May 26, 2020
Congratulations to Shea VanVuuren, PharmD’97, on being named the 2020 Preceptor of the Year.

Shea VanVuuren, PharmD’97, is the 2020 Preceptor of the Year. The College is grateful for its preceptors’ contributions to making Michigan a national leader in Pharmacy education.

“Dr. VanVuuren is fantastic. She challenged me to think outside the box and go deeper in my clinical thinking to solve problems,” explained one student nominator. “She serves as a strong role model for students and always made sure to give me opportunities to practice my own critical thinking skills.”

Dr. VanVuuren began her journey in pharmacy as a preferred admit student to the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy from the U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Earning her PharmD in 1997, she was employed for three years in a grocery store pharmacy in Jackson, Michigan before joining the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System at Saline Community Hospital.

In Saline, Dr. VanVuuren worked as the lead outpatient pharmacist and as a staff pharmacist for the inpatient pharmacy. Dr. VanVuuren began precepting students in 2002, hosting both introductory pharmacy practical experience (IPPE) and advanced pharmacy practical experience (APPE) students. In 2010, she was elected to the Alumni Board of Governors and remains a member.

In 2010, Dr. VanVuuren transferred to St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea Hospital to work as the outpatient pharmacist. Dr. VanVuuren began hosting IPPE students in Chelsea that Fall. She currently holds the position of Pharmacist In Charge of ChelseaCare Pharmacy.

“Dr. Van Vuuren is an excellent preceptor, she is always asking the student questions and each experience I felt as if I was being challenged to think critically and examine ways that I could improve my skills,” says another student nominator. “She taught me new things every week. She was always willing to listen to me and teach me even if she was in the middle of doing her work. She paid close attention to my projects such as the new drug and current event presentations and asked me great questions related to them, which motivated me to do more research.”

Dr. VanVuuren’s rotation focuses on empathetic and clinically sound patient care, problem solving, professionalism, and time management. The ChelseaCare Pharmacy rotation provides students with a different look at retail pharmacy practice.

“My preceptors and mentors had such a profound and positive impact on my education, I want to follow in their footsteps and share my experience with student pharmacists,” says Dr. VanVuuren.  “I hope to enhance their professional development, build their confidence and be a part of their future network.”

“I always had an interest in a career in education and I love having students on site,” adds Dr. VanVuuren. “I believe that students bring diversity, new knowledge, and enthusiasm for the profession when they are on rotation.”

Dr. VanVuuren is married and the mother of two sons. She is active in her community as President of the Manchester Community Schools Foundation and Coordinator of the Friends of the Manchester District Library. In her free time, she loves spending time with family and friends, traveling, reading, and creating scrapbooks.