 student or someone interested in pharmacy school?

    I would highly recommend every P1 student joins VSHP and takes advantage of the VSHP Mentorship Program. It is extremely important to begin preparing for residency and career opportunities early on in pharmacy school and this is a crucial way to get started.

     

    Do you have any special interests or hobbies outside of work?

    Outside of pharmacy, I am passionate about advocating for mental health awareness. I have also danced most of my life and continue to perform even as a pharmacy student!

     

    What is your favorite place to vacation?

    My grandparent’s live on the beach in a small town in New Jersey. This is my own little slice of heaven and my favorite place to be!

  • 01/24/2022 11:02 AM | Steve Glass (Administrator)

    VSHP Membership Spotlight

    Serena Barden, PharmD, BCPS

     

    What initially motivated you to join VSHP?

    I was an active member of the student VSHP chapter at VCU School of Pharmacy during my time in pharmacy school. After graduating, I continued my membership with VSHP due to the learning opportunities (ie CE’s and seminars). I also see the value in networking and fostering professional relationships within the pharmacy profession.


     

    Where did you go to pharmacy school?

    VCU School of Pharmacy

     

    Where have you trained or worked? 

    I completed a PGY-1 residency at Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston, South Carolina. After residency, I moved back to Richmond, VA and worked as an inpatient pharmacist with VCU Health Medical Center. I transitioned to a specialty pharmacist position with VCU Health Specialty Pharmacy where I worked primarily with solid-organ transplant recipients and patients with neurological conditions.

     

    Describe your current area of practice and practice setting:

    Currently I work as a consultant clinical pharmacist for a government contracting company. I consult with several state Medicaid programs on their PDL and criteria for use for drugs. I also complete drug information requests and contribute to company clinical publications.

     

    What advice would you give to student pharmacists?

    I would encourage student pharmacists to take advantage of each opportunity to learn a new aspect of pharmacy. Oftentimes the career path you choose for yourself in pharmacy school is not exactly how things turn out. Embrace the journey and know you will always achieve what you decide to achieve.

     

    Do you have any special interests or hobbies outside of work?

    I picked up baking during the start of the pandemic. I like to collect cookbooks and try new recipes each weekend.

     

    What is your favorite place to vacation?

    I love OBX beaches! I try to go every summer with my friends and family.

     

  • 01/17/2022 11:53 AM | Steve Glass (Administrator)

    VSHP Membership Spotlight

    Lamar A. Johnson, CPhT

     

    What initially motivated you to join VSHP?

    I was motivated by the opportunity to advocate for the advancement of Pharmacy Technicians in Virginia and for the networking opportunities.


     

    Where have you trained or worked? 

    I received my diploma of Pharmacy Technician Studies at Virginia College in 2013. Since then I have worked at an independent and chain retail pharmacy and am currently working at VCU Health.

     

    Describe your current area of practice and practice setting:

    I am a controlled substance technician. I am part of a small team responsible for dispensing, auditing, ordering, and monitoring the controlled substances throughout the health system, inpatient and outpatient.

     

    What advice would you give to a new technician?

    Be willing to learn and to take constructive criticism. It will only make you better and more knowledgeable of your profession.

     

    Do you have any special interests or hobbies outside of work?

    I am a musician. I enjoy playing piano and drums and listening to all genres of music. I also love spending time with my 3 daughters doing outdoor activities whether it be sports or camping.

     

    What is your favorite place to vacation?

    Morro Bay, CA

  • 01/04/2022 10:32 AM | Steve Glass (Administrator)

    VSHP Membership Spotlight

    Rucha Bond

     

    What initially motivated you to join VSHP?

     

    Before moving into an administrative role at VCU SoP, I was a residency trained ambulatory care practitioner. I have always found ASHP and the state associated organizations of VSHP to be my clinical home for professional activities.

     

     

    Where did you go to pharmacy school?

     

    The University of North Carolina School of Pharmacy

     

    Where have you trained or worked?

     

    Lovelace Sandia Health System; Albuquerque, NM

    The University of New Mexico School of Pharmacy; Albuquerque, NM Belmont University School of Pharmacy; Nashville, TN

    Tullahoma Drug Store; Tullahoma, TN

    Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy; Richmond, VA

     

     

    Describe your current area of practice and practice setting:

     

    I am currently the Associate Dean for Experiential Education and Associate Professor at VCU School of Pharmacy

     

    What advice would you give to student pharmacists?

     

    FInd your passion in the practice of pharmacy and use that passion to better your community.

     

    Do you have any special interests or hobbies outside of work?

     

    Running, Orange Theory (gym), reading, movies, chauffeur for my 3 kids


    What is your favorite place to vacation?

     

    Hawaii

  • 12/06/2021 2:36 PM | Steve Glass (Administrator)

    VSHP Membership Spotlight

    Lina Poindexter

    What initially motivated you to join VSHP?

    I joined VSHP in order to build a network with pharmacy professionals across the state. I was especially interested in VSHP’s various opportunities to give back to the profession through continuing education webinars and mentorship programs.  


     

    Where did you go to pharmacy school?

    I attended Campbell University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Buies Creek, NC. One of my favorite aspects of attending school there was the opportunity for various learning opportunities and community service activities with other health care professional students such as DO, DPT, nursing, PA, etc.

     

    Where have you trained or worked? 

    I completed my PGY-1 residency at Winchester Medical Center in Winchester, VA and have continued to work there after finishing my residency.

     

    Describe your current area of practice and practice setting:

    I have recently transitioned into a clinical staff pharmacist position that focuses on oncology, pain management, and palliative care. I am looking forward to establishing an advanced internal medicine rotation for students and residents that exposes them to the unique challenges of caring for patients with multiple co-morbidities such as cancer and chronic pain.

     

    What advice would you give to student pharmacists?

    Consider what facet of pharmacy practice interests you and pursue it! It may be a certain area of pharmacy practice that you research and eventually publish a paper or perhaps you may spearhead an interprofessional endeavor with other healthcare professional students to provide clinical services for an underserved area. Do not just focus on checking off boxes to make yourself a competitive candidate for residency rather pursue opportunities where you can make a difference in your school and community!

     

    Do you have any special interests or hobbies outside of work?

    I am an avid musician and love being able to combine my passion for classical music with Christian music as I play piano and lead choir at my church.

     

    What is your favorite place to vacation?

    Anywhere with my family! I especially enjoy international adventures and serving on medical mission trips.

  • 10/04/2021 12:44 PM | Steve Glass (Administrator)

    VSHP Membership Spotlight

    Gregg Morrow

     

    What initially motivated you to join VSHP?

    Educational meetings and ability to network with colleagues around the state


     

    Where did you go to pharmacy school?

    Mercer University

     

    Where have you trained or worked? 

    Previous:

    Medical/Surgical ICU at Lakeland Regional Medical Center

    Clinical Coordinator for Carilion Health System; Roanoke, VA

    Clinical Asst Professor UF-WPPD Program

    Fellowship Preceptor for Massachusetts College of Pharmacy

    Sanofi-Aventis CV-RML for VA/WV/Washington DC

    Sanofi-Genzyme MSL in MS-Neurosciences for VA/WV/Washington DC

     

    Current:

    Pfizer CV/Metabolic Field Medical Director for VA/WV

     

    Describe your current area of practice and practice setting:

    CV/Metabolic-Field Medical Affairs for Pfizer in which I support education of HCP’s on disease state, on- and off- label information of our marketed products, and Pfizer’s pipeline and investigational assets

     

    What advice would you give to student pharmacists?

    Pharmacy is a very diverse and rewarding career but has undergone significant change since I first started working in a pharmacy in 1978.  Depending on the goals and practice setting of the student, the student may want to consider PGY-1, -2, residency or even a PhD.

     

    Do you have any special interests or hobbies outside of work?

    Hunting, Fishing, and Scuba diving.   I have a 5-year plan to obtain my commercial pilots license (currently have private pilot license) as a second career for after I retire

     

    What is your favorite place to vacation?

    Greece and stay home

  • 09/13/2021 11:50 AM | Steve Glass (Administrator)

    VSHP Membership Spotlight

    Michelle Knizner

     

    What initially motivated you to join VSHP?

    I joined VSHP through VCU’s Student Chapter of Virginia Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (SVSHP) during my P1 year. Since I have work experience in retail pharmacy, I wanted to learn more about clinical and health systems pharmacy. Our SVSHP chapter offers a shadowing program and various pharmacist panels, so I have learned more about clinical pharmacy positions. Throughout school, I have enjoyed becoming more involved with VSHP and SVSHP, as I have had the opportunity to gain leadership experience, participate in Legislative Day, present at the VSHP Fall Seminar, and join the Mentorship Program.


     

    What school are you attending and what year? 

    Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy, Class of 2022 (P4)

     

    Do you currently work in a pharmacy and if so what practice setting?

    I have been working for the CVS SimpleDose Pharmacy (retail practice setting) in Ashland, VA for over a year. As one of two interns at this site, I have learned more about the operations behind compliance packing and have contributed to the dispensing process at the high volume store. Prior to working at the CVS SimpleDose, I worked at Kroger for 4 years as a pharmacy technician and intern. 

     

    What advice would you give to a P1 student or someone interested in pharmacy school?

    My advice for students just starting their pharmacy journey is to become involved in organizations and to gain hands-on experience. Working, volunteering, and/or shadowing in the field of pharmacy you are interested in helps you to learn and verify your interests. 

     

    Do you have any special interests or hobbies outside of work?

    Outside of work and school, I enjoy running, golfing, watching baseball, and trying new restaurants.

     

    What is your favorite place to vacation?

    I enjoy spending time at the beach, and I have had the opportunity to travel to Florida throughout pharmacy school!

  • 08/31/2021 10:24 AM | Steve Glass (Administrator)

    VSHP Membership Spotlight

    Empsy Munden

    What initially motivated you to join VSHP?

    My pharmacist employment was at MCV Hospitals in Richmond (1972) and then at Chesapeake General in Chesapeake (actually open the pharmacy with Lloyd Ruona, Pharmacy Director-  from Winchester Hospital) in Jan 1977  -- we stocked an empty pharmacy area with medications and got the IV Hood up a running a week before the opening.   I joined VSHP in 1974 or so because it was an opportunity to be with other hospital pharmacists and see what was happening in their hospitals.   I also joined VPHA  for similar reasons and because many of my pharmacist  colleagues and mentors were members.


    Where did you go to pharmacy school?

    VCU- MCV – Medical College of Virginia – in 1972 when the P-72’s graduated…. YES that will be FIFTY – Five-Zero years next year 2022-  that we have been Pharmacists with all the changes and challenges – THE BEST PROFESSION  - in my opinion

    Where have you trained or worked? 

    Under grad -  William & Mary and Longwood and ODU

    MCV-VCU hospitals, Chesapeake General Hospital, Omnicare Pharmacies (Comp-U-Dose & several other names- currently CVS/Omnicare and some part-time with PharMerica, Sentara LongTerm Care and little retail coverage on occasion.   Volunteering for the professional organizations (VSHP, VPHA, VBMRC)

     Currently only doing volunteer pharmacist work with the Va Dept. of Health -VDH – with the Virginia Beach Medical Reserve Corps- VBMRC as a vaccinator and pharmacist volunteer.    Follow a few neighbors to their MD visits and provide a Medication Review report to them for the physician if requested. 

    Describe your current area of practice and practice setting:  see above- RETIREMENT ROCKS… Volunteering Great…  organizations seem to love Pharmacists--- which works well for me…

    Also staying involved with your neighborhood-- Cape Story by the Sea my civic league (I was president for a decade with July 4 parades, Santa in the Park, Oyster Roasts, helping neighbors and causes… still active but NOT the PREZ!!)... stay active in CITY citizen organizations from the CAC- Citizens Advisory Committee- with the Police 2nd precinct – monthly meetings to discuss precinct crime/concerns,  VB Bayfront Advisory Commission  etc… If you live there, GET active there… Have a VOICE

    What advice would you give to student pharmacists?

    YOU Have Chosen (or it may have Chosen YOU) a GREAT Profession-  you can do amazing things for your patients, neighbors, schools, churches… be the role model you can be. Stay up to date on the medications/diseases, be active in your professional organizations and YOUR Community, be a resource and reasonable person to ALL.  Encourage possible consideration of a Pharmacist career by example and by suggestion to someone that you believe would embrace the profession.

    Of course, a daily walk on the Chesapeake Bay (ME) or any trail or neighborhood with outside venues preferred is healthy for body and soul… with a nice beverage of your choice as a reward for another day being alive and moving ….   

    Do you have any special interests or hobbies outside of work?

    Think I have addressed that above in my ramblings

    What is your favorite place to vacation?

    That would be my Pinkhouse on the Chesapeake Bay looking at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel where my evening view is the sunset over the first tunnel in the Summer.  Virginia Beach has always been a favorite vacation spot when growing up in Blackstone, Va.  Knew there was that summer week at Virginia Beach.   Took some time but moved to Va Beach as a resident in 1977 and been here ever since.   Trips to Australia and England with tour from Normandy to Paris to Austria to Belgium and Germany was a Great Adventure and enjoyed immensely but I am quite content on the Bay every day now.

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