How did you get into pharmacy technician practice?
I actually got into pharmacy practice by accident. When I relocated back to Michigan with my Masters in Theological Studies, I was unable to find a position in my field. So I began working part time at a charter school teaching students with special needs. Since the position was only part time, I was looking for another part time opportunity to supplement my income. I had years of retail experience, but wanted something more challenging, so I applied for a technician position with Meijer Pharmacy. I began working evenings and weekends and loved it so much that as soon as a full time opportunity became available, I left my position with the charter school. I always loved being challenged and studying new things and have always been fascinated by medicine.
Did you work in a different industry or practice before becoming a pharmacy technician? If so, what prompted you to change career paths?
I have been in pastoral care for many years, which really fits into pharmacy practice. I honestly believe much of what we do and offer to our patients is pastoral care. For me, it has always been a ministry.
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 graduated from Cornerstone University with my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and from Methodist Theological School in Ohio with my Master in Theological Studies. I became a Certified Pharmacy Technician in 2015. I desired certification because I believe it speaks about your respect and commitment to your profession. I am committed to what I do, love what I do and enjoy the networking it provides. I would highly recommend certification for every technician.
What is your employment?
I began working for Meijer Pharmacy in 2015 and have moved to various positions within the company (list goes from past to present):
Meijer Pharmacy – Rockford, MI – Level II Pharmacy Technician
o I enjoyed working in the fast paced environment, connecting and caring for our patients with the best team.
Meijer Pharmacy Spectrum Butterworth – Grand Rapids, MI – Level III Pharmacy Technician
o I loved being part of our mCare delivery program that delivered medications beside to help with transitions of care. This provided another level of pastoral/patient care for me personally. The patient census at this location is much different from that of a regular retail store, in the sense of working with many patients with a terminal diagnosis or debilitating diseases, so I enjoyed the opportunity to be present with them. I also very much enjoyed making compounds.
Meijer Specialty Pharmacy – Grand Rapids, MI – Level III Pharmacy Technician/Patient Services Coordinator
o I enjoyed working with a great team, the opportunity to learn about specialty medications and help patients be compliant with their medication.
What do you enjoy most about your current position and practice?
I am currently at Hospice of Michigan in Big Rapids, working as a spiritual care counselor. I enjoy working with patients and their families as they are facing difficult circumstances. The care that I offer to our patients and their families is a sacred honor and true privilege. The opportunity to be truly present with my patients and their families is the most rewarding experience. My previous education and training in pharmacology helps me know more about the patient as a whole and what to expect based on certain medications.
How did you get involved in Michigan Pharmacists Association (MPA) and the Michigan Society of Pharmacy Technicians (MSPT)? Why do you think it’s important for pharmacy technicians to be involved in professional associations?
I love learning, continuing education (CE) and networking! I joined when Meijer required pharmacy technicians to take the Human Trafficking course through MPA. I never knew MPA was for technicians, so once that was made known, I jumped at the opportunity. I love the Annual Convention and CE options. After joining MPA, I did further research on the MPA website and was interested in getting more involved, so I emailed Larry Wagenknecht to get more information. I have since joined the MSPT Board of Directors and have been very involved. I highly recommend becoming members of professional organizations like MPA and MSPT because it provides many great networking opportunities and connections all throughout the state. It is such a blessing to be part of an organization that gets what you do all day long, while providing help and guidance along your path to success. The connections I have made through MPA and MSPT continually support and encourage me to become the best possible version of myself so that I am able to offer that same excellence to the patients I serve.
What activities have you been engaged in outside of pharmacy, including any professional appointments, advocacy involvement and volunteer activities?
I am passionate about nature photography and enjoy any moment to pull alongside the road to capture scenic images. I love to golf and participate in volunteer events like the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give. It is always a great time! I also volunteer for Relay for Life with the American Cancer Society and advocate for human trafficking through Rapha House. I am very involved and interested in helping raise awareness and promote education of naloxone training and the opioid epidemic in West Michigan.
I grew up in the Newaygo area and attended Morley Stanwood Community Schools. My parents, Chuck and Karen Hill, currently live in Morley and my sister Kristi is married to Ben Phillips and they have a son Rowan and they reside in Chesaning. I own a home on Indian Lake in Howard City and have lived here since 2008. I rented my home out while in seminary from 2012-2014. Running around the lake and capturing the beautiful Michigan sunsets are one of my summertime favorites. I also enjoy reading, continuing to learn about new things, watching hockey and spending time at Lake Michigan.