April 16, 2018

Doctor of Pharmacy students spent a recent Saturday at the Tippie College of Business studying business practices and learning about data analysis. 

“Business skills are essential for pharmacy professionals,” said Michael Brownlee, an associate dean at the College of Pharmacy and chief pharmacy officer at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. “They translate directly into pharmacy practice settings, whether it be in a health system or community practice setting.”

Being able to offer business courses to pharmacy students was the brainchild of George Hiller, president and CEO of Hiller & Associates, and former College of Pharmacy Executive Leadership Board member.  Hiller’s vision was to equip pharmacy students with business acumen and leadership skills to give them an edge in the job market, and in general, expand their business know-how. 

The pilot program covered data analytics and reviewed case studies. Sam Burer, a professor in the Department of Management Sciences of the Tippie College of Business led the analytics session and Samm Anderegg, ’11 PharmD, MS, BCPS, and CEO of DocStation, was an invited speaker. Additional modules are being planned, expanding the content to add Developing and Leading Teams/Conflict Resolution, Finance for non-Financial Managers, Healthcare Reimbursement Structures and Implications, Hiring and Retaining Top Performing Talent, Healthcare Organization and Structures, and Entrepreneurship, Problem Solving, Organizing, and Implementations. 

Program planning has been led by alumna Beth Bird, ’83 BSPh, MM, current Executive Leadership Board member and healthcare information solutions consultant for Castlight Health.  Others deeply involved in the project is Tippie College of Business Associate Director, Alex Taylor, and a student committee, led by Doctor of Pharmacy students Grant Jerkovich, Mohammed Fredericks, and Bethany Vogts. 

“The pilot session on data analytics exposed us to so much more than what I expected,” said committee member Matthew Busalacchi. “The case studies were extremely relevant and stimulated discussion.”