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PHS grad is now pharmacist in SD

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Taylor Parks

Portland High School 2011 graduate Taylor Parks received her Doctor of Pharmacy Degree in June from South College in Knoxville. She previously attended Volunteer State Community College for two years, and did her pre-pharmacy coursework at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.

Parks became interested in healthcare while taking a high school anatomy class taught by Portland High School teacher Debbie Perry. She also recognizes the public speaking skills she learned in PHS teacher Linda Starnes' public speaking class, which she acknowledges will be helpful when she gives presentations at pharmacy conferences.

Parks said, "I found my passion for pharmacy while working as a pharmacy technician at Village Drugs during college."

The people she worked with at Village Drugs were instrumental in her decision to

become a pharmacist. Parks specifically recognizes pharmacist Steve Blevins, Jack Bunch, and Charlotte Perdue for their positive influences, as well as Wendy Caudell.

She is working as a pharmacist and pharmacy resident at Sioux Falls Veterans

Healthcare System in Sioux Falls, SD. Her responsibilities are clinical pharmacist training, giving lectures at South Dakota State University School of Pharmacy, and working in inpatient and outpatient pharmacy. She works in VA clinics where she has the ability to prescribe medications and manage patients' medications.

"I like working in a setting where I get one-on-one time with patients and have the

chance to influence their care," Parks added. "It is difficult to adjust being in a different part of the country. There are no chicken and dumplings here and the sweet tea is no good."

Parks' goals are to become a clinical pharmacist and become board certified in

pharmacotherapy. She would like to teach at a school of pharmacy in the future.

While in pharmacy school, Parks had the opportunity to travel to San Diego, CA and Washington, D.C. She won a national point of care testing competition which involved counseling patients while in Washington, D.C.

"I got a great education at Vol State, and saved a lot of money there. I would

recommend that to anyone graduating high school," Parks said.

Parks is the daughter of Carey Parks and Jason Parks. She has one brother Adam

Parks who is a student at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville. She is engaged to Patrick Daniel.

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