The Chrysanthemum

Alumni Spotlight: Meet Betty (BJ) Harris!

LKS spotlights student and alumni members that are making a difference in their chapters, in their communities, and in the field of pharmacy.
Chapter: Eta Chapter
About BJ: 
 
As a student at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (PCP), it was my honor to be selected to pledge Eta Chapter. At the time, there were two women’s fraternities, LKS and KE. I am sure there were peer influences going on because LKS member Patti Kienle was my roommate. But in my opinion, joining LKS was a great decision both professionally and personally.
 
As a practitioner, my decision on where to practice was based on where pharmacy was the most progressive. At the time, it was California and Florida. Since I graduated with a BSc in Pharmacy, California was not a choice. Settling in Florida, my practice began in community and hospital pharmacy until I learned about consulting pharmacy. What attracted me, and still does, to consulting pharmacy was the mixture of knowledge needed, from sub-acute to long-term care, and the influence and access that pharmacists had on medication decisions with prescribers. Back then, the prescribers were only MDs. They more clearly defined their scope of practice to include medication decisions, until they meet me!! We learned more about each other’s knowledge strengths, and with time and experiences, we gained a more receptive respect for each other. That may still need to be accomplished as members enter into practice as a new grad, but perhaps to a lesser degree.
 
As a professional, my earlier years at PCP and in Florida allowed me opportunities to pursue my passion for being involved in pharmacy associations and moving our scope of practice to recognize our strength in patient care and medication decisions. We are not done yet, so I would encourage new graduates to continue to strive to keep the profession moving forward!
 
My most memorable LKS experience: 
 
It was a fund-raising activity we organized while at PCP. To raise money for cerebral palsy, we jumped rope in downtown Philadelphia for what seemed to be a week (but might have just been a weekend!). It was all day and all night and required a lot of scheduling and organization. All of our LKS members, including alumni, helped to make this a success. I am pretty sure we raised a bunch of money back in the day, but it took the whole village!! Think about what you can do when you all work together to accomplish a goal. There needs to be leadership and mentoring to be successful and to support each other.
 
Why are you a lamb for life? 
 
The value of being a lamb has both personal and professional components. Yes, you will feel aligned with folks who share the LKS link, but you may also value the sense of accomplishment that is not just a day, month or yearlong but a lifetime. To know that you can reach out and help a fellow lamb or reach out and be helped by a fellow lamb will never go away. I offer you that because, unlike my roommate, my national involvement was in pharmacy organizations other than LKS. When I finally did attend an LKS annual convention, it provided a warm feeling of old friendships rekindled, new friendships created and pride for the current collegiate members accomplishing so much for their community and profession. 
 
What job would you do if you weren’t a pharmacist? 
 
I would be a full-time volunteer teaching people to help themselves and support their community. 
Lambda Kappa SigmaAlumni Spotlight: Meet Betty (BJ) Harris!