Life Comes Full Circle for Longtime PCP Professor

Written by Lauren Whetzel-Siburkis
Published on August 15, 2016

daniel hussar

At 75-years-young, longtime pharmacy professor DANIEL A. HUSSAR P'62, MS'64, PhD'67 said he is the first to admit that he does not identify with today's pop culture. However, he does claim to be young at heart and attributes that notion to his daily experiences interacting with his students at University of the Sciences.

"I've enjoyed and valued my 50 years of service as a faculty member at Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, but I will not pretend to know my students' favorite musicians or other popular activities that they enjoy so much," said Dr. Hussar. "I can, however, relate to the challenges, difficult experiences, and opportunities that many of them face in pharmacy school, which allows me to connect with students who are two generations younger than I am."

Dr. Hussar credits the encouraging results from his recent battle against acute myeloid leukemia to his strong faith in God, an excellent treatment team and care at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), and the unwavering support and encouragement he received from his family, friends, and students. Although his cancer journey is an experience he would have rather avoided, Dr. Hussar said that being on the receiving end of healthcare provided him with a number of learning opportunities that he is now able to share with his students.

quoteBecause University of the Sciences places a strong emphasis on interprofessional education, Dr. Hussar was delighted that pharmacists were an active part of his treatment team in the oncology unit at HUP. In fact, most of those pharmacists were his former students and played an important role in the recommendations and decisions regarding his drug therapy.

"My relationship with students has come full circle," Dr. Hussar said. "The former students on my treatment team are now pharmacists who specialize in oncology, and it was my turn to learn from them...I was the student, and they were my teachers."

He particularly noted that the former students who worked with him at the hospital ranged from young pharmacists to those who have been in the field for many years and included CATHERINE BURDALSKI PharmD'13, ANDREW GENCO PharmD'12, DENISE GORMAN PharmD'99, DAVID KIM PharmD'04, TRACY KRAUSE PharmD'08, and FRANK SUPLICK PharmD'11.

Although Dr. Hussar said retirement is on his radar in the future, he is not quite ready to make that decision. After all, he believes the next few years will be some of the most exciting years for the institution in terms of expanding its academic offerings and implementing progressive changes in the pharmacy program.

As he reflects on nearly 60 years as both a student and professor, Dr. Hussar said he is thankful for many experiences that have molded him into the man he is today. First, his exposure to two PCP graduates at a community pharmacy at which he worked as a teenager influenced him to follow in their footsteps. He is also appreciative of the top-notch pharmacy education and faculty support that he received as both a student and teaching assistant at PCP, as they have been among the driving factors that have contributed to his decision to pursue a career in teaching and to his long tenure at the University.

His fondest memory from PCP, however, is meeting his wife of 48 years, SUZANNE P'67. They have three sons, their wives, who he considers his daughters, and eight grandchildren: ERIC P'98 and Terra (Alex, Wesley, Anna Kathryn, Cara, and Eden), Christopher and Carmen (Pippa and Esteé), and Timothy and Christina (Finley).

Dr. Hussar is happy to report that after several rounds of chemotherapy and participation in a study of an investigational drug, his leukemia is stabilized. He has regained his strength and energy and has been back in action in the classroom as well as with various professional organizations, educating yet another generation of future healthcare providers.

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