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Book Projects Galore

May 25th, 2016

So…just in time for my #forever29th birthday, I saw my friends over at Pharmacy Careers published a big article - on the culmination of our writing projects at Butler University – yay!

Here’s a pretty grid of just our interprofessional publishing projects over the past near-decade:

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 9.18.15 PM

Shoutout especially to the faculty colleagues in our college (COPHS) and other colleges for these books – they were a TON of work: Julie Koehler, Lisa Hines, Angela Lupton, Gautam Rao, Catherine Pangan, Stephanie Fernhaber, and this year some new folks – Dick Fetter and NaShara Mitchell.

The only thing cooler than writing and publishing is showing students that writing and publishing is possible – and teaching them this! : )

25+ Career Options for Pharmacist-Attorneys

May 22nd, 2016

PharmacyLawThe sky is the limit, but here are a few ideas:

1. Patent lawyer
2. Healthcare lawyer
3. General counsel for:
a. A drug company
b. A hospital system
c. A large physician group practice
d. Any healthcare tech company
e. Any other aspect of pharmacy you can think of across the value chain
(managed care, wholesalers, retailers, hospitals, LTC–you name it.)
4. Counsel for a healthcare exchange
5. Work in Medicaid for a state – or any healthcare role for the state
6. Work at a government agency, such as:
a. CMS
b. DEA
c. HHS
d. CDC
f. NIH
7. Work at think tanks or policy orgs
8. Work at an NGO for healthcare, public health, health policy
9. Work in drug price indexing or drug compendia
10. Work in academia
a. Teach pharmacy law
b. Teach healthcare law
c. Teach HIPAA, FCA, or any of the other major healthcare laws
d. Teach MPJE, Health law bar prep
e. Teach in a pharmacy school, a law school, or both
11. Work in managed care – MCOs, PBMs, etc.
12. Work in business or tech accelerators – particularly focused on HIT or tech transfer
13. Work for a drug company – honestly, there are more opps here than I can list, but I know for a fact there are pharmacist-attorneys who work in:
a. health care policy
b. government affairs
c. sales
d. regulatory affairs
e. medical affairs
f. pretty much any corner of R&D at a drug co.
g. The C suite
14. Ditto for biotech and medical device, HIT and pharmacy orgs
15. Executive director of a pharmacy organization – such as a state pharmacy association, or national pharmacy org – in gov’t affairs, etc.
16. A law firm
17. A pharmacy
18. Lobbyist (for pretty much anyone in the pharmacy and/or healthcare value chain)
19. Serve in public office
20. Be an entrepreneur
21. CPA firm – for auditing, fraud, etc.
22. Writer
23. Insurance company
24. Board of pharmacy
25. Law enforcement
26. Non profits
27. Consulting firms
28. Wall street – as an analyst for pharma/biotech/med device

The Reverse Birthday Party

May 21st, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.03.02 AMSo, happy birthday to me! It’s the week of my birth coming up.  Being #forever29 is fun.  But, this year I wanted to try something new.

Instead of getting myself more stuff (which I’m finding is a drain anyway–e.g. the more stuff you have, the more it has you), instead, I’m reversing the action towards the typical birthday, and instead of rewarding me, I’m giving back to the universe.

Yup, this week I’m giving stuff away….a reverse birthday party!

The idea or concept of a reverse birthday party is not completely new.  There’s a few good ideas and articles out there on the concept–like this, this, this, and this.  But the idea or concept in my mind for a reverse birthday party isn’t just about getting rid of stuff–it’s more, like sharing the stuff that matters to you with the world.

Case in point: I gave 325+ copies of one of my books away to kids just before summer on the #STEMPrincess series. Literally–I loaded up the Jeep yesterday with books and took them to a school.  If one kid this summer gets bored enough to try the activities in the book and gets interested in STEM–that would be the greatest birthday present of all.

Here’s some other ideas:

  • Send some thank yous to a few of my inspirers in my life and thank them for their awesomeness
  • Clean out the closet of suits and take them over to Dress for Success
  • Give away books just sitting on my shelf to mentees who ask about self-improvement or business ideas
  • Take out a friend having a rough time for some fun
  • Try to figure out ways to mix business and fun

I’m going to try and do something like that each and every day this coming week.  I may need to get a little creative…but I’m going to take the reverse birthday challenge!  If you’ve taken this challenge before and have some ideas, tweet me your best ideas with the hash tag #ReverseBirthday…I’ve got 7 days to come up with ideas here! : )

Turn it Up to 11

May 16th, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 9.00.24 AMI’ve never really been a Spinal Tap fan – it’s a little before my time.  However, in 2 different instances this weekend, I heard the term “turn it up to 11.”

Believe it or not, there’s actually a wikipedia post on this.  But I want to talk about it metaphorically.

Most bands can only go to 10.  But, some bands have the magic of going to 11.  This can include bands’ work on projects, new albums, etc.  What, exactly gets bands to use 11 on the dial?

I think it’s intrinsic motivation.  You’re never going to get to 11 on the dial by someone else creating the dial for you.  You’ve got to make your own 11.

On a Monday – we all should be reminded of that, myself included.  And as I hunt and pick between a few different pet project ideas I’ve been slow cooking on the back burner, it would be good to have that dial to go up to 11 when I need it.

I’m also granting you, my fab 13 that 11 on the dial…but you already had it. : )

M is for Multimedia: BU Well

May 14th, 2016

Part of Shelby B’s infographic.

So, I’m like a proud parent here – more on BU Well!

One of the things I really wanted to focus on for this journal in making it different was to respond to the interactivity of the internet and digital age.  That means, get away from just print and move on to something more sophisticated than just print articles.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with print.  Obviously I heart print.  But that’s just not enough these days – and there’s so much more opportunity for public health and healthcare pros to communicate in and with via different channels – why NOT maximize them?)

We now consume other content as much if not more than print.  Case in point, infographics.  Did you know that an article that has an infographic along with it is 30 times more likely to be read?  Now, I don’t know if that’s statistically or scientifically true, but I have seen that statistic in digital print, so even if it’s only half true, it still bumps up one’s odds of being read.  And after all, isn’t that what the open-access journal is all about anyway – open access?

Let me take an example from the journal – (and yes, I did get the author’s permission to share here).  Shelby B. wanted to create an article around wellness on workplace and workspace wellness.  Great!  She first wrote the article in fall 2015, and then the student editorial team collaborated with her to co-create the infographic and shoot the video with her in spring 2016.  Below, the video:

This is important because future healthcare professionals and all professionals need to learn how to communicate through multiple channels to reach patients and the community at large.  By exposing student leaders to these multimedia platforms as opportunities to learn how to communicate in different ways is imperative.

Moving forward, the second volume of BU Well will focus on the future of healthcare.  From drones to lasers, I can’t wait to SEE and HEAR what the students will come up for that one.  While the ideas may be awesome, what’s more important is that they learn how to communicate those ideas….and I’ll look forward to learning even more from them then I can teach on my own…

Congratulations to the student authors and editorial leaders!  Go Dawgs!

BU Well, Volume 1 on Wellness is here!

May 13th, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 3.18.50 PMIt’s Christmas Day here!

BU Well Volume 1 is published – check it out here.

Here is the official Butler PR.  Props to NPR for giving us a shout out.

Cover art was even designed by students.

To all the students: YOU. ROCK!  CONGRATS on doing something even I never did–publish and start a journal before you even graduated from college!

‘Twas the Night Before…

May 12th, 2016

….the students’ first interprofessional multimedia healthcare journal was published,
and all through the house…
…not a creature was stirring…
…not even P.G. Woodhouse.

The articles were hung
on the website with care
in hopes that readers from all the universe
soon would be there.

On diabetes! On wellness! On apps for EBM!
Now package inserts in sight!
For drug information…as a possibility tonight.

This poem made little sense
to all who would not care,
but for the rest of us, little we can bear…

….to wait for tomorrow to come,
because it feels like Christmas eve
when you’re waiting for something brand new to conceive.

She sprang off her site
with anticipated glee,
tomorrow would be here soon enough…
…no fright!

This is my eccentric way of congratulating the 40+ hard working, totally dedicated students at Butler University, who for the past 2+ years have worked hard to create something that never ever existed before – a healthcare journal called BU Well.  Tomorrow, volume 1 launches into the internet universe.

It has been an absolute joy to bring this project to life with such a talented, smart, driven group of students at Butler University.  I’ve seen the infographics and watched the videos, and of course read the articles.  And while they are great, what is even greater is that our students through this project have lived through the mission of Butler University itself, because they are creating work that truly blends LAS core education in addition to professional/technical education.  If you read Butler’s mission – they’re living it.

Tonight, I’m proud to be a bulldog.  Go dawgs–and CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL the BU Wellers out there who have joined me on the journey of creating something new from scratch!  Cheers!

Sharing My Superpower…Only With My Fab 13

May 7th, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 9.19.53 AMSo…I’ll never post this over at big places like LinkedIn, because it’s around my superpowers…and I don’t often give my superpowers away.  But, for my fab 13, I’ll share. Only for you, my peeps!

One of my biggest competitive advantages is that I…read. A. Lot. I have a library card for 2 counties, thanks to my Indiana state PLAC card (best $65 bucks I spend every year).  Lately, because it’s summer reading high season for me, I’ve been posting my stack of library books over at Instagram, to which one of my friends says he will henceforth just take his phone to the library, to check out what I’m reading, so he can check out the same.  (I get it – considering thousands of new books are published each and every day now, it’s next to impossible to keep up!)

So, I figured I’d share a post on how, exactly, I find library books to check out.  I’ve got a solid methodology that has taken years of refining.  This recipe I’m about to share has been streamlined and honed over several decades, since I received my first library card around age 5.


How to Find Library Books (AKA My SuperPower):

1. Make hunting for books a ritual – for me, I hunt books on Sunday morning while I’m watching one of my favorite TV shows (CBS Sunday Morning).  I just have my iPad out, and while I’m watching, if they mention a cool new book or author, I go to my library site and see if they have a copy of that book.  If they do, I put it on hold.  If they don’t, I….

2. Request the library to purchase a copy of the book.  Note I said suggest to the LIBRARY to purchase it, not me.  While I love to buy great books as gifts, I rarely, if ever buy them for myself.  (How I decide which books to buy for myself is an entirely different methodology and one I won’t discuss in this post.)  The bottom line: spend the library’s money – not your own when you’re exploring a new book.  (Arguably, it’s your money, since you’re paying taxes to fund your public library…but I digress.) There’s another advantage to you requesting the library purchase a copy of that new book you want to read – you’re up FIRST in the cue to GET the copy of that new book. Fresh copy. Just for you. Dig!

3. Go to the library when you have holds up – I usually set land speed records getting in and out of the library, because my sole purpose in going is to pick up my holds.  I don’t walk around in the library and waste time.  In. Out. Done.  I shop for the books I want to read online and during the week, every week.  While I think wandering around a library might be an OK way to waste time, I don’t like wasting time, period. So, you’ll rarely catch me among the stacks unless I’m hunting for something in particular.

4. Have a method for requesting books instantly – I’m listening to a podcast and they mention a book.  As soon as the car is stopped or I pause walking, I pull up the library website, and hunt for the book.  Not there? See 2 above.  If there, I put it on hold, then keep on trucking.  I’m guessing your local library system also has some type of mobile site or app you can access from your phone.  Always be hunting for good books, and better yet – make the process for putting them on hold easy button for yourself.

5. Know how you best read – For me, I love to wad a bunch of books together, then dip in and out of them all at once.  Maybe you only love to read while on vacation – great!  Make loading up your Kindle or app on your iPad part of your packing ritual.  Maybe you love to only read one book at a time, like my mom.  Cool – keep that puppy until you’re done.  Whatever method you use, make sure you set yourself up to maximize your own reading rituals.

6. Last but certainly not least, know this: you are not required to read a book from cover to cover.  I’m really not sure where it came from that one is absolutely required to read a book from cover to cover, but I don’t.  Nor should you.  If a book resonates with you – great!  Read on.  But if you’re just not that into it – life is too short to labor through it.  Books are journeys, and not every journey is for every person.  I’ve written here before that my friends all have different reading habits as well – like reading the first 100 pages of a book, and then discarding it if it’s not working.  Or reading the last chapter first.  Whatever methodology works for you.  The important bit here is to pay attention to how you read, note it, and then learn how to maximize it.

There. Again, this is one of my very top secret powers in my arsenal, and you’ll never see it on any other site than this one – so thanks, my fab 13 for stopping by – and I hope you share my superpower now…..! : )


57 Channels…Is Something On?

May 6th, 2016

A little long post over at LinkedIn made me think of this post, which I’m about to drop here with you–all 13 fans. Ready?

How many of you, by raise of hand, use your different social media platforms as channels?  I started thinking about this and am trying to do it a little more.  Like…

Anchor – with my face for radio, I’m trying a #PharmFriday question of the week (#QOTW) wave each Friday – about, my best answer to one of several helpdesk questions I receive each and every week from my network.  This week I discussed live stream video:

Instagram – Here, I started a little recordation of the books I’m reading, what I didn’t like about them, and best of all what I like about them.  I’m @erinalbert over yonder.  If you’re a bibliophile like me, let’s follow each other!  The good Lord knows that I cannot read every book on the planet!

Twitter – Fast random thoughts @ErinLAlbert, healthcare and pharmacy stuff @pharmllc, and entrepreneur and generational workplace stuff @yuspie.

Faceplace – I have book pages there:

STEM Princess Book Series
Single Women Entrepreneurs
Plan C: The Full-Time Employee and Part-Time Entrepreneur
Law School: A Few Short & Plain Statements
Multipationals: The Changing World of Work, and How to Create Your Best Career Portfolio

And work pages:

Butler COPHS Experiential Education
BU Well

But on my own personal feed there – nothing but a bunch of political rants.  (I may need to take another Facebook vacation soon.  At least until December.)

My point is this: maybe we should all try to mix it up a bit instead of pumping out the same content on all channels.  There’s really no manual on this, but something I’ve been pondering.  As I said above, live video streaming is the next thing I’d like to conquer, but having that face for radio makes it a challenge…LOL!


7 Ways to Find an Illustrator for Your Book

May 1st, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 9.27.33 AMThe universe seems to keep asking me this question a lot lately, so I thought I’d put together my various answers on the following question:

“How do I find an illustrator for my book project?”

…in one place so you all may get to the fun part – actually writing and producing your book – because the universe needs your book!

(BTW, if you’d like the audio version of this post, check out this wave from Anchor I did a couple of weeks ago on this same subject here…and below:)

First, a few issues before shopping for that illustrator to consider:

1. Make sure you include the illustrator in the production of your book–the earlier, the better.
2. The range of prices of illustrators can vary. Widely. They can charge by page, time, (or both) by the project, or even by character. Do you need a cover, or a full blown book page by page illustrated? Have a frank conversation on specs with your potential illustrator(s) so everyone is on the same “page” when it comes to production of the book. (Get it? Page? I like that one. I digress…)
3. Make sure you get it in writing – be clear on who is doing what, by when, and for how much, paid by when. Who owns it? Get a lawyer if it’s your first time. Be smart and transparent.

Now, on to the ideas for finding an illustrator!

1. Your mailbox – I am 100% serious with this one. If you start paying attention to the art that is hitting your mailbox, you might be pleasantly surprised. There are lots of local graphic designers that do a great job with your local charity’s gala, fundraiser, or event. Who is the illustrator behind that awesome soiree you just got invited to? Ask around. Shop local. Local artists are the best anyway, because you can meet with them eyeball to eyeball to gauge how interested they are in working with you on your project–and conversations are about 92% nonverbal anyway–so meet with those prospective illustrators in your very own backyard to find someone local who will rock it with you! See if there’s a local chapter of AIGA…that’s where the designers hang.

2. Other books – Good artists copy. Great artists steal. (Who said that? Picasso?) If you are an artist (and you are if you’re a writer), then why not shop the best book cover artists out there and see if they might be willing to work with you? I even use Pinterest to collect my favorite art for book covers.

3. 99 Designs – Don’t have a local tribe of artists? Well then, step right up into 99 Designs and find thousands of them, who will work hard to get your business!

4. Fiverr – Dare I say a cheaper version of 99 Designs? Yes, that may be a controversial way to put it, but like it or not–I am a fan of commerce, so it’s another portal where you can discover artists–and let’s face it, illustrating can get expensive fast.

5. Your network – Here’s a place where your network could actually help you! Who do you know who knows graphic designers/artists/illustrators? ASK! Check around. Even LinkedIn is getting into the freelancing networking community, which hopefully will be awesome. One more place to shop for talented freelancers to collaborate with – yay!

6. Publishers Weekly – a good general site on the publishing industry.

7. Your local art school or university – there are a lot of college students looking for cash.  Why not help them out by helping them get their talents into the universe by taking a chance on them?

So there you go. Get busy on that book. And, while you’re writing it, shop the universe for an illustrator. Whether it is a basic front cover you need for your ebook, all the way through to a page by page illustrated children’s book, there are great designers out there just waiting to work with you…to bring that book to life, and inspire another generation of creatives yet to come!