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Latest News

EJF Speaking Engagement at Temple University School of Pharmacy in Philadelphia

I was thrilled and deeply honored to have the privilege of speaking on behalf of the Emily Jerry Foundation at Temple University’s School of Pharmacy in Philadelphia, on Monday of last week. I’m so grateful for having had this opportunity which was provided by my good friend Dr. Lawrence Carey, PharmD, who is an Assistant Dean and Professor at Temple.  I spoke to four separate classes that day, comprised of students at different stages of pursuing their doctorates in pharmacy (P1, P2, P3, & P4).  The lectures were an hour each in duration, back-to-back.

Shortly afterwards, all four classes were then invited to attend a 45 minute follow up Q&A session in a much larger room that could accommodate everyone. I immediately let those in attendance know that no questions were off limits or too personal, which always seems to open the initial dialogue well. Over the years, by simply being open and transparent about literally every aspect of my journey, I’ve learned it inevitably leads to some great conversations, as I’m pleased to say it did with all these students. This made for a very long day, but it also made the day very fulfilling for me personally, pushing EJF’s core mission forward by having the ability to reach so many students.  The reason I find days like these so gratifying is because I not only believe that these PharmD student’s strong and effective leadership exhibited throughout their careers will help lead the charge to help save countless lives from preventable medication errors…I also believe they are our future leaders in healthcare!

An extremely productive day, culminating in a wonderful dinner with Dr. S. Suresh Madhavan, the new Dean for Temple University’s School of Pharmacy, Dr. Lawrence Carey, and other esteemed faculty at Ralph’s in South Philly, which is recognized as being the oldest Italian restaurant in the United States!

Emily’s Story Impacts Pharmacy Tech Students at Area 31 Career Center in Indianapolis

Last week, it was such a privilege to have the opportunity to present before two convocations, consisting primarily of pharmacy technician students, at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis for their Area 31 Career Center.  It’s one of the largest high schools in Indiana, with 3,270 students.  Knowing what their enrollment was prior to my visit, I expected the school itself would be big. What I really didn’t realize though, was just how massive the main building for the school would be…it’s over a million square feet!

Equally impressive, to the “top notch” learning environment that’s been very firmly established for the students at Area 31, is their overall pharmacy technician career program that has been built on a very comprehensive underlying curriculum. Along those lines, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they are the only ASHP accredited high school program in the nation that offers an associate degree through their ongoing partnership with Vincennes University, also located in Indianapolis.  When I first heard about this during my visit, it really struck me, when I pondered the notion that students in the Area 31 school district, could graduate with an associate degree, become state licensed technicians, sit for the PTCB National Certification Exam, all at the same time they are completing their High School Diploma!

Area 31, along with their dedicated faculty, truly exemplify everything I’ve been advocating so passionately for over the years, relating to pharmacy technicians and the vital role they all play in medication safety. This is why I’m truly grateful for having had this opportunity to speak to these students!

EJF to Present to Pharmacy Tech Students in Indianapolis – April 4th

I’m pleased to say that I have been invited on April 4th to present before two convocations, consisting primarily of pharmacy technician students at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis for their Area 31 Career Center. Recently I learned that Ben Davis not only has one of the largest enrollments in Indiana, it also has the prestigious honor of receiving the National Award for Excellence in Education from the U.S. Dept. of Education.

When I first established the Emily Jerry Foundation 15 years ago, a pharmacist friend/mentor of mine, explained the vital role that pharmacy technicians play with respect to overall medication safety, and also how important their scope of practice truly is…that it’s certainly NOT just another job! He told me to think of the pharmacy technicians as being members of a professional sports team and to think of the supervising pharmacists as being their head coaches. This simple analogy has stuck with me to this day, and it’s precisely why I continue to advocate so strongly for having well educated, career oriented pharmacy technicians on ALL pharmacy teams. Bottom line, they are proven to significantly reduce the number of medication errors and prevent tragedies BEFORE they happen! This is also why I feel so privileged and honored to have this wonderful opportunity to speak to these students… really looking forward to this event!

Read more: https://wtef.wayne.k12.in.us/2024/03/15/pharmacy-tech-students-to-learn-about-costs-of-medical-errors/

Second Academic Year for Medication Safety Scholars Program

Really excited to share the news that we will be beginning the second academic year for the Emily Jerry Foundation‘s Medication Safety Scholars Program! This comprehensive distance education and virtual engagement program was developed and successfully implemented over the past five years, through a close partnership and collaboration between EJF, the ASHP Foundation, and the ASHP Student Forum.

We are now accepting applications for our next student cohort, so If you’re a P2 or P3 Doctor of Pharmacy student, who wants to become a true medication safety leader in your healthcare organization, I encourage you to consider applying today!

Isn’t one tragic PREVENTABLE medication error too many?

Program Overview & Other Related Links:

Learn More About our First Inaugural Year for Medication Safety Scholars:

How-to-Apply Webinar Registration -Tomorrow, March 19th, at 4:00pm ET:

Apply Today:

Follow Up Sentiments From Purdue University PHRM 868 – Patient Safety and Informatics Class

Last week, I was very encouraged but humbled, to receive the following email from my friend, Dr. Dan Degnan and his colleague Dr. Ephrem Abebe at Purdue University College of Pharmacy. They had invited me to speak last October to the students in their PHRM 868 – Patient Safety and Informatics class, all of whom are pursuing their doctorates in Pharmacy…our future leaders in healthcare.

“I wanted to drop you a quick note on behalf of Ephrem and myself to say thank you for coming to share your story, your knowledge and your expertise about Patient Safety and Informatics with our 3rd year pharmacy students last semester. Although some time has passed, we have started to debrief about potential improvements to class and to celebrate all the positives that came from the class.

As part of that process, we evaluate reflections written by all 150 students in class. One of the prompts for this assignment asks students to reflect on what lecture topic was most interesting to them and why? We took comments related to the lecture you provided and attached them.

Working in academia, I think it can be easy to forget the profound effect you can have on others. I wanted to share some of the impact you had on our students last semester.”

The following are only a few of those very kind student reflections, regarding my lecture:

“Mr. Jerry’s narrative was not just about personal tragedy; it was proof of his resilience and determination to transform that tragedy into a catalyst for change. What made this lecture truly memorable was Mr. Jerry’s decision to pursue a career in pharmacy following a devastating loss, driven by a commitment to increase awareness about patient safety and prevent medical errors.”

“Chris’s story didn’t invoke fear, but responsibility. It pushed me to delve deeper into patient safety, medications, and preventing their misuse, in anticipating potential pitfalls before they arise. His message resonated because it didn’t excuse others, it didn’t point fingers. Instead, it placed the responsibility squarely on our shoulders, the ones directly trusted with the final step in the medication chain.”

“Having a loved one pass away due to a mistake and being able to put your energy to preventing those same mistakes from impacting someone else is extremely noble, and what Mr. Jerry does to help educate us as students and future professionals is very admirable.”

“While it is extremely unfortunate Mr. Jerry had this tragedy in his life, through his words, passion and hope I felt changed and motivated as a healthcare professional to honor Emily. That it is my duty and obligation to change the system and spread awareness to prevent another occurrence like hers from happening again.”

EJF at Annual ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting in Anaheim California

Last week I had another speaking engagement at the Annual ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting in Anaheim California.  This has always been one of my favorite meetings because it’s the largest gathering of clinical pharmacists from around the globe, with around 25,000 pharmacy professionals in attendance each year.

When I first started doing this work many years ago, it was the modality of pharmacy, that immediately welcomed me into their fold. I always felt like they understood what I was trying to accomplish with Emily Jerry Foundation and my advocacy efforts.  Right away, I discovered that these amazing clinician caregivers shared my same exact passion for improving medication safety and saving lives from preventable medication errors.  So inevitably, I always end up running into quite a few people I’ve had the privilege of working with over the years, many who have become dear friends that I haven’t seen in a while, and we all get a chance to catch up with one another. More importantly though, these are the true experts from the modality of pharmacy who are all just as passionate about medication safety as I am, and we’re all blessed to be assembled in one place every year!

This is also why I’m grateful for having had the opportunity to give a keynote and present with Eric Cropp, PharmD, and Michael Cohen, from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP)) at the meeting this year. The event was sponsored & hosted by a new Emily Jerry Foundation partner, EQUASHIELD®.  I’m glad to align with their organization and the wonderful team they’ve assembled, to develop and implement their innovative technology solutions for pharmacy compounding.  Companies like theirs provide the exact “technology tools” and systems that I have often referred to over the years that are proven to save countless lives from preventable medication errors like the one that tragically claimed my daughter Emily’s life in 2006.

Upcoming Keynote Presentation at the ASHP Midyear Conference in Anaheim, CA, on December 4th

I’m thrilled to invite you to my upcoming keynote presentation at the ASHP Midyear Conference in Anaheim, CA, on December 4th, 2023. As the President and CEO of The Emily Jerry Foundation, I am proud to align with EQUASHIELD®, a brand that stands for safety, quality, and efficiency with its main focus on minimizing tragic medication errors and, in turn, saving countless lives.

Visit me at Equashield’s Booth 947, where they will be launching their latest product, designed to revolutionize the landscape of pharmacy compounding.

This event is an opportunity for us to learn, grow, and take a step into the future of hazardous drug compounding. Let’s shape the future of pharmacy together – click the link to sign up!

Together, we can truly make a difference. I really hope to see you there!
Learn more at: https://www.equashield.com/ashp-product-launch/


EJF Visits Purdue University College of Pharmacy

It was such a privilege and honor to have been given the opportunity to lecture at Purdue University College of Pharmacy this past Friday by my friend Dr. Dan Degnan.  There were approximately 150 students in the patient safety and informatics class in attendance, all working hard to pursue their doctorate degrees. These students are our future leaders & experts who will ALWAYS be fighting the “the good fight,” always striving to make medication safety the absolute number one priority amongst ALL their colleagues in the different modalities, helping to assure the best possible outcome for EVERY single patient receiving healthcare. This is also why I’m so pleased to be able to say that this (PHRM 86800) patient safety and informatics class is actually a required course for all third year (P3) students in Purdue’s PharmD program.

I’m so convinced & extremely confident, that through these PharmD student’s strong and effective leadership throughout their careers, these students are the ones who will help lead the charge to help save countless lives from preventable medication errors, like the one that tragically claimed my daughter Emily’s life in 2006.

Unfortunately, many people in the public are completely unaware that what happened to my daughter Emily was not just a freak accident and that medication errors are responsible for the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives every single year in the United States alone. This is what makes this issue relevant to literally, ALL of us!  Why?  The answer is simple, we ALL receive healthcare during our lifetime, as do ALL our loved ones.

The good news in all of this, as I’ve mentioned countless times before is that I truly believe preventable medical errors are just that…PREVENTABLE!

Louisiana Pharmacist’s Association Event in Baton Rouge, LA

This is the bio from the Louisiana Pharmacist’s Association’s Program Agenda…it very clearly sums up my true sentiments as to exactly why I am so passionate about my work in patient & medication safety.

I really love & enjoy my very unconventional career path and all the wonderful healthcare providers I’m so privileged to work with every single day…it’s what I feel I’ve been called to do considering what tragically happened to my daughter Emily in 2006. As I’m sure you can imagine though, I admit there have been many times over the years, I’ve still found myself looking up saying, “this is really all part of Your plan and what You really want me doing?”…my whole career since Emily died has truly been a walk of faith, learning to trust in God’s plan for me, but one I would never change or trade for anything.

This is also why I feel so honored to be giving the Keynote at the LPA Annual Meeting in Baton Rouge later today!

Technology in IV Workflow Management Systems

Ever since establishing the Emily Jerry Foundation and beginning my journey down this unconventional career path, I have felt very strongly that it was imperative to help people understand and recognize the simple fact that “human error” is inevitable. No matter how well educated or intended a person may be, God made us ALL fallible.  My primary objective over the years, has been to help prevent what happened to my beautiful baby girl, from happening to others. To accomplish this and save lives, I realized that this inherent “human error” component needs to be truly acknowledged, and subsequently, core systems, processes, and protocols, in healthcare designed around this fact.

This is why, I highly recommend reading this great article from Dr. Tyler Nichols, from ISMP, titled “IV Workflow Management Systems: A Century in the Making,” that was published in Pharmacy Practice News, last Friday.

Visit https://lnkd.in/g-64Eq_w, to learn more about this exciting technology.

As someone who has been a very outspoken proponent, over the years, for the smart adoption & implementation of technology, as the tools to help eradicate “human error” from the pharmacy workflow, I’m hoping and praying that you, the experts in the modality of pharmacy, will continue striving and “fighting the good fight” to make these lifesaving IV workflow management systems become a “standard of care” as soon as possible!

To all clinician caregivers, thank you for all of your ongoing efforts to improve medication safety and God bless you all for your continued support of The Emily Jerry Foundation!