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March 2014 OPA Extern Profile: Heather Helsel

Heather Helsel Anna at Senior Center


Pharmacy School: Ohio Northern University

Undergraduate degree/institution: Ohio Northern University

Rotation Month at OPA: March 2014

How did you get interested in the profession of pharmacy?

My personal experience as a pediatric patient at the Cleveland Clinic made me interested in pharmacy. Meeting a clinical pharmacist and observing her role in my care made me curious to learn more. As a high school student, I was already looking for a career in healthcare. Researching the areas of pharmacy and endless opportunities I would have as a pharmacist made me excited to apply to programs.

Why did you choose OPA as a rotation site?

Throughout my academic career, I have always valued being involved in my profession. Completing an OPA rotation is a great way to stay connected and learn more about what the organization offers. In addition, I wanted to experience legislation and appreciate what happens at the statehouse. Overall, I am excited to complete this rotation and expect to have a very rewarding experience.

What was the most significant or surprising experience at OPA?

The most significant experience was attending a legislative meeting with the President of the Ohio Podiatrist’s Association. The purpose of this meeting was to explain why pharmacists are qualified to fit diabetic shoes. I, along with the other student, Josh Gaborcik, spoke with the President and presented the training we receive throughout school. I would consider the meeting to be an important learning experience. This was our first exposure to interacting with other healthcare members and realizing how many do not understand our profession. Important take away: without advocacy, pharmacy will remain idol and not progressive.

What other pharmacy associations/organizations do you belong to?

PLS/ODK/Rho Chi/Mortar Board
Kappa Epsilon
Girl Scouts of America/Lake County Clothe-A-Child


Cooking with healthy, fresh ingredients
Outdoor activities
Watching documentaries
Shopping for bargain deals at outlet stores

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