Dr. Jaclyn Mortimer Latteri ’01 is chief pharmacist at Optum Frontier Therapies, a new independent business created by the healthcare provider Optum to support advanced therapeutics for orphan and rare diseases and emerging cell and gene therapies.
What have you been up to since graduating from MPA?
I have been working in Las Vegas since earning my Doctor of Pharmacy degree at Ohio Northern University, starting with 10 years at Walgreens, where I was a licensed pharmacist and advanced to pharmacy manager, pharmacy supervisor, and district manager.
I joined Optum in 2017 as site director for OptumRx, supporting specialty and home delivery pharmacy fulfillment operations, and was promoted in fall 2020 to chief pharmacist at Optum Frontier Therapies, a new independent business that Optum created to support advanced therapeutics for orphan and rare diseases and emerging cell and gene therapies.
I met my husband during my time at Walgreens; we have two wonderful children who keep us busy at the Vegas ice arenas with their figure skating and ice hockey activities.
“MPA tested you. It was an environment where we would think openly, share ideas, and be open to others’ ideas.”
When you think back to Morgan Park Academy, what comes to mind?
The first thing I think about is how thankful I am.
Thankful to my parents for identifying the importance of education and ensuring that from high school on, I was given the best environment to flourish and be nurtured as a student and an athlete.
Thankful to teachers such as Mark Linnerud, Dr. Larry Brown, Claire Concannon ’85, and Julie Cuadros ’93 for their continual encouragement after not-so-perfect test scores.
Thankful to coaches such as Tom Drahozal, Lynda Pariso, Francie Kozacik, and Sue Oczkowski for not letting me feel defeated when I was sidelined by injuries and for being alongside me to make sure I got right back up.
Thankful to administrators with whom I had meaningful conversations about my collegiate future and helping me identify colleges of pharmacy.
Thankful to the entire MPA community that made every day of high school feel like it was being with family.
How did MPA prepare you for success?
MPA made me an incredibly well rounded individual. I was exposed to diverse and inclusive cultures. Playing tennis, basketball, and softball, the athletics program provided me with life skills to be able to effectively communicate with confidence, identify talent within teams in my work organizations, and develop teamwork amongst lines of business.
MPA pressure tested you to ultimately give you strength in real-life, stressful situations. It was an environment where we would think openly, share ideas, and be open to others’ ideas. We learned that innovation and forward thinking is critical to addressing and solving challenges.
As an MPA graduate, I had the foundation for immediate success in a doctorate of pharmacy program, which then continuously propelled me into a successful career journey. It was a smooth transition to collegiate academics because of MPA’s educational rigor and structure. That easy transition builds an immense level of confidence as a young adult that allows you to make sound and calculated decisions to enhance your career decisions as you venture into the real world.
What are your fondest memories of MPA?
My fondest memories were always with my teammates and coaches. In each of my three sports, we had incredible memories both on and off the field or court. As teammates we built bonds that last until this day. We shared triumphs and losses, laid it all on the line, and most importantly loved competing together with each other and making our coaches proud.
MPA athletics, paired with academics, impacted my future with basic time management skills, building relationships, and understanding what it takes to be a part of a successful team. My career journey and successes to date tie back to those core elements that MPA allowed me to learn and adapt to at a young age.
Have you been able to stay in touch with classmates?
Yes, I have. My classmates and I fostered strong relationships due to the small size of the school and the many school events that brought everyone together.
Whether we’re visiting here in Las Vegas or catching up when I’m back in Chicago, the conversations feel like we are back in the dining hall, still seeing each other every day. We come together to support each other during difficult times and congratulate the good times such as weddings, families growing, career successes, and more.