As a Rite Aid pharmacist, Lauren Schwartz ’10 usually sees customers when they are sick. Occasionally, she hears about a healthy outcome. Recently, a regular customer stopped by the Rite Aid in Northford, Connecticut, to tell Schwartz she was cancer-free.
“It was heartwarming to hear good news,” she said. “To know that someone has overcome their illness is very motivating.”
Schwartz has been a pharmacist with the Rite Aid chain since 2015 and pharmacy manager in Northford for nearly two years. She administers immunizations, counsels customers on drug interactions and instructs them in the use of medical devices.
She also keeps an eye out for her customers’ well-being and that sometimes means challenging the dosing requested by providers and spotting patients who might be abusing prescription drugs.
During her undergraduate years, she was interested in health care but wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. “I thought about nutrition — how food affects the body — and then I became more interested in how medicines work in the body,” she explained. After graduating, she continued her studies at the University of Saint Joseph, earning a doctor of pharmacy degree.
Schwartz shares her enthusiasm for the field with Quinnipiac students. She teaches both Foundations of Pharmacy and Pharmacological Interventions for Common Medical Conditions and hires students as pharmacy technicians to let them experience the work. She also co-founded QU’s Pre-Pharmacy Club.
She credits Cynthia Christie, assistant dean for career development, with putting her in touch with people in the pharmacy field while in school. “Quinnipiac staff members have an amazing ability to help students network,” she said.