Notable Heroes in Health Care: Vanessa Freitag

During the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vanessa Freitag developed innovative ways to meet the crisis with its constantly emerging needs, according to colleagues.

As vice president of pharmacy and lab at Ascension Wisconsin, Freitag began serving as the logistics section chief for the health system’s Incident Command in March 2020. She led pharmacy, testing, EVS, facilities management, clinical engineering and laundry services for 24 hospitals and more than 100 clinics and ambulatory sites, from Racine to Eagle River.

Freitag also accepted the additional responsibility of serving as chief pharmacy officer for the region’s 776-bed Alternative Care Facility to support COVID-19 emergency response efforts. She led a team of pharmacists to develop plans for ACF medication distribution services in just eight days.

Freitag led the team to establish outpatient infusion services for COVID-positive patients. Ascension’s partnership with the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin helped keep statewide hospital pharmacy leaders informed.

“Vanessa was unflappable and her calm approach to dealing with every curve ball thrown at her was nothing short of remarkable,” said Monica Hilt, Ascension Wisconsin’s chief operating officer.

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