Pharmacy student selected for competitive program
CDR Jing Li, PharmD, BCPS; LCDR Abigail Petrulis, PharmD; Megan Day, P3 student pharmacist, Campbell University, NC; Shana Shriber, P3 student pharmacist, University of Arizona.
Shana Shriber is rewriting the rules with her successful career as a pharmacist. Her perseverance, compassion and strength have been driving forces for her pharmaceutical pursuits. Shriber was selected to serve as a Commissioned Corps Junior officer through the Junior Commissioned Officer Extern Program with the U.S. Public Health Service, a highly competitive pharmaceutical program.
Her grades and academic achievements were not the only things that got her there. Lieutenant Commander Trisha Chandler, who worked closely with Shriber in the program, would say it was Shriber’s heart that set her apart from the rest.
“She has great work ethic and a passion for helping people,” Chandler said. “She wanted to serve the underserved population.”
Shriber worked as a pharmacy technician for about 13 years prior to attending school. In the state of Arizona, it is not required to be licensed to be a technician. However, she decided to further her career and studied for five years. When her son asked her why she hadn’t gone to school before, she simply stated that she wasn’t ready yet.
During her time at the University of Arizona, Shriber discovered the Junior Commissioned Officer Student Training and Extern Program, or JRCOSTEP. The selection process was described as daunting, as the participant becomes a federal employee. She was sent to work at Phoenix Indian Medical Center and served 13 weeks. The time served can vary from 30 to 120 days, depending on how long the participant wishes to be there; Shriber chose to be there for the entire 120 days.
“I just wanted to soak up as much information as I could while I was there,” Shriber said.
She has now graduated to senior COSTEP, which means she can be sent anywhere in the United States to serve. According to Kristin Shelledy, a close friend of Shriber, she does all she can for others, from caring for her child to caring for her patients.
“She’s a very compassionate and caring person. She’s always there for her friends and anyone in need,” Shelledy said. “Even if you would think that there is no possible way that she would have more energy to do something, she’ll find a way to do it.”
Although she makes a living by selling medicine, she aims to help people get off them.
“I like to remind my patients to stay healthy and offer them dietary or medicinal reminders to make sure they are living their best life,” Shriber said.
Apart from the accolades she has accumulated over the years, her proudest achievement is being a good mother to her son. She said she worked to be someone he can be proud of.
Her son suffers from cystic fibrosis, a rare disease that causes pulmonary and digestive problems. Shriber has found ways to utilize what she has learned in caring for her son to become a better health care physician.
She plans to continue helping those who are underserved. Her passion, then and now, continues to be leading people to a better life.
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