As the youngest child in her household, Sharon Cashman, ’87 BSPh, of Waverly, grew up quizzing her older siblings on their chemistry notes. She turned that early experience into a lifelong career in health care.
Cashman now serves as the pharmacy manager for the Waverly Health Center Inpatient and Retail Pharmacy, and is in her 28th year of working in community and hospital pharmacy. In that time, she has experienced long-term care, implementing a pharmacy immunization program, automated dispensing, and much more. Waverly Health Center is a 25-bed critical access hospital, focused on patient-centered care in a holistic healing environment.
Following her graduation from the University of Iowa, Cashman worked as a pharmacy manager for the retail pharmacy at Covenant, then a position as staff pharmacist for the Rohlf Clinic Pharmacy in Waverly, working closely with patients and physicians in a small community pharmacy owned by the physicians. It was this position that showed Cashman how a pharmacist could truly practice at the top of their degree – as pharmacists communicated with the physicians face-to-face to resolve drug therapy issues. She expanded her practice to Sartori Hospital and then was hired as pharmacy manager by Waverly Health Center the following year. For 15 years, Cashman continued to work in both the Waverly Health Center and Rohlf Clinic pharmacies, calling it the “best of both worlds, monitoring patients in the hospital and then following up with the Rohlf Clinic patients upon discharge (a process we now know today as Transitions of Care).” In 2005 the Rohlf Clinic Pharmacy was closed when the physicians moved on to the campus of Waverly Health Center.
Cashman’s commitment to the profession doesn’t end with her clinical practice. She frequently works with Wartburg College students in job shadowing and pharmacy experiences. Many of these students have continued on to the University of Iowa to pursue their pharmacy career. Seeing the benefits and impact they had with student education, Waverly Health Center became a pharmacy practice experience site for hospital practice and community pharmacy. They have also partnered with Northeast Iowa Family Practice to provide inpatient pharmacy residency experience since 2011. She says, “I love to connect with the students. These are the people that will be taking care of us some day and I hope they have the same passion for education and excellence in their profession.”
Cashman’s passion for promoting healthy lifestyles has extended outside the pharmacy as a member of the Waverly Leisure Services Commission – a post she’s held for over 15 years. She has served as a Rail Trail Committee member, organizing bike, walk, and ski events on the trail, and the Band Commission to build an Amphitheater for the Waverly community. About 17 years ago, Cashman and a friend started the Head Over Wheels bike safety program, providing and fitting about 200 bike helmets per year, funded by a local non-profit organization.