Distinguished Service Award - Thank You

By Debra Cowan posted 01-07-2013 15:07



Thank you. I am truly and deeply grateful for this award. However, there are too many folks to thank for me to list them all. So I want to give broad areas of thanks through two short stories.

One is the epiphany I had this summer at my high school band reunion. This was a group reunion representing 18 years of band members under one band director. Now I grew up in a small isolated mountain town. This band director took us “country bumpkins” and pushed us, demanded excellence, and set big goals until we ultimately won multiple national marching band championships. I realized for many of my reunion pals, this was the highlight of their entire lives. But not for me because I had always been pushed to exceed—by my mother, teachers and college professors and other leadership mentors—to dream big dreams and then to go after them. So first I give thanks to all those people along the way.

My second round of thanks goes out to many who are present in this room today and others within the ASHP network. This story begins when I found myself as the director of pharmacy in a small isolated mountain hospital—and I was the first pharmacist hired by this hospital despite it having been in existence for 40 years. I felt I had to catch this facility up with 40 years’ worth of services. But how would I start from scratch? I was already an ASHP member so I would hungrily await the journal each month, devour it, and use it to plan my next moves. But it wasn’t enough, so one day I just called ASHP—asked my question, got my answer—and went on. You see, ASHP was my lifeline. As time went on, I would call back with another question and eventually they were calling me back to get feedback from a small rural hospital pharmacist’s perspective. This led to my participation and advocacy for small and rural hospital support. My big dream is to continue to make ASHP a bigger lifeline, multiple lifelines and a strong supporter for all the small and rural hospitals out there. So I send out a second round of thanks to all of you (staff and fellow members) who have helped along the way.

Thank you very much.

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