November Faces of Pharmacy

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November Faces of Pharmacy:

Jim Crowley, B.S. Pharm

My name is Jim Crowley, and I am a pharmacist with Centura Health, Littleton Adventist Hospital. After earning my Pharmacy degree from Creighton University, I entered the health care industry, following my father’s footsteps. I desired to positively contribute to the world like my father, who owned the Iowa family drug store. Crowley Drug!

My first job was as a hospital pharmacist in Iowa. There I learned all aspects of hospital pharmacy in a very progressive environment. After a decade in hospital pharmacy, I became a home health care pharmacy company manager in Omaha, Nebraska. This is when I first realized that pharmacy is a team sport. The personal satisfaction you gain from seeing a team come together to accomplish incredible things for both patients and employees is very rewarding. I always want my team to be the best.

Over 20 years ago, we decided to move to Denver, where my wife’s family lived. I was fortunate to get a job with Centura Health. This organization has been great because of its mission. I am also lucky to work for Children’s Hospital of Colorado, which also sees the value of pharmacy. 

I believe that each day is a day to learn something new. To challenge yourself to be better than yesterday. Tackle something that you are scared to try or are unfamiliar with. No matter what, you never give up. By doing this, I can make it a good day for patients, providers, and co-workers. This is also my advice to both my family and people in pharmacy. Don’t worry about being the Michael Jordan or Tom Brady of pharmacy; just show up to work and do what you love. This is more important than ever due to the COVID environment we are currently living in; a simple five-minute favor to help a patient or co-worker can make a huge difference in someone’s day.

I am so proud of what health care workers are doing during this time. 

Yen Dang, PharmD, CTTS-M

Yen Dang, PharmD, CTTS-M, a Vietnamese immigrant, is an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore School of Pharmacy. She earned her pharmacy degree at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and completed two years of residency training at Temple University School of Pharmacy. Her pharmacy journey began by creating programs that focused on management, screening, and health education for low-income, uninsured minorities to reduce mortality from preventable diseases.

Since 2014, Dr. Dang has created two pharmacotherapy clinics at Chesapeake Healthcare in Princess Anne and Pocomoke, Maryland. She manages complex patients with chronic disease states and provides services free-of-charge to a low-income population. She also mentors pharmacy students and residents on rotations to build their patient care skills in medically underserved communities. She believes that educators should mentor, train, and inspire the next generation of pharmacists so that they can continue the fight for accessible, quality healthcare.

Additionally, she has collaborated with local health departments to develop screening, treatment, and referral programs for patients with chronic diseases across Maryland. Dr. Dang has also worked with non-profit organizations to create healthcare career exploration and mentoring programs for children K-12 to increase their interest in the health professions.

Dr. Dang is also active with policy and legislation among the health agencies in the State of Maryland. She was appointed to serve on the Statewide Advisory Commission on Immunizations and the Maryland Medicaid Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee where she makes recommendations that impact the health and safety of the public at large.

Change is also created through giving back to the community and practicing servant-leadership. Dr. Dang’s most significant personal accomplishment is to volunteer on medical missions to developing countries such as Haiti, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Vietnam.  As the Director of Global Health, she has facilitated in the implementation of these missions with community partners and led students abroad to build on their humanitarian efforts. Dr. Dang says that “I have learned to be resourceful, that every challenge becomes an opportunity, and that while you may not be able to change the world, you can still make a difference”.

Andrea Falk-Lien, PharmD

Andrea Falk-Lien, PharmD, is a Wyoming native who attended McPherson College on a softball scholarship. Andrea was not only a full-time student but also a full-time athlete who received multiple honors including: All-conference honorable mention (2010), All-conference second team (2011), and NAIA-Daktronics Scholar-Athlete (2011). While completing her undergraduate work she discovered her passion for the health sciences. It was this passion that led her to continue her educational career at the University of Wyoming, School of Pharmacy. Andrea graduated with her PharmD degree in 2015. During her time at the University of Wyoming, she was an active member of the college community. She served as a student representative on multiple committees, including the survey committee, faculty hiring committee, as well as the pharmacy admissions interview committee. Andrea also had the privilege of representing the UWSOP at the ASHP Midyear Clinical Skills Competition during her P4 year. She also participated in the NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill meeting, she met with state representatives and lobbying for provider status for pharmacists. Upon graduation, Andrea began her career in community pharmacy as a staff pharmacist for Walgreens. During her tenure with Walgreens she began to realize that patients had more direct access to their pharmacist as compared to other healthcare practitioners; and that pharmacist was truly at the front line of health care. In late 2019 she accepted a job as a pharmacy manager at Smith's so she would have a greater opportunity to connect with her patients. Through these personal connections she can provide a direct hands-on approach in her patients’ health care. Every day she strives to grow as a practitioner, team leader, and patient advocate. While Andrea’s career is just beginning, she looks forward to continuing her advocacy for the pharmacy profession. One day she hopes community pharmacists will be able to provide more comprehensive clinical services to the patients they serve and that they may be part of a more interprofessional collaboration.

Vahe Lepedjian, PharmD, AAHIVP

Dr. Vahe Lepedjian earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Midwestern University in Arizona, where he was actively involved in APhA-ASP and Phi Lambda Sigma, the Pharmacy Leadership Society. His innate passion for activism and the leadership skills he developed as a student pharmacist carried over into his career in which he currently serves as an HIV Pharmacist for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, managing one of the highest-volume pharmacies of the organization.

Dr. Lepedjian is committed to advancing the profession of pharmacy and is a strong proponent of interprofessional collaboration for pharmacists to practice at the top of their license.  He genuinely loves organizing and participating in community outreach events with AHF to help end the stigma around HIV and to educate at-risk populations about the benefits of HIV preexposure prophylaxis. Nevertheless, Dr. Lepedjian’s greatest passion is working with students and playing a role in molding the next generation of pharmacists.

Aside from enhancing his profession, Dr. Lepedjian is also dedicated to continued personal and professional growth. This year, he earned his HIV Pharmacist designation from the American Academy of HIV Medicine. Furthermore, he is currently learning Spanish and studying to attain his Advanced Practice Pharmacist certification to be the best possible pharmacist for his patients.  Dr. Lepedjian goes above and beyond on a daily basis to practice pharmacy with empathy and compassion and is beloved by patients and colleagues alike.