Educating Health Care Professionals to Improve Patient Care

Published on 19 June 2017

After 12 years of practice, Jill Sellers ’92/’93, Pharm.D., took a leap of faith to make the transition from pharmacist to communications entrepreneur.  Jill sellers opened sellers communications in 2005 and shares her passion for education with health care professionals, patients and students.

Why did you choose to open your own health care communications business?

I wanted to work on projects that interested me, challenge myself in ways I would not be able to otherwise, and truly enjoy what I did each day. You could say Sellers Communications arose out of a deep desire for personal and professional fulfillment. I also had people encouraging me to step out on my own long before I actually did it. I will admit, it was scary at first, but I am glad they encouraged me!

Why did you choose to go into medical education and  writing as the next step in your career?

Lifelong learning is critical for health care professionals. When I write or organize content for a paper or program, my goal is to make it not only understandable but also interesting and fun! I believe people will want to continue learning if it is engaging.

How do you see the role of pharmacists in health care communication and patient education?

Pharmacists have the perfect education and training to communicate with patients in order to educate them. Pharmacists are taught how to speak to all types of patients in a way that will make sense. Combining these skills with our knowledge of disease states and treatments, pharmacists can influence what patients learn and how they learn it. If we are to affect change in our health care system, we must educate patients, not only to encourage them to take an active role in their health, but also to equip them with the knowledge and tools to do so.

How has your STLCOP education helped you achieve success?

It is important to understand that even though the brick and mortar buildings on campus are beautiful, it is the administration, faculty and staff who are the inspirers — yesterday, today and tomorrow. One of the most important aspects of being an educator is inspiring others to learn and to continue learning throughout life. When I was a student, I did not quite appreciate the opportunity, nor did I fully appreciate the work the faculty put in to teaching us. Now that I am in education, I am thankful for the time, effort, intelligence, planning and critical thinking it takes to teach others. Despite my lack of gratitude when I was a student, the administration, faculty and staff did not give up on me! Their perseverance to shape and form us into quality pharmacists is an inspiration.

What inspires your passion for giving back to the College?

I have found that when you give, you receive more than you could have ever imagined in return. The College provided an education that has allowed me to be part of an amazing profession, and it is nice to show my appreciation by giving back.

As a member of the Women’s Giving Initiative, what do you hope to accomplish?

As with any project, I hope to help advance knowledge, promote learning and serve as a resource for education and support. We can learn so much from one another, and I am looking forward to the comradery aspect of the Women’s Giving Initiative. It will be a fun challenge to see what we can do together!

Sellers’ drive for education is noticeable throughout her professional achievements. She was recognized as a STLCOP Outstanding Alumnus in 2001 and published “The Pharmacist in Public Health: Education, Applications, and Opportunities” in 2010. Currently, Sellers serves as the CEO and president of Sellers Communications and executive director of Medavera, Inc., a female-owned medical education company. She is also a member of the Women’s Giving Initiative. This story was first published in the spring 2017 issue of Script. Visit stlcop.edu/script to read more and access previous issues.

 

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