Local Women: Susan Benivegna

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Faith and Pharmacy If one word had to be chosen to describe Susan Benivegna, it would be passionate. She is a pharmacist at Sparrow, but does so much more than you would expect. Benivegna is constantly in contact with the doctors monitoring and taking into account all factors that the patients have. She works in the ER, critical care, IV room, fusion center and a variety of other wards. “I feel like I am really making an impact on people’s lives especially when I catch something that can be made better,” said Benivegna. “I love meeting people and teaching them how to use medication in the proper way in order to make a difference in their medical health.” Benivegna is known as the social worker pharmacist among colleagues. “I get really involved with patients and spend time with them. I help them get through situations and sometimes get very wrapped up in it. I believe that understanding what patients needs are better helps me know what they truly need.” “I had always like science, chemistry, biology and people. When I was young I went on a vacation to Chicago and saw the human body exhibit, from then on I knew I wanted to do something in healthcare,” Benivegna said. “I had an admiration for pharmacists and thought it would be great working with everyone and see the whole picture of how everything works.” “Being a pharmacist has a lot more to it than the general public sees. There’s a more human aspect to it and it’s very interactive. It’s not just giving someone a medication,” says Benivegna. “People don’t always see us, but we touch the lives of almost every patient that comes into the hospital.” Benivegna has been at Sparrow for 14 years and wants to continue her work. “I’m fortunate to have a work schedule that gives me freedom to be around my family. I love volunteering at my son’s school and doing poison prevention talks. I also do some teaching at Wayne State for nurses,” said Benivegna. “If young people like the sciences and chemistry and enjoy interaction with people in the community they should strongly pursue the degree. It is a very worthwhile profession with lots of options. There are opportunities in computer work, community health, full time and part time, the sky is the limit.” Along with her work as a pharmacist, Benivegna has another passion. “Even though there is a separation of science and religion, people in healthcare have to have a certain amount of faith and trust in God in order to help do best for the patients. It’s important for the healthcare person and patient to have faith. The power of faith and prayer can help people get through a healthcare crisis. It’s really amazing when we come into a patient’s room and pray together. If something doesn’t work out due to something such as cancer, it can really help you get through hard times.” Benivegna tries to learn new things every day. “If I learn one new thing each day, it’s a good day, and I try to pass that on to others. It keeps you young health wise and mentally. Always challenge yourself and do something new. And always laugh.”
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