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A Lineage of Twins

October 3, 2016

Tia Ollie, director of clinical programs at MedNetOne.

By Lisa Rose Hook
Photography by brett mountain

When Bloomfield resident 39-year-old Tia Ollie made the decision to have children, she was hoping to be doubly blessed because she has a long lineage of “twineage.” Ollie has a fraternal twin brother, older by 15 minutes, who she’s very close with. Her dream became a reality when she was blessed with identical twin girls Sydney and Londyn, 7.

Ollie is director of clinical programs with MedNetOne Health Solutions in Rochester, where she is one of the youngest professionals to hold that position. She has a doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Michigan and earned her bachelor of science degree in biology at Tuskegee University.

“Some of my functions include overseeing all pharmacy activities, including review of clinical data and pharmacy claims and ensuring patient safety regarding medication appropriateness, particularly among the elderly patient population,” she explains.

“In addition, I’m embedded into two clinical practices performing disease state management and comprehensive medication review.”

Along with her demanding yet rewarding career, she serves as an adjunct clinical assistant professor at the Wayne State University Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and as adjunct clinical instructor at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy in Ann Arbor.

Ollie’s professional work with her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, parallels her life on many levels. “My personal passion corresponds with my healthcare background, helping and healing the community,” she says. “My sorority is built on community and public service, which aligns with the sorority’s Five Point Programmatic Thrust.”

Ollie and her husband, James Ollie Jr. (who isn’t a twin), share the same educational values. “My parents strove for all of my siblings and me to succeed in anything we can accomplish and valued the importance of getting a college education,” she says. She and her brother attended Tuskegee University in Alabama; her brother because he was interested in being a veterinarian and she because she received a full academic scholarship.

She says that she and her husband chose to raise their children in Bloomfield because of the stellar school system. “My neighborhood is quiet compared to where I was raised in Detroit,” Ollie said. “I remember my mother walking me to school every day and I really enjoy that I can walk my twins to a school that’s around the corner.”

“Raising my identical twins has been great,” she said. “My mom has provided me with the best advice — to remember that they are individuals who definitely have their own personalities. Since they are identical, a lot of folks think they will act the same, but they are totally different.” The girls share some interests, such as Girl Scouts and playing dress up, but they have distinctly different hobbies. Londyn enjoys running and is a little shy, while Sydney is a social butterfly with a passion for swimming.

One of Ollie’s sisters is also the proud mother of 8-year-old fraternal twins who are very close with her twin girls. Though her sister isn’t a twin, it creates a unique camaraderie between us as well as the cousins. “They are family so they’re the best friends ever!” she says.

Her twin brother, Darius, lives in the Metro Detroit area and though she says they are as different as night and day, they are very close and talk at least three times a week. That type of closeness isn’t something all siblings share, twins or not. While her brother doesn’t have twins of his own, Ollie claims that he is an excellent uncle and adviser. “As a twin, it’s a blessing to have a close friend for the rest of your life; there’s a special bond between them,” Ollie says.

Educational and family values are traditions that the Ollie’s plan to instill in their twins. “All of my siblings have completed both college and graduate school, which makes my parents most proud. I hope to pass these same values to my twins.” NS

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