School of Pharmacy Honors 2019 Preceptors of the Year

L-R: Dennis Chapron, Jill Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Tallis, Barbara Fiano, Emily Perriello, Devra Dang, Andrea Idusuyi (UConn Photo/Karin Burgess)

The UConn School of Pharmacy’s 2019 Preceptors of the Year were honored at a reception held at the Hartford Downtown Marriott on October 24. This year’s winners, all of whom were selected based on student nominations, included Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) Preceptors Andrea Idusuyi ’15 (Pharm.D.) for Community Practice, Barbara Fiano’91 (Pharm) BGCP for Institutional Practice, and Elizabeth Tallis ’10 (Pharm.D.) for Service Learning.

Those preceptors representing Advance Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) are Adjunct Faculty Preceptor of the year Emily Perriello, ‘15 Pharm.D. and Faculty Preceptor of the Year, Devra Dang, BCPS,CDE, FNAP, both of whom were previously honored by the graduating Pharm.D. class of 2019 last spring.

In her remarks to the assembled families, friends, and colleagues of the honorees, Jill Fitzgerald, Director of Experiential Learning and Continuing Professional Development, said, “October is National Pharmacist’s month and this is the ideal time for us to honor The Dennis J. Chapron Preceptors of the Year. This is the 18th year in which we have honored UConn School of Pharmacy Preceptors in this manner. It is our chance to thank them for the countless hours, weeks, and months they devote to helping our students to be the best they can be.”

She continued, “This is a time to recognize pharmacists for the vital contributions they make to health care and education in the US through improved medication use, advanced patient care, and precepting and mentoring our students. [This month] serves to promote pharmacists as the medication experts and an integral part of the health care team, and the role pharmacists play in the reduction of overall health care costs and the safe and effective management of medications.”

In directing her comments to the award recipients, she continued, “We are very fortunate to work with so many preceptors who are passionate about our profession and our students. We are grateful that they value giving back to their profession and the school by assisting in the development of our future professionals and practitioners.”

Fitzgerald went on to explain that the person for whom the POY is named, Dennis J. Chapron, is a beloved member of the UConn community who served as associate professor of Pharmacy Practice in the School of Pharmacy for 34 years prior to his retirement. Fitzgerald said of him, “As a teacher, mentor, and friend to students and colleagues, Dennis left an immeasurable legacy. Known for his excellence in teaching, he twice received the School of Pharmacy’s Teacher of the Year Award and was named Preceptor of the Year in 2001. We are honored to have him here with us this evening as we present these awards in his name.”

Andrea Idusuyi whose practice site is the Stop & Shop in Bristol is this year’s recipient of the Community Pharmacy award. She was nominated by a current P-2 student who wrote, “Dr. Idusuyi exemplifies everything a pharmacist should be in their community. She does not hesitate to provide the highest quality of care and expertise for her patients. She remembers her regular patients, genuinely cares about their health, and is always ready to help.” The student added, “Dr. Idusuyi was fully committed as my professional mentor and teacher. She found learning/teaching opportunities in many discussions, patient interactions, and … everyday life. She never forgot about teaching moments for me … she is the perfect example of a pharmacist … she is an inspiration to aspiring pharmacists everywhere!”

Barbara Fiano, is the recipient of the 2019 IPPE Health System Preceptor of the Year award. She practices at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Rocky Hill and was nominated by students in the current P-3 class. In their nominations, students wrote, “Barbara was an amazing preceptor while I was completing my rotation … she exemplified professionalism in the practice of pharmacy and in her role as a teacher of students completing their rotation at her site … her genuine passion for her role as a pharmacist was very inspiring [and] I have now considered working in long-term care/geriatrics as a future career.” Fiano was also described as being very welcoming, having great leadership skills and someone who displays a passion for pharmacy and love for her job.

The IPPE Preceptor of the year for service learning was presented to Elizabeth Tallice whose practice site is the Big Y in Manchester. She was nominated by two student with whom she worked over the summer  on community health education projects. These students wrote, “Liz was an amazing preceptor … her direction has helped me to improve my communication with patients and to expand my knowledge of different concepts.”  And, “Liz played an integral role in helping us  line up an informational workshop … she was spot-on in her recommendations. She was always there to help [us] with questions patients had during the Inform and Inspire events that we [presented] at. Liz she went beyond what was expected of her as a preceptor …”

In concluding her remarks, Fitzgerald commented that although five people were named recipients of the 2019 Preceptor of the Year honors, the School of Pharmacy has over 350 student winners each year thanks to all the preceptors who devote countless hours helping to develop the next generation of pharmacists.  “Thank you!” she said in conclusion, “We look forward to working with all our invaluable preceptors in the years to come.”