Holly Causey, PharmD, and Ouita Gatton — two preceptors who have taken their job as role model to heart — were honored by the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy with Claude Paoloni Preceptor of the Year Awards.
Causey, who is with the Duke University Health System Outpatient Clinic, won health-system preceptor of the year, and Kroger pharmacist Gatton received community preceptor of the year. They were both recognized at the 2015 annual Awards Ceremony April 19 at the Rizzo Center.
Award winners are chosen each year based on nominations from the graduating class.
When Causey learned she had been selected for preceptor of the year, tears welled in her eyes, she says.
“I was shocked,” Causey says. “I only just graduated from the School five years ago and really could not believe that my students had nominated me for this esteemed honor.”
After she earned her PharmD in 2010, Causey completed a community pharmacy residency with Campbell University and Kerr Drug. She then completed an ambulatory care specialty residency at Duke University Hospital. She took a position at the Duke Outpatient Clinic following her second year of residency.
“I had so many preceptors that really invested a lot of time in my learning, so I felt it was my professional obligation to precept students and residents when I had the chance,” she says. “I fell in love with the one-on-one teaching and mentoring that occurs. It brings me immense job satisfaction, and I’m so happy to be a part of the learning process.”
Causey currently serves as chair of the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists New Practitioner Network and has served a number of leadership roles with American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
Gatton says she was motivated to become a pharmacist after watching her father practice the profession for more than thirty-five years.
When she was allowed to help him at his office as a kid, she knew that she wanted to inspire others in the profession as her father had inspired her, she says. Precepting presented that opportunity.
“I love to encourage and coach students to be the best they can be,” Gatton says. “It is a privilege to teach and mold the next generation of pharmacists.”
After graduating from the School in 1989, Gatton worked in consulting, infusion pharmacy, and several independents and chains. Gatton joined the Kroger Pharmacy team in 1997. She eventually advanced to serve as the Kroger Mid-Atlantic Division clinical coordinator in Roanoke, Virginia.
In Virginia, Gatton coordinated all pharmacy programs not directly related to dispensing. She provided leadership for 300 pharmacists in 116 pharmacies across six states: North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky.
When Gatton returned to Raleigh, she staffed and helped coordinate special projects for Kroger’s North Carolina stores and area communities. She currently acts as full-time district clinical coordinator for Kroger. She also serves on the Community Care Practice Forum and Immunization Task Force for the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists and is a national immunization trainer for the APhA.
Gatton began her role as a residency preceptor with the School in 2013.
“I am deeply moved that a student would believe in a preceptor enough to take time away from an already packed schedule to write a recommendation,” she says. “An award of this caliber and standing goes a long way in demonstrating just how influential and defining we are as preceptors.”
By Aren Besson