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CU Pharmacy Alumna Unleashes Her Potential on a Journey of Impact from Residency to Policy Leadership

Class of 2014 alumna looks back on her pathway, navigating public health and policy in current pharmacy role

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Written by Jaron Bryant on April 30, 2024

Embarking on a dynamic career trajectory as a Pharmaceutical Program Assistant Manager, Dr. Anh Rongish addresses her journey as a healthcare professional, including residencies in Pharmacy Practice and Solid Organ Transplant. The rigorous training led to specialized roles in kidney and pancreas transplants to her current role, immersed in the realm of public health and policy within the state Medicaid program.


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What are you currently doing as a pharmacy professional and how did you progress to where you are today?

Anh Rongish3

Anh Rongish, PharmD '14

I am currently the Pharmaceutical Program Assistant Manager at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment/Kansas Medicaid. I completed a PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency and PGY-2 in Solid Organ Transplant at the University of Pittsburgh/UPMC. After residency, I worked as a Clinical Pharmacist at the University of Kansas Health System. There, I worked in the solid organ transplant clinic focusing on kidney and pancreas transplant. More recently, I've transitioned to work more with public health and policy with the state Medicaid program.

In my current job, I have a variety of roles. My main role is to develop and evaluate the State Medicaid medication coverage criteria. In order to do this, I stay up to date on all areas of pharmacy (not just neurology, cardiology, oncology, etc), current guidelines, and our beneficiary needs. I also evaluate utilization data and fiscal trends. Other parts of my role include policy design and collaborating with other clinical team members within our program and the managed care organizations.

What is different about the person you are today compared to the person you were while in school?

In pharmacy school, I was focused on my career development and learning. Today, I am focused more on managing a work-life balance to spend time with my family as well as other various local volunteer organizations.

What has been a defining moment for you as a seasoned professional?

I don't think I have a specific moment. Having worked with a diverse patient population, it was gratifying to see patients improve daily in various aspects of their lives, especially ones that I spent a lot of time with for monitoring and education.

What inspired you to attend the CU Pharmacy program and what was your experience while in the program?

Colorado has always been home to me, and I wanted to be close to family. I also wanted a pharmacy program that would be able to give me diverse learning opportunities. I am extremely thankful for the opportunities, friends, and mentors that I made during my time at the University of Colorado, because they have made me the pharmacist I am today.

What is your proudest moment and your favorite thing about working in the pharmacy profession, and how are you making a difference in your career?

My favorite thing about working in the pharmacy profession is the positive impact that I have had on patient care. I even remember the day a patient honked at me to stop as I was leaving work. He just wanted to thank me for helping him the past couple months. Today, I'm thankful to be part of a team that has a statewide impact for Medicaid beneficiaries.

What sage advice would you pass on to current and future students that was helpful for you in preparing for the job market?

My biggest advice is to have an open mind. When I reflect back to when I was a P1 student, or even graduating, I did not envision where I would be today. Pharmacy is such a diverse field and there are so many opportunities. As a student, take advantage of the opportunities given to you because you'll learn so much.

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