As a child, Shaye Laubert always looked forward to Akron Children’s Hospital’s holiday tree festival. Each year, her family would visit the more than 200 trees strung with decorations and glowing lights at the John S. Knight Center in nearby Akron. Now, with the help of Northeast Ohio Medical University’s Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists (SSHP) student chapter, the third-year College of Pharmacy (P3) student is giving back to the Annual Tree Festival by donating a tree each year and more.
Laubert’s commitment to community started long before she set foot on the NEOMED campus. Completing a project through the University’s Health Professions Affinity Community (HPAC) program while a senior at Rootstown High School (across the street from campus), gave her a taste of making change through health care. That experience was instrumental in leading Laubert to pursue a career in health care. She went on to Kent State University, a NEOMED partner university, and became an AmeriCorp advisor, overseeing a number of NEOMED-based HPAC groups at local high schools throughout Portage County.
Laubert thrives on serving as an advisor for a number of NEOMED’s annual student programs ― Pathways to Pharmacy program, MEDCAMP Health-a-Thon, and the College of Pharmacy’s Early Assurance pathway. (She’ll also be lending a hand at NEOMED’s faculty, staff and student flu shot clinic this year.)
“It’s more rewarding when you get involved and give back to your community. You get to see your effect on different areas and how they all come together. For example, I will do something with Pathways to Pharmacy and make a connection there, which in turn might lead me to a new area of pharmacy that I wasn’t aware of. Or I’m able to help a specific community in a way that gives them access to more health care, like getting a flu shot,” says Laubert.
Learning what she likes
As she prepares for her two final years of pharmacy school, Laubert is making the most of her rotation and internship experiences.
“These rotations and internships are preparing me for a career in pharmacy because I’m looking at so many different aspects of pharmacy. I feel like with all this knowledge, I’ll be able to make a better clinical decision later down the road. The more unique your rotations are, the more you get to see unusual things in various different settings. It makes you a well-rounded pharmacist,” says Laubert.
She currently serves as an intern at Cleveland Clinic Akron General, a NEOMED partner hospital, and has already experienced a number of specialties throughout the hospital in the short time she’s been there. Laubert shares that her favorite part about her internship is having the opportunity to work on compounding in the IV room.
“I’ve had the opportunity to see a lot of different areas of clinical specialty pharmacy during the year and a half I have been at my internship. On clinical days, I get to go on rounds with the entire medical team and work with the lead pharmacist to talk with and recommend medication treatments to patients. Those are my favorite days,” explains Laubert. “I’ve seen transitions of care, intensive care unit, psychiatric, endocrine, pain management and my favorite ― emergency medicine pharmacy. I never know what my day will entail with emergency medicine and that’s exciting. I get to use all the unique clinical knowledge I have learned over the years, potentially in one day, as my hospital is a level one trauma center.”
Making dreams possible
A four-year scholarship from Medical Mutual of Ohio makes a medical education affordable for Laubert, an opportunity that allows her to no longer rely on student loans.
“It is tremendous being a Medical Mutual scholar. It has definitely helped out with tuition; I’m able to go through school with a little less stress,” she says. In return for Medical Mutual’s support, Laubert must work one year for every year of awarded scholarship in an underserved rural or urban community, following graduation.
That suits her fine, she adds: "I feel like you should stay and practice in the community where you studied and learned. I have no intention of leaving Ohio, but either way, at the end of the day it’s definitely important to give back."