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10/26/2010

Career Profile

Jenny Van Amburgh

Jenny Van Amburgh

B.S. Pharm, Pharm.D., R.Ph., CDE

Associate Clinical Professor / Residency Program Director / Director of Clinical Pharmacy Services

Northeastern University School of Pharmacy/Harbor Health Services, Inc.

Primary Specialty: Ambulatory Care

Education and Advanced Training

I received my B.S. in pharmacy in 1998, and completed my Doctor of Pharmacy in 1999 from Albany College of Pharmacy. Upon graduation, I completed a one year dual residency in ambulatory care and adult teaching / learning at Albany College of Pharmacy. I am a certified diabetes educator (CDE) and certified immunizer.

Type of Patient Population Served

While I am a full time faculty member at Northeastern University – School of Pharmacy, my practice site is at Harbor Health Services, Inc., which consists of three federally qualified community health centers and an Elder Service Program in the Boston area. I initiated clinical pharmacy services at Neponset Health Center in 2000, serving uninsured and underserved patients. Over the past 10 years, we have grown the clinical pharmacy services to now include a geriatric clinical pharmacist at Elder Service Program and a second ambulatory care clinical pharmacist at Geiger Gibson Community Health Center. We serve patients from culturally diverse backgrounds including Vietnamese, Irish-American, Cape Verdeans, African-American, and Brazilians. Types of clinical pharmacy services offered are medication therapy management / medication adherence, chronic disease management (diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia), readiness to start therapy (HAART – HIV/AIDs), tobacco cessation programs, community outreach, home visits, renal consults, drug information consults and in-services, Medicare Part D consults, and professional development for providers and staff.

Roles and Responsibilities

In my role, I have multiple responsibilities depending on what ‘hat’ I am wearing. In my faculty role, both in the classroom and at the practice site, I am responsible for educating, advising, and mentoring future pharmacists. In my clinical pharmacist role, it is to provide comprehensive patient counseling and education to ensure safe and effective use of nonprescription and prescription medications, while improving the patient’s health, well-being, and disease outcomes. One of our goals is to provide comprehensive, ongoing education; taking into account each patient’s individual state of health, readiness to learn, and socioeconomic and cultural background. In addition, we encourage and welcome our patient’s participation in the self-management and care of their chronic conditions. As the Director of the Clinical Pharmacy Services and Residency Program Director at Harbor Health Services, Inc., I am also responsible for the administrative aspects associated with the clinical pharmacy services (Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences, clinical pharmacists’ schedules, committees, etc.), and PGY1 residency program.

How I Got to Where I Am Today

I am fortunate to have had great mentors in my undergraduate program and during my residency. Without the support and encouragement of these people, I would not be where I am today. I believe that my success is directly related to their mentoring and direction, as well as providing me with a solid foundation, both clinically and academically. I have continued to foster these relationships, as well as grow new relationships through my involvement in national organizations. I am thankful for what they offered me, and I believe it is partly my responsibility to do the same for the future pharmacists (and do so through student advising / mentoring and the PGY1 residency program).

Advice for Students Pursuing This Career Path

My advice to students interested in this career path:

  • Complete post-graduate trainings (PGY1, PGY2, fellowship, PhD, etc.)
  • Find a mentor (or multiple mentors)…this can be done at the practice site, as well as within local, state, and national organizations. And you may need to have mentors for different areas (academic vs. clinical, research mentors, etc.)
  • Attend programs / conferences to enhance your skill set
  • Seek certification in your expertise
  • Get involved in professional organizations at all levels (local, state, national)

Professional Organizations Outside Daily Job Responsibilities

I am active in local, state, and national pharmacy organizations serving in numerous roles. Some examples include: Past Chair of the Self Care Therapeutics / Nonprescription Medicines Special Interest Group with the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, Co-editor and Co-Chair of the Nonprescription Medicine Academy, Professional Affairs Committee for the Massachusetts Pharmacists Association, Founding member and steering committee member for the New England Institute Ambulatory Care Pharmacists Network, and an active member on several committees at Harbor Health Services, Inc., and Northeastern University School of Pharmacy.

Contact Information

You can reach me by e-mail at j.vanamburgh@neu.edu.

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