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Nishaminy Kasbekar P’93 PharmD‘95 Named Chief Pharmacy Officer at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center

By Sarah True

Published on March 29, 2021

Nishaminy Kasbekar P’93 PharmD‘95For Nishaminy Kasbekar P’93 PharmD‘95, her fascination with pharmacy began, not in college, but in her high school job at a retail pharmacy. She started selling lottery tickets, but was eventually moved behind the pharmacy counter where she took an interest in medications and disease treatment.

Years later, during her undergraduate studies at USciences, Dr. Kasbekar realized her desire to become a clinical pharmacist, so she returned to the University in pursuit of her Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

“At the time, I worked at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital as an intern,” said Dr, Kasbekar. “I was enamored by clinical pharmacists and their direct role in patient care.”

Kasbekar was named Chief Pharmacy Officer at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and hopes to work to advance the role pharmacists can have in patient care.

“My biggest accomplishments have occurred at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center,” she said. “Here I established an antimicrobial stewardship program, clinical pharmacy program consisting of clinical pharmacy specialists on the patient care units rounding with an interdisciplinary team, implementation of pharmacy automation to make it safer for our patients and allow pharmacists to be unit based on the floors, implementation of a PGY 1 and 2 residency programs and most recently establishing specialty pharmacies.”

Dr. Kasbekar credits her undergraduate studies at USciences with helping her discover her passion for clinical pharmacy. In particular, she remembers taking an infectious diseases elective course with  John Connors PharmD, associate professor of clinical pharmacy and associate provost for academic affairs..  

“He had such a gentle, rational and inspiring demeanor to his teaching that caused me to really become interested in ‘Bugs and Drugs,’” she recalls. “It is because of my later rotation with Dr. Connors that I chose to do infectious diseases as a specialty residency at Penn.”

Her studies of infectious diseases aren’t the only aspect of her time at USciences that she remembers fondly. Dr. Kasbekar says she was able to learn multiple facets of pharmacy practice, and particularly enjoyed the clinical rotations she was able to do in hospital settings. She was also a member of the Kappa Psi fraternity, and made lifelong friendships through her extracurriculars.

For students who are thinking of pursuing a degree in pharmacy, Dr. Kasbekar encourages keeping an open mind: “Be open to new ideas and experiences. Be inquisitive. Ask questions and make a difference in what you choose to do!”

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