Referred to the diabetes educator there, she doesn't know what to expect. The diabetes educator — also a pharmacist — welcomes the woman and asks about her health: 'Tell me... Do you have any diabetes in your family? How do you feel overall?' Soon, the conversation reveals important nuggets of detail. Listen. Share. Listen again. The pharmacist recalls what she knows and applies it to the woman's new information, makes connections, and formulates recommendations. The conversation creates a relationship that can support the diabetic woman's long-term health. Listen. Share. Listen again.
Such a conversation starts D'Souza "thinking on my feet. I really have to listen to what this woman says before I jump in with suggestions or recommendations. After I hear her story, I can decide whether we can handle everything right there or if we need additional information. Either way, I'm helping this woman make an important decision, and we're creating a plan for her treatment." It's the start of an on-going relationship where the woman returns to the diabetes educator and her neighborhood pharmacist for evaluation and more information about steps she can take to get and stay healthy.
I'm helping this woman make an important decision, and we're creating a plan for her treatment."
— Jennifer D'Souza, Pharm.D., CDE,
As assistant professor of pharmacy practice in the Chicago College of Pharmacy at Midwestern University, Jennifer D'Souza, PharmD, is all about creating positive professional relationships. "I love teaching at the clinic site and in our traditional classrooms. It's a very open, warm, and supportive environment for students and faculty." She's seen both sides of the coin — D'Souza chose MWU for her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, stayed on for her PharmD, and returned to teach after a pharmacy practice residency at Aurora Health Care/St. Luke's Medical Center in Milwaukee (WI).
"My students are my future colleagues," says D'Souza. "I want them to do well, to succeed. That means I care about both their academic endeavors and their personal well-being." Beyond teaching at Midwestern, D'Souza spends some time — as many as four days each week — at Dreyer Medical Clinic in Aurora (IL), where she serves as a clinical pharmacist. "When I was a student, MWU professors were my mentors and coaches. Now that I'm a faculty member, I want to carry on this model with my students. Maintaining my own pharmacy practice offers the day-to-day experience that helps me give back to them."
D'Souza teaches Pharmacotherapeutics and Advanced Physical Assessment, serves as a preceptor for pharmacy practice residencies and the ambulatory/chronic care rotation, acts as course director for the Advanced Clinical Diabetes Management elective, and is the co-advisor to the Pharmacy Student Council. One of D'Souza's current projects is creating a Diabetes Clinic, where complications from the disease can be investigated and evaluated to discover effective prevention strategies.
"The warmth, openness, and friendliness of Midwestern is something special," says D'Souza. "It's truly a collegial place where we're all happy for each others' success. There's a lot of collaboration between the colleges and programs, with many more opportunities to get involved in community activities. What means the most to me is the chance to get to know my students outside the classroom, to work with them on health fairs and service projects, to see them apply what they learn to their professional practice."
Jennifer D'Souza, Pharm.D., CDE, is assistant professor of Pharmacy Practice in the Chicago College of Pharmacy (CCP) at Midwestern University's Downers Grove (IL) campus. When she was a PharmD student at MWU, D'Souza co-founded the annual MWU Health Fair. A member of the CCP Alumni Council since 2005, D'Souza was elected its 2008-2009 president.