MPA | Pharmacy News

Pharmacy Operations Manager, Munson Medical Center, Traverse City

How did you get into pharmacy technician practice?

I fell into pharmacy by exploring various career paths that were science based. In my exploration of pursuing pharmacy school, I fell in love with the technical work of pharmacy. From there, I continued to invest in my career as a pharmacy technician and have loved every minute of it.

What is your educational background? Did you complete the process to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician, and, if so, why did you choose to strive for certification?

I went to Purdue University and studied chemistry. I then graduated from Spring Arbor University with a bachelor’s degree in organizational management. I was encouraged to pursue my pharmacy technician certification when I started working at Munson in 2013. It was then that I began to realize the opportunities certification would provide should I decide to travel or grow in my role as a pharmacy technician.

What is your employment history (positions held, including place of employment and title, what did you enjoy about that position and what did you learn from practicing in this area)?

Prior to pharmacy, I was a lifeguard, barista and the parks and recreation office coordinator. I started my career in pharmacy as a retail pharmacy technician at Kmart in 2010 then moved into hospital pharmacy at Munson Medical Center Traverse City in 2013. Throughout my time at Munson, I have had the opportunity to learn and grow into leadership roles. I started as a pharmacy tech II, then advanced to a pharmacy tech II specialist, then became a pharmacy technician coordinator in 2016. In my role as a pharmacy technician coordinator I embraced our operational performance and worked with our pharmacy technician team to bring efficiencies to daily tasks. In August 2017, I became our pharmacy operations manager. Being our operations manager has been a very challenging but rewarding job as I have the privilege of working with such a dynamic team of pharmacy professionals. I am very proud of the work we do every day to support one another in providing high quality pharmaceutical care for our patients.

What do you enjoy most about your current position and practice?

Being the operations manager as Munson Medical Center has been all things but boring. I really enjoy working with our healthcare team to navigate the constant challenges all health-systems face from drug shortages, staffing challenges, budget targets and continual process improvement initiatives. Working with people is always interesting and complex as everyone is motivated differently. I find it highly rewarding to network and bring people together to problem-solve and find solutions that work for all parts of the healthcare team.

How did you get involved in Michigan Pharmacists Association and the Michigan Society of Pharmacy Technicians? Why do you think it’s important for pharmacy technicians to be involved in professional associations?

I became in involved in MPA and MSPT through Tisha Lewis, the president elect of MSPT. It was not until Tisha become our pharmacy technician coordinator this year that I took interest in all of the things she was doing with MPA and MSPT. I started out being her chauffeur and driving down and attending MSPT meetings as a guest. I really enjoyed the Executive Committee members of MSPT as they were all very welcoming and inclusive. Every time I left an MSPT meeting I felt charged up to get out into the community and promote the role and profession of the pharmacy Technician practice. I feel it is very important to get involved in professional associations for the networking opportunity it provides and to get exposure of different roles pharmacy technicians practice in.

Association involvement also is a great way to work together to accomplish larger global initiatives that you may be passionate about in your field. If you are passionate about it, it is likely someone else in the association will be as well. I highly support and would recommend professional association involvement for anyone wanting to further invest in their own professional development.

What activities have you been engaged in outside of pharmacy, including any professional appointments, advocacy involvement and volunteer activities?

I am just starting to get into the professional associations and am learning about what roles or initiatives I am most passionate about and get involved to the best of my availability.

Tell us a little about yourself outside of pharmacy technician practice.

I am the product of the military family and have had the opportunity to live all over the United States. I was born in Hawaii moved to New Jersey, Alaska, Washington state, Indiana and now reside in northern Michigan. Growing up I was a competitive swimmer and competed in every state we lived in. Due to my passion and background in swimming, I am the assistant coach of the Traverse City Girls High School Swim and Dive Team. If I'm not at the pharmacy or at the pool, I am home with my other half, Mike, and our two dogs Ella and Roslyn. We enjoy our times exploring the various beaches in the area, watching movies/TV shows, and spending time at the Welch Family Farm on the west side of Traverse City.

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