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Jessa Koch, PharmD, Assistant Professor Pharmacy Practice, Psychiatry, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Consumer Relations Committee

The CPNP Consumer Relations Committee will be highlighting the volunteer activities of several CPNP members in the coming months to increase awareness of these activities and to provide insight and guidance to other CPNP members that may be interested in getting involved in volunteer activities in the future. This month, CPNP would like to highlight the volunteer efforts of one of our members, Martie Fankhauser.

Service to her local community, state, and to the nation as a whole has been a consistent component to Martie Fankhauser’s professional and personal life. Martie Fankhauser retired from her position as a Clinical Professor at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy in 2010; however, anyone who knows Martie knows that her efforts to advance the profession of pharmacy and service to the community continue. Martie’s passion for helping others is quite evident when speaking with her. This passion is an inspiration for all to better serve their community as Martie has done for years.

Martie has been involved in various capacities in a number of organizations, including NAMI, the Tourette Syndrome Association, the Autism Society of Southern Arizona, and the Arizona Pharmacy Association. Outside of organizations, Martie can be found volunteering her time in the community; be it leading presentations at a Parkinson’s women’s support group, the Arizona Cancer Center support groups, the police department, or educating patients on the role diet can play in health and wellness. Highlighting some of Martie’s efforts should provide other CPNP members with an idea of the vast opportunities available for getting involved in their own locales.

One of Martie’s first service roles grew from her own personal experience. After her son was diagnosed with early onset Tourette Syndrome, Martie realized that there were no local chapters in Arizona to offer support and education for patients, family members, and providers. She helped organize the Arizona chapter of the Tourette Syndrome Association to meet this need. Her involvement within this organization and a part-time position in a developmental disability clinic opened up more doors for her.  She next started serving the autism community and is a current board member for the Autism Society of Southern Arizona.

Another organization that Martie has volunteered with over the past thirty years is NAMI. In the beginning, she volunteered along with a social worker to lead the NAMI support groups and participated in public education events. Recently, she got involved in a book club that her local NAMI chapter started. She both helps the chapter select books and provides a review of the books related to psychiatric medication or alternative therapies. On a state pharmacy level, Martie has worked with other pharmacists to develop and enhance psychiatric pharmacy education for those needing additional training and skills development. Not only has this Arizona Pharmacy Association’s certificate program in psychiatry enhanced the knowledge base of pharmacists, but it has also has served as a platform to promote CPNP for those desiring further education and certification. She also participates in the pharmacy student mentor connection program that matches students with licensed pharmacists to provide guidance and support. The common theme from all of Martie’s efforts is her genuine desire to improve the lives of others- be it through further education, meeting unmet needs, mentorship, or just the act of helping.

In terms of how to get involved, at one point Martie simply stated “you either start things yourself and find out what is missing or if something is already in place, you let people know you are interested in helping.” Martie encourages CPNP members to be proactive and reach out to others. She discussed that within neurology and psychiatry there are a lot of different disease states and with that, a number of different opportunities for involvement. “Go visit people, make connections.” One example she provided of reaching out was during her time at the University of Arizona. She would call physicians and schedule appointments to get to know them better and for those providers to know what services she could offer. This act has led to long-term professional relationships and opportunities for involvement. She also encouraged members to reach out to their state pharmacy, psychology, social work, nursing, and physician associations and volunteer to provide webinars/presentations on psychiatric pharmacy to further educate other professionals. Martie has truly played an important role in her community and in the nation serving the needs of others.

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