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Cardinal Health Women in Pharmacy
Pouja Dyopa, Geeta Madadi, Suzane Belibo, Ghada Abukuwaik, Shannon Polson, Eden Sulzer, Ann Benyo and Brenda Garcia
Julie Thien, Mackenzie Farr and Steve Lawrence
Theresa Tole, Erika Jurrens and Kate Hare
Katie Precht, Staci Hubert, Kitran Geise and Heather Harris
Gabriela Rodriguez, Idalia Bonilla and Lucianne Alvarado
Chioma Onyiah, Sherlie Llorens and Lisa Schwartz
Ritu Ajmani and Jane Patel
Cardinal Health 2018

Women in Pharmacy welcomes Puerto Rico chapter, celebrates female trailblazers

BY Michael Johnsen

Cardinal Health celebrated its Women in Pharmacy community, now in its eighth year, at Cardinal Health RBC 2018 in San Diego during two morning events — a leadership forum followed by the annual Mix, Mingle and Mocha Reception. During the events, the Cardinal Health WIP community welcomed the latest chapter to join its ranks — pharmacy owners from Puerto Rico.

Chartered earlier this year, the Puerto Rico WIP community rallied around the neighborhoods they serve in the wake of the devastation delivered last year by Hurricane Maria. In Puerto Rico, 75% of the pharmacy students graduating are women, as compared with 45% of women who are business owners in the commonwealth.

“We’re happy to see Women in Pharmacy chapters expand to the Puerto Rico communities,” said Eden Sulzer, director and founder of the WIP initiative at Cardinal Health. “There have been a lot of great relationships that have happened because of [WIP], and it’s exciting to witness the progress of female pharmacists who joined the initiative and continue to make an impact across the country.”

A milestone for the Women in Pharmacy initiative will be reached this fall as Cardinal Health announced its sponsorship of the first annual Women Pharmacist Day on Oct. 12. Women Pharmacist Day was created by Suzanne Rabi Soliman, founder of the 12,000-member Pharmacist Moms Group community.

Soliman earned her PharmD from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2004, and currently is the chief academic officer for the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs. In 2017, she founded the Pharmacist Moms Group, and in less than one year commanded a group of more than 10,000 women. “As a pharmacist, I often felt that I was operating in a silo, but these moms have made me realize I am not,” Soliman posted in a recent blog. “The Pharmacist Moms Group is not just a group, but rather a movement and a full support system.”

Cardinal Health’s WIP community also heard from another trailblazer during Cardinal Health RBC. As one of the first women to fly Apache combat helicopters in the U.S. Armed Forces, motivational speaker Shannon Huffman Polson addressed the WIP community on leadership. She provided four key components of successful leadership, sharing that leaders need to own their own story, take care of their people by listening first, invite those people to share in their respective journeys and have the courage of ownership.

“One of the things I learned in my eight years in uniform and the years in corporate leadership, is that leadership does not have to do with your rank, position or the number of direct reports you have,” Polson said. “Being a leader has everything to do with making the decision to lead.”

It starts with knowing exactly what you want and then having the grit to pursue it. “Once you connect to your core purpose, you connect to that grit deep inside yourself,” she said. “Grit is something [that’s] innate in every single one of us. Grit is the intersection between your purpose and your passion. Once you’ve done the work to drill down to your core purpose and find that grit, it will get you through the toughest times.”

Click here to learn more about Cardinal Health’s Women in Pharmacy initiative and how to get involved.

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