Stacy A. Bernard, PharmD, BCPS
Describe your current position.
Currently, as a solid organ transplant pharmacist at Mayo Clinic Rochester, my role has three chief parts: inpatient liver transplant service (pre and post); inpatient heart and lung transplants service (adult and pediatric post); and pharmacist for quality assurance and performance improvement pharmacist for the transplant center, covering all organs, adults and pediatrics, pre- and post-transplant. In addition, I am also the residency program director for our PGY2 in solid organ transplant pharmacy.
Describe your education/training for this job.
I grew up on a fifth-generation wheat farm in Oakesdale, WA, a small town about one hour south of Spokane, and earned my Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Washington State University (Go Cougs!) I then moved to the Netherlands for three years where I worked as a hospital pharmacist in clinical trials, regulatory investigation, and academia at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam. Upon returning to the States, I completed a PGY1 at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis and PGY2 Solid Organ Transplant Residency at Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, TX.
What inspired you to become a transplant pharmacist?
While attending a career roundtable session at a Kappa Psi meeting in Boston, I chanced upon a Solid Organ Transplant table. “That’s a thing?” was my curious response. Within 15 minutes of meeting Dr. Tracy Anderson-Haag and hearing her describe her role with the solid organ transplant team at Hennepin, I knew it was something I wanted to further pursue. I immediately sought out a research project in transplant back in Washington. When 4th year rotations came around, Tracy kindly agreed to take me on as a visiting student for 6 weeks on in- and out-patient kidney transplant. This sealed my passion for the field of immunology and fate as a transplant pharmacist. After staying involved within the realm of transplantation in the Netherlands, it was an easy decision to complete a PGY1 and PGY2 in solid organ transplant.
What is one of your favorite quotes?
Can be narrowed down to three:
“Magic never happens in comfort zones.” - Unknown
“You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.” – Paul Kalanithi
“Gezellig” – all Dutch people
How do you manage stress?
I’m a communicator by nature, and talking through stress helps me to prioritize and form a to-do list. A tendency I work against is letting the quest for perfection hinder progress – the best way to start is to start! When I need to recharge, I enjoy time in the outdoors, working out, cooking/baking, getting together with friends/family, and walks with my German Shepherd, Champ.
What would your last supper include?
Biscuits with sausage gravy, side of grapefruit, and a spicy Bloody Mary (Midwest style with all garnishes and the “beer chaser”!)
What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Moving to another country, quickly learning the language and culture, and integrating into the role of a pharmacist in their social health system when trained and raised in a completely different setting. In the moment it was just life; in hindsight, a great deal was learned about myself, my own culture, and global healthcare. It was an invaluable experience!
What TV show are you embarrassed about watching?
Bravo’s Below Deck – completely team Kate Chastain!
If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
Pay off my student loans. Then hopefully have a nice meal with what’s left over. :-)