Born and raised in Wisconsin, Steve Kapral, BMH’s Director of Pharmacy, never really expected to settle down in Vermont. “Having spent the entirety of my life in Wisconsin – all 23 years of it at the time – I thought I should experience something else,” he says. Fresh out of pharmacy school, he was hired at BMH in 1992 as a staff pharmacist and took over the department as Director, upon the retirement of his mentor, Ken Van Cott in March, 2015.
“I feel lucky to have chosen to be a pharmacist. In college, I had little idea of what I wanted to be – I just knew I liked science.” He says as he reflects on his career path. At 23 years old, having held only one other position as a hospital pharmacist, he likely could not have imagined that 22 years later he would be running a busy and active hospital pharmacy in rural New England and that so many of the threads in his life would be woven together out of that choice.
“BMH has given me everything in my adult life, says Steve. “I met my wife Susan here, my two children Elijah and Anika were born here, and my wife and I have worked here for over 20 years.” Steve’s wife Susan Kapral wears two BMH hats as Director of Revenue Cycle Management for the BMH Medical Group as well as the hospital’s Compliance Officer. Strengthening the family’s ties to BMH, their son, Elijah has recently come on board as a part-time File Clerk for the BMH Medical Group.
Steve finds his role at BMH professionally fulfilling and ever evolving. “In a small community hospital setting, pharmacists are relied upon to be more clinical than they are in larger hospitals,” he remarks. “Particularly now that we have Hospitalists with whom we collaborate daily.” The BMH Pharmacy is located steps away from the busy 3rd floor hub of the hospital’s Special Care Unit, so Steve and his staff of four are easily accessible to nursing and medical staff in need of their services.
Steve and Sue both have been regular contributors to BMH’s Annual Fund since they joined the BMH team in 1992 and 1994, respectively. The hospital’s role as a vital community resource is a key factor in their support. “BMH employs a lot of people, and when people in our community get sick it becomes their focal point,” says Steve. “I give to the Annual Fund because it’s the right thing to do and I want the hospital to remain viable.” He notes the importance of hospital employees in representing BMH in the community, “It all stems from the employees here,” he says. “If they’re seen as supportive and positive about the hospital, that motivates others to contribute.”
To Steve, the high quality of BMH’s care is very important. “I think it’s a source of pride for our community – that BMH has been here for over a hundred years and that we’ve been able to recruit top-notch practitioners who have helped us achieve such a high level of service. I’m just trying to do my small part to contribute to our mission.”