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Damika Walker, PharmD: Leading at Howard University Hospital’s Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy

The journey to pharmacy school

Dr. Damika Walker has had a clear professional vision from an early age—always knowing she wanted to pursue a career in healthcare. Even before she entered kindergarten, when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she'd confidently respond with "a baby doctor," without realizing this was the role of a pediatrician. As she grew up, her ultimate goal was to become a doctor, specializing in neonatology. While earning her bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), doubts crept in during an exam, making her question her path towards medical school. Following graduation from UNC-CH, Damika opted out of the medical school route and instead worked at Enterprise Commercial Trucks for two years. During her time there, she realized she yearned for further education in healthcare and enrolled in a pharmacy technician course at her local community college, launching her pharmacy career. Damika transitioned from Enterprise to joining Biologics, an oncology pharmacy located in Cary, NC, while preparing to embark on her journey to pharmacy school.

Originally from North Carolina, Damika graduated from Howard University College of Pharmacy achieving a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree in May 2015. Her decision to attend Howard University, a prestigious Historically Black College and University (HBCU), was driven by her desire to be immersed in an institution marked for its rich culture in black excellence. With its notable standing in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines, Howard University has consistently ranked at the forefront in science and engineering doctoral degrees as recognized by The National Science Foundation.


A career with purpose

Today, Damika finds fulfillment in her position as a specialty pharmacy manager with Walgreens and recognizes the value her pharmacy brings to the community, especially for individuals seeking personalized care.

"It's incredibly impactful to offer services right here on this campus, with individuals who share similar backgrounds, experiences, and identities," Damika expressed. As a woman of color, she emphasized how the presence of relatable and comforting figures in healthcare can foster a powerful sense of connection within diverse communities. "Representation unquestionably carries substantial value, even if some downplay its true importance or overlook its significance," she added.

Damika enjoys engaging with a diverse range of patients seeking routine care who use Howard University Hospital’s inpatient services such as the diabetes clinic, oncology and infusion departments, and the Center for Infectious Disease Management and Research Clinic (CIDMAR). She emphasizes the significant impact of having a specialty Walgreens pharmacy on campus, ensuring access to limited distribution drugs or medications that aren’t readily available in typical retail settings.

Future trends in pharmacy

Damika enthusiastically shared the advancements in Walgreens pharmacy operations. At eleven Walgreens pharmacy micro-fulfillment centers, robots handle various tasks such as dispensing to ease the workload at many pharmacies. This innovation not only allows more time for focused patient care and consultations but also demonstrates Walgreens commitment to using cutting-edge robotic technology in central pharmacy settings to enhance in-store patient services.

Damika is excited about the future of pharmacy and looks forward to the many opportunities Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy in Howard University Hospital can provide to her. Become part of the Walgreens pharmacy team today. Search for your next role here.

“There are numerous pathways for pharmacists to explore in today's landscape, ranging from the ambulatory side to hospital settings and working directly in doctor's offices.”

Damika Walker, PharmD

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