A student advisor and an assistant professor at Roosevelt University’s College of Pharmacy (COP) are being recognized as leaders in Illinois in the field of pharmacy for 2019.
The Illinois Pharmacists Association (IPhA) recently honored Claudia Muldoon, advisor for COP’s Experiential Education program, as the state’s inaugural Pharmacy Technician of the Year. Muldoon is a resident of Schaumburg, Ill.
The association also selected Dr. Tomasz Jurga, a faculty member now in his second year at COP, for the coveted Edmond Barcus Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award. He lives in Harwood Hts., Ill.
“We are proud to have two members of our COP team recognized as dedicated professionals,” said Dr. Melissa Hogan, dean of COP. “These awards distinguish both of these individuals as leaders, and also distinguish our college for learning excellence.”
Muldoon, 56, joined COP in 2014 after working for nearly two decades as a certified pharmacy technician, first at retail pharmacies and then as a hospital pharmacy technician at Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village, Ill., where she continues to work twice monthly.
“I can’t think of a better candidate to win this first-ever pharmacy technician award,” said Joan Hardman, COP assistant dean of experiential education. “She is the face of our Experiential Department and our students just love her.”
As a veteran pharmacy technician, Muldoon has assisted many local pharmacists with all kinds of work including entering and delivering patient scripts, handling insurance, speaking to patients about their conditions, delivering medications to hospitalized patients, filling operating rooms and crash carts with medications, and compounding medications, including chemotherapy. As COP’s experiential education advisor, she works closely with both Roosevelt students and hundreds of preceptors supervising the field sites where Roosevelt’s pharmacy students obtain practical experience.
“To have the IPhA acknowledge my career accomplishments means a lot to me,” said Muldoon, who, nonetheless, downplays her contributions. “I’m very humbled to be recognized for doing a job that I love in helping others,” she said.
Jurga, 30, joined COP in August 2018 after completing a pharmacy residency in ambulatory care at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County. As a Roosevelt professor, he coordinates a course in drug literature evaluation, guiding pharmacy students to be able to: demonstrate medical information searching and retrieval skills; employ analysis and synthesis of drug information; and enhance both written and verbal skills. Students in the course learn to critically evaluate biomedical literature and apply this knowledge to resolving issues regarding optimal medication use and medication-related adverse events.
Jurga also lectures at COP on a wide array of clinical topics, ranging from migraine treatment and prevention to the use of medical cannabis and drug therapy in cardiovascular and genitourinary diseases. He regularly takes students on his clinical rotations at the outpatient Cardiology Clinic at Mt. Sinai Medical Center where he works on an interdisciplinary team alongside a team of cardiologists.
“He’s jumped into contributing holistically to the success of our college,” said Dr. Laura Licari, assistant professor of clinical sciences and past president of the IPhA. “This is someone who wants our students to be the best they can be, and he’s teaching them how to get there every day.”
Recognized by IPhA for considerable service to communities, Jurga began an active student chapter of the Polish American Pharmacists Association as a Doctor of Pharmacy student at Chicago State University. Today, he is vice president of that association.
He also has been a volunteer and leader at numerous Chicago clinics, and was responsible for startup of a number of clinic initiatives for diabetic patients, those in need of limb salvage and antibiotic therapy while he was a resident at Stroger Hospital. Today, he volunteers twice monthly at CommunityHealth Clinic in Chicago. “I do this work because I believe in helping others, and I never expected to be recognized for it,” Jurga said.