Official Newsjournal of the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists

ICHP KeePosted

August 2021

Volume 47 Issue 3

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Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists

4055 North Perryville Road
Loves Park, IL 61111-8653
Phone: (815) 227-9292
Fax: (815) 227-9294

Official News journal of the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists

Jennifer Phillips

Milena Murray

Trish Wegner

Maggie DiMarco Allen

Melissa Dyrdahl


ICHP Staff

Chris Crank

Trish Wegner

Maggie Allen

Heidi Sunday


Jo Ann Haley

Kim Anderson

Melissa Dyrdahl



Liz Brown Reeves


ICHP's Mission Statement

Advancing Excellence in Pharmacy

ICHP's Vision Statement

ICHP dedicates itself to achieving a vision of pharmacy practice where:

·         Pharmacists are universally recognized as health care professionals and essential providers of health care services.

·         Pharmacists use their medication expertise and leadership skills to optimize the medication use process and patient outcomes.

·         Pharmacy technicians are trained and PTCB certified to manage the medication distribution process.

ICHP's Goal Statements

·         Raising awareness of the critical role pharmacists fulfill in optimizing medication therapy and ensuring medication safety in team-based, patient-centered care.

·         Providing high quality educational services through innovative continuing pharmacy education and training programs, and sharing evidence-based best practices.

·         Developing and nurturing leaders through mentorship, skill development programs, and leadership opportunities.

·         Working with national and state legislators and policymakers to create or revise legislation and regulation critical to pharmacy practice and quality patient care.

·         Urging pharmacy technician employers to require successful completion of an accredited pharmacy technician training program and PTCB certification of all pharmacy technicians.


Approved by the ICHP Board of Directors May 30, 2018.

KeePosted Vision
As an integral publication of the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists, the KeePosted newsjournal will reflect its mission and goals. In conjunction with those goals, KeePosted will provide timely information that meets the changing professional and personal needs of Illinois pharmacists and technicians, and maintain high publication standards.

KeePosted is an official publication of, and is copyrighted by, the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists (ICHP). KeePosted is published 4 times a year. ICHP members received KeePosted as a member benefit. All articles published herein represent the opinions of the authors and do not reflect the policy of the ICHP or the authors’ institutions unless specified. Advertising inquiries can be directed to ICHP office at the address listed above. Image disclaimer: The image used in the Pharmacy Tech Topics™ advertisement is the property of © 2017 Thinkstock, a division of Getty Images. Some images are property of © 2021 Adobe Stock.

Copyright © 2021, Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists. All rights reserved.



President's Message

Crank's Corner


Government Affairs

ICHP Leadership Spotlight

ICHP Leadership Spotlight

New Practitioners Network


Professional Affairs

Educational Affairs

Educational Affairs

Educational Affairs


Celebrating National Pharmacy Month

College Connection

Midwestern University College of Pharmacy, Downers Grove

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy

University of Illinois Chicago College of Pharmacy


Upcoming Events

Welcome New Members!

ICHP Pharmacy Action Fund Contributors

ICHP Board of Directors 2021-2022


President's Message
The Bridges We Build

by Jennifer Arnoldi, PharmD, BCPS Clinical Associate Professor, SIUE School of Pharmacy President of ICHP

One of my favorite school projects was building a bridge from balsa wood, popsicle sticks, and glue. Our team brainstormed, sketched ideas, and tested our designs. On the final day, our teacher tied a bucket to the middle of each bridge and gradually added weights until one by one, the carefully constructed bridges collapsed. Some bridges did not hold up for long while others held incredible amounts of weight before giving in. Each team held their breath while their bridge was tested and most of us were left wishing we had done something differently.  

Bridge-building has been the theme for my presidential year. Like the competition of my youth, it has been a whirlwind of challenges - events that have made us hold our breath, and triumphs that have given us reason to celebrate. However, we have all the key ingredients – a strong team, key supplies, and the weight of our challenges. 

Our team: The work of ICHP could not be accomplished without the ICHP staff and their hard work behind the scenes, keeping things running smoothly. Working seamlessly alongside the staff is the ICHP Board of Directors and volunteers; these groups collaborating and connecting makes the work of the organization seem effortless. We also have our external partners including other healthcare providers, our lobbyists, the legislators and their office staff, and of course, our patients. We all know that we can’t exist in a silo, so maintaining the bridges that have been built with these stakeholders over time requires care, trust, and communication. 

Our supplies: What goes into building our bridges, other than the people involved? I think one key aspect is the mechanisms by which we connect with one another. At the annual leadership retreat, volunteers come together to work on a strategic plan to guide us through the year. The creativity, passion, and teamwork at the retreat sets us on a path towards productivity. Regular meetings of the Divisions, Networks, Executive Board, and Board provide an impetus for ICHP to make progress. It’s a way for us to connect and collaborate to meet our goals. The Spring and Annual meetings allow us to get together on a larger scale, learn from one another, and network. 

Our challenges: Just as the weights tested the strength of the bridges, we face challenges as an organization. Legislative advocacy is a vital piece of what we do, which requires fundraising, educating ourselves and our legislators, ongoing communication, and persistence. Additionally, any organization that runs on volunteer efforts faces obstacles in finding engaged members who are willing to donate their time and energy to the cause. Finally, we have to remain nimble to keep up and stay fresh in the ever-evolving world of healthcare. A friend recently told me that bridge-building is still part of her child’s curriculum, but while my bridge was built with cheap supplies and tested in the school’s auditorium, today’s bridges might be drafted in a STEM lab using digital software, allowing for quick modifications and test simulations. Like everyone, we need to think creatively, adapt, and make the most of our resources to continue to be successful. 

I encourage each of you to think about your role in ICHP and the profession. In what way can you continue to contribute and even increase your involvement? The landscape of healthcare, and pharmacy in particular, is evolving rapidly. The last thing I want is for us to get to the end of the bridge and think, “I wish I had built that differently.”

Crank's Corner
Networking: An Important and Often Overlooked Part of Professional Development

by Christopher W. Crank, PharmD, MS, BCPS; ICHP Executive Vice President

Does the mere thought of networking make you cringe? If it does, know that you are not alone. Many people state that the idea of networking makes them feel uncomfortable and even disingenuous. However, networking is a key part of professional development that can help you grow. In addition, even though we often think of it as self-serving, It is important to remember that networking helps others, too. 

Networking is essential for the following reasons:

  • Provides new ideas and learning opportunities.
    • Learn how another health system is solving a problem that you are facing
    • Discuss treatment options for managing a difficult patient case

  • Exposes you to people outside your current circle of work colleagues and personal friends
    • Meet people who work in different organizations and geographic locations
    • Increases the size of your personal network of friends

  • Presents new opportunities
    • Research collaborations
    • Committees for professional organizations
    • Gives you great contacts for your next job

  • Allows you to perform some self-assessment and benchmarking
    • Compare your practice to what others are doing

  • Lends expertise that is not typically available
    • Gain access to experts in a field

  • Improves your communication skills
    • Practice makes perfect
    • The more you network, the easier it becomes

  • Identifies new mentors
    • Mentors outside your discipline and organization 

  • Provides the opportunity to help others
    • Your knowledge and experience is valuable, too

Networking does not have to be hard. In fact, you have been building networks your whole life. You likely built a network in your neighborhood or grade school growing up. You developed your network of friends through a mix of shared location, activities, and goals. Building a professional network can be similar. I have found that the best relationships are built on common goals and an association that provides some benefit to both individuals. 

If you are a new pharmacist or technician, you may wonder what you can bring to the table. You bring energy, sweat equity, new ideas, a better understanding of generational differences, and many other things to the relationship. Do not underestimate what you can bring to the table. Ibarra and colleagues recommend thinking of networking in terms of three categories.1

  1. Operational networking is concerned with building relationships within the workplace. These networks help you get things done within your job. As pharmacists and technicians, we need to make sure that we build relationships with many disciplines within the health system. Expanding your network beyond the pharmacy department is key to success within the organization. If you do not know many nurses or nurse supervisors, make it a point to get to know them. Make sure you have a relationship with the Facilities Department. A  good personal relationship will never hurt you when you need assistance. These principles are not only for managers and directors. This approach will serve you well no matter your position.

  2. Personal networking is finding people with similar interests and goals outside of your organization. Ibarra and colleagues call these individuals “kindred spirits.”1 Personal networking can provide benefits beyond operational networks, such as referrals, external information, support, coaching, and mentoring.

  3. Strategic networking is the most difficult type of networking. It is figuring out your future priorities and making connections that will benefit you in the future. Many times, we try to network when we already have a need. Strategic networking is making connections that you can utilize later.

If you want to learn more about the three networking types, I highly recommend reading Ibarra and Hunter’s paper referenced below.

So how do you start networking? Look for opportunities within your workplace. Are there projects that you could volunteer to work on with a new group of coworkers? Listen for opportunities to help others complete their goals or solve problems. If a physician colleague or supervisor cannot complete research or a project due to time constraints, can you step up to help them?  

ICHP also offers many opportunities to build your network outside your workplace:

  • Networking Events
    • There is always an opportunity to meet someone new. Team up with a friend at the event. Meeting new people with a friend always makes it a little easier.

  • Mentoring Program
    • The ICHP mentoring program matches mentors and mentees from different organizations. It is a great way to build your network outside of your workplace.

  • Division/Network Participation
    • If you want to try out a division or Network, email me at I will get you an invite. You will have the opportunity to meet new people and work toward some common goals.

  • Drug Discourses Programs
    • These programs allow participants to discuss various topics with experts from the ICHP membership and beyond.

Networking is an essential part of professional development. It might help you solve a problem at work that you have been struggling with or it might help you land your next job. You will make new friends in the process.

Ibarra H. and Hunter M.L. (2007). How leaders create and use networks. Harv Bus Rev. 1-9. Available at:  Accessed June 25 2021.   


We want to hear about all the great things going on in your life! 

New baby? 
Get married?
Get promoted? 
Win an award? 
Tell us all about it so we can share your good news each quarter in the ICHPeople section of KeePosted™.

ICHPeople Submissions can be sent to ICHP Communications Manager Melissa Dyrdahl at:
Don't forget to attach a photo!

Government Affairs
August 2021 Update

by Christopher W. Crank, PharmD, MS, BCPS; ICHP Executive Vice President

Many bills related to healthcare were proposed in Illinois in 2021. At one point, ICHP and the Division of Government Affairs were following over 100 bills. The dust has settled for the most part, and the bill summary included below lists the status of key pieces of legislation that moved as of 6/17/2021. All of the bills summarized below have passed both chambers and are awaiting the Governor’s signature to become law.  A complete list of the bills with updates is available online at  

HB 119: Numerous sponsors - Creates the Prescription Drug Repository Program Act. Requires the Department of Public Health to, by rule, establish a prescription drug repository program, under which any person may donate a prescription drug or supplies needed to administer a prescription drug to be used by an individual who meets eligibility criteria specified by the Department. 

HB 135: Michelle Mussman, Deb Conroy, Lindsey LaPointe, and Suzanne Ness - Provides that the definition of "practice of pharmacy" includes the dispensing of hormonal contraceptives pursuant to the standing order under provisions of the Department of Public Health Powers and Duties Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois. Amends the Illinois Public Aid Code. Requires the medical assistance program to cover patient care services provided by a pharmacist for hormonal contraceptives assessment and consultation. Effective January 1, 2023. 

HB 711: Numerous sponsors - Creates the Prior Authorization Reform Act. Provides requirements concerning disclosure and review of prior authorization requirements, denial of claims or coverage by a utilization review organization, and the implementation of prior authorization requirements or restrictions.

HB 2589: Deb Conroy - Amends the Substance Use Disorder Act. Provides that a health care professional or other person acting under the direction of a health care professional may store and, without generating or affixing a patient-specific label, dispense an opioid antagonist to a patient in a hospital, hospital affiliate, or ambulatory treatment center if certain pertinent information is provided to the patient.

HB 3596: Dagmara Avelar - Amends the Illinois Controlled Substances Act. Provides that, notwithstanding any other provision of law, a prescription for a substance in Schedule II, III, IV, or V must be sent electronically, in accordance with provisions regarding the Prescription Monitoring Program.

SB 579: Laura Fine - Amends the University of Illinois Hospital Act, the Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Center Act, the Hospital Licensing Act, and the Pharmacy Practice Act. Requires hospitals and facilities to offer a patient any unused portion of a facility-provided medication upon discharge when it is administered to a patient at the hospital or facility and is required for continuing treatment.

SB 2172: Neil Anderson - Amends the Regulatory Sunset Act. Extends the repeal date of the Pharmacy Practice Act from January 1, 2023 to January 1, 2030. Amends the Pharmacy Practice Act. Provides that beginning January 1, 2024 (rather than January 1, 2022), it shall be the joint responsibility of a pharmacy and its pharmacist in charge to ensure that all new pharmacy technicians are educated and trained using a standard nationally accredited education and training program. Makes a corresponding change in provisions concerning the qualifications for licensure of a registered certified pharmacy technician. 

ICHP Leadership Spotlight
Pete Couri, BSPharm, RPh

What is your ICHP leadership position?
I am the Director-Elect of Government Affairs                                       

Where is your practice site?
I am the Director of Pharmacy Services at Rush Copley Medical Center.                                                                                                                                        

How would you change pharmacy if you could? 
I would allow pharmacists to obtain provider status with expanded prescribing rights. If allowed, pharmacists could be employed in many different adapted roles, such as medical groups, to develop disease-management programs. If implemented, this would help alleviate the oversupply of pharmacists and further expand and solidify the importance of our profession on the health care team.

What pharmacy-related issues keep you up at night?  
I’m concerned about the recent change regarding the decision of certain pharmaceutical manufacturers to exclude their products from the 340B program. In 2020, these manufacturers announced they would be implementing various restrictions on 340B pricing discounts offered to contract pharmacies across the United States. These changes have adversely impacted the program and the populations that the 340B program aims to serve.

What makes ICHP great? 
ICHP is great because it provides an easy way to obtain necessary continuing education hours. ICHP also offers the opportunity to network with peers. There are also many opportunities to become more engaged in a professional capacity, such as various committees or leadership roles within the organization. Another great thing is that you are not limited to serve on a single committee. There are opportunities to join multiple different committees or leadership roles within ICHP.

What initially motivated you to get involved in ICHP? 
My previous manager told me about ICHP and mentioned that it was a great way to network and obtain continuing education. I was interested in becoming more involved in a pharmacy organization; ICHP has been a great one.    

Is there an individual you admire or a mentor that has influenced your career? 
There is not just one mentor that has influenced my career. I have had the pleasure of working for many great managers and directors in my pharmacy career, and I am thankful for all of them. This dates back to when I was just 18 years old. Over time, some leaders have positively influenced my path and helped guide me, modeling excellent professional practice. I’ve also observed some leadership practices that were not excellent examples, yet I still learned from these experiences regarding conducting myself and interacting with others in practice. We can learn from both positive and negative experiences, and I have taken all of these lessons and created my leadership methods/approaches with my Pharmacy Team.

What advice would you give to student pharmacists? 
I’d advise them to specialize in something about which they are passionate. Students, you have a long professional career ahead of you, so do something that brings you happiness, brings you a sense of satisfaction, or always makes you curious for more knowledge on the subject. Also, if you are thinking about getting your Master’s degree, get it early on and don’t wait. I am currently completing my MS degree this October, and while I’m happy to be doing it, I wish I did so earlier in my career.

Do you have any special interests or hobbies outside of work?   
I like going on bike rides with the family, duck hunting, and fishing. I also enjoy helping coach my son in baseball and being a Cub Scout Leader for his Den.

Where is your favorite place to vacation?
I love going on cruises and have been on 15 so far. My favorite cruise to date was the Disney Star Wars cruise we went on a few years back. 

ICHP Leadership Spotlight
Meet Justin Moore, PharmD, BCPS

What is your ICHP leadership position? 
New Practitioner Network Chair-Elect

Where is your practice site?
Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH) – ID/ASP Clinical Pharmacist  

Tell us about a time when you made a difference in patient care. 
During my ID residency, Sheila Wang, my program director, and I realized the limited public awareness of pharmacists' value to the healthcare team, particularly those working in clinic or inpatient settings. We sought to educate our community on the role of pharmacists within hospitals and how we impact each medication to ensure its safety for every patient. We developed an educational series and focus group sessions spanning several months and included former patients to demonstrate pharmacists' benefits to patients and other clinicians. Patients were amazed to learn what pharmacists did and how much we influence individual patient care, despite not always being in the spotlight. For me, this was such an important lesson to understand. Our profession is often undervalued due to a lack of general understanding, and with a bit of education and promotion, this could change. Our value is clear, and our impact will continue to expand as we show our communities the positive impact pharmacists provide to every team. 

What pharmacy-related issues keep you up at night?  
Equitable access to medications, awareness of clinical pharmacists, and the risk of antimicrobial resistance keep me up at night. I think all of these things can be improved with effective communication and advocacy at the individual and organizational level to better champion for ourselves as clinicians and the health and safety of the patients we serve.  

What makes ICHP great? 
The people make ICHP tick - from the amazingly dedicated staff to the influential members - these folks drive ICHP and the field of pharmacy forward in the state of Illinois. I’ve learned so much from those I’ve met in ICHP and can’t wait to continue working with ICHP to improve the profession and advance patient care. As you become more involved, you realize that ICHP feels more like a family than a professional organization. 

What initially motivated you to get involved in ICHP? 
I was fortunate to have wonderful mentors through my residency program at NMH who encouraged me to become involved in ICHP. Desi Kotis and Noelle Chapman shared stories of past meetings and lifelong friendships that blossomed through ICHP. Since then, I have found so much value within the organization in terms of professional development, professional advocacy (including educating the general public about the role of pharmacists!), and meeting friends and colleagues around the state. 

Is there an individual you admire or look up to, or a mentor that has influenced your career? 
For me, my relationships with Desi, Noelle, and Sheila have been the most impactful. They have shown me various leadership styles with the central themes of connection, communication, and empathy. I’ve seen the impact they have made in their careers, and it inspires me to be outspoken for the profession and lift others as we all climb to improve the lives of those around us. 

What advice would you give to student pharmacists? 
Get involved! It’s awkward at first (you may not know anyone), but take the first step and join an organization at your college as well as state or national organizations, like ICHP and ASHP. I joined local chapters at my pharmacy school. I realized the benefits of involvement early, particularly getting connected with great mentors, which motivated me to stay engaged as I moved to the Midwest for residency. If you don’t know where to start or how to get involved, turn to a faculty mentor at your college for tips on getting started. 

Do you have any special interests or hobbies outside of work?
I am spending far too much time pretending to be a voice-over actor for my dog Lemon’s inner monologue. She’s going to write a tell-all one day. 

What is your favorite restaurant or food?
Smyth in West Loop, the food is incredible, and the atmosphere can’t be beat. You feel like you’re dining in your friend’s living room with the open kitchen visible from every table. There’s a record player and impressive wines, so it always makes for a great evening out. I’m originally from Virginia, and the restaurant's origin has VA roots, so I’m drawn to it for a reminder of home. 

New Practitioners Network
Advocating During the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Lauren Speakman, PharmD - PGY2 Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Resident - University of Illinois at Chicago; Abbey Londa - Student - University of Illinois at Chicago

Amidst the SARs-CoV-2 (“COVID-19”) pandemic, pharmacists have played a vital, but sometimes underrecognized, role in patient care. While pharmacy is deemed an essential service, much of the national recognition throughout the pandemic has been focused on doctors and nurses. As we aim to provide optimal patient care and safety, we have frequently found ourselves working harder to deliver the same level of care as before the pandemic. Pharmacists have continued to be the most accessible healthcare provider during these unprecedented times, with community pharmacists often serving as the first line of triage for patients who present with COVID-like symptoms.  Hospital and clinic pharmacists are providing clinical services to providers or directly to the patient either through telehealth or in-person, and pharmacists in academia are adapting to use effective teaching methods in a virtual learning environment. With the vaccine roll-out, pharmacists across the board have rallied to mass administer these life-saving vaccines to the public. There is a plethora of personal protective equipment (PPE) at our disposal to protect both the healthcare workers and patients alike at this point in the pandemic. However, it was a much different scenario at this time last year. Despite the circumstances, pharmacists and other healthcare workers forged ahead to fulfill their calling of serving the community during a global crisis.  

Many healthcare workers of various professions have been overextended during the COVID-19 pandemic, and no profession can bear the load of patient care alone. This is where pharmacists come in as critical members of the health care team. After four years of studying medications, pharmacists are equipped with the knowledge to select, monitor, and optimize evidence-based therapies and evaluate rapidly changing data and literature. Despite not being recognized as providers, pharmacists have found ways to alleviate the load of other providers throughout this pandemic by being the go-to source for vaccine administration, providing closer follow-up appointments with high-risk patients, and advising inpatient medical teams on therapies to treat this novel disease with minimally established guidelines, to name a few. 

With these new responsibilities comes an increased risk of burnout and effects on mental health. In an Australian survey that equally represented community and hospital pharmacists, 96.3% of pharmacists reported a change in their role during the pandemic. Many reported an increase in workload (35.9%) and 52.2% reported working overtime.1 Similarly, an increase in burnout among pharmacists (using the Maslach Burnout Inventory) was observed compared to before the pandemic.1,2 The long-term effects of a pandemic have been evaluated in a study regarding long-term psychological outcomes from the prior SARS outbreak. These results demonstrated that psychological distress, burnout, or PTSD could affect more than 50% of healthcare workers, leading to significant effects on healthcare, including reduced patient contact hours, increased substance abuse among workers, and absenteeism.3

This pandemic has allowed us to demonstrate our grit - both individually and collectively as a profession - and the vitality of our services. This presents an open door to advocate for both ourselves and the profession of pharmacy. In advocating for our profession, one of the most significant hurdles to overcome is the lack of knowledge that patients, legislators, providers, and the public have about our services. We are often dubbed as “the people that give me my medication,” but we can be recognized as much more through the power of knowledge and education. Pharmacists have demonstrated their “essential” status throughout this pandemic through services provided both visibly and behind the scenes. This momentum can be cultivated by continuously advocating for provider status on the legislative level.  

Advocacy on an individual basis is just as important as on a profession-wide level. This can include advocacy against burnout and mental health awareness and continued access to high-quality learning environments despite the circumstances of the pandemic. Advocating against burnout and for mental health awareness could include being willing to have tough conversations with coworkers or employers about these issues and a willingness to disclose personal struggles with one another. Designating time for enjoyable, non-work activities helps carve out time away from the pressures of work environments. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a unique scenario for pharmacy learners and educators in both the classroom and clinical settings. Learners have faced additional challenges during COVID-19, forcing them to be more proactive and self-driven in their coursework and seek help when needed through virtual platforms. Many rotations have turned remote in experiential learning settings, making face-to-face time with either patients or preceptors sometimes few and far between. As pharmacists, many of whom serve as preceptors, it is crucial that we continue to advocate for pharmacy learners by providing personalized learning environments to meet their individual needs and goals. 

Beginning with educating ourselves and the public, advocacy is a lifelong dedication to bettering our field and our pharmacy journey to ultimately provide the most optimal patient care. Many found themselves saying “go to the pharmacy” more frequently to their loved ones throughout the pandemic . Every pharmacist and pharmacy rose to the occasion to provide help when it was needed most. We need to hold on to that ambition to do and be better pharmacists by encouraging each other and legislators to continue advancing our profession and, in turn, patient care. The finish line may be out of sight, but we can hear the echo of the crowds in the distance growing louder and louder. 

  1. Johnston K, O’Reilly CL, Scholz B, Georgousopoulou EN, Mitchell I. Burnout and the challenges facing pharmacists during COVID-19: results of a national survey. Int J Clin Pharm. 2021; 13:1–10. 
  2. McQuade BM, Reed BN, DiDomenico RJ, Baker WL, Shipper AG, Jarrett JB. Feeling the burn? A systematic review of burnout in pharmacists. J Am Coll Clin Pharm. 2020; 3:663-675. 
  3. Maunder RG, Lancee WJ, Balderson KE, et al. Long term psychological and occupational effects of providing hospital healthcare during SARS outbreak. Emerg Infect Dis. 2006; 12:1924-32. 

Technician Network Happenings

by Becky Ohrmund, CPhT, Pharmacy Technician Specialist; Northwestern Memorial Hospital; ICHP Technician Representative

Hello ICHP technician members,

The Technician Network is growing, and we would like for you to come and join us. Recently I was on a call with the Pharmacy Directors of ICHP and encouraged each of them to help promote ICHP to their technicians. Here are just a few of the highlights of how technicians can get involved with ICHP. 

  • Tech Network – We have bi-monthly calls to discuss all things technician-related. We also actively plan the technician sessions for our Spring and Annual meetings. In addition, we meet every other month on the 2nd Tuesday of the month via Zoom from 5-6 pm.
  • Educational Affairs - I am personally involved in this division and help plan the educational content offered by ICHP. We plan the CE Appetizers, and some of us are members of the Spring and Annual Meeting planning committees. We meet on the 3rd Tuesday of each month from 11 am-noon via Zoom. 
  • Spring and Annual Meeting planning committees - This is a short-term commitment helping to plan the Spring and Annual meetings. We have weekly meetings for approximately 1-2 months to plan the sessions offered at the meetings. In addition, you would play a role in facilitating a section of the meeting and making it your own for the members of ICHP.

There are several other divisions and networks that you can participate in, such as Government Affairs, Organizational Affairs, Professional Affairs, Marketing Affairs, and the Pharmacy Informatics and Technology Network. This information can be found on the ICHP website under the About Us tab and then both the Divisions tab and the Networks tab.

Now on to what the Technician Network is up to. During the past few meetings, we have been brainstorming ways to get more technicians involved within ICHP and planning the technician session of the Annual Meeting. Now that planning for the meeting has concluded, and Illinois is no longer under restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be focusing on getting members to attend the meeting in September (save the date for September 23-25 in Oakbrook Terrace, IL). 

Have you always wanted to attend the meeting but you are not able to due to work commitments? I encourage you to speak with your director or manager to see if they will allow you to take the days off to attend the entire meeting or participate in a division or network. I will be in attendance for the full meeting, and we will have great programming throughout. I would love to see you all at the meeting and get to know you better. 

If you know anyone on the fence about becoming a member of ICHP please send them my way, and I will answer any questions that they may have. Contact me through either email or

 I hope to see you all in September at the Annual Meeting. 

Professional Affairs
Position Statement Updates

The Division of Professional Affairs has been busy reviewing and updating the subgroup of position statements that were last reviewed in 2018.  These are the highlights of the position statements presented and accepted at the May 2021 Board meeting.

Chemical Dependency
Wordsmithing completed and addition of a clause for workplaces to include surveillance and treatment programs for impaired employees.

Differentiating Nomenclatures for Biosimilars
Removed redundant FDA recommendations.

Drug Testing in the Workplace
Addition of a statement that employers should have a policy and procedure which offers an employer-sponsored addiction recovery program that supports impaired individuals

Manufacturer Drug Shortages 
Addition of a statement that ICHP does not support the use of the gray market as a source for products in short supply (refer to Pharmaceutical Gray Market Position Statement.)

Medical Marijuana
Addition of a statement that ICHP advocates for the education of purchasers on known health risks associated with the use of cannabis at the time of purchase.  Also, the word ‘marijuana’ was replaced with ‘cannabis’ in order to use a more global term.

Pharmaceutical Gray Market
Identified key principles that affect how drug suppliers/vendors should be selected.

Prescriber Dispensing
Wordsmithing completed.

Prescription Drug Reclassification
No changes made. 

View a full list of ICHP's position statements on our website:

Educational Affairs
Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists Poster and Platform Presentations for Spring Meeting


The following are the categories for submission:

Original Research: To be considered for acceptance, papers must describe original research in pharmacotherapeutics, clinical pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, or practice innovations in organized health-care settings. Additionally, administrative practices, cost analyses, or clinical/quality outcomes of pharmaceutical services and scholarship of teaching and learning submissions may also be accepted. Papers must not have been published in abstract or complete form or have been presented elsewhere prior to presentation at the ICHP Spring Meeting.

Research in progress: To be considered for acceptance, papers must describe original research in pharmacotherapeutics, clinical pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, or practice innovations in organized health-care settings. Additionally, administrative practices, cost analyses, or clinical/quality outcomes of pharmaceutical services and scholarship of teaching and learning submissions may also be accepted. Papers must neither have been published in abstract or complete form nor have been presented elsewhere prior to presentation at the ICHP Spring Meeting. Those abstracts submitted as research in progress are expected to have results and conclusions available for poster presentation at the Spring Meeting. Those with no results and conclusions by the time of the meeting are disqualified.

Encore: Research may have been presented elsewhere or published in abstract or complete form only prior to presentation at the ICHP Spring Meeting. To be considered for acceptance, papers must describe original research in pharmacotherapeutics, clinical pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, or practice innovations in organized health-care settings. Additionally, administrative practices, cost analyses, or clinical/quality outcomes of pharmaceutical services and scholarship of teaching and learning submissions may also be accepted. Posters or papers presented before January 1, 2021 are not eligible. Full results and conclusions must have been presented/published previously to qualify as an encore presentation. Those projects previously presented/published without results and conclusions should be submitted as an original poster.

Student: Only original material will be considered. Any material that has already been presented should be entered as an encore presentation. The person primarily responsible for the work must be a current student enrolled in an Illinois School of Pharmacy and must present the poster at the meeting.

Original research may be submitted as research in progress. Those abstracts submitted as research in progress are expected to have results and conclusions available for poster presentation at the Spring Meeting. Those with no results and conclusions by the time of the meeting are disqualified.


Case Report/Series: A detailed report of the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of an individual patient or small group of patients, usually describing an unusual or novel occurrence. These reports will not be eligible for poster judging or awards.

**Literature reviews (excluding meta-analyses) are not eligible for poster submission. This type of research may be eligible for submission to ICHP’s News journal, KeePosted.


Abstracts submitted with results and conclusions will be eligible for a platform presentation (excluding case reports/series), as decided by the ICHP Educational Affairs Division Poster Review Committee. In addition to a research abstract, individuals submitting an abstract with results and conclusions must also submit one learning objective that: 1) is encompassing of the overall project, and 2) uses one of the approved knowledge-based verbs listed below:
  • Arrange
  • Classify
  • Define
  • Describe
  • Discuss
  • Duplicate
  • Explain
  • Express
  • Identify
  • Indicate
  • Label
  • List
  • Locate
  • Memorize
  • Name
  • Order
  • Outline
  • Recognize
  • Relate
  • Recall
  • Repeat
  • Reproduce
  • Report
  • Re-state
  • State 
For further information about the platform presentation, see the Review of Submissions section below.

    All Illinois health-system pharmacy practitioners, including pharmacists, pharmacy residents, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy students are invited to submit projects for consideration. The submitting author must be a current ICHP member. If a student is listed as the submitting author for an original presentation, the poster will be eligible for the student award.

    The submitting author should present the poster; however, if legitimate circumstances do not permit attendance at the meeting; another pharmacy professional author for that poster may present at the poster during the poster exhibit session at the Spring Meeting. All poster presenters must be registered for the Spring Meeting and complete ACPE required documents as requested if the posters are accredited for continuing pharmacy education.


    Individuals wishing to present a poster should submit the information through the ICHP website:


    All submissions from eligible authors received by the designated deadline will be reviewed anonymously by the Educational Affairs Division Poster Review Committee for their acceptability for presentation. Submissions will be reviewed for their originality and applicability to health-system pharmacy and scored on relevance/originality, objectives, methods, results and conclusions/implications.  See poster guideline page for abstract scoring sheet.

    In order for an original or encore submission or a case report to be accepted for poster presentation, a minimum score of 5 on the abstract scoring sheet is required. Research in progress requires a minimum score of 3, as results and conclusions/implications will not be scored. Two blinded reviewers must score the abstracts at the minimum required score in order for it to be accepted for poster presentation at the Spring Meeting. In the case of a split decision between the 2 blinded reviewers, a 3rd blinded reviewer will score the abstract and the abstract will be accepted if the minimum required score is also given by the 3rd reviewer.

    The two abstracts in the original research categories with the highest scores (minimum of 7), submitted with results and conclusions at the time of abstract submission, will be invited to participate in the platform presentation session at the Spring Meeting. If there are none that qualify, encore research with results and conclusions will be considered if it receives a score of 7 or higher. Each presentation will be 15 minutes in length. These presenters will receive a platform presentation award (see Awards section below). If a presenter opts out of the platform session, they will still be eligible for a poster award. The next highest score will be invited to participate in the platform session if a presenter opts out of the platform session. Those accepted for a platform presentation will be asked to provide additional information for ACPE accreditation purposes. Three judges will be selected to score the presentations.

    The five abstracts with the next highest scores from the Original Research and Research In Progress categories combined will be eligible for the “Original” poster awards. The five abstracts with the top highest scores in the Encore and Student categories will be eligible for the “Encore” and “Student” poster awards, respectively. A project presented during the platform session is not eligible for a poster award and vice versa.

    Although all posters received by the deadline will be reviewed on their merits, in some instances, due to space limitations, only a limited number of posters will be accepted for presentation at the meeting. For this reason, authors of poster submissions are encouraged to submit their entries early since, under these circumstances, posters will be accepted for presentation on a “first come, first served” basis.

    All submitting authors will be notified of the acceptance of their poster as either a platform presentation or a poster presentation via e-mail. Authors whose posters are rejected will be provided with a detailed explanation of the committee’s reason(s) for their decision.


    Best Platform Presentation - Recognition plaque and winner’s pharmacy department will receive one free ICHP state-wide full meeting registration of their choice to give to one employee.

    Best Original Poster - Recognition certificate and the winner’s pharmacy department will receive 50% off one ICHP state-wide full meeting registration of their choice for one of their employees.

    Best Encore Poster - Recognition certificate

    Best Student Poster - Recognition certificate and the winner’s ICHP student chapter will receive one free ICHP state-wide full student meeting registration of their choice for one of their members.

    Posters/platform presentations will be judged at the ICHP Spring Meeting, during which time the winners will be announced.


    Educational Affairs
    Call for Spring Meeting Presentation Proposals

    Members of the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists are invited to submit a proposal for the 2022 ICHP Spring Meeting, taking place March 11th and 12th at the Embassy Suites in East Peoria, IL.  

    Below is a list of potential presentation topics of particular interest, however proposals covering all topics related to health-system pharmacy will be considered. Interested individuals may complete the Call for Presentations Proposal Form:   You will need to upload your CV as well.

    • Reimbursement for pharmacy services, PBM reform
    • Impact of COVID, vaccines and children; data on co-immunizations
    • Infectious Diseases (antimicrobial stewardship, guideline updates, new drugs, vancomycin AUC, antimicrobial resistance)
    • New Drugs (recently approved and pipeline drugs, especially including immunotherapies, monoclonal antibodies, and diabetes medications)
    • COVID-19 Topics (impact of COVID, including non-clinical tropics, guideline updates, vaccines, long-COVID, MIS-C/A, new treatment options, pediatrics)
    • Cardiology (heart failure guideline updates and new medications, hyperlipidemia)
    • Biostatistics (critical evaluation of literature, biostats review)
    • Anticoagulation (new data with DOACs, guideline updates, reversal agents)
    • Pain Management (opioid stewardship, balancing opioid reduction with patients’ pain needs, pain management for specific clinical scenarios)
    • Critical Care/Emergency Medicine (controversial topics, guideline updates, sedation and vasopressor support)
    • Pharmacy Law (federal and state pharmacy law updates, PBM reform)
    • Sterile Compounding (updates and status on USP chapters)
    • Academia and Precepting (precepting in virtual environment, effective teaching and precepting techniques)
    • Technician Topics (new drugs, pain management, vaccines, psychiatry, controlled substance tracking/diversion, sterile compounding)
    • Diversity, inclusion, and belonging topics (can also be incorporated into any of the above topics)
    • Pharmacy Management Topics (340B program updates, leadership skills, reimbursement for pharmacy services)
    • Student topics (residency, career development)
    • Other

    The proposals must be submitted by Monday, August 30, 2021.  

    The ICHP Spring Meeting Planning Committee will review the proposals and notify the selected presentations/individuals in November.  Presentation submittals not selected for this meeting will be retained and considered for future meetings.  

    If you have any questions, please contact the ICHP office at 815-227-9292. 

    Educational Affairs
    Updates in the Management of Persons with Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease

    by Jessica Behnam, PharmD Candidate 2021, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy; Myesha Tabriz, PharmD Candidate 2021, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy; John Shilka, PharmD, BCPS, BCACP Clinical Pharmacist, Clinical Assistant Professor; University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy; Elizabeth Van Dril, PharmD, BCPS, BCACP; Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice; University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

    Chronic kidney disease (CKD) and diabetes mellitus are two disease states which require timely evidence-based lifestyle and pharmacologic interventions for favorable patient outcomes. CKD is defined as an elevated urine albumin excretion (≥30 mg/g creatinine), and/or reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) below 60 ml/min/1.73m2 for greater than 3 months.1,2  Diabetes, one of the leading causes of CKD, induces inflammation and neurohormonal activation leading to glomerular hypertension and hyperfiltration.3,4 These pathophysiological processes may lead to albuminuria and/or progressively declining kidney function, which may ultimately result in end stage kidney disease (ESKD) if left untreated.4 

    There are several evidence-based management strategies for persons with diabetes and CKD. Recommendations include maintaining a healthy weight, eating a well-balanced diet, engaging in regular physical activity, promoting smoking cessation, and avoiding nephrotoxic agents.1,2 Of note, limiting dietary protein intake to below the recommended daily allowance of 0.8 g/kg/day is no longer recommended in persons with diabetes and nondialysis-dependent CKD, as it does not affect glycemic management, cardiovascular risk, or the rate of CKD progression.1 Treatment with a renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitor, such as an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) or angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB), in persons with diabetes and hypertension, when albuminuria or reduced eGFR is present, is recommended to reduce CKD progression.1,2,5 In their 2020 Clinical Practice Guideline for Diabetes Management in CKD, Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) specifically recommends ACEIs and ARBs are titrated to the highest dose tolerated.2 

    There has been growing evidence to support the use of sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors in persons with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and CKD, despite lower antihyperglycemic efficacy in persons with a reduced eGFR (Table 1). SGLT2 inhibitors lower the renal threshold for glucose reabsorption by inhibiting SGLT2 in the proximal convoluted tubule, the primary site of glucose reabsorption, thus promoting glucosuria and improving glycemic management.4 Additionally, SGLT2 inhibitors are proposed to provide nephroprotection by reducing hyperfiltration and associated albuminuria. This may be derived from increased sodium excretion detected at the macula densa, which facilitates vasoconstriction of the afferent arteriole and reduced intraglomerular pressure via tubuloglomerular feedback. SGLT2 inhibitors induce a transient eGFR decline during the first weeks of treatment, which gradually returns to baseline and then stabilizes - implicating a long-term nephroprotective effect. 

    In cardiovascular outcomes trials (CVOTs), empagliflozin, canagliflozin, and dapagliflozin significantly reduced the risk for secondary renal outcomes.1 Findings from these landmark trials have laid the foundation for more recent renal outcome studies to assess the effect of SGLT2 inhibitors on a primary renal endpoint (Table 2). The CREDENCE trial demonstrated that in persons with albuminuric diabetic kidney disease, canagliflozin significantly reduced the risk of kidney failure and cardiovascular events compared to placebo.6 Results of this trial led to updated prescribing information for canagliflozin, allowing its initiation in Stage 3b CKD (eGFR 30-44 mL/min/1.73m2) if albuminuria is present and permits continuation as eGFR declines until dialysis or transplantation.7 More recently, the DAPA-CKD trial showed dapagliflozin significantly reduced the risk of the composite endpoint of a sustained decline in eGFR of at least 50%, ESKD, or death from renal or cardiovascular causes in patients with CKD irrespective of diabetes status.8 Renal outcome data in patients with advanced CKD without albuminuria are anticipated with the completion of the EMPA-KIDNEY trial, which is studying empagliflozin in this population.9 

    Collective findings from these trials have reshaped clinical guidelines for the management of persons with T2D and CKD. While the KDIGO and American Diabetes Association (ADA) guidelines continue to recommend metformin first-line for persons with T2D and CKD, they now recommend considering the addition of a SGLT2 inhibitor irrespective of baseline A1C or treatment with metformin.1,2 Both guidelines recommend SGLT2 inhibitor initiation when eGFR is ≥30 mL/min/1.73m2, and KDIGO further recommends that these agents can be continued if eGFR subsequently declines until initiation of kidney replacement therapy.2 The ADA preferences using SGLT2 inhibitors that have evidence of reducing CKD progression in populations studied in renal outcome trials (i.e., canagliflozin and dapagliflozin) and to consider SGLT2 inhibitors with evidence of reducing secondary renal outcomes in CVOTs.1

    Before initiating a SGLT2 inhibitor, it is essential to consider background antihyperglycemic therapy. For example, reducing the dose or discontinuing an antihyperglycemic medication with risk for hypoglycemia (i.e., insulin or secretagogues) may be needed to safely initiate these agents. It is also important to monitor eGFR at baseline and periodically thereafter with the initiation of a SGLT2 inhibitor, while noting that the transient decrease in eGFR may not necessitate therapy discontinuation. In addition to concurrent antihyperglycemic therapy, it is also important to evaluate medications that impact volume status. Decreasing thiazide or loop diuretic doses may be considered before SGLT2 inhibitor initiation to mitigate hypovolemia risk when used concurrently; however, no formal dosing guidance exists with this practice. 

    If individualized glycemic targets are not achieved despite the use of metformin and a SGLT2 inhibitor, or if a SGLT2 inhibitor is not tolerated or contraindicated, KDIGO and ADA guidelines recommend using a GLP-1 agonist with proven cardiovascular disease (CVD) benefit,1,2 as the primary cause of death in persons with CKD is CVD (Table 3).3 Therefore, the use of select GLP-1 agonists in this patient population may be beneficial given their cardiovascular risk reduction. In addition, the SUSTAIN 6 trial demonstrated semaglutide was associated with lower rates of new or worsening nephropathy.10 Currently, no trial has evaluated renal outcomes with GLP-1 agonists in a CKD population; however, the FLOW trial is ongoing to assess the effect of semaglutide in patients with T2D and CKD on its primary composite renal outcome.11

    Additionally, a novel nonsteroidal mineralocorticoid antagonist, finerenone, was recently evaluated to determine its effect on kidney disease progression in the FIDELIO-DKD trial.12 Treatment with finerenone resulted in a lower risk of CKD progression and adverse cardiovascular events compared to placebo in persons with T2D and advanced CKD. The findings of this trial have not been incorporated in the KDIGO guideline; however, this trial introduced an additional therapeutic option for this population and laid the foundation for another trial, FIGARO-DKD, to explore the effects of finerenone on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in patients with less advanced CKD.13

    In conclusion, a comprehensive approach should be utilized when managing persons with CKD and T2D to reduce risks of kidney disease progression and CVD. Large outcomes trials have demonstrated the nephroprotective benefits of select SGLT2 inhibitors in this population and thus are recommended by KDIGO and ADA guidelines irrespective of baseline A1C or metformin treatment status. Ongoing outcomes trials for both SGLT2 inhibitors and GLP-1 agonists may provide further clarification for their role in this population, while finerenone represents a novel and promising therapy option for a disease state in which limited pharmacotherapeutic agents exist to slow its progression. 

    1. American Diabetes Association.  Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes - 2021. Diabetes Care. 2021;44(Suppl.1):S1-232.
    2. Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) Diabetes Work Group. KDIGO 2020 Clinical practice guideline for diabetes management in chronic kidney disease. Kidney Int. 2020;98(4S):S1–S115.
    3. United States Renal Data System. 2020 USRDS Annual Data Report: Epidemiology of kidney disease in the United States. National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, MD, 2020.
    4. van Bommel EJ, Muskiet MH, Tonneijck L, et al. SGLT2 inhibition in the diabetic kidney-from mechanisms to clinical outcome. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2017;12(4):700-710.
    5. Whelton PK, Carey RM, Aronow WS, et al. 2017 ACC/AHA/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/AGS/APhA/ASH/ASPC/NMA/PCNA Guideline for the prevention, detection, evaluation, and management of high blood pressure in adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines. Hypertension. 2018;71(6):e127-248.
    6. Perkovic V, Jardine MJ, Neal B, et al. Canagliflozin and renal outcomes in type 2 diabetes and nephropathy. N Engl J Med. 2019; 380(24):2295-2306.
    7. Invokana [package insert]. Titusville, NJ: Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; 2020.
    8. Heerspink HJL, Stefánsson BV, Correa-Rotter R, et al. Dapagliflozin in patients with chronic kidney disease. N Engl J Med. 2020;383(15):1436-1446.
    9. Boehringer Ingelheim. The study of heart and kidney protection with empagliflozin (EMPA-KIDNEY). Available from: NLM identifier: NCT03594110. Accessed March 12, 2021.
    10. Marso SP, Bain SC, Consoli A, et al. Semaglutide and cardiovascular outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes. N Engl J Med. 2016;375(19):1834-1844. 
    11. Novo Nordisk A/S. A research study to see how semaglutide works compared to placebo in people with type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease (FLOW). Available from: NLM identifier: NCT03819153. Accessed March 12, 2021. 
    12. Bakris GL, Agarwal R, Anker SD, et al. Effect of finerenone on chronic kidney disease outcomes in type 2 diabetes. N Engl J Med. 2020;383(23):2219-2229.
    13. Efficacy and safety of finerenone in subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus and the clinical diagnosis of diabetic kidney disease (FIGARO-DKD). Available from: NLM identifier: NCT02545049. Accessed March 12, 2021. 


    Celebrating National Pharmacy Month

    by Christopher W. Crank, PharmD, MS, BCPS; ICHP Executive Vice President

    October is National Pharmacy Month. In addition, the third full week in October, the 17th through the 23rd, is National Pharmacy Week and Tuesday, October 19th, is National Pharmacy Technician Day. Make sure to recognize all technicians for the critical role they play in patient care and in the pharmacy. What this really means is that you have approximately 2 months to decide how you and your team are going to celebrate!  We all deserve a party after making it through the last 15 months of this pandemic!

    Below are just a few ideas of how you can make your co-workers feel special.  

    Ideas for Pharmacy Week
    • Food (using proper precautions)
      • Meals delivered to the department
      • Potlucks
      • Cake and other deserts
        • Bonus points for pharmacy themed treats!
    • Games/competitions
      • Guess the number of tablets in a jar
      • Crossword puzzles where the answers are members of the pharmacy team
      • Pharmacy trivia
      • Pumpkin carving contest
    • Cafeteria tents
      • Describing what pharmacists and technicians do
      • Providing pharmacy trivia
    • Giveaways and drawings

    • Decorate the pharmacy

    • Ask someone from your C-Suite to visit the pharmacy

    • Host an open house in the pharmacy

    • Develop a pharmacist and technician of the year award for your system/hospital

    • Invite a legislator to come tour your pharmacy department

    Let us know what you plan on doing at your workplace and don’t forget to send in pictures! 

    College Connection

    Midwestern University College of Pharmacy, Downers Grove
    Not All Heroes Wear Capes: A Pharmacist's Impact

    College Connection

    by Sara Salama, PS-4, ICHP Member, Midwestern University College of Pharmacy

    “Every action we take impacts the lives of others around us. The question is: Are you aware of your impact?” 
    ~Arthur Carmazzi

    As I think about the wealth of knowledge and experiences I have acquired as a pharmacy student over the past few years, I can’t help but think to myself, “What’s next?” What is the value of all that I have learned and memorized? What will this all amount to? What can I do with the therapeutic knowledge of disease states and treatment plans that have been discussed in class? How can I use my understanding of pharmacology for patient care? And what does this all mean to the lives of the people around me?

    When I think about what is next, I can’t ignore my journey getting here. As I progress through my fourth-year rotations, I remember small tidbits of my first quarter as a pharmacy student. I remember how the information I was learning sounded new and unfamiliar. I remember the late-night studying and early morning exams that felt like they would never end. But I also remember the motivation and consistency of my peers and myself. I remember our ambition to learn and grow as future pharmacists. Little by little, we were making progress. 

    And when I broaden my thinking and ponder the practice of pharmacy that I am getting more and more exposure to today, I am proud of the strides our profession has made, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Pharmacists work in a variety of practice settings, from community pharmacies to hospitals to outpatient clinics to offices. While our day-to-day roles and responsibilities may differ in each practice setting, every pharmacist I have had the pleasure of working with has reminded me of the same concept - each pharmacist has set out with the same goal: to make a positive difference in the healthcare of others, and I couldn’t be more excited to join in accomplishing that same goal. 

    Taking a moment to reflect on the past year reinforces the positive impact that pharmacists have made during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our community pharmacists have been at the forefront of vaccination efforts receiving shipment upon shipment of COVID-19 vaccines to administer to the public. Our community pharmacists have also served as a significant source of reassurance at a time when knowledge was the only way to fight doubt. With many people sharing concerns about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, pharmacists in all settings were educating and guiding others to make the best decision for themselves. They provided information on the most up-to-date CDC guidelines. Our clinical outpatient pharmacists continued to motivate their patients to manage their health and were committed to their care, encouraging them to check in via telehealth, if that was a feasible option. They were the cheerleaders who helped encourage patients to make small but consistent changes to their lifestyle or medication use, leading to positive outcomes. Finally, our clinical pharmacists were courageous to serve the acutely ill COVID-19 patients. They carefully dosed medications and stayed up-to-date on new therapeutic recommendations to better care for the critically ill. So as I wrap up my remaining rotations as a fourth-year pharmacy student, I am excited to join in on this caliber of work and impact the lives of the people around me, just like my pharmacy teachers and mentors have. 

    As pharmacy students, I think we often tend to forget that we, too, have the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the health of our community. As the former president of the Middle Eastern Pharmacist Association (MePA), I was blessed with the opportunity to bring free and accessible health care to my community. As student pharmacists, we provided blood pressure, blood glucose, and A1C point of care tests. We educated our patients on how best to manage their chronic disease states such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes by making small yet consistent lifestyle changes. We built lasting and trusting relationships with our health screening sites, and we can continue to influence our communities positively. We, as student pharmacists, can make a difference. 

    And as I continue to learn and grow throughout my pharmacy career, I look forward to continuing to make a lasting impact on the lives of the people around me. I hope to be a source of reassurance and knowledge to the public on matters that cause uncertainty or confusion within healthcare. I hope to model excellent patient care and create honest and trusting relationships with my patients. I hope to leave a lasting impact. 

    “When you love people and have the desire to make a profound, positive impact upon the world, then you have accomplished the meaning to live.” 
    ~ Sasha Azevedo

    Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
    Welcoming Normalcy

    College Connection

    by Naim Fsai, P3, ICHP President, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

    Student organizations have all been adjusting and implementing new strategies for student development and engagement during remote learning. I applaud all of us for demonstrating our creativity, overcoming the challenges, and making the last academic year a success. As the new academic year is just around the corner, we’re all looking forward to getting back to a sense of normalcy.
    I am the new President of the student chapter of ICHP at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS) for the 2021-2022 academic year.  My executive board and I are excited to take everything we have learned from this past year, all the experiences and hardships we’ve faced, and make our student chapter shine at RFUMS. The COVID-19 pandemic was harsh. However, it has provided opportunities to implement unique events and create new experiences for students - both in-person and virtually. An example of this is our Clinical Rounds with ICHP, as was showcased in KeePosted vol. 47, issue 1. It was one of the ways our chapter was able to keep students involved last year and provide an opportunity for students to see real-world cases presented by current pharmacy residents. This event will continue both virtually and in person - or even simultaneously - depending on the topic. Others will emerge just like it, giving students plenty of opportunities to stay in touch.
    Continuing old traditions is just as important as creating new ones. We had to hit the pause button on some of our previously well-attended events, but we plan on bringing them back during the Fall Quarter. One of these events is our curriculum vitae workshop, where both faculty and peers review student CVs.  Another popular event that will return is the residency round table, where PGY1 and PGY2 residents are invited to come to campus to discuss their current experience as a pharmacy resident and share their advice to students on becoming strong candidates for a future residency position.  

    We will be taking our foot off of the breaks and putting it back on the accelerator in the new academic year. We plan to bring back our professional, social, philanthropy, and fundraising events at full force and develop our RFUMS ICHP chapter and students. The pandemic didn’t put out our light; it simply made our will stronger to burn.

    Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy
    Meet the Board

    College Connection

    by Khushali Sarnot, P2, President-Elect, SIUE School of Pharmacy

    With the start of a new school year, let’s give a warm welcome to our 2021-2022 Executive Board! We can’t wait to get involved with the exciting events that SSHP will have to offer.

    University of Illinois Chicago College of Pharmacy
    A Virtual World: Mock Interviews in Pharmacy

    College Connection

    by Tara Tanriverdi, P3, Student Chapter President, Chicago Campus; University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

    This past year provided many new experiences for our student body. For many students, it was their first time learning in a virtual environment. Our student body’s transition into virtual learning started off great. Still, when residency application deadlines approached, our student chapter realized this would be the first time many students would be interviewing in a virtual setting. Our chapter decided to help students conquer the virtual interviews and teach them how they could stand out on screen. We created our professional development series called the Virtual Mock Interview Series, which we carried out this past academic year to help prepare students for virtual interviews. 

    Our first two events were called the “Virtual Interview Do’s and Don’ts.” We knew that being confined to a computer camera could be challenging. For the first panel, we had three residency program directors discuss their thoughts on virtual interviewing. After answering five pre-prepared questions about their views on interviewing for residency programs, we opened the floor to questions from the over 70 students in attendance. Knowing where to look, using body language, and other nonverbal cues were discussed concerning virtual interviews. The following week we held a similar event with current residents. The residents provided a fresh perspective and shared their insight on starting residency during a pandemic and virtual interviewing for PGY2 residencies. 

    The final event for our Virtual Mock Interview Series was virtual mock interviews. We held interviews in January for fourth-year students interested in applying for residencies. Each interview was 20 minutes long, with 15 minutes for the interview and 5 minutes for feedback.  To provide guidance and structure for the interviews, we created a faculty-reviewed situation, task, action, result (STAR) interview method rubric and compiled a list of over 30 pharmacy residency interview questions primarily based on the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Student Residency Guide. Interviews took place using Zoom with interviewers and interviewees within individual breakout rooms. Our fourth-year students were interviewed by current residents from UI Health, Northwestern Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, and Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center. We paired up interviewers and interviewees who did not know each other. This helped maintain the integrity and realness of the interviews. Overall, we had 14 students participate, and seven residents conduct the interviews. 

    After the success of our virtual mock interviews, we decided to share the opportunity with more students. We offered mock interviews for first-year students interested in internships offered at UI Health, Rush University Medical Center, Northwestern Medicine, and more during the spring. The interviews were conducted using the same rubric and most of the same interview questions as before. This time, instead of having residents interview the students, we decided to have UIC faculty conduct them. This provided students an opportunity to meet faculty outside the virtual classroom. We had seven students and three faculty participate in the interviews. 

    Overall, our virtual mock interview series was a great success! In November, we had two successful speaker events regarding what to expect during a virtual interview, 14 interviews for fourth-year students, and seven interviews for first-year students. In the future, we hope to offer more interviews now that we have a better handle on the events. Our Virtual Mock Interview Series was coordinated by Kevin Johns, our Vice President for the 2020-2021 academic year, and myself. We are grateful for all the students, residents, faculty, and advisors who helped our students reach their interviewing potential! 


    Upcoming Events

    Sangamiss Meeting & Live CPE
    August 10, 2021
    Implementing Teaching and Learning Strategies in the Clinical Environment
    J. Christopher Lynch, PharmD

    CE Appetizer
    September 8, 2021
    How Low is Too Low: Hypoglycemia Management
    Ashley Stefanski, PharmD

    ICHP Annual Meeting
    September 23-25, 2021
    Drury Lane Theatre & Events
    Oakbrook Terrace, IL

    CE Appetizer
    October 20, 2021
    Advanced Pharmacy Technician Certification
    Becky Ohrmund, CPhT-Adv

    CE Appetizer
    November 3, 2021
    Confronting and Mitigating our Implicit Bias to Promote Health Equity
    Sally Arif, PharmD, BCPS, BCCP

    For upcoming State Board of Pharmacy meetings, agendas and minutes, please visit the IDPH website.  

    Welcome New Members!

    Welcome new members!

    ICHP Pharmacy Action Fund Contributors

    Thank you to our ICHP Pharmacy Action Fund Contributors!

    ICHP Board of Directors 2021-2022

    Go to: to contact a board member.  

    KeePosted Standard Promos - August 2021

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