Katie Galbreath, Pharmacist, Sanford Health

Written by: Brady Drake

Tell us about yourself.

Hi, I’m Katie! I am North Dakota born and raised and graduated from NDSU with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2014. There is never a dull day in this chapter of my life, as my two girls, two dogs and husband keep my calendar full and the laundry plentiful! I am an early riser, and usually take advantage of my sleeping household to sneak in a run or bike ride before the chaos of the day begins. I am a wife, mom, friend, reader, runner, pharmacist and many other roles that are in constant flow with one another, and a balancing act I will never perfect. I am always on the hunt for the next binge-worthy book or planning my next trip with my husband.

I started working as a pharmacy intern at Sanford Health in 2009. After graduating in 2014, I completed a one-year postgraduate pharmacy residency after which I worked as a clinical pharmacist until I started in my current role as an inpatient hospital pharmacy supervisor in 2020.

What is important to you about the work that you do?

At the core of every healthcare professional is a desire to serve—serve our patients, serve other healthcare professionals and serve our communities. Medications are life-saving but can be harmful when used inappropriately. I am deeply gratified knowing our inpatient pharmacy department is providing high-quality, safe care to patients admitted to our facilities. One core responsibility in my role is pharmaceutical inventory and management, which includes mitigation of frequent and ever-present drug shortages! I have great pride in our purchasing team for the work we do to ensure medications are available to the healthcare team and if not, that a plan is in place for an alternative product or process to minimize medication impacts on the healthcare system whenever possible.

Who are some people who have been influential in your journey and why?

I am grateful to have many wonderfully influential people in my life, a few that I would like to highlight include:

1. My former residency director (and previous United Way 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program participant!) I admire her dedication to the pharmacy profession and now as a professor, her dedication to the next generation of pharmacists. She was a role model very early in my professional career as I watched her balance career and family while also setting and achieving personal goals.

2. One of my first supervisors as an intern turned fellow management colleague is another; she has mentored and coached me through every season of my career and provides valuable insight and honesty in situations. She sets and maintains firm expectations, all rooted in patient safety and is one of the hardest-working women I know.

3. Lastly, my parents; they provided guidance and set high standards, but supported me in every decision I made and continue to make. In very different ways, my parents each instilled a deep sense of work ethic, loyalty and commitment to the work I do both professionally in my home, and I will be forever grateful for their active presence in my life.

What drives you?

My colleagues are a huge driver for why I do what I do — daily, our team elevates opportunities for building enhancements or workflow tweaks, all in the name of patient safety. I am honored to be part of a team that empowers others to elevate questions, thoughts, and concerns. We keep each other accountable and every day I come to work I feel inspired to “level up.”

My two daughters are my other motivator. I aspire to be a strong role model to them and hope that as they grow they learn that as a woman, you can have both a career and a family if you do want both. Every decision I make, I think about the impact it will have on them. I strive to be my best self for them personally and professionally, and model kindness, empathy and compassion in each interaction. If I do one thing right in my life, it would be to ensure my girls know their worth and know that they are loved just as they are.

What are some important lessons you have learned in your lifetime?

Your thoughts are powerful—make them positive, and be confident enough to accept your faults.

What are some of your favorite things to do in our community?

My family enjoys being outside in our community during the summer months —we can be found most Saturdays grabbing a coffee and checking out the market downtown, going for a walk or bike ride along the river or eating ice cream at our favorite ice cream shop.

What is your dream job and why?

Travel blogger! Traveling is the best way to keep ourselves grounded, and remind ourselves that there is a whole big world outside of our immediate environments. I would love to share my travel experiences with others!

Do you have any book or podcast recommendations for our readers?

Brené Brown’s “Dare to Lead” podcast is fantastic. Every episode has a new guest, but Brene’s underlying themes of vulnerability in the workplace remain constant and her leadership philosophy surrounding vulnerability is incredibly inspiring to me.

What are you hoping to gain from the United Way 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program?

I hope to gain more confidence and self-awareness as a leader, feel inspired as a community member and form connections with the other 34 women in the program!

What are some of your passions outside of work?

Traveling is a passion of mine—I firmly believe travel is one of the best ways to learn about not just other cultures and places, but about yourself. I am passionate about exercise. I enjoy the challenge of setting a fitness goal and being disciplined in my daily chaos to meet that goal. I am also passionate about a good cup of coffee and book and believe it works wonders on the soul. I look forward to growing my passions as I learn more about community initiatives and connect with other leaders through this program.

Is there anything else you would like to say to the readers of Fargo INC! magazine?

Smile, it’s contagious!

Share This Article
Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.