Dr. Isaacs earned her Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2004 and her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2009. Dr. Isaacs then completed a pharmacy practice residency with an emphasis in ambulatory care at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in 2010. Dr. Isaacs is a member of several pharmacy organizations and was honored with the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists (ICHP) New Practitioner Leadership Award in 2014. Dr. Isaacs was selected as the CSU pharmacy practice teacher of the year in 2012, 2013, and 2014. In 2014, she was also selected as the CSU preceptor of the year.
Dr. Isaacs served as Chair of the ASHP New Practitioners Forum Membership and Outreach Advisory Group. She is currently a member of the Section of Ambulatory Care Practitioners’ Educational Steering Committee. She has also been involved with her State Affiliate, ICHP, serving as the New Practitioner Network Chair and as the faculty co-advisor for Chicago State University’s SSHP Chapter.
The Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital is a 471 bed hospital and also includes six community based outpatient clinics that provide ambulatory care services to United States Veterans living in the Chicago land area. Dr. Isaacs specifically works at the Oak Lawn VA clinic and treats patients with hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and tobacco use disorder. She also serves as a resource within her clinic to answer drug information questions and precepts students and residents.
In her roles at the college and the clinic, Dr. Isaacs has the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects. At the clinic, she recently worked on an insulin U-500 medication use evaluation. She also helped establish a new interdisciplinary diabetes class. Other projects involved targeting patients with hemoglobin A1c’s>9% and BP>140/90 for referral into the pharmacy clinic to optimize blood glucose and blood pressure control respectively. At the college, she was fortunate to be on a team that received a five year NIH grant. Dr. Isaacs is leading a project as part of the grant related to medication adherence in patients with substance use disorders.
Advice for Someone New to Specialty Area
“Some tips I have learned along the way are to work hard and say yes to new opportunities. It's also great if you can create your own opportunities by figuring out what needs to be done before being asked or determining how a process could be improved. We should strive to work at the top of our licenses and utilize all of our clinical skills and knowledge, but it's also important to be willing to help others on some of the less than exciting tasks.”
Involvement in ASHP
“As a new practitioner, I was eager to get involved in professional organizations. I felt that ASHP was incredibly welcoming for new practitioners and had so many opportunities available for leadership and involvement. I especially like how ASHP has opportunities at all levels within pharmacy from student to seasoned practitioner. I feel that this is an organization I can grow with throughout my whole pharmacy career.”
ASHP’s Value to Members
“There are many tangible benefits to ASHP including access to website resources, CE programs, leadership opportunities, daily briefings, and member discounts. But the real value are those intangible benefits. I obtained my current position indirectly through networking at one of the ASHP receptions. And I've made other great connections through serving with others on committees and with my state affiliate.”
“ASHP brings together health-system pharmacists and helps us to have one, unified voice. This allows us to make the greatest impact possible on the pharmacy profession and work toward expanded roles for pharmacists in health care including provider status.”