1. What does your routine day look like?
Mary Moss Chandran is a pediatric solid organ transplant pharmacist at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Her position is primarily clinical, with the majority of her day dedicated to patient care for kidney transplant, liver transplant, and pediatric hepatology.
Jenny Wichart is a pharmacy Clinical Practice Leader with time split between direct patient care and leadership activities. Her clinical time is primarily focused in the area of pediatric nephrology and kidney transplant.
Our Clinical Pharmacist roles are both divided between the inpatient and outpatient services where we interact with the multidisciplinary team on inpatient patient care rounds and in ambulatory clinics. In our patient care roles we are heavily involved in the development and monitoring of therapeutic management plans, providing medication education, performing pre-transplant evaluations and education, and facilitating transitions of care. Beyond direct patient care, our roles provide opportunities for precepting pharmacy students and residents, conducting clinical research, and contributing to quality improvement or other practice direction initiatives.
2. What are you most proud of?
Pediatric transplant pharmacists are a very niche role in our profession. We have both had the opportunity to build and develop our roles at different stages and are very proud of the clinically relevant pharmacy services that are relied upon in our programs. For Mary, as the first transplant pharmacist on their team, she has had the opportunity to identify areas of need and create pharmacy services to promote transplant patient care. Transplant pharmacy now has a consistent presence on the inpatient transplant teams, outpatient transplant clinics and in transplant related research at their program. As well, she is able to assist with the development and promotion of the Transitions to Adult Care program for young adults as they move their care to the adult transplant setting. For Jenny, the teamwork allows an opportunity for the transplant pharmacist to work to full scope and support patients and families over their entire journey, from pre-transplant through kidney transplant surgery and post-transplant, until patients transition to the adult program. Seamless care is built into the program as care is provided to both inpatients and outpatients along the continuum of their pediatric care. The pharmacist role has been well established and integrated for many years in both direct patient care and program support and the pharmacy team now has a professional practice that includes advanced prescribing and injection certification.
3. Are there any challenges in your role?
Our pediatric transplant programs are often quite busy, thus the majority of our clinical time is dedicated to patient care. While we greatly enjoy our clinical roles, this pull can create challenges to ensuring protected time for unique opportunities such as research, mentorship, and fostering partnerships that help promote pharmacy professional practice. Additionally, Mary and Jenny are both funded by the Departments of Pharmacy at their respective institutions; at times this relationship can create challenges with balancing the demands of both the pharmacy and the transplant teams.
4. What would you tell others who are interested in pursuing this career?
There are so many rewarding opportunities, both personally and professionally, when working in pediatric transplantation. While there are challenges to caring for unwell and medically complex children, creating relationships with children and their caregivers and being able to share in their accomplishments and successes as they grow from infancy to adulthood is incredibly rewarding. Additionally, pediatric transplantation is a wonderfully interdisciplinary field and working alongside the valuable and talented members of their teams as they collectively work together to ensure optimal patient care is very professionally gratifying for both Jenny and Mary.
5. How does an IPTA membership enrich your career?
IPTA is a very vibrant association with a strong focus on interdisciplinary teams. Membership has allowed us to realize an important global perspective on transplantation through participation in IPTA Congresses and many other educational opportunities. Pediatric transplantation is a specialized field and the opportunity to collaborate with others with a similar focus and experience has proven to be invaluable. Furthermore, the many international transplant colleagues, that we would not otherwise have interacted with, have enriched our professional careers. Additionally for Jenny, it has been an absolute pleasure to be a part of the Allied Health and Nursing Professionals Committee! As a newer member to IPTA, Mary is excited to become more involved with IPTA committee work and initiatives.