Making a Difference


We at Pharmacy Times know that day in and day out, pharmacists make a real difference in the lives of their patients—there is proof of that fact every day. We believe that the spirit driving people to become pharmacists is based on a strong sense of community and a real longing to give back, combined with entrepreneurship and purpose. As our country grapples with the ever-increasing complexities of the health care law, the new ways to access health care, and the continued debate about what is right and what is wrong, it is important to recognize the role of the pharmacist.

In this issue, we include an eloquent essay by a pharmacist that perhaps provides the best insight into how pharmacy can and does change people’s lives. Our essay contest, “Why I Became a Pharmacist,” garnered a great response and a wide variety of thoughtful essays from our readers in the field. “Searching for Cures, Making a Difference” chronicles the personal journey of our winner, Dr. Sharlene Ghassemi, who works in northern California. She tells us what inspired her to become a pharmacist and what led her on her career journey. We won’t spoil it here—but when you read her words, you’ll see a portrait of a pharmacist that reveals strength, commitment, and a lifelong passion.

As Sharlene says, while she contemplated becoming a pharmacist and took a closer look at a pharmacy class before signing on for the degree, “People often say they want to make a difference in the world, but I could tell that these people were the difference.”

We believe in pharmacists and the difference they do make. We support up-and-coming pharmacists with the new student section on our website. And we are here, every day, for every working pharmacist from every sector of the profession to help you to make a difference with in-depth knowledge, new information, new drugs, case studies, counseling tips, continuing education, and more.

And in this changing health care world, we feel that it is more important than ever to recognize, advance, and honor the profession of pharmacy. Our Next-Generation PharmacistTM awards program in collaboration with Parata—now in its fifth year—selects and celebrates the innovators and leaders, the passionate and talented, and the entrepreneurs and community advocates in pharmacy. Nominations are open through April 1, 2014—go to and to send in your nominations for deserving pharmacists, technicians, or students for one of the 10 categories. We will be telling you all of their personal stories—and shine the light on the pharmacist—as pharmacy moves forward in the evolving health care landscape.

Thank you for reading!

Mike Hennessy

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer

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