PM360 recently spoke to Moriah Weissman, PharmD, CCP, Medical Information Manager at Novartis, about her passions for the field of pharmacy and patient care.
PM360: Moriah, we understand you are a licensed pharmacist and are using your profession as a means to help people outside of your job. Tell us about that.
I am an active member of the New Jersey Pharmacists Association (NJPhA) through which I spend time advocating for the profession of pharmacy. I currently serve as Second Vice President and this September, I will be inducted as the President, giving me the opportunity to represent the interest of pharmacists on the State and National Legislative level.
Congratulations! What role does your association play in healthcare?
As a leader in NJPhA, I have the opportunity to pave the way for the future of the profession. Our efforts highlight pharmacists as an integral part of the healthcare system and patient care.
Wow, what a great cause! What drives your passion for this field?
My Dad recently passed away and as one of his many caretakers, I saw first-hand how easily medications, directions for use or drug-drug/drug-food interactions can be misunderstood, miscommunicated or even overlooked. On one occasion he had major surgery and was given pain patches. My mom misunderstood the dosing of the patches and nearly overdosed him! Luckily, I got home in time to remove some of the patches although the effects of the medication took some time to wear off. I am proud to spend my free time working to raise awareness of the importance of pharmacist interventions in addition to dispensing medications, knowing that peoples’ lives can be changed.
How has your involvement evolved over the years?
When I first joined the association, I took on small leadership opportunities such as planning family events, organizing young professional activities, health fairs, and I even was a local chapter Treasurer. Through these commitments, my desire to bring about change for pharmacists and the profession of pharmacy grew tremendously. After a few years, I was asked to run for Second Vice President of the State Association and won the election. This position is a four-year progressive term that I have dedicated myself to for the association.
Who inspired you to get involved?
I have had many role models over the years. However, my college professors were the ones who introduced me to the organization, mentored me and even nominated me for the position of Second Vice President. I continue to work closely with them to this day. We collaborate on ideas, ask advice or just hash out thoughts.
What else do you do in your spare or free time?
I have two wonderful rescue dogs; one pit bull mix and one hound mix, both of whom love to play and cuddle—maybe more than I do! My boyfriend and I are also part of a classic car club. I also love to cook and entertain friends and family and travel when I have the opportunity to do so.
What other interests would you still like to pursue at some point?
In honor of my late sister, I recently have decided to learn how to ride a motorcycle. One day, I’d also like to learn to play blackjack as well as my Dad did.