October is American Pharmacist month in honor and celebration of pharmacists across the country. This special month was created to promote this profession and gather recognition from peers, patients, and the community. Pharmacists play a vital role in patient care and satisfaction through the medicine and the information that they provide. Not only do pharmacists provide the medication to patients, but they also educate them on the use of prescription medication and over-the-counter products. They also work closely with physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to advise about important decisions regarding the type of medication and important information about prescriptions.

Student Health Services’ (SHS) wonderful pharmacy staff is dedicated to helping students, faculty, and staff with medication and over-the-counter product choices. Patrick Moraleda, supervising registered pharmacist at Illinois State, has been the pharmacy supervisor for over 12 years. His interaction with and compassion for the students, faculty, and staff exceed customer expectations. Also, he leads a pharmacy team and creates camaraderie among the group. Moraleda has been fortunate to supervise student workers that are registered pharmacy technicians for many years.

Pharmacy supervisor helps student with over-the-counter medication choices.

Pharmacy supervisor helps student with over-the-counter medication choices.

One student worker in particular, Michelle (Thies) Lyons ’11, had a passion for pharmaceutical work. Lyons began her career at Illinois State as a math education major. After a semester, she realized this was not what she wanted her focus to be.

During one of her other courses, Career Choices, she had an opportunity to interview a family friend who is a pharmacist. After that interview, she knew she wanted to begin her education path to eventually end up in pharmacy school. She changed her major to a double major in biochemistry and chemistry. During her senior year, she began looking at pharmacy schools and realized that many required some experience. After having been to the Student Health Services pharmacy as a customer, she decided she would reach out to Moraleda and send in her resume. He hired her as a state of Illinois licensed pharmacy technician, and she had the opportunity to work at the SHS pharmacy her senior year.

Lyons went on to pharmacy school at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and began working as a pharmacist at Shop ‘n Save. Currently, she is a pharmacy manager at one of the chain’s stores in Missouri.

Lyons believes that the work she performed in the pharmacy at SHS created lifelong lessons that she has used in her career. She enjoyed the “family” feel that the pharmacy staff created, and the helpfulness they provided to her as a student worker. “It’s hard to put into words all that Patrick and the SHS pharmacy staff did to provide me with a solid foundation for my future in pharmacy,” Lyons said. “Working at the ISU pharmacy gave me an inside view of what the profession is like, and supported my decision to go to pharmacy school.  The support, learning experience, and example of outstanding patient care provided by the SHS pharmacy helped launch me into my career today.”

Thank you for the wonderful service that the Student Health Services Pharmacy staff provides to the students, faculty, and staff at Illinois State University. Visit us to learn more about our services, and reduced price over-the-counter medication offered to students, faculty, and staff.