2018 Ton Hoek Scholarship Recipient

Catherine Kuecker

University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy 


Catherine (Katie) Kuecker graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison School of Pharmacy in 2017. During that time, she completed her Certificate in Global Health. She was actively involved in the Wisconsin Society of Pharmacy Students through the American Pharmacists Association and served as Operation Immunization co-chair for two years. She also served as a volunteer Spanish interpreter and Referrals Coordinator with the MEDiC student-run free clinics through the University of Wisconsin - Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.

Her global pharmacy interest began when she studied abroad in Spain during her undergraduate career. She continued to pursue opportunities during pharmacy school to further her global pharmacy interest including co-coordinating and implementing inaugural influenza vaccine clinics for the St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy in Madison, WI which serves largely a minority and underinsured or uninsured patient population. She completed an academia-focused pharmacy rotation in Cape Town, South Africa as one of her Advanced Practice Pharmacy Experiences. She served in a professor and educator role to develop and deliver lecture and patient case lab materials for South African student pharmacists. This experience helped to highlight the differences in pharmacy practice and education across the globe and the importance of sharing information within the pharmacy profession.

At the present time, Katie is at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, WI completing a Post-Graduate Year 1 residency focused on ambulatory care and has early committed to a Post-Graduate Year 2 ambulatory care residency. As a resident, Katie worked with the MEDiC student clinics to advance the role of the pharmacist as a provider who is integrated into a care team with the physician. In her role with the MEDiC clinics, she was able to work with many native Spanish speakers. She is also actively involved in the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin (PSW) through the Ambulatory Care Advisory Board and the Wisconsin Pharmacy Residency Conference planning committee. She has a passion for academia, advancing pharmacy practice, and patient communication in English and Spanish.

Learn more about Katie's experience at the 2018 International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) below:



Katie Kuecker (USA) pictured with FIP CEO, Catherine Duggan


Attending my First FIP World Congress as the US Ton Hoek Scholar

The Ton Hoek Scholarship through the American Pharmacists Association was established in 2017 to provide a student pharmacist, fellow, resident or PharmD graduate pursuing graduate studies the opportunity to attend the FIP World Congress. As the second annual recipient, I had the opportunity to attend my first FIP World Congress in Glasgow, Scotland in September 2018. My international interests first began when I studied abroad in Spain during my undergraduate career. During pharmacy school, I furthered my interest by implementing influenza vaccine clinics for underserved patients, serving as a Spanish interpreter and pharmacy intern through free student medical clinics in Madison, and completing an international Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience in Cape Town, South Africa.

While completing my PGY1 pharmacy residency, I first heard about FIP through another pharmacist with global interests. She encouraged me to get involved and consider attending their World Congress. I felt that attending Congress would provide me the opportunity to kickstart my pharmacy professional involvement on a global scale and start building relationships with other pharmacists. My time in Glasgow was spent attending the inaugural Young Pharmacist Group (YPG) Leadership Development Workshop, attending executive committee and council meetings, presenting a research poster, and connecting with other pharmacists across the world. I was even able to reconnect with my former preceptor from South Africa at the congress. The Leadership Workshop allowed me to meet other young pharmacists and new practitioners who were also interested in enhancing their leadership skills. Session and discussion themes focused on critical topics globally but ones that we are also facing in the United States: regulations surrounding cannabis, physician-assisted suicide, and entrustable professional activities. These commonalities demonstrate the professional need to continue advancing practice at all practice sites and levels in order for pharmacists to provide enhanced, quality care for patients.

As I was brand new to the world of FIP, attending Congress gave me an enhanced perspective for the broader structure of the organization and helped me find where I fit best within FIP as a resident and new practitioner. I was reinvigorated to continue expanding my leadership skills and professional network at the local, national, and now global scale. One of my favorite memories was being able to discuss the importance of advancing and sustaining pharmacy practice globally with Carmen Peña, Immediate Past President, in Spanish! I encourage all eligible students or PharmD graduates to apply as this experience was unique and invaluable to my personal growth as a globally-minded pharmacist.