Sarah Stephens, Pharm.D., BCPS, received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Wyoming, and then went on to complete a PGY1 and then PGY2 in Drug Information at the University of Utah. After a short time as a Drug Information Specialist, she moved back into a clinical role as an acute adult internal medicine pharmacist ultimately leading to a clinical faculty position with the University of Utah College of Pharmacy. This was a position she enjoyed for many years and found very rewarding. However, life’s path has led her to California as the Medication Safety Coordinator for Kaweah Delta Health Care District in Central Valley. In this underserved and unique area, Dr. Stephens is learning a new role but utilizing all she gained in her experiences and mentorship in Utah.
Dr. Stephens is currently involved with the Section of Inpatient Care Practitioners as a member of the Section Advisory Group on Medication Safety.
Kaweah Delta Health Care District is an eight-campus, 581-bed healthcare organization based in Visalia, California. California’s healthcare districts are public entities organized to meet the needs of local communities throughout the state.
Currently, Dr. Stephens is working on a variety of safety initiatives to improve care including evaluation of the independent double-check process including an evaluation of the financial impact of requiring this activity (often these checks are over-utilized, not completed correctly, and likely ineffective at preventing error), medication safety in the perioperative area, and improving anticoagulant use in her organization.
Advice for Someone New to Your Specialty Area
“Understand an organization, its players, and the culture before tackling large projects, especially those that require a shift in cultural norms or behavior. Truly seek to understand before making judgment and involve others in all decision making processes. Value your colleagues, their experiences and insight making them part of organizational change. Grassroots efforts are ideal for medication safety success.”
Involvement in ASHP
“I feel ASHP is my professional home and has been so since this beginning of my career. This was solidified during my involvement with the Utah ASHP State-Affiliate Society where I was a Treasurer and then President. I served as a delegate of the state for two years and saw firsthand the impact of ASHP’s advocacy for the profession.”
ASHP’s Value to Members
“Advocacy, networking, and professional growth - ASHP provides a voice for our profession in all pharmacy settings. ASHP has a strong voice on Capitol Hill and advocates not only for what is right for the profession, but what is right for patient care.”