WSU pharmacy alumni challenge students to be open to opportunity

photo of myers and vanevenhovenSPOKANE – Two pharmacy administrators  from Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital in Yakima, Wash., spoke to students in the Washington State University Doctor of Pharmacy program on Wednesday, Nov. 20, as part of the College of Pharmacy Preparing for Your Career in Pharmacy Seminar Series.

Russ Myers, who will assume CEO responsibilities of the Yakima hospital on Jan. 1, and Carol VanEvenhoven, who is a care-line director there, presented the second of five scheduled lectures to be delivered on the WSU Health Sciences campus in Spokane this year.

Both speakers are WSU College of Pharmacy alumni.

Myers and VanEvenhoven challenged students to keep a big picture perspective, and to keep an open mind when presented with opportunities to grow and learn, namely, positions in administration, management or taking a leadership role.

Myers highlighted the need to drive care out of the hospital and emergency room, the two places where care is the most expensive. Pharmacists understand complex care systems, have clinical training and drug expertise, and are in a perfect position to play a role in keeping patients out of the hospital and contribute to the solution of the nation’s healthcare problem. They key is including pharmacists at the primary care level, Myers said.

Myers emphasized the importance for students to establish a clear vision for their ultimate career goals, and rather than plan the individual steps to achieve their goal, be open to the opportunities that arise.

Myers and VanEvenhoven also announced to the students they are currently working with the WSU College of Pharmacy on establishing a new rotation in Yakima for third or fourth year pharmacy students that could possibly focus on health systems management and administration. Details on the new rotation opportunity will be released as they become available.

The goal of the seminar series is to expose students to the leaders in the pharmacy profession who are driving advances in the field of pharmacy and advocating positive changes in the healthcare system. Future speakers will provide students with their vision of how the profession is evolving and the opportunities that exist for future pharmacists to change and advance the practice of pharmacy.