Passion for pharmacy and female pharmacy leadership exists in many different forms. Meet Andrea D’Angelo – a 15-year veteran in pharmacy recruitment and recent founder of DPR Group.
“I’ve always had a passion for pharmacy. It’s in my blood. My parents and sister are pharmacists, and many of my extended family work in pharmacy. Growing up, I loved watching my parents in action – leading their teams, counselling patients, building their businesses. I started my career as a pharmacy assistant and I was always intrigued to learn what makes a pharmacy successful. It became clear that the most successful pharmacies had a strong team that worked and communicated well together. This led to a strong desire to help pharmacy owners build their dream team,” says Andrea.
PharmacyU recently talked with Andrea about her passion for the profession and her views on female leadership.
When you began your career many years ago, did you ever imagine becoming a leader in pharmacy?
I believe that becoming a leader in pharmacy staffing and recruitment was a calling for me. Fifteen years ago, I moved from Windsor to Toronto with a small bank account but with a big dream. I knew that I loved recruiting and finding the perfect match between the needs of a pharmacy and the aspirations of pharmacy professionals. The journey was certainly not an easy one. I faced a lot of challenges and went through some tough times. I always managed to find strength to keep going through the growing support I have been getting from so many pharmacists and pharmacy owners across the country. Now with DPR Group, I’m able to expand my services even further and guide the company with my own vision to address the continuously changing and increasingly complex staffing needs in pharmacy.
What motivates you to get up in the morning?
I love helping my clients! I love helping pharmacy owners! I love placing candidates in their dream job! When an owner calls me in a panic because a staff member resigned and needs someone right away, I’m energized. I love helping them by taking over their stress of dealing with these challenging situations. I take over the hiring process for them from start to finish, letting them focus on what matters most…their patients and their business.
What challenges have you faced along the way?
I started in an agency environment placing thousands of relief pharmacists across the country. It was a tough gig, working very long hours under stressful conditions for minimum wage. This was how I appreciated the importance of staffing for pharmacy owners and I’m thankful for that experience. Many times people tell me it’s impossible to find a pharmacist for a particular location, such as a small, northern or remote community. Whether it’s downtown Toronto or rural Alberta, and whether it’s retail pharmacy, specialty or long-term care, I am always fuelled to channel all my efforts into finding the right candidate for that position. It gives me great satisfaction to meet those challenges.
What advice would you give young women who aspire to be pharmacy leaders?
Have a dream goal and keep that in mind to drive you each day. It’s important to know your “why,” what drives you, and to share that with your team. When a team works together for the same goal, you are unstoppable. Women are natural team-builders and collaborators. Use that strength.