Joseph M. LaRochelle, Pharm.D., FCCP, BCPPS, is the Coleman Endowed Professor of Pharmacy Practice and vice chair of the Division of Clinical and Administrative Sciences at Xavier University of Louisiana. He serves as a clinical professor of pediatrics at the Louisiana State University New Orleans School of Medicine and practices as a clinical specialist in the pediatric ICU at Children’s Hospital of New Orleans. He earned his Pharm.D. degree from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore, Maryland, followed by a pharmacy practice residency at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and a PGY2 residency in pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy and the University of Maryland Medical System Hospital for Women and Children in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition, he completed a Docere fellowship in health professions education at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans.
As a Fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP), LaRochelle is active on many committees. He serves as co-editor of the Pediatric Pharmacy Preparatory Review and Recertification Course and is past chair of the Pediatrics PRN. He has received awards for his service to the profession, including the Selfless Servant award from the Phi Delta Chi pharmacy fraternity and the Chair’s Award from ACCP’s Pediatrics PRN. LaRochelle has also attained board certification as a pediatric pharmacy specialist.
Through his experience as a pharmacy technician at a trauma center, LaRochelle realized the impact of pharmacy on direct patient care. Further, he realized that his impact on patients would be broadened if he became a pharmacist. His interests grew to include pediatrics, trauma, emergency medicine, and critical care. During his advanced practice rotation in the pediatric ICU, he was drawn to caring for this critically ill patient population and knew this would be the career path that would satisfy his professional interests.
LaRochelle has considered ACCP his professional home for his entire career and realized the value of becoming involved early on. ACCP played a significant role in his own mentorship as a new practitioner and in his development throughout his career. Beginning with his service on PRN committees, he has worked alongside colleagues to develop as a new practitioner and leader, eventually becoming chair of the Pediatrics PRN. LaRochelle describes ACCP as an organization that builds people up to take on new roles throughout their career. He appreciates the professional network he has created through ACCP and, more importantly, the friendships he has made.
LaRochelle’s advice to new practitioners is simply to “SAY YES.” Regardless of the nature of an opportunity or one’s level of comfort, all experiences offer learning and growth. Without practicing this himself, LaRochelle feels he wouldn’t be where he is today. In fact, if he could go back in time, he would have said yes to ACCP earlier in his own career and become involved as a student pharmacist.
Personally, LaRochelle says yes to opportunities to engage with his community and lend his clinical expertise. He serves as the head pharmacist for the Louisiana Lions Camp, an overnight summer camp for children with disabilities. Through this, he helps children overcome the obstacles encountered with their disease so that they can realize their potential. Some of these children eventually become counselors themselves. LaRochelle’s students are also involved in this camp, and the opportunity to serve patients and students simultaneously makes it a rewarding experience that reflects his investment and impact on the population he serves.