WSU pharmacy program welcomes back alumna as professor

SPOKANE, Wash.—Clinical Pharmacist Megan Undeberg rejoined the Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences this August as a clinical associate professor.

Undeberg’s position is co-located on the WSU Health Sciences campus in Spokane within the Department of Pharmacotherapy and at the Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital also in Spokane, Washington.

At WSU she will teach in the Doctor of Pharmacy program and work to expand rural health research, looking at transitions of care (especially to rural areas) and the role of the pharmacist in internal medicine, as well as integration of pharmacy and other health care providers in education and experiential experiences.

At the hospital she will work and train with the next generation of physicians and pharmacists through an inpatient, internal medicine clinical practice where she will provide informal clinical instruction to medical students and residents, and supervise student pharmacists on clinical rotations. Through integrating the teaching and learning with patient care, she plans to focus on interprofessionalism within the team-based practice setting and transitions of care from inpatient to outpatient.

“I look forward to helping students understand we need to work as a team to meet goals and outcomes of care for the patient,” Undeberg said.

Undeberg is from Lind, Washington. She received a Bachelor of Science with honors in general biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from WSU. She continued at WSU and obtained her Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2001, receiving both the Merck Leadership Award and the Eli Lilly Ethics, Scholarship and Leadership Award in her final year of pharmacy school.

She is a board certified ambulatory care pharmacist (BCACP), and a registered pharmacist in Minnesota and Washington. Undeberg was first hired by WSU in 2004 as the second-year pharmaceutical care lab director.

“I taught the lab, which was the precursor to the institutional IPPE (introductory pharmacy practice experiences), and immunizations. Around 2006 I started investigating MTM (medication therapy management), as it was an element that I always wanted to pursue,” Undeberg said.

Which she did in 2008 when she accepted a position with the University of Minnesota (UMN) in Duluth, a rural branch of the main UMN College of Pharmacy in Minneapolis. For the last 10 years Undeberg has served as an assistant professor of pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical sciences in the UMN program, as well as working with family medicine residents and student pharmacists in the hospital and clinic settings in both Duluth and rural Cloquet, Minnesota. In her tenure at UMN, she has received seven student-nominated UMN teaching awards, two Dean’s Merit Service Awards, and an AACP Award of Excellence in experiential education.

“My second journey back to WSU is my current adventure,” Undeberg said. “I have been watching from a distance the developments and advancement of practice here in Spokane, especially with the move of the entire program from Pullman to Spokane, and with the addition of the med school.”

Part of the CPPS mission is to develop practice-ready graduates who will lead tomorrow’s health care solutions. The college partners with community organizations like Sacred Heart in order to provide outstanding pharmacists, who are experts in their field of practice, opportunities to contribute to the delivery of care to patients in meaningful and impactful ways, and contribute to developing the next generation of outstanding health care professionals at WSU.

“It’s my chance to give back to the program of which I am very fond!” Undeberg said.