WSU Pharmacy alumna and mentor Susan Findley named AACP Distinguished Preceptor

Susan Findley award
Susan Findley (right) with Clinical Professor and Director of Experiential Education Francine Salinitri during the 2024 PharmD Convocation.

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy recently honored longtime WSU Applebaum preceptor and alumna Susan Findley ’89 as a Distinguished Preceptor.

The AACP Distinguished Preceptor Recognition Program honors preceptors across the nation – who are not full-time employees of a college/school of pharmacy – for their sustained commitment to excellence in experiential education and professional practice. 

Findley began her career in independent community pharmacy practice at Lafer Drugs in Fraser, Michigan. She joined the Kroger Corporation as a staff pharmacist/pharmacy manager in 1991 and was promoted to pharmacy coordinator, a title she held from 1995-2018.

Along with her responsibilities as a coordinator of pharmacy operations and clinical services for as many as 40 Kroger sites, she was the pharmacy extern/intern preceptor coordinator from 2012-22, responsible for implementing extern and intern programs for up to 103 Kroger sites.

In 2018, Findley became a Kroger Corporation health and wellness/pharmacy practice coordinator. With her team of 54 pharmacists and a technician operation specialist, she provides training, implementation, and assessment of all areas of community pharmacy operations and integrated clinical services. In 2019, she completed the Michigan Pharmacist Association Leadership Academy.

Findley at Kroger table
During finals week this April, Findley (center) handed out study-support care packages to student pharmacists on behalf of Kroger.

For nearly 30 years, Findley has contributed to the education and training of WSU Applebaum student pharmacists, as well as those studying at the University of Michigan, Ferris State University, LECOM and Manchester College of Pharmacy.

WSU Applebaum's experiential education aligns with Wayne State University’s College to Career initiative. Preceptors like Findley work with the Doctor of Pharmacy program to provide every student with experiential learning opportunities that allow them to encounter the world, gain deeper insights and new perspectives, and prepare for prosperous careers.

Since 1995, Findley has coordinated the consistent integration of PharmD students and their involvement in providing patient care clinical services across 20 Kroger pharmacies throughout Michigan for both the Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPE) and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE).

Susan Davis, Susan Findley
Susan Davis (left) and Susan Findley

“Susan has been a valued preceptor, mentor and advisor to our WSU Doctor of Pharmacy program for many years,” said Associate Dean for Pharmacy Susan Davis. “She not only works directly with students but also encourages and facilitates preceptor development and training to connect pharmacists in her region with our program. She leads by example, advocating for pharmacy-based patient care in the supermarket setting, expanding access for patients across Michigan.”

As a leader in community pharmacy practice, Findley inspires and supports her pharmacists to be active preceptors for WSU Applebaum students and mentors them in a layered learning model that recognizes students’ impact on patient care in the community setting. Most notably, she has been instrumental in the WSU and Kroger partnership to successfully offer Community Advanced Pharmacy Practice three-rotation track APPE for the past 20 years.

Findley at Kroger table
Findley – shown here on the right in 2022 – has delivered guidance and smiles to WSU Applebaum students for years.

Findley is very involved in community and professional organizations and is an active member of the WSU Pharmacy Alumni community, where she engages students through wellness activities, professional development and career fairs.

“Susan’s valuable insights have helped to inform our program’s advocacy priorities and have enhanced our understanding of the pharmacy workforce needs of our community,” Davis said. “As one of our most visible preceptors and members of the alumni community, she regularly works with the college to support student and alumni engagement, bringing her colleagues to the college to offer words of encouragement and connect students with mentors. On behalf of our faculty and students, I congratulate Susan on this impressive honor.”

The Doctor of Pharmacy program at Wayne State University is a four-year curriculum in the heart of Detroit. Approximately 100 students are enrolled in each year of the program. WSU Applebaum information meetings for prospective students take place at 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month. The application process or the Doctor of Pharmacy program begins each July.

An anchor in urban health care

The Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is built on more than 100 years of tradition and innovation in the heart of Detroit. We have grown deep roots in our city, harnessing its powerhouse hospital systems and community service organizations as vibrant, real-world training grounds for students, with an ongoing focus on social justice in health care. And our research at all levels – from undergraduates to veteran faculty members – translates into creative solutions for healthier communities.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering approximately 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 24,000 students.

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