Recognizing Our Members
VSHP Membership Spotlight
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?
Where have you trained or worked?
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
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
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.
Outside of work and school, I enjoy running, golfing, watching baseball, and trying new restaurants.
I enjoy spending time at the beach, and I have had the opportunity to travel to Florida throughout pharmacy school!
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.
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
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
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 ….
Think I have addressed that above in my ramblings
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.
I am very interested in pursuing a career in hospital pharmacy and possibly doing a residency. I found that my VSHP chapter offered countless opportunities to learn about all health system pharmacy avenues that you can pursue.
I am a rising P3 at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy.
I worked in retail for 4 years and just recently left for a job working in an inpatient hospital pharmacy.
Keep an open mind! You may think you know exactly what you want to do with your pharmacy degree when you start, but consider all your options- you never know what might peak your interest.
I love trying new food spots and breweries around Richmond!
Anywhere that has a beach
Darlene C. Shields
I was initially motivated knowing I could earn CEs by attending Fall/Spring Seminars. A pharmacist informed me how interesting the topics were and a great networking of meeting other technicians and pharmacist in our area.
I have worked for Riverside Regional Medical Center (Newport News, VA) as a Senior Lead Pharmacy Technician for over 20 years.
I have also, taught pharmacy technician at New Horizons Adult Education Center (Hampton, VA)
I work in the inpatient pharmacy as the primary chemo IV pharmacy technicians and assist daily in the IV room preparing infusions, TPNs and routine IVs.
What advice would you give to a new technician?
The advice I would give to a new technician would be to gain as much experience in all aspects of a pharmacy technician. The pharmacy technician are given more responsibilities, as well as expanded. Don’t limit yourself!
The following fields have been added as a pharmacy technician duties/responsibility such as:
My special interest are food critiquing, crocheting, reading, taking pictures and volunteering in my local community.
My favorite place to vacation is the Caribbean. I love taking pictures/watching the waves on the beach at sunset. I have a love of Caribbean foods.
What initially motivated you to join VSHP?
In school I was taught that I should maintain membership in my state and national organizations to help stay current on issues which impact the practice of pharmacy. Later, I recognized it also is a good way to network.
Auburn University, Harrison School of Pharmacy
Where have you trained or worked? Sentara Hampton General Hospital, Winn Dixie Pharmacy (in Hampton), Carilion Clinic Roanoke Memorial Hospital
Carilion Clinic Roanoke Memorial Hospital is the largest hospital in the Carilion healthcare system. with 703 beds. I am one of the pediatric clinical pharmacists, covering primarily the pediatric unit & pediatric ICU. This is a children's hospital within an adult facility. We do have a robust pharmacy residency program, as well as rotations for pharmacy students.
What advice would you give to student pharmacists?
Take the pediatric elective! Pediatric pharmacy education is woefully under represented and most of our learners come to us with little to no pediatric knowledge.
Do you have any special interests or hobbies outside of work?
I play music (stringed instruments and keyboards) and sing. I also love to travel, and usually take my fiddle with me!
I haven’t found it yet. Each place I visit is my new favorite!
I've been a practicing Pharmacy Technician in Southside Hampton Roads for 39 years. The VSHP meetings were a great way of keeping in touch with everyone, as well as accruing CEs.
I joined the Navy in 1980 as a Hospital Corpsman, and received my Pharmacy Technician training at the Naval School of Health Sciences in Portsmouth in 1982. I was then stationed at the Admiral Joel T. Boone Clinic outpatient pharmacy, on what was then the Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base, where I was the lead, and narcotic vault, technician . Five years later, I returned to NSHS as a Master Training Specialist. I was also the senior instructor at two civilian Pharmacy Technician schools: Mansfield School of Business in the late 1980's, and Everest College in the mid 2010' s. I worked full-time at the old Naval Hospital's inpatient pharmacy as a civilian contractor for a year after leaving the Navy preparing IVs, and taking and entering orders. I began working evenings at what was then Chesapeake General Hospital beginning in 1985 while still on active duty, and full-time for a year after I was honorably discharged in 1989, then part-time again after my son was born. prepared sterile admixtures: IVs and IVPBs, chemos, and TPNs/hyperalimentation. In the 80's people could smoke in the pharmacy breakroom, and all IVs were in glass bottles! Between full- and part-time, I worked at CGH for 19 years. I left CGH in 2004 to accept a position at Radiology Services of Hampton Roads in Chesapeake, a nuclear pharmacy headed at the time by John Tabb, and now by Steve Mize, having worked with both of them at CGH. I was promoted to Lead Nuclear Pharmacy Technician in 2009 . In addition to drawing
sterile radioactive isotope doses, radio labeling white blood cells, and performing quality control analysis, as lead tech I also do scheduling, inventory management, and train radiologist residents and nuclear medicine technologists during their clinical rotations through our facility.
We are, by far, the largest nuclear pharmacy in the region. We prepare radiopharmaceuticals for the nuclear medicine departments in all regional Sentara hospitals and clinics (including Williamsburg and Albemarle) all regional Bon Secours hospitals and clinics, Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, and the vast majority of independent clinics and facilities.
Stick with it! Pharmacists are being given significantly more responsibilities, which is going to require many of their previous responsibilities to be delegated to senior and more highly trained Pharmacy Technicians. A more experienced and highly trained technician, managing more responsibility, makes more money and has greater job satisfaction!
Being a new grandmother definitely tops the list! I also am a member of Mensa and Virginia Beach Christian Church.
- I initially learned about VSHP at my college (Appalachian College of Pharmacy) on orientation week. I was motivated from the beginning to learn more about the field and connect with those that have similar goals and are smarter than me in the profession. I think that if we as students ever have an opportunity to pick another Pharmacist’s brain, then it is in our best interest to do so. I have learned that surrounding yourself with other like minded people will set yourself up for the greatest success in transitioning from an intern to a pharmacist. This trait about VSHP really stood out to me because of their values behind their organization. VSHP has the goal to promote a community of Pharmacists, from all areas within the field, and this really attracted me to the organization in furthering my education with others.
- I am a P3 student at the Appalachian College of Pharmacy.
- I currently have the opportunity to intern at a Walgreens pharmacy here in southwest Virginia. Shoutout to Walgreens store #09948! My daily responsibilities are to help in work-flow, complete Medication Therapy Management outcomes for our patients, communicate with other health care professionals in regards to treatment for patients, and of course help out with vaccinations (thanks COVID) among others. I want to continue my career after graduation in the community pharmacy, as it has given me the biggest sense of fulfillment in my early career.
- My biggest insight that I can give to an incoming student or one who wants to pursue pharmacy is to really try and get a general understanding for the Top 300 drugs. These will not only help with entry level work your P1 year, but will also get you into the habit of understanding what you really need to know when you start your pharmacotherapy courses. Working in a pharmacy prior to school and during school will be the biggest help in the success that a student has during school. You can definitely do well in pharmacy school with no background in drug knowledge or as a technician, but it definitely makes the process of pharmacy school smoother.
- I am very interested in the field of personal development. I love reading books and listening to podcasts that will help further my knowledge in goal setting, career planning, entrepreneurship, my spiritual faith, etc. I am also obsessed with coffee, personal fitness, hanging out with my family, and watching the New York Yankees (when they are winning).
- Without a doubt, my favorite place to go on vacation is to Disney World with my family. My brother and his wife had recently welcomed a boy (in photo) in early 2020, so I cannot wait to go as a bigger family.
Join us in congratulating Rafael Saenz in his new position with APhA
Congratulations to Brittany Tyree, from Shenandoah University School of Pharmacy who was appointed to the ASHP Pharmacy Student Forum advisory group