Hello RxMoms! I was very honored to interview Suzanne Feeney, who is a member of our group. Read on to hear her interesting career journey. She has a free trial offer for you and will be at the APhA meeting (go to her booth!). Connect with Suzanne and take advantage of her resources.
Know a pharmacy mom I should interview next? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tell us where you graduated from and where you worked right after graduation?
I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. After graduation, I moved to Chicago and completed a PGY1 Community Pharmacy Residency program with Albertsons and the University of Illinois at Chicago. My residency year was the cornerstone of my career. I had amazing preceptors and was able to experience incredible opportunities.
After my residency, I accepted a position with Albertsons. In this role, I was able to continue to partner on work that advanced community pharmacy practice across the country. I had a split role where I spent about a quarter of my time staffing in a downtown Chicago store and the rest of my time working as an “MTM Pharmacist”. Being an MTM Pharmacist meant I was assigned to about 20 stores on the South Side of Chicago to meet with patients and train pharmacies to provide services.
As an MTM Pharmacist, I was able to see patients for CMRs and monitoring (BPs, A1cs, and lipid panels) under an agreement where the pharmacy was reimbursed for my time. I worked with prescribers to adjust medication regimens and also trained local pharmacists to provide services to their patient populations. I loved this role! It was a great job to have right out of my residency year. I learned so much about collaborating with patients and prescribers. I really loved that I was able to split my time between patient care and training – I enjoyed sharing how to provide services within a workflow and by appointment with other pharmacy teams. There is so much we can do within the community pharmacy setting to lead a fulfilling career and impact quality as well as patient outcomes and quality of life. It’s something I remain passionate about to this day.
- Tell us about your current role and what led you here?
In my current role, I wear a few hats – which is part of what makes my career so much fun. My passions are lifelong learning, improving care for patients and community pharmacy practice transformation. What has lead me to my current role? Following the work I’m passionate about.
Currently, I lead Business Development for CEImpact (https://www.ceimpact.com/), a pharmacy education company. CEImpact provides continuing education, consulting services, learning management solutions, and learning experiences that engage pharmacy professionals and support their lifelong learning journey. For the individual pharmacist and pharmacy technician, we really want to change the way CE is experienced. We recently launched a product called qFriday that has received great feedback. qFriday provides pharmacists a quick way to stay up-to-date weekly through case-based learning, the topics are current and have immediate application to your practice. Here is access to a free trial for qFriday. We are launching a community pharmacy education this spring and will be linking it to podcast education too. Lots of exciting ways to experience CE and I love being part of a company that is focused on creating a better experience.
I’m also a co-founder of ThriveSubscribe (https://www.tptransformations.com/). ThriveSubscribe is specific to community pharmacy practice transformation and support. We focus on guiding Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians in community practice to change by helping them discover their team’s capacity to practice patient-focused pharmacy, develop a new successful business model, regain purpose to a fulfilling professional career. Last fall, we launched a podcast, ThriveSubscribe, that interviews community pharmacy leaders to share ideas, hope and best practices with our audiences. We also have a free online community with peer-based resources and will be adding some master classes this spring. I was involved in creating both concepts from the ground up.
We’ve also recently partnered as a consultant on the Flip the Pharmacy initiative. Flip the Pharmacy is about transforming community pharmacy practice to move beyond filling the prescription at a moment in time to ensure teams have the means to provide patient-level care over time. I help create the implementation guide, or Change Package, by partnering with subject matter experts and practice transformation leaders across the country.
- If a pharmacist was interested in this type of career, what kind of skills/training would they need?
For someone to be successful in a role like mine – they would need to be solution-oriented. I have problems thrown at me all day – big and small. I LOVE problem solving and innovation. I have to be creative and have a growth mindset. My mind never really turns off and is continuously open to possibilities and partnerships. I do have to temper this quality to ensure I am realistic in my goals – something I’ve learned from many great mentors along the way.
Teamwork and strong communication is also critical to success. And, to be in a role like mine, you can’t be afraid to fail – failure is what makes us better. I’m also hopeful – and I think this is a need in a role like mine. I use Brene Brown’s definition of hope, which doesn’t classify hope as an emotion but instead as “a combination of setting goals, having the tenacity and perseverance to pursue them, and belief in our own abilities”.
- Tell us about your kids – ages, activities, anything you want to share.
I am just so fortunate to have 2 great and healthy kids, they truly are the light of my life. They both have big personalities but in very different ways. It is so much fun being their mom!
My kids spent time in the NICU and that is really a tough thing. Besides the obvious – how scary a NICU stay is – looking back you can see the impact it leaves. Being in the NICU is like being on a roller coaster all day long. It was emotionally exhausting and I felt powerless in helping my children. I didn’t really realize it at the time but the impact of my children’s NICU stays was really tough on me for years after – and going through it multiple times, well, it really just takes a toll. I think we can do so much more to support moms who experience time in the NICU. I hope to become more involved in change here in the future. I saw an article not that long ago that links PTSD to parents who have been through NICU experiences – it really hit home for me. My children received amazing care but I think, as the mom, I was a bit forgotten about. I’m not someone who asks for help (and that isn’t a good thing), so while my kids eventually thrived, it really changed me. I am very thankful to have a strong support system.
- What was the best piece of advice you received from another working mom?
As a working mom, I don’t try to achieve balance – stresses me out too much because I’ll never get there. Instead, I try to focus on each task, activity, person or event I’m engaged with at the moment and let the rest go. It’s working for now!
A friend of mine introduced me to Brene Brown’s work a few years ago. Something that stuck out for me from her work is to be mindful. I’m quoting directly from her work here because this is so powerful for me and something I try to live by each day (because I’m not perfect and that’s ok).
Take a balanced approach to negative emotions so that feelings are neither suppressed nor exaggerated. Mindfulness requires that we not “over-identify” with thoughts and feelings so that we are caught up and swept away by negativity.
- Where can we connect with you?
I’d love to connect! Find me on LinkedIn! https://www.linkedin.com/in/suzanne-feeney-cei/
Or send me an email – Suzanne@ceimpact.com
I’ll also be at APhA this year and would love to see you at our ThriveSubscribe booth – stop by, say hello and introduce yourself!