Adam Interviews local Renaissance man

Adam Interviews

Will Carroll, VP of RRH Pharmacy Services, talks about how he prioritizes all that he does

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Will Carroll seemingly does it all.

First, he has his day job: VP of Pharmacy Services for Rochester Regional Health.

Beyond that, though, he’s taken on enough to fill the plates of four people.

Adam Chodak sat down with him talk about how he handles everything he’s taken on.

Adam Chodak: What does your job entail?

Will Carroll: I’m the strategic and operational leader for the pharmacy division. It’s a newly created position and really serving to align the way pharmacy operates to ensure we have a consistent patient experience regardless if you go to hospital, retail pharmacy, long-term care, all those spaces.

AC: It’s normally my job to list off all the things you do, but not many people do as much as you do, so I’m going to have you do that for me.

TC: From a day-to-day perspective there’s ensuring regulatory compliance is being met, financial stewardship, things of that nature, also mentoring a young leadership team. That’s pretty much my day to day. Lots of good projects. Being a newly created position, there’s a lot of partnership with other service line leaders that are looking to optimize and looking to partner with pharmacy so that we can better use their medications, and pharmacy is pretty expensive so how do we make sure that we’re using it appropriately. That’s my 12 hours a day kind of work. Then after hours I continue to manage my real estate portfolio, I do a fair share of public speaking, interviews, journal writing for different journals or organizations, and then I also mentor a fair share of doctoral candidates at Purdue University or even some high schoolers to help set them on the right path and explore options maybe outside of what they’re used to or what they’ve considered.

AC: I’ve also heard music is in the mix.

TC: I am a musician. I play the piano, grew up kind of just learning how to play by ear, got into the vocal area, kind of did a little bit of training formally in undergrad and in graduate school, but became just a writer and I started writing and publishing some gospel music mostly and worked with a few different groups around the U.S. One in Atlanta that I still primarily work with so if I got to open for an artist or host an event, I’ll bring that crew and fly them in and have a good time.

AC: Where do you find the time to do all this?

TC: You make time. It’s one of those things where we have the amazing ability to create time or prioritize what’s important for us. Some people might be able to watch a TV show every night, one or two hours, right? For me, that one or two hours is spent doing an audiobook, maybe getting my bicycling in while reading that book or listening to it, and then maybe writing an article, spending an hour there. So it’s a matter of how do you invest. Or talking to someone on the phone during the bike ride. Because I’m really big in giving back so I try not to get distracted by some of the news or other things that may not help me elevate my mind and may align with where I’m trying to go and make a bigger impact.

AC: It’s one thing to say prioritize, it’s another to do it. So how do you prioritize?

TC: I’m very intentional, I’m big on making lists so on my birthday which is January, I wrote out my list for the year, my 10 big things that I want to accomplish. I also wrote out 10 things I accomplished the previous year. And so I’m very intentional about how I spend my time because I find that if I’m not intentional about it, it’s very easy for time to pass very quickly so for me it’s all about being intentional.

AC: So very little meandering through the day?

TC: I allow myself to meander through defined spaces. I have dedicated time for meandering. I have allowed myself some flexibility. I’ve learned over the years that, for me, there’s a bigger calling and a bigger purpose and so things happen for a reason and so as long as I stay aligned there I’m OK with whatever comes throughout the day.

AC: Where did you pick up this set of rules if you will or mission?

TC: Early on my family really taught me about valuing people and relationships. My parents are from Louisiana, grew up not having a whole lot, which was truly valuable because it taught us to focus on family and friends — not things — and I think that’s why it’s easy for me not to think about TV or things that much and focus on the people, but I think my focus on leadership, growth and development really happened with one of my mentors in pharmacy school, who always told me to project excellence and get more of us to the decision-making table, underrepresented minorities, and so I found myself every 2 to 3 years since I’ve graduated grad school, I’ve literally moved up in positions and continued to open doors that were previously closed or not explored by people who look like me or have had my life experience. So that has really been my trajectory and my motivation along the way.

AC: What do you think about the fact that you are in the position you’re in right now having gotten that advice way back when?

TC: I think it makes sense. I don’t think this is the last place I’ll stop. I think I’ve been called to do something great here and so I think when the time is right, when the position is right then the next door will open and I’ll continue to walk.

AC: Were you involved with the COVID vaccine at all?

TC: Absolutely. Pharmacy plays a big role with the vaccine. We were actually the ones defined as the pharmacy vaccine coordinators for the health system so we received all the vaccine, we had to keep track of all the vaccine, monitor that, distribute it, transport, we facilitate all of that for the hospital organization.

AC: What a giant job?

TC: At one time I think we had 15 different clinics happening per week, sometimes simultaneously throughout the week. And we had dedicated pharmacists, pharmacy technicians or pharmacy interns at every one of those clinics preparing vaccine and supporting those.

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