Alumni Profile – Trisha Seys Ranola

Trisha Seys Ranola photo

Trisha Seys Ranola

We celebrate the contributions, achievements, and engagement of our alumni. We invite you to learn more about members of our Badger pharmacy family through the alumni profiles.

When did you get your degree(s) at UW? What is/was your area of expertise?
I graduated from pharmacy school in 2002. Global health, clinical pharmacy in geriatrics and diabetes are the areas I practice in.  

Where do you currently work? What are your job responsibilities?
I currently work at the VA in the Home Based Primary cCare (HBPC) team where I work with an interdisciplinary team to manage complex primary care chronic conditions. I am responsible for the management of diabetes, HTN, anticoagulation, thyroid among others, and work with the provider to provide consultations for other chronic conditions like dementia, MS and chronic pain. We focus on aging in place and work to keep the patient at the center of all the care we provide. 

At the School of Pharmacy, I work in the Office of Global Health with Professor Connie Kraus. Here, I work with students to help explore their ideas and goals of working in global public health and serve as a resource to help students choose international APPEs during their fourth year. I also have administrative functions, such as forging formal agreements between our school, and our partners abroad, to facilitate collaborative relationships. One of these relationships, with the University of the Western Cape, Cape Town South Africa, developed into UW-Madison’s novel Comparative Systems Global Pharmacy Fellowship. This post-graduate fellowship allows pharmacist to deepen their quality improvement research skills in an international comparative systems context with the goal of creating new ideas to strength systems both here and abroad.

Describe a special memory from your time at the School of Pharmacy?
I think the best memories I have from school are the relationships I built with my classmates. To this day, I know I can reach out to them with professional questions, advice; and we all still learn from each other. It’s like our library study group is still there, only online now!

How do you feel pharmaceutical sciences and/or the pharmacy profession has changed since you graduated from the School of Pharmacy?
I feel like we, as a profession, are becoming more and more recognized for our clinical knowledge. I think this is likely a biased answer, since this is the area that I work in, and there has been great development in so many areas. For example, there is a big push from global governmental agencies to build or improve antimicrobial stewardship activities, and pharmacists are recognized by these agencies as integral members of this team. It’s a really exciting time to be part of pharmacy.

How do you “stay connected” with UW grads or with the School of Pharmacy?
Besides my online library study group? Most of my close friends and I still call or email, but otherwise most of us are on Facebook and LinkedIn.

What advice would you give to current or aspiring pharmacy (PharmD or graduate) students?
I would stay open to possible career paths and keep an open mind to what you think you want to do while you are in school. If you are undecided, shadow as many pharmacists in different work areas and explore as may different APPEs as you can, so you can determine what it is that interests you.

If you had to take one course again. What course and how would you do?
The communications courses I took have been central in my work. I think I would really enjoy taking some of these again. Communication is crucial and central to my work with patients in their homes as well as with my global health work. Communication, to me, doesn’t mean how well I tell a patient about a drug therapy. Rather, it has more to do with listening to my patient, their family, the caregivers, or the global health partner I’m working with. By building rapport, and asking appreciative questions to better understand the nuances of each unique interaction, real healing and collaborations can take place.  

Faculty and or staff member remembered the most and why?
One of the faculty that really impacted me was Professor Connie Kraus. She opened my eyes to clinical pharmacy practice right from the start of pharmacy school. I still vividly remember her standing in front of our class describing what she did and her practice at Wingra Clinic. Her talk was one of many, two-minute elevator speeches that we heard during that class session, but it shaped my career. I am grateful, and humbled, that I have the privilege of working with her today.

Another person that stands out, but for other reasons, was Professor Wiederholt. I remember him because I was going through a rough time with the passing of a family member, which was affecting my performance in school. I don’t remember the class he taught, or the words that he spoke to me that day I went into his office to talk about my grade, but I remember his kindness and his encouraging presence, that somehow gave me the fortitude and strength to get through the rest of that semester. 

I enjoy being with my family doing anything, but especially hiking (the kids hate it now, but I know they will love it later), practicing yoga, listening to music, reading, cooking…and eating the food when it’s done!