Northwestern Memorial Hospital Director Of Pharmacy Is Named Pharmacist Of The Year

Northwestern Medicine
News October 16, 2017
Desi Kotis, PharmD, FASHP, Director of Pharmacy at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, accepted the Pharmacist of the Year Award from Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists (ICHP) on September 16. Kotis was selected as this year’s recipient by a selection committee based on her pharmacy practice, education and administration, her involvement with pharmacy organizational activity, national research and more.

Kotis started her career at Northwestern Memorial as a pharmacy practice resident in July 1983 and has since served as a clinical pharmacist, pharmacy supervisor, pharmacy manager and now pharmacy director. Throughout her career, she has made significant contributions to not only Northwestern Medicine, but to her profession.

“It’s very humbling to receive the Pharmacist of the Year award,” Kotis says. “It was special to share the moment with my mentors and other colleagues who were at the ceremony.”

At Northwestern Memorial, Kotis has grown the residency program from three to 29 residents, implemented an innovative pharmacy staffing model and had her business plan to open the Northwestern Medicine Specialty Pharmacy approved. While Kotis says she sometimes misses caring for patients at the bedside, her current role allows her to make a large impact for both her team and patients.

“The Specialty Pharmacy is one of my proudest moments,” Kotis says. “The ambulatory care practice is so important to our high-risk patients, and we already have positive measurable patient-specific outcomes.”

Kotis is an active member of ICHP and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, where she founded the Women in Leadership Steering Committee to promote the role of women in leadership positions by offering training, education and support. She also served as the president of the Northern Illinois Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and it currently the director-at-large for the National Vizient/University Health Care Consortium Academic Medical Centers Pharmacy Committee.

As Kotis reflects on her career and accomplishments, she is quick to point out the strength of her team and support from Gary Noskin, MD, chief medical officer at Northwestern Memorial.

“I love the people I work with!” she says. “Everyone from my team, to the nurses who administer medications, to Finance and IT – it’s the people who have kept me here for 34 years.”