Chris Catney, BSPh, ’86 MA, ’96 PharmD, clinical assistant professor in the Applied Clinical Science (ACS) Division of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS), recently retired. She innovated and instructed novel courses, educated residents, and developed faculty.
Catney and her husband, Mike, moved to Iowa in 1976 after her hospital pharmacy residency in South Carolina. She started at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics as a staff pharmacist. Five years later, she found herself training pharmacy technicians.
“The technician training job was really what got me interested in instructional design,” said Catney, who went on to receive a master’s degree in the subject in 1986. “I was training a variety of types of learners. I needed to be able to create materials that could help a pharmacy student, a mother with a high school education returning to the workforce after having kids, and other students in-between.”
Catney worked her way through school—including getting an add-on PharmD at the College of Pharmacy—by working in area hospitals as a staff or relief pharmacist, full or part-time. Toward the end of her PharmD program, Lloyd Matheson—as associate dean of students—hired Catney to direct the college’s in-house Center for Teaching.
PPS Department Chair Jay Currie has known Catney—now assistant professor emeritus—since she started in the Doctor of Pharmacy Program as a non-traditional student in the '90s. He said her “unique background in educational theory and methods” enriched the college’s PharmD and residency programs. “She has a great passion for the care of the underserved, cultural competence and teaching our students to approach the care of patients without regard to patient background, and for international contributions by our faculty and students.”
She has a great passion for the care of the underserved, cultural competence and teaching our students to approach the care of patients without regard to patient background, and for international contributions by our faculty and students.
Catney initially wore many professional hats; she developed each area and passed them to others. She began as the college was moving away from BSPh degrees and towards the Doctor of Pharmacy degree. She helped the college develop its first programs of assessment, curricular innovation, and introductory practice experiences.
She also assisted with faculty development. In 2006, she started helping community pharmacy residents meet annual writing requirements. Catney developed—with Michelle Fravel, then a resident, now clinical associate professor—the Pharmacy Educator Preparation Program for Residents (PEPPR). She served as its director from 2008-2017.
Catney was a leader in the development of the Health Disparities and Cultural Competence elective interdisciplinary course. Its students study health disparities in depth and develop cultural competence skills and strategies. Catney innovated the course and was its coordinator since 2005.
In 2007, Catney joined the faculty of the annual spring semester, multi-disciplinary service-learning course and trip to Xicotepec, Mexico: A collaboration between UI, Rotary International District 6000, and the Rotary Club of Xicotepec. In Xicotepec, student pharmacists’ role is to deliver a deworming program. The course was founded in 2006 by fellow emerita faculty member Hazel Seaba. In 2016, Catney succeeded Seaba as course coordinator.