joined the University of Washington AIDS Clinical Trials Unit in spring,
1997 as the Research Pharmacist. As the site's pharmacist, it is my
responsibility to prepare, administer or dispense, and maintain records
for all drug products involved in our studies. In addition to my
affiliation with ACTU, I work as a research pharmacist with the University
of Washington's HIV Vaccine Trials Unit (HVTU), the HIV Prevention Trials
Unit (HPTU) and the Virology Research Unit.
In case that's not enough, I also spend time as a HIV
Specialty Pharmacist at the Madison (HIV) Clinic where I fill
prescriptions, screen for drug interactions, and educate patients on their
complicated drug regimens.
I have a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Georgia, and I
completed a year of Post-graduate training in the area of Pharmacy
Practice at the Johns Hopkins Hospital . Before I migrated to Washington
State, I worked as a Research Pharmacist for the AIDS Clinical Trials Unit
at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
I really enjoy working for the University of Washington and feel fortunate
to have the available resources to be involved in both treatment and
prevention aspects of HIV disease.
I began working temporarily in the ACTU
investigational pharmacy as a favor to my supervisor until she could hire
a suitable applicant. Originally, she offered the position to me and
assured me I would like the job. I wasn’t so sure that I would be the
“right” person. Apparently, she did, because I’m still here over 9
years later! I have enjoyed the new challenges and realized my
professional strengths, my ability to organize, and my attention to
detail. Each study has distinctive differences that can make them more
complex and add challenges to my job. For this reason, I’m always
learning something about new drugs, side-effects, and the entire spectrum
of HIV care.
More importantly, I find my work highly rewarding
because of my small contribution toward research in the fight against
AIDS. It’s been exciting to see many HIV/AIDS drugs approved in recent
years. As a Lead Investigational Pharmacy Technician, it has been exciting
to participate in this development and licensing of new drugs. When I first started working for the ACTU there were only three
FDA-approved antiretrovirals. In
fact, monotherapy was the standard of care! Fortunately, today we have
about eighteen antiretrovirals available to treat patients. This, of
course, allows us to provide better care and many more options to those
infected by HIV/AIDS.
Over the past nine years I have experienced some
personal hardships that include a divorce, death of my brother, house
fire, and a family illness. Believe it or not, my work has provided me
with a sense of stability in which I feel safe. I am positive that I feel
this way because of the unwavering support of my coworkers at the ACTU. So
in many ways, I feel that my job is not “just a job”. At the ACTU I have many people I can count on to encouraged me both
personally and professionally.
Now, I also like to have fun, don’t get me wrong. I
like to go camping with my kids as often as I can, remodel my house, etc.
By the way, my house is an on-going slow project. I am currently accepting
applications for free-labor carpenters, plumbers, electricians, gardeners,
etc. Get the idea?