Dr. Krystalyn Weaver was passionate about pharmacy, but it was the advocacy opportunities she gained in her student leadership roles at The University of Toledo that helped guide her to a career focused on how government policy affects practicing pharmacists.
A self-described shy kid when she arrived as a freshman from her hometown of Elyria, Ohio, it didn’t take long for Weaver to immerse herself in the UToledo community.She served in Student Government, was elected student body president, and was a student trustee on the UToledo Board of Trustees. She also was a member of Blue Key National Honor Society and Mortar Board Honor Society.
“I really loved Student Government and the advocacy part of it. When issues would come up on campus, we could be advocates for the student body,” she said. “I love pharmacy. It’s my whole life, but I didn’t see myself fitting into the clinical aspect.”
With guidance from Dr. Mary Powers, associate dean for Main Campus student affairs and enrollment management and professor of pharmacy practice in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Studies, Weaver found her niche.
After receiving a doctor of pharmacy degree from UToledo in 2012, Weaver went on to the executive residency program at the American Pharmacists Association Foundation.
Since 2013, she has been working for the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, where she focuses on state pharmacy policy, especially the authority of pharmacists to prescribe medications. Currently, she is vice president of policy.
“U.S. colleges of pharmacy train pharmacists to be the medication experts. No one else in the healthcare world knows drugs like pharmacists do, but we send pharmacists out into practice and often don’t allow them to make those decisions for their patients,” Weaver said. “Aligning the scope of practice with pharmacist education creates a lot of efficiencies, improves patient care, lowers patient costs, and it’s a more satisfying way for pharmacists to practice because it allows them to utilize the skills they worked so hard to attain.”
Earlier this year, Weaver received the APhA-Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management Distinguished Achievement Award in Pharmacy Management from the American Pharmacists Association.
Powers recalled Weaver as an energetic and enthusiastic student who had unique leadership abilities and experiences.
“I was most impressed by her sincere interest and regard for the profession of pharmacy and its future direction,” she said. “I always thought Krystal would evolve as a leader in our profession, and this has proven true. Her recent award is especially significant because the American Pharmacists Association is the oldest and largest professional pharmacy organization.”
Weaver’s connections to both UToledo and the pharmacy profession run deep. Her father, Fred Weaver, and aunt, Kathy Weaver, both graduated from the University’s College of Pharmacy in 1989 and 1995, respectively. Both practice pharmacy in northeast Ohio. Fred is the outgoing president of the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy.
Her mother also is a UToledo alumna, having received a bachelor of science degree in biology in 1988.
Still, it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that Weaver would attend UToledo. As a teen, she had thoughts of going elsewhere to forge her own path. A visit to a UToledo chemistry camp in high school changed her mind.
“It’s really hard to come to Toledo’s campus and not want to be part of it. It’s such a beautiful campus. I just fell in love with it,” she said. “Everything felt like college should feel like.”
And just as Weaver followed in her father’s footsteps, a younger sibling is following in hers. Her brother, Bryan Weaver, began at UToledo this fall to pursue a dual master of business administration/doctor of pharmacy degree.
“Pharmacy is a really rewarding career path, and I think he’s seen the very different tracts that my father and I have taken,” Weaver said. “Toledo offers students a great opportunity with this dual-degree program. That flexibility is a big draw for our college of pharmacy.”