It is with great sadness, to share with the PPAG Community, the passing of Dr. Helen Fiechtner. As many of you know, she has struggled in her health for the last seven years. She passed peacefully, surrounded by her family on Monday afternoon.
Dr. Fiechtner became a member of PPAG in 1991 and served on various Committees, including advocacy and membership. In 1997 she was elected to the Board of Directors, serving through 2000. Helen was one of 6 co-authors of the Consumer’s Guide book to Children’s Prescription Medications published by PPAG in 1997 and 2001. She was recognized in the inaugural class of PPAG Fellows in 2009.
After graduating with her BS in Pharmacy from South Dakota State University, she earned her PharmD degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Fiechtner completed her residency training at the University of Texas Health Science Center. Following residency, she served as Assistant Professor with the College of Pharmacy at North Dakota State University and as a Pediatric Clinical Pharmacist at St. Luke’s Hospital in Fargo, ND. In 1982 she moved to Rochester, MN where she worked at St. Mary’s Hospital as a staff pharmacist in the decentralized areas of Pediatric/Neonatology, Adult Medical Intensive Care, and Cardiac Transplant/CV Surgery Intensive Care. In 1991, Dr. Fiechtner moved to her most recent position with the College of Pharmacy at South Dakota State University and as a Pediatric Clinical Pharmacist at Sanford Children’s Hospital (Sioux Valley Hospital). Progressing through the academic ranks, she reached full professor in 1998. Throughout her career, Dr. Fiechtner was active in improving pharmaceutical care to the pediatric patients. "Helen had a great love for the many premies, newborns and children she helped care for during her pharmacy practice. She loved teaching and especially loved working with the many students who had ambition and worked hard."
Not only was Dr. Fiechtner's career most significant and impactful, the contributions Helen made in the pediatric pharmacy community came quietly in behind-the-scenes, kind-hearted, and humble gestures to her friends and colleagues. Her support for the pediatric pharmacy community will be forever remembered. Examples of her selflessness include sending handwritten notes to fellow pediatric pharmacists for a recent accomplishment and sending “pediatric goodie boxes” to struggling young practitioners in need of a pick-me-up. Filled with crayons, coloring books, bubble solution, play-doh, etc. and a personal, handwritten note, these boxes would be a happy surprise for newer practitioners and are remembered by many PPAG members, as a symbol of friendship, love, and generosity.
Dr. Helen Fiechtner will be forever remembered and will be missed by our pediatric pharmacy community, our family.
Helen Beckman Fiechtner
May 4, 1953 - March 5, 2018