Katelyn Miller Sanders ’11 had a unique experience at Shenandoah. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Goucher College in Baltimore, Md. she and her husband, Garrett Sanders ’10, decided to move to Winchester and both pursue further degrees. After four years, Sanders received her Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Business Administration degrees while her husband earned his Doctor in Physical Therapy.
“Shenandoah was a wonderful place for both my husband and me to earn our degrees,” Sanders said. “It is the wonderful sense of community that led us to stay in the area after graduation and causes us to both feel the need to give back to the institution that treated us so exceptionally well and provided the solid foundation to start our careers.”
Sanders is currently a pharmacy manager for Rite Aid in Strasburg, Va. She joined the SU Alumni Board of Directors in September 2012.
SU gave so much to me in my four years and prepared me so completely for my career that I will always feel indebted,” explained Sanders. “It is important to me as an alumna to give back in any way I can to help the university continue to provide the type of experience I had as a student.”
As a pharmacy manager at Rite Aid, Sanders is responsible for the everyday operations of the pharmacy including clinical services offered and a substantial vaccination program. Growing up, Sanders was always interested in healthcare because her mother was a nurse.
“The more I looked into professional opportunities within the broader field, I realized pharmacy was a perfect fit for my personality,” said Sanders. “I would get to talk with people everyday on a very personal level while being able to make meaningful contributions to their health and wellness.”
As with any job, there are always the highs and lows. Sanders reflected on the simple moments where a patient genuinely thanks you for something you did for them. She explained how it could be a simple phone call to check in, to help them find more affordable medications or catching a drug interaction before it happens.
“There is nothing better than seeing relief on their face or a smile because of something you did,” Sanders remarked.
On the flipside, Sanders has encountered some challenges with helping patients to understand the changes that are occurring with the new health care system. It is a constant challenge for her and other pharmacists to help customers understand how things will change, what might remain the same and ultimately what they can continue to do to stay healthy.
Sanders is excited to be a member of the alumni board and still sees herself as a “fresh” alumna with much ambition. Also, she feels that her experience being an alumna of another institution might help bring new ideas to the table at Shenandoah.
Sanders is a member of the American Pharmacist Association and works closely with Shenandoah’s Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy on special projects with the dean.
Sanders and her husband reside in Stephens City, Va. They are members of Kernstown United Methodist Church and are avid sports fans. They live with their dog, Bentley, love spending time with their family in Bethany Beach and are excited to have their first child in early February 2014!