My journey to the West Coast started from a lot farther east than most. My parents immigrated from Ukraine with my brother and me, two suitcases, and almost no knowledge of the English language. We lived in Europe and New York before finally setting in the suburbs of Minneapolis. I recall how hard my parents worked to ensure that my brother and I would have opportunity in the U.S. It’s fair to say that my interest in health care and pharmacy started with my mom, who gave up a chemical engineering degree to work as a pharmacy technician to help support us. I pursued a pharmacy degree at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, both to pay tribute to her and to improve people’s lives, just as my parents improved ours.
I have always been a global thinker with an interest in improving systems to help large populations of people. That is what attracted me to my earlier, non-traditional pharmacy roles in health plan operations, where I could shape health programs and policies for large cohorts of people in need. I joined The Portland Clinic to get closer to patient care, and to help increase the pharmacy’s involvement in the clinic’s renowned multidisciplinary care.
Informed by my family’s early challenges, I believe that any problem can be solved with persistence and the right attitude. I also appreciate the need for effective support systems at the individual and community level, especially in something as complex as health care. These two values, in balance, shape my practice approach.
This approach extends into my personal world as well. My wife and I are big fans of DIY home improvement projects that are sometimes beyond our initial capacity and skill set; somehow, we always find a way to get through them successfully. We also enjoy Netflix binges and hikes with our two furry Bulochniks.
Read Alex’s article, Take control of pain – without opioids.
Specialty: Clinical Pharmacy