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Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy to hold Professional Commitment Ceremony

Nov 10, 2014

The Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy will conduct its annual Professional Commitment Ceremony in the ONU Sports Center on Saturday, Nov. 15, at 10:30 a.m.

Ronda Lehman, chief operating officer of St. Rita’s Professional Services, will be the guest speaker at the event, which marks the transition from the students’ first three years of ONU pharmacy education to their final three professional years.

During the annual Professional Commitment Ceremony, third-year pharmacy students receive their white coats from their pharmacist mentors – a symbol of this milestone in their journeys to become pharmacists. Each student will receive his or her white coat from one of more than 100 alumni who will be on campus to serve as mentors for the students as they progress in the pharmacy profession.

Steven J. Martin, dean of the Raabe College of Pharmacy said, “It is important for our students to have pharmacists as professional mentors – someone they can turn to for advice and guidance in their professional careers and to help them in their professional development and growth.”

Those third-year students who already have pharmacists serving as their mentors will invite them to coat them at the white coat ceremony, to both honor and continue their relationship. Those students who do not yet have mentors will be matched with pharmacists from a list of alumni and friends of the college who have volunteered to mentor students and participate in the white coat ceremony that day. Efforts will be made to match each student with a pharmacist from a practice background of interest to the student.

Martin added, “ONU is proud to have a long list of successful pharmacist alumni and friends from a variety of practice backgrounds and experiences who have volunteered to serve as mentors to our students. Our hope is that the professional commitment event will act as a springboard beyond the third year to a continuing relationship where mentors assist students in expanding their knowledge of the pharmacy profession and various career options and guide in their professional development long term. Contact information will be exchanged, and mentors and students alike are encouraged to keep in touch following the event.”

In addition to receiving their white coats, students take an oath of professional commitment to signify their commitment to the profession and their future patients.

Lehman, who graduated with a pharmacy degree from ONU in 1998, began as an intern at St. Rita’s in 1998. She then worked as a pharmacist at the hospital until June 2000 when she was appointed operations manager. In October 2001, she was named acting director of pharmacy and was director from January 2002 to March 2007. She next was named administrative director of pharmacy and the health management group, and in August 2009 she became executive director of St. Rita’s Medical Center, a position she held until May 2010 when she became vice president of operations. In 2013, she was named chief operation officer of St. Rita’s Professional Services.

While at ONU, Lehman was a member of the Rho Chi Society, an ONU Honor Scholarship recipient, an Ohio Choice Grant recipient and an Ohio Board of Regents scholar. She was a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta honor society and the Phi Kappa Phi honor fraternity. She also was a member of the ONU chapter of American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists. In 1998, she received the Mylan Pharmaceutical Excellence in Pharmacy Award. In 2003, she was named to the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society in Business Administration.

ONU remains a big part of Lehman’s life. She has served as an adjunct faculty member at the University since 2003 and continues to mentor pharmacy students on rotations and assist with perspective student interviews.

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