SPOKANE, Wash.—Pharmacy Manager Chris Greer, Pharm.D., of Spokane delivered the keynote address at the Washington State University College of Pharmacy White Coat Ceremony in Spokane on August 21, 2015.

Greer serves as pharmacy manager for St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute in Spokane, Washington, and as the President of the Spokane Pharmacy Association for 2015. He has holds an adjunct faculty appointment at Washington State University and serves on the WSU College of Pharmacy Preceptor Advisory Board. He received his bachelors degree in pharmacy from the Washington State University College of Pharmacy in 1991 and completed an adverse drug reaction specialty residency. In addition to his role as pharmacy manager he serves as inpatient respiratory therapy manager and manager of employee health. Greer was recognized with St. Luke’s Dr. Phillip Morrison Mission and Values Award in 2005.

He is an active preceptor of Introductory/Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPE and APPE), was selected as the Washington State University Roche Preceptor of the year in 2006, and received a 2015 Master Preceptor Recognition Program award by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.  He has lectured on health care informatics, neuropharmacology, stroke pharmacology, and brain injury pharmacology. He serves on the Providence Institutional Review Board and his current research interests include the study of the effects of medications in patients who have suffered brain injury or stroke and the effects medication regimen complexity and adherence on patient health outcomes.

Dr. Greer’s keynote address: https://youtu.be/ELE4qhpoO68

“On behalf of the Spokane Pharmacy Association and my follow pharmacists I congratulate you on this important day.It is truly an honor for me to have the opportunity to speak to you at this special moment.

I know that many of you may be nervous about crossing the stage to be coated; that you might stumble or try to place the incorrect arm into the coat. You have nothing to fear. I would ask that you set that aside so that you may consider why it is such an honor for me to speak to you today.  Why is this moment so special?

There are significant events in our lives that serve as milestones, when there is a ‘before’ the event and an ‘after’ the event, such as the first day of school, High school graduation. This is one of those times.

We mark these times with ceremony as a way to recognize the significance of the event.

And so I would like to begin with the end in mind. No, not your graduation.

Consider for a moment the incredible contribution to the greater good that you will make after a long successful career as a pharmacist. Great satisfaction will be had by placing your best effort into something that is greater than yourself and devoted to the welfare of others.

How many thousands of lives will you have impacted for the better? How many contributions to the overall health of the community?

Your special knowledge and skill will place you in a position of trust.

Mothers will be putting the life of their child in your hands when they come to you for their child’s prescription. Nurses will look to you guidance and help. Think of physicians who are trusted with ultimate responsibility for the care of patients. Who will they call when they do not know what to do? They will call you.

I believe the key to greatest impact lies in this trust relationship that you will have with your patients and other healthcare team members. You will receive excellent preparation for this vocation here at Washington State University. You will be trained by our very best.

Today is the day that you transition to life as a professional.

After you receive your coats today you will pledge your willingness to embrace the pharmacy student’s ‘pledge of professionalism’ after I read it to you. It contains words like integrity, duty and honor.

The position of trust that you will have requires such words. There will times when you will be confronted with an issue that does not have one correct answer, or that a choice of the least-worst option will need to be made. You will need to use your professional judgment to act in the best interest of those under your care. They will depend on you to do what is right. It is critical that you form your conscience and follow it.

You will find that the more you do to help your patients, the more you will be able to do to help them. Your effort will create opportunities. There is a quote attributed to Thomas Edison posted on the wall near the door of our pharmacy at St. Luke’s. It states, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

You will be presented with many such opportunities as a student and throughout your career. I urge to you to say yes to them. Take the opportunities to work with a mentor, participate fully in student organizations and volunteer to help those who need it.

You will do great things over the many years to come. You will make a difference. It is truly an honor for me to be here at the very beginning to witness this day.”

[September 8, 2015]