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The Value of Networking and Building Relationships

After returning from the ThoughtSpot 2022 conference in Orlando, Florida, I thought that it would be a good time to discuss networking and how it benefits us as pharmacy professionals. While at ThoughtSpot, I had the opportunity to connect with pharmacists that I work with on a regular basis, but also had the opportunity to reconnect with pharmacy friends and colleagues that I have not seen in years due to the ongoing pandemic. National conferences always provide the opportunity to reconnect with friends and colleagues, and meet and learn from new people to improve our own pharmacies.

The most impactful interactions at the ThoughtSpot meeting were with a dear friend and CPESN Virginia luminary, Dr. Kelly Oliver. Kelly has served as one of my mentors since she was my residency preceptor through the Community-Based Residency Program at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy. I learned a lot about networking during my time as her resident, and at ThoughtSpot 2022 she continued to set the example as to why networking is important. While I was talking to Kelly, the owner of one of our CPESN WV pharmacies came to say hello. I introduced the two of them and they had a great discussion about their respective pharmacies.

Kelly also attended a reception and happened to sit down next to another pharmacy owner from West Virginia, which is where I serve as the Managing Network Facilitator. During the interaction, she asked if the person knew me and then shared with this person the benefits that she perceived to be most valuable from membership in CPESN and encouraged him to join CPESN WV. She didn’t leave the table before getting his contact information and promptly sharing it with me so that I could follow-up. Even years after I completed residency with her, she still supports me and advocates for my success. We, as pharmacists, need to serve as advocates for our profession and also for each other. We can be so much more successful if we strive in our everyday interactions to support each other!

Written by CPESN WV Flip the Pharmacy Team Lead and Coach, Gretchen K. Garofoli, PharmD, BCACP, CTTS, FAPhA. Pictured are Karl Sommer, owner of Waterfront Family Pharmacy, CPESN WV, Gretchen Garofoli, and Kelly Oliver, owner of Jefferson Pharmacy, CPESN Virginia.

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