Pamela Crossman, Pharmacy Supervisor for Lakeland Health in St. Joseph, Michigan will be receiving MSPT’s highest honor – the MSPT Technician of the Year Award. The award will be presented on Saturday, Feb. 27 during the MSPT Annual Meeting and Luncheon.
Crossman was selected as Technician of the Year for her long standing contributions to the pharmacy and patients at Lakeland Health in southwestern Michigan, a multi-hospital organization that includes an outpatient center with a community pharmacy.
Crossman first became a member of the MSPT in 1979. In Dec. 1981, she took the MPA Pharmacy Certified Technician exam in Lansing, the first test ever offered by MPA (or anywhere in the country) to certify pharmacy technicians. She transferred her certification when the Michigan program was folded into PTCB in 1995. This makes Crossman one of the longest certified technicians in the entire country!
Crossman’s responsibilities currently include scheduling, hiring, training and management of the technicians and interns. She is also responsible for ensuring that they are up to date on their competencies, certifications and licenses. Crossman is also the Pyxis manager for all sites, which includes installing new equipment, optimizing the stations, maintaining the formulary as well as upgrades.
Crossman has worked for the same hospital organization her entire career. Her certification has lead to a variety of new roles and opportunities for advancement within the pharmacy. In 1986, the hospital decided to implement a new computer system and she was selected for training and software certification and assumed the role of Pharmacy Systems Analyst, a position which she held for over 20 years. She was promoted to Pharmacy Supervisor in 2004. According to Crossman, her hospital organization realized that the technicians who took the initiative to become certified, deserved to be recognized and they were placed in a higher pay scale with more responsibilities. She clearly fulfilled their expectations.
Crossman is very proud of her responsibilities and position as the Pharmacy Supervisor. “My skills and dedications to the job empower me to be the leader I am in our organization and every single day I get the opportunity to help someone and inspire others. Through the years my commitment to excellence has been an enduring source of pride in my job and I strive to do what’s right for the patient and the organization.”
When asked what is the biggest change in pharmacy since you started as a pharmacy technician? Crossman replied, “With each passing year that I have worked in pharmacy, the role of the pharmacy technician has advanced with increased responsibilities as the pharmacist role has advanced in the overall care of the patient. The role has changed from just being a clerk to being a respected member of the pharmacy team.”
Crossman has also been active in the community by serving on the Advisory Board of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences for Southwestern Michigan College and the Healthcare Education Institute Advisory Board for Lake Michigan College. She also serves as the pharmacy liaison for all of the EMS agencies in Berrien County. She is a member of MSPT and the American Society of Health System Pharmacists.
When Crossman was asked what she wished someone would have told her back when she first started as a pharmacy technician that would have made her life a whole lot easier? She replied, “I don't know that that anything would have prepared me for the "ride" I've been on for the last 41 years with all the growth the pharmacy technician position has seen. For those becoming technicians now, I would say...the opportunities as a pharmacy technician are endless. Make every day a learning experience.”