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Nancy Yam

Nancy Yam

Pharm.D., M.H.A., BCPS

Associate Chief of Pharmacy

UC San Diego Health

San Diego, CA

Nancy’s Story

Dr. Yam received her Pharm.D. from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) in 2005 and her M.H.A. from Simmons College in 2013 after going through ASHP’s Pharmacy Leadership Academy. She completed her PGY1 acute care at UC San Diego Health in 2006 and her PGY2 in Health System Pharmacy Administration at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in 2007.

Dr. Yam currently works at UC San Diego Health as Associate Chief of Pharmacy, Director of Pharmacy – Acute Care. She is also the Residency Program Director for the PGY2 Health System Pharmacy Administration program there. She also holds a volunteer academic appointment at UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences as an Associate Clinical Professor. 

Dr. Yam is a member of the Section Advisory Group – Management of the Pharmacy Enterprise. In addition to that, she volunteers for various activities such as reviewing student CVs. One of her favorite involvements in ASHP is volunteering as a guest residency surveyor. Being a guest surveyor allows her the chance to learn about other programs and then bring it back to UC San Diego Health!

Overview of Facility/Health System

UC San Diego Health is one of five academic medical centers within the 10-campus University of California system. Collectively known as UC Health, these medical centers comprise the fourth largest health care delivery system in California and train nearly 50 percent of the state’s medical students and medical residents. UC San Diego Medical Center, Jacobs Medical Center and Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center operate under one license, with a combined capacity of 808 beds and many specialties. The average daily census in 2017 was 504 with close to 30,000 discharges, and a total of 750,000 outpatient visits.

Significant Projects 

“We’re growing our new leadership team at UC San Diego Health. We are working on building a cohesive team that works collaboratively and positively with patient care being at the center. There’s also more of an initiative to work with and collaborate with the other University of California institutions in so many ways – operational workflow, leveraging technology, learning best practices. We’re doing more than ever before! We’re also adjusting and making changes as we see fit to our own workflow with other healthcare providers so that we’re more patient facing such at Focused Interdisciplinary Team (FIT) rounds or with more transitions of care with pharmacists and technicians. We hope to optimize our use of technology as well; there’s a wealth of data out there and we’re working on ways to leverage it to improve the services that we provide.”

Advice for Someone New to Your Specialty Area

“Be open to all the possibilities and everything that is available to you. Take chances and speak up! Don’t be afraid to fail or to do something different. Be creative and think outside the box and value the creative differences that you'll find. Understand that we all have different perspectives. Continue to challenge yourself and to challenge others. Health System Pharmacy Administration is not the usual path for pharmacists but it can be rewarding and enjoyable to those who have an affinity for it. Also, take every opportunity that you get to learn from others. We have so many great people that we can learn from within our profession. For example, I've had the opportunity to work with great leaders like Drs. Rita Shane and Chuck Daniels; they are very different and have different leadership styles but they have a common goal – to continue to advance our profession. Listen to everyone and hear what they have to say and seek input. New ideas can start from a simple conversation but may be anything but simple. Try your best – there will be difficult times but there will be rewarding times as well. Remember that we’re all here for each other and for the patients.” 

Initial Involvement in ASHP

“I can’t remember there not being an ASHP.” Dr. Yam remembers joining as a student due to the residency opportunities. After that, she remained a member because she found value in the organization and sees how member driven it is. ASHP offers so much to you whether you’re a student, new practitioner, or the most seasoned pharmacist. ASHP gives you opportunities to learn and to share knowledge. It’s been professionally rewarding.

Value of ASHP

“Meeting and getting to know others within your profession is invaluable. ASHP helps all of us build strong relationships. Sometimes, we’re so in tuned with what’s going on in our world that we sometimes forget to look up to see what’s out there. ASHP is our extended community and we should use it as a resource! It’s a constant state of sharing knowledge so that we’re all successful. Through the various modes of sharing, ASHP allows us to see, hear, and learn what else is going on so that we can work together to make things better.”

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