A professor who helped found Roosevelt University’s College of Pharmacy is the 2017 Illinois Pharmacist of the Year.
Cara Brock, who started as a clinical instructor when COP opened its doors in 2011, and today is the college’s chair of academic and teaching excellence, received the award from the Illinois Pharmacists Association (IPhA) in September.
Given annually since 1950 to a pharmacist exhibiting the highest level of professionalism and engagement, the Pharmacist of the Year award is IPhA’s most established and extraordinary recognition.
“Cara’s work at Roosevelt, with our organization and in her specialty field of palliative care has been amazing. She is certainly deserving of this award,” said Garth Reynolds, executive director of the IPhA.
Brock was recognized as “an emerging leader in pharmacy and as an educator on topics of pain and palliative care” by one who nominated the Roosevelt professor for the award, Reynolds said.
Palliative care, which is Brock’s area of expertise, is a relatively new area of practice for pharmacists who help patients with life-limiting conditions manage pain and symptoms at the end of their lives while in hospice care.
Among contributions in this area, Brock held a faculty placement as a clinical pharmacist for a hospice program at Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, where she resides. She recently published several articles about the effectiveness of culinary grief therapy and treatment of symptoms at the end of life. Offered at the College of DuPage, this therapy uses cooking as a means to help people cope with loss of loved ones.
Brock also developed a COP elective course for Roosevelt students to learn how to help manage pain and care for patients at the end of their lives in hospice settings. She is a founding organizer of the Society of Palliative Care Pharmacists, which today is a national organization representing about 150 pharmacists working in the pain management and palliative care field.
“This is a significant honor for Cara that reflects her extensive contributions to our profession and to Roosevelt’s College of Pharmacy,” said Melissa Hogan, dean of COP.
At Roosevelt, Brock has been involved in nearly “every aspect of the COP program,” said Hogan. “She has been passionate from day one about our students, program and ensuring that pharmacists give patients quality care.”
A native of Oak Park, Illinois and a licensed pharmacist since 2003, Brock worked in retail and hospital pharmacy before joining COP. Today, she is an assistant professor of clinical pharmacy, chair of teaching and excellence at COP, as well as chair of the Conference and Education Committee at IPhA, and faculty advisor to COP student members of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists.
“I’m pleased to be recognized for all of my efforts as an Illinois pharmacist,” she said. “I believe the pharmacist has a significant role to play in all aspects of patient care, including end-of-life care for patients and their families. I hope I can be an example to students and colleagues to become and stay involved in advocating for their professions and passions.”