Joined USJ: 2014
If there is one principle for success that Andrea Leschak hopes her students learn, it is this: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time” (Thomas A. Edison).Her philosophy establishes the classroom as a “safe zone,” where students can make mistakes as they master the complexities of pharmacy sciences and mature into skilled and compassionate pharmacists.
As a testament to the diversity of opportunities for pharmacists, Leschak’s own professional experience is varied. She has worked in her local community, overseas as a contractor with the U.S. Army, and as a consultant in long-term care. With more than 20 years serving as a pharmacist, Leschak said, “I am able to draw on a lifetime of experiences including present first-hand accounts of moments I learned from – both failures and successes. This keeps me connected to my students. They understand I teach evidence-based practices enhanced by the insight I have gained from years in the profession.”
As a consultant in a nursing home, Leschak was surprised by her patients’ limited access to pharmacists. “The pharmacists’ involvement in care on-site at the nursing facility is limited. Unlike hospitals, where the pharmacy is located in the same building, pharmacies are often located miles from the home. This distance makes it difficult to catch mistakes or watch for changes in a patient’s health,” she stated. Her goal is to establish a pharmacy practice within a nursing facility, giving students opportunities to work with health care teams. By providing greater access to pharmacy consulting services, Leschak intends to advocate for appropriate medication therapy to improve health outcomes.
Pharm.D., Mercer University School of Pharmacy