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Diversity in Pharmacy Leadership means All Patients Receive Care they Deserve: Celebrating Women in Pharmacy with Brooke Griffin

Posted by FLAVORx Inc.

Mar 21, 2019 9:00:00 AM




 Meet Brooke Griffin, Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Vice Chair of Clinical Services at Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy in Downers Grove, IL. We asked Brooke the following questions and with great authenticity she shared her personal experiences overcoming challenges in her career as well as the necessity of diversity across the healthcare industry for optimum patient care. 


  1. Diversity amongst Decision-Makers is a must


  1. Why is diversity in leadership necessary for pharmacies and healthcare organizations?

    "Diversity says, let’s look at this through your kaleidoscope lens and talk about it. Let’s include folks who don’t look like us. Let’s give ourselves permission to move past heedless past experiences and move toward awareness. We need to see diversity in our decision-makers to optimize patient care. When our students observe this, they will seek this out for their entire career. When our patients see this, they receive care they deserve. When our team members see this, they stay."


  1. How does the industry of pharmacy benefit from female leadership?

"Female leaders in pharmacy have the opportunity to positively influence the trajectory of their teams by thinking boldly and driving change in seemingly anchored environments. If nothing else, they give hope to junior pharmacists who have similar career goals. However, a strong female role model is impactful because of their ability to prioritize, communicate, and ask for help. In my experience, pharmacy reaps the benefits of female leaders when they have a combination of emotional and intellectual acuity."


'You Bringing You' Overcomes Barriers


  1. Although women make up most of the healthcare workforce, they hold only 19% of hospital CEO positions, and they head only 4% of healthcare companies. What challenges do you think women healthcare leaders face in their career? What challenges, if any, have you faced in your career and how have you overcome them? 

    "I’ve been dumped by more clinics than ex-boyfriends. And what happens is, as Brene Brown says so well, you find yourself face down in the dirt in the middle of the arena. And you have to get up and face your peers and your patients and your boss. And it’s terrifying. But the growth is pure magic. I was always thankful I had a little brother to wrestle with because it taught me how to stand up for myself (as well as some really good comebacks). Similarly for my professional challenges, I learned that even though crushing defeat can be felt professionally, the treasure for picking myself up was worth it personally."


  1. What unique qualities or perspectives do you bring to your job?

    "I’m an optimist. I like to problem-solve. I crave interaction with people of diverse skill sets and backgrounds and will seek them out if they’re not close enough. I have a passion for advocating for the best opportunities for everyone, from students to peers. I like hard work. I’m ambitious. I’m a mom and I’ve worked full-time, part-time, and job-share. Being a working parent is filled with blurred lines and this perspective has served me well."


  1. Who has been inspirational to you in your career?

    "Too many to list! Let’s start with these three. My parents have stood as pillars of support for all of my decisions, good and bad. They both worked outside of the home, had non-traditional gender roles inside the home, and created a great foundation for me. I also have a coworker who inspires me because they didn’t have the same experience in childhood. Yet they show up every day with salty grit, good ideas, and strong work ethic. And they show up every day. One day I was sitting next to them at a meeting and thought, if they can be here today, I can be here, too. Authenticity wins me over every time – you bringing you - that inspires me."


  1. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

"Accepting that I bring something different to the table. Personal exploration in pharmacy is underrated and a work in progress for me. Through writing and book clubs, I now I have a space to work with fellow pharmacists and students on what this means to us. Also I’m incredibly proud of navigating the push and pull of parenthood and career aspirations. We have come a long way and there’s still a lot of discovery that’s needed. Raising children to be kind, mighty, thinkers, doers, college-bound, and nice to Mom is the most joyous and bring-me-to-my-knees experience I’ve had. I love them fiercely enough to give them everything I can while at the same time keeping my own identity alive. I’m still learning and moshing and growing. But guess what? I’m not alone. I don’t have to look far to ask someone for advice or a 2-hour time out. I find it funny that every day feels like an experiment in the Am-I-Doing-A-Good-Job Lab. Let’s do this interview again in 20 years and we’ll see if I’m more successful than making suppositories in compounding lab."


Know any awesome women in pharmacy you'd like to honor? Share with us in the comments below:


Topics: Pharmacy Leaders


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