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Archive for November, 2015

2016 Goals – Track More Meetings, Events and Certifications in Healthcare

Sunday, November 29th, 2015

While I’m noodling on all my goals for the upcoming year, one thing I started in 2015 and would like to expand upon are two lists that I share publicly for my homies in healthcare and pharmacy.

First, on the 2016 Meetings and National Conferences in Pharmacy and Healthcare List over on Google Sheets, I’d like to start tracking callouts for abstracts at these meetings.  This will be a fun challenge, because I’m not a member of all these orgs, so I’m not sure how I’m going to track these, but I’m going to try!

Second, on the Certifications for Pharmacists and Healthcare Professionals Google Sheet, I’m going to try and start tracking prices of these certifications.  This one will be tough, because prices change all the time.

But, I’m a girl who likes a new challenge every now and then…

My 6 Suggestions for the Indiana General Assembly in 2016

Saturday, November 28th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 12.26.39 PMDear Indiana General Assembly,

I write this from my tiny corner of the world, in pharmacy law.  Here’s what I’d respectfully request you consider in the 2016 Indiana General Assembly. (And these opinions are mine and mine alone – not my employers’, nor my companies’…)

1. Make Naloxone OTC in Indiana – I know Sen. Merritt is going to introduce a bill around this, but it really needs to happen. It’s already happening in 20 other states in the US, and the Midwest is suffering from a horrible affliction of prescription opioid and now heroin abuse.  More people in the US now die of opioid overdose than they do motor vehicle accidents.  The sooner this bill is passed, the better.  You need to include all forms of naloxone here too – nasal naloxone just got FDA approved, so it’s not just injectable anymore.

2. Don’t touch marijuanaOhio voters just wisely decided to not make pot legal in their state.  It’s still a C-I under the federal Controlled Substances Act.  And for all of those who want it for medical purposes, here’s an idea: why don’t we study it in double blind randomized placebo controlled studies (or head to head with other gold standards in certain disease states) to see if it actually has any efficacy and/or major safety concerns, JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER DRUG?  Yes, I’m aware that it is next to impossible to study pot in a clinical trial thanks to the feds as well, but seriously – why should pot get a pass vs. every other drug on the planet that has to go through clinical trials before it can be marketed in the US?

3. Add pharmacists to HEA1145 from the 2015 legislative session – When I asked why pharmacists weren’t included in the definition of “providers” in this new law, I was told that the IGA didn’t think pharmacists volunteered their time in healthcare clinics and centers.  REALLY?!? Pharmacists work at a lot of free healthcare clinics and centers, each and every day in Indiana!  Not including pharmacists in this bill is downright embarrassing.  Please fix this.

4. Make PSE/PE prescription only and traced in INSPECT - Pseudoephedrine needs to be prescription, and INSPECT really should be tracking it.  I know the lobbyists are all over this one and it probably will never happen in Indiana, but we still have a huge meth problem in this state.  I know right now we’re selling it as a third category of drugs as behind-the-counter, and it is tracked in a separate database, but that’s just not good enough.  We can do better here.

5. Stiffer penalties for juveniles who rob pharmacies and pharmacists – Indiana, we are now number one in the country for pharmacy robberies. Number. One. This is something I NEVER want my state to be on a top 10 list for–either now or in the future.  Juveniles are robbing pharmacies as a gang activity, even long term care facilities and hospitals for prescription drugs now. Problem is, the juvenile offenders are back out on the street quickly once they are caught (if they’re caught at all) because penalties for robbing pharmacies for juveniles aren’t stiff enough.  My profession and my colleagues and I did not go to school to play cops and robbers.  We’ve got to fix this, and one way to do that is make all who rob pharmacies pay the price.

6. While I’m wishing, here’s my most controversial law proposal of all: allow pharmacists to dispense contraceptives in Indiana - Oregon has done it.  And some other states I believe will follow.  Any state that tries to focus on gender equality should be behind this concept. Now, I’m not saying pass them out like candy, there are some safety issues with ALL contraceptives–and there would definitely need to be screenings and a protocol in place for dispensing them without a prescription. But, if we can empower women to make decisions over their lives during their child bearing years by removing one more barrier, the entire society will benefit. Just read the article above. And, I’m going to (controversially) state here that Indiana in the past has not been good to women overall.  Here’s a way to redeem ourselves.

These are items I’d like to see the IGA repair and fix in the 2016 session, from my corner of the world.  I know there are other pressing matters in the state as well–like education and infrastructure, just to name a few.  But, based upon my knowledge in this corner, the above would be great to see recognized from IGA in 2016.

Small Biz Saturday

Saturday, November 28th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 9.24.55 AMHey there, savvy shoppers!  I know people reading this blog were WAY too smart to go out in the black Friday mess to shop.  So, stay cozy and shop small and local today!

Of course, you know our drill – buy #STEMPrincess2 now, and we’ve talked to Santa – methinks it will be to pre-buyers just in time for the holiday season…but that’s not a guarantee yet.  We’ve just put in a good word.

And regardless of whether or not you support the #STEMPrincess project, try to buy from local entrepreneurs this year if and when you can.  There’s a ton of articles that show that keeping the money in the local economy is the way to go when shopping at local retailers vs. the big boxy stores.

Merry holidaze!

5 Steps to Great Gratitude

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

This has been a hard year.  Not so much for me (although I’ve had my fair share of bad news), but for a lot of my friends, and my family.  Just last night at an event, Congresswoman Susan Brooks said herself that people are anxious.  The world these days is uncertain.  We’re living in chaos.  We are tense.

Cortisol levels are definitely up.

Life is hard sometimes.  We all fail.  We get knocked down.  We don’t get chosen.  But here are a few of my suggestions to get back up, and keep on keeping on…

1. Remember, it can ALWAYS be worse.  Right now, my front gutter is leaking, but at least I have the money to buy the trim to fix it. At least I can get up on the ladder to fix it (which I will be doing on Thanksgiving).  At least I’ve got a roof that isn’t leaking elsewhere, and at least I have a house to live in.  Some people aren’t lucky enough to have these first world problems.  When you start thinking the world is conspiring against you, remember that whatever situation you’re in, it can always be worse.  (And I’d personally like to thank law school for teaching me this lesson.  While lawyers can go dark, REALLY dark on the worst situations, learning to think about how things can go wrong makes you also appreciate that no matter how bad it is, it can always go darker.)

2. Quit.  When your mouth isn’t connecting to your brain, when the words aren’t connecting to your keyboard fingertip intersections, or when you can’t solve that nasty problem, do yourself a favor if you’ve been at it a while: quit.  Do not quit indefinitely…but get yourself a break.  Walk away.  Go home, rest, get at least 8 hours of sleep, and you’ll be surprised how you can get back at that nasty quagmire once you’ve rested your body and brain for a few.

3. Get around your peeps.  One more time: you are like the 5 people you hang around the most. Choose carefully.  If you can’t physically get around your top 5, then there’s this awesome thing called Google+ Hangout.  Get on it and talk to your friends.  I’m prodding myself to form another mastermind in 2016 for this reason.  I need some fresh perspectives from some amazing peeps, who don’t roll near me every day.  So, I’m bringing them to me.  And before this sounds selfish – I do hope to help them out as well with their challenges.  It’s a two-way street.

4. Recall that time is finite.  A student asked me today how I try to find balance between fixing problems and starting or creating new solutions.  As a fumbled through my answer, one thing I forgot to mention is that the most precious commodity is time.  (Some gurus say that it’s energy, but I actually think it’s time.)  Life is a fatal disease.  So, get stuff done, because you’re not going to be here forever.  That includes cessation of moping and whining, and instead focusing your time on what you can change, what you can start, and what you can create, and ultimately, crafting whatever it is what you want to leave behind as your legacy.

5. The best trick of all: send out some gratitude.  Not only will it make someone else’s day, but it will also remind you that all is not lost.  In fact, just today, through the morass of spammy invites and garbage that hits my inbox, a kind note from a pharmacy student, who I’ve personally never met, at another pharmacy school, who was also hitting some brick walls.  But, she shared that she was inspired by my work.  That’s cool.  So, I in turned paid that forward, and sent out a few thank you notes of my own today.  Hey, at least I have stamps and notecards.  At least my heat is on, and at least I can take a few minutes to time out and pay it forward.  I also replied to her that it is always darkest before the dawn.

Just make sure you have batteries in the flashlight.

There – 5 methods I employ to recall that I have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season.  What’s your best tip for gratitude?


The Nail, The Daemon, and Running Like H*ll

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

For those of you elsewhere on Earth, we had our first snow in the Midwest this weekend.  While I’m not a huge fan of wintertime, I am a fan of the ritual of curling up with a tall pile of books during a snowy weekend, and reading to my heart’s content, which is exactly how I celebrated our first November snow.

This weekend, I had about 20 books from the library to go through (ehm, well, I’ve been busy and haven’t been able to get to them), and as I’ve shared here before, I don’t necessarily read books cover to cover.  I bounce around.  Furthermore, I usually think there’s “signs” that the universe is trying to give me when I check out a “collection,” of books, so I play a little game with the universe and try to figure out what that theme is in each pile of books.

I’ll share a few stories with you to see if you can help me find the theme.

First, I finished The Art of Work by Jeff Goins.  In it, there’s a sticky story about Walt Disney’s foot…meeting a nail.  The nail went through his foot when he was 16, and left him bed ridden for 2 weeks.  At that time, he finally figured out what he was going to do with his life – he was going to become an illustrator.  The author thought that it was the “pause” in his life of being bedridden for 2 weeks that caused the pause to understand and ponder what Walt was really here to do.  We all need to pause to think about what our callings are – and as this book stated, it’s easy to check out and ignore our calling and check the box.  The harder stuff is pausing to pay attention to what it is that we are really here to do.

Second, I’m reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, Big Magic.  I’m not finished yet on this one, but two sticky stories here. First, the “spooky action at a distance” tale between herself and one of her friends, who were writing the exact same book at one time!  (Quantum entanglement, anyone?  Seriously, I love to geek out on this stuff.)  I’ll let you read the book for details on that one.  But the other sticky tale was a story about Ruth Stone, a farmer/poet who said that her “daemon” or “voice” would show up when she was walking home from the field as a girl, where she’d literally have to run like hell to get to a piece of paper and pencil to write down the poem that came to her as a voice before it left her head.  Gilbert herself recalled a dream that she immediately turned into a story on paper.

In the past, we used to call these daemons, or “other” entities that would show up and talk to us.  Somewhere during the Renaissance, however, we went from “having a genius” to “being a genius.”  We had a muse who would guide us, but somehow we managed to turn that into an internal pressure, rather than external.  We in modern times call this “flow.”

So, mashing these two books up, what do you think all this means?  Maybe that we all really don’t create alone.  Whether we choose to think we have an angel, quantum physics, or a house/creative elf in our lives, we have to listen.  We should be paying attention.  On the other hand, we can’t check out and expect these ephemeral forces to guide us completely.  We still have to show up and do the work.  We have to take setbacks as opportunities to move forward, in meaningful ways.

That, and of course run like hell when a good idea shows up.

I am grateful for the snow this weekend.

Pharmacy Stuff

Saturday, November 21st, 2015

Pardon my organizing for a moment, but I need to warehouse all of the pharmacy stuff I’m tracking or updating online in one post.  (And BTW, I still don’t know what the proper way is to represent one’s social media/online stuff on a CV; if you have a clever way to do this, I’m listening!)

Clean up on aisle 2015….

Pharmacy 2015, 2016, 2017+ National Meetings

Pharmacist Certifications (and in Healthcare)

Butler COPHS CE:

Tools & Techniques for Preceptor Development (homestudy)

Advocate to Vaccinate

Butler COPHS Ex Ed page on Faceplace, and Twitter

Pharmacy Times/Pharmacy Careers Articles

The Pharmacy Podcast interviews

The Student-Driven Open Access Multimedia Journal – BU Well

Slideshare – where I post slides from presentations

LinkedIn long posts – some of which are pharmacy-focused

I’ve posted a couple of times on how I use the most awesome SurveyMonkey in my work at their blog

And incoming board member for ASPL.

That, I think for now is it.

A Week

Friday, November 20th, 2015

You know you’ve had a week when….you get home at the end of a long one, you have dinner, then sit down only to wake up when it’s time to go to bed…

Either I’m getting old, or I had a week.  I’m going to chalk it up to more of the latter than the former.

Really cool hi-lights, however this week included the following:

ASPL’s fall meeting – Left Miami Sunday to head home from the American Society for Pharmacy Law this weekend to kick off the week.  I’m really looking forward to being part of the board and helping this organization grow over the next 2 years, as this org has stuff I cannot get anywhere else on the planet, like pharmacy law education materials and the new case law compendia for members.

#SMDames15 – This 4th in a series over the several past few years now gave more women some ideas how to spread their messages around through social media.  #BigWin was the hashtag theme this year, and I’m glad to see the program alive and well without me as involved these days. Big shout out to Amy Stark and Digital Dames for keeping the fires burning at Dames.

Pharmacy Times dropped an article I wrote about…change in pharmacy.  It also framed change around what I learned at altMBA this summer.

Phi Lambda Sigma induction – This is pharmacy’s leadership fraternity.  It was fun to watch all the current earlier leaders in the profession be inducted as well.  I probably would not have qualified for this group when I was in their shoes, but nonetheless, it’s never too late to be a leader inside your profession, whatever that profession is – I think from the state of the universe these days, we need more leaders now than at any point in history.

Started putting together a mastermind for 2016 – A mastermind was something I tried way back in 2004 or 5 (it’s been a while), but I wanted to try it again thanks to the Biz Chix Podcast having a series on Masterminds.  If I want to take things to the next level, I’m going to need some peeps in my life to check me from time to time.

#STEMPrincess3 – Yup – STEM Princess 2 isn’t even delivered yet and we are already cranking on book 3!  But I think this one will be fun, and the genre of the book is on fire right now.  I know, I’m vague blogging here, but I should have more later one, after I’ve sold out STEMP2…hahaha!

Student projects at Butler are humming along – had the opportunity to review one of the Midyear posters accepted on BU Well and writing at pharmacy schools (good luck!), and the two children’s books on type I diabetes Ralphie the Giraffe and the Antibiotic Stewardship book (Andi, Chase and the Mysterious Case) are nearing manuscript delivery time. We also got a new homestudy CE program up on immunizations this week for pharmacists – as we are trying to reach a broader preceptor audience.

OK. Now that I really think about it, I see why I came home and crashed.

Here’s looking forward to a shorter holiday week NEXT week!

The Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Effect

Monday, November 16th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 10.37.35 PMI was reminded of this one this past week.  And, it’s something a wise lawyer once told me before I officially decided to attend law school.  AND, it applies DOUBLE if not TRIPLE to women more so than men.

I shall now try to explain.

First, pharmacists. They’re generally a brainy lot. They tend to be type A doers, and people who have to work as close to perfection as possible.  It’s a tough standard, but they do it, each and every day. They keep people alive, and that rocks.

But, pharmacy school isn’t enough for some. Some pharmacists choose to further their education. Some choose medical school. Others get a Master’s of Public Health, or MHA, or even PhD in pharmacology or pharmacy administration.

Others choose to go to law school.

There are actually a lot of pharmacist-attorneys in the US. I just got back from a very full meeting of them (which again spurred this post). I talked to a younger gal there, who was just finishing up the law school/bar exam deal. I asked her about the job-attainment process. She replied in the following way (which I’m paraphrasing)–but hopefully you’ll get the gist:

I’m having a hard time finding a job.  Pharmacies don’t want a pharmacist with a JD–it’s almost a repellant.  Pharma and biotech don’t want pharmacist-attorneys (or any attorneys for that matter) unless they have years of practical experience.  Law firms still aren’t hiring much, and even if they are, they can’t pay anywhere near what a pharmacist earns, and you’d have to work twice as hard.’

On top of this, she was young, attractive, and obviously smart. And yes, I need to emphasize “she” here, because what I’m about to share I think applies even more to women.

What the gal above is suffering from is what a wise once lawyer told me as the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Effect. Once you go to law school, you have a hypothetical missile strapped to your back.  Those who don’t know lawyers are petrified of them.  Those who have dual degrees are even scarier, because they know two professions.  And most of all, younger women with this dual knowledge are despised because of their brains and their success; they become an immediate threat. Successful women are less liked, whereas men who are successful are more liked.

Once you go to law school, people view you differently.  For women, I’m not sure if that brand of different is good.  It actually can instead be a detriment.

We have to get over this if we ever want women to achieve parity in higher levels of the workforce.  I admit – there are women in high positions that I can’t believe made it to the level they did, because they are completely inhumane to others. But there are men in that same bucket for me.  Companies with diverse talent at the helm are more profitable, and get more things done than only the companies with ROWGs running them.

I don’t know how we fix this.  Surely ignorance or dumbing ourselves down as women can’t be a solution.  (Or even if it is, I’m not signing up for that plan.)  But the next time you catch yourself feeling threatened, I’d like you to assess why when you encounter a lawyer-rock-star.  If you’re intimidated – do yourself and the universe a favor: get over it.  Ignore the missile strapped on back. It’s heavy enough to carry without anyone noticing, anyway…

Firefighter vs. Arsonist

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

OK–to all of those of you who were offended by the Starbucks holiday cup and Mee-Maw’s smell in that laundry detergent ad, this post is NOT. LITERAL.  Pyromania is a real thing, and I’d never promote any mental disorders or health issues to make light an analogy in my posts.

(However, this really doesn’t apply to my fab 13 friendly readers–who wouldn’t be like that anyway, because they’re cool.)

Disclaimer aside…I want to share a story with you.  Each week in entrepreneurship in life sciences/healthcare class, (at the best university on the planet with a pharmacy school, Butler U) I bring in a real-world entrepreneurial rock star to talk to the students.  There’s something extra-special about the mojo of fellow entrepreneurs.  This week was no exception.  I had none other than my friend, the fabulous Kelly Hartman of Insights Consulting and Outside the Box come in and share her story.

And she did.  She delivered as she always does.  She talks about the unique position of leading a non profit and a for profit business.  But her ending this time was…extra interesting.  She left the class with a question, which she asks all of her potential employees during an interview, which is this:

“If you could only pick one of the following as your career, which would you choose–a firefighter, or an arsonist?”

She stated that most of her hires chose firefighter, to which she replies positively.  It’s a good thing, because most of her employees HAVE to be firefighters.  They are putting out fires all the time in her line of work.  Problem solving is a key skill her employees need to master.

But, the more interesting answer, I believe, is the arsonist.  (This was the choice for me too, BTW.)

Arsonists have to know where to LIGHT the fires.  They have to START something.  They have to start something that MATTERS TO THEM.  To an arsonist, that’s the fire.  To the rest of us, that’s the fire of change–of doing something that can make a positive change in the universe–even if it’s risky, and sometimes, even if it’s dangerous.

So, which is it for you?  Are you a firefighter, or an arsonist?  Better yet–which one SHOULD you be?

I’ll leave that for you to ponder…

Rocktober Wrap Up

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Yesterday was love a red head day.  Today is love a lawyer day.  So, thanks for the double love if you’ve visited my tiny corner of the world!

It’s been crazy around here of late, and my posts have suffered for it.  But I am working out here…really!  Here’s a few things still sort of in beta, but since all of the fab 13 are cool enough to keep it on the D/L, I thought I’d share…

1. Interview with Abdul-Hakim Shabazz on drug crisis in the US and Indiana – This is a huge problem.  Sixty minutes also had a featured story last weekend on the heroin problem in our neighbor next door, Ohio.  Here are my show notes on Indiana.  Abdul stated he was going to put the interview in a couple of places soon.

If any of politicos are reading this blog, I think we need to get naloxone OTC in the 2016 legislative session in Indiana for this problem.  We also need to get more needle exchange programs up and running.  And, I think we need to stay as far away as possible from legalizing marijuana right now, because so many people state that it is the gateway to heavier drug abuse.  (I know that won’t be popular with the tax revenue generating types, but tough.)

Last but certainly not least here, my pharmacist friends are getting robbed. A lot. We are #1 in the country for pharmacy robberies  now.  Indiana pharmacists are under the gun–literally.  We need to consider stricter and longer penalties for juveniles who choose to rob pharmacists.

(BTW – if you are a pharmacist, please take 5 minutes to complete the annual Continuing Education (CE) needs assessment – it helps us figure out what programming and education we need to put together for 2016 for pharmacists.  Link is here.)

2. Global health – In one of the classes I teach, students are giving global health system presentations on several different countries around the world.  The last day is Monday.  What is so striking about this is that every country brought up thus far has had significantly lower costs, and better care (through metrics like infant mortality and life expectancy) than the U.S. It’s time to really start looking to see how other companies do healthcare.  Our system is a mess.

3. Vook reports – In the entrepreneurship in healthcare elective this week, students had to turn in 3-minute vook reports, or video book reports on one business book they read during the semester.  Then they had to comment on each other’s videos.  Great books like Lean In, Jab Jab Jab Right Hook, the 4 Hour Work Week, and Zero to One were all discussed.  After taking altMBA this summer and having this video assignment, I wanted to try it in class.  The students made it look a lot easier than it actually was to create videos!  Awesome!  Also, put up a social entrepreneurship lecture for ethics class at Butler this week too.  Last in this realm, I created my first ever business plan canvas on an idea I’m helping out Butler on…stay tuned on what that exactly is – but try the one page canvas if you have a business idea – it’s a good place to start.

4. SQL – I’m trying to learn mySQL for work.  For those of you not like Dakota and into big data, it’s relational-based data software. Think Excel on steroids, or Excel with the ability to pull multiple datasets from multiple Excel spreadsheets in queries.  Anyway, after a 2.5 hour training session today online at Coursera, my brain is a little fried.

5. Continuing Education – We almost have a new homestudy CE up for pharmacists – it’s undergoing a final review now – but here it is on immunizations.  Thanks to our speaker, Carrie Jung, for experimenting with us at the day job on this…  And our annual needs assessment is up – if you’re a pharmacist and could take 5 minutes to fill it out – I’d REALLY appreciate it!

6. ASPL – I’m speaking in Miami next week about BU Well at the American Society for Pharmacy Law annual meeting.  Super pumped, because the pharmacy law educators for the most part are pharmacists and attorneys – so they easily get the idea of law review.  Presented BU Well at the IUPUI Assessment Conference too – that went pretty well–although, I still don’t really yet know how to assess an “awesome” infographic vs. an “OK” one….

7. STEMPrincess2 – of course is coming – but surprise emails have popped into the inbox for last minute details…  And there’s the two teams of children’s books cooking at Butler – Ralphie and his insulin pump adventure, of course, and Andi, Chase and the Mysterious Case

8. Class where I’m the student – On top of ASPL in Miami next week, I’m also attending a one-day course on Presenting Data and Information, which looks like it will teach us design strategies for conveying information.  Maybe I’ll get some infographic ideas here.  Oh, yeah, and #SMDames15 is coming up on Friday, November 20th!

9. Cleaned up the 2015/16 Pharmacy Meetings Calendar and the Certifications Grid.  Super pumped about some of the meetings next year!!!

10. Other – working on some big stuff for 2016 this week too.  Stuff, unfortunately that I can’t talk about just quite yet.  But hopefully, soon…what I hope to accomplish here in 2016 is to reach a bigger audience, particularly in healthcare.  We shall see how this pans out…

So, what have you been up to?  Maybe soon we can catch up and discuss.  I’ll bring the redheaded lawyer along…