Celebrating Women in Pharmacy: Leticia Van de Putte

LVDPSpecial Note: During the Month of March,  we will be highlighting women in pharmacy (past and present) who have contributed significantly to the profession.

When most people think about what a pharmacist does, they think most often this of counting pills, talking with patients, or answering doctors calls. However, Leticia Van de Putte is not your typical pharmacist. She has stepped outside of the four walls of the pharmacy and is now serving her patients in a greater arena.

Leticia Van de Putte attended pharmacy school at the University of Texas at Austin. Upon graduation, she wanted to give back and serve her local hometown. Van de Putte opened an independent pharmacy, Loma Park Pharmacy, in San Antonio, Texas and worked there for 12 years. Later on, she held various other pharmacy positions, including hospital pharmacy, institutional pharmacy, nursing-home consulting pharmacy, and community pharmacy. She was also the owner of Dixie Flag Manufacturing Company in Texas, which has grown from a small business to a leader of the industry. Currently, she practices at Davila Pharmacy in San Antonio, Texas.

Leticia Van de Putte has earned hundreds of awards, honors, and has been recognized at the local, state, and national level over the years. Van de Putte won the Texas Pharmacy Association “Pharmacist of the Year Award, Region D” in 1995 and the Texas Pharmacy Association “Distinguished Service Award” in 1996. The American Druggist Magazine named her one of the 50 Most Influential Pharmacists in 1999. She was recognized by the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA) with the “Hubert H. Humphrey Award” in 2000, a prestigious award that recognizes APhA members who have made major contributions in government and legislative service at the local, state, or national level.

In 1990, Van de Putte was elected as a Texas state Senator. She had a passion for helping children and health care and economic issues. She saw this as an opportunity to serve her patients on another level and became an advocate for these issues. In 1995, she was able to sponsor and help pass Senate Bill 601. SB 601 established the Texas Patient’s Bill of Rights, bringing the patient into the health care team and allowed them to take part of treatment decisions. This later went on to become the national model that we use today. In 1999, she sponsored Senate Bill 1224, which passed and brought about the Texas Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). CHIP offered low-cost health care insurance for children and families who do not qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford health insurance. This insured over one-half million children.

Leticia Van de Putte’s contributions have greatly influenced the lives of many people. Children who may have gone without proper evaluation by a physician can now be assessed and treated for any medical issues. As a result of SB 601, patients now play an active role in their health. They are able to work with their physician to work towards a healthier life.

References:

Leticiavandeputte.com. (n.d.). Retrieved September 14, 2015, from http://www.leticia-vandeputte.com/

Small Business Owner – Leticia Van de Putte. (n.d.). Retrieved September 14, 2015, from http://www.leticiaformayor.com/meet-leticia/small-business-owner#content

Pharmacists in politics. (2012, August 31). Retrieved September 14, 2015, from http://www.pharmacist.com/pharmacists-politics

Contributed by: Carissa Dotson, P2, Class of 2018

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