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Dispose of Unused or Expired Medications on Drug Take-Back Days

If you have  unused or expired medications, you can turn them in for safe disposal on campus this month.

To help improve medication safety in the community, student pharmacists from Generation Rx in the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) at the School of Pharmacy are partnering with the UMB Police Force on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 14th Annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day initiative.

Medications can be disposed of Oct. 25 and Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day, at the SMC Campus Center.

Erin Merino Community Service, University LifeOctober 5, 20170 comments
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Drug Take Back Day

Drug Take Back Days

To help improve medication safety in the local community, student pharmacists from Generation Rx in the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) will partner with the UMB Police Force for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Take-Back Initiative.

Event Details

April 24, noon to 2 p.m.
Building III, Universities at Shady Grove

April 26 and 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
SMC Campus Center

Faculty, staff, students, and members of the local community are invited to turn in their unused or expired medication for safe disposal.

Erin Merino ABAE, Bulletin Board, Community Service, For B'more, PeopleApril 11, 20170 comments
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Exploring Careers With the U.S. Public Health Service

Best characterized by the Churchillian phrase “… a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma,” the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) is unfamiliar to many students when they enter the School of Pharmacy.

Recently retired from the USPHS Commissioned Corps, Capt. James Bresette, PharmD ’97, began fielding numerous inquiries from students across Maryland’s three schools of pharmacy who were interested in pursuing careers with the organization, but were not sure where to start. He believed that the most effective way to address their questions was to connect the students with each other, as well as with current USPHS officers, and in 2014, he launched a teleconference series with two student pharmacists from the School to shed light on the many opportunities available to pharmacists with the USPHS.

Getting an Inside Look

Francis Nguyen, PharmD ’16, and Huan Tran, a fourth-year student pharmacist and Senior Commissioned Officer Student Training and Extern Program (SRCOSTEP) recipient, partnered with Capt. Bresette to create a network between the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (UMSOP); the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore (UMES) School of Pharmacy; and Notre Dame of Maryland University (NDMU) School of Pharmacy and launch the teleconference series.

Through the teleconference series, junior officers with the USPHS share their experiences in the Commissioned Officer Student Training and Extern Program (COSTEP), as Indian Health Service (HIS) residents, and as new Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) graduates to help current students better understand what career opportunities might be available to them in the future. These calls have aided students applying for the Junior Commissioned Officer Student Training and Extern Program (JRCOSTEP), SRCOSTEP, USPHS rotations, and IHS residencies, as well as illuminated the diversity of careers available within the USPHS.

Following My Passions

It was truly divine intervention that brought Capt. Bresette and I together at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Annual Meeting in 2016. I was speaking with a friend about my interests in global public health, international development, cultural competence, and underserved populations, but noted that I was not sure which path might be best to take to help fulfill my goals.

The beauty of being at APhA’s Annual Meeting was that I was in the perfect place to make connections with an organization like the USPHS, as several of its agencies were in attendance. I met Huan Tran and Kenneth Doan, a third-year student pharmacist at the School, who introduced me to a group of graduates from the School of Pharmacy who have gone on to serve in the USPHS Commissioned Corps. Through my interactions with that group, I had an opportunity to meet Lt. Eric Wong, PharmD ’13, Lt.  Kinbo Lee, PharmD ’15, and Capt. Bresette, with whom I spoke about my interests in global public health and community development on an international and national scale.

Capt. Bresette told me that the USPHS has agencies across the country that practice pharmacy in a manner that I found very interesting. He spoke with me about the IHS, and explained how I could work in states like Arizona and Alaska serving Native American tribes. He also mentioned deployment opportunities for disaster and emergency relief efforts across the country, and told me about some agencies that offer international locations. Hearing the officers’ experiences and learning how much they truly loved what they do further solidified my interest in the USPHS. They have a balanced work life and gain a sense of purpose from knowing that their work is making a positive impact in the lives of others. That was all I needed to hear to sell me on this career opportunity.

Making My Mark

After speaking with Capt. Bresette about my interests, he asked me to lead the teleconference series. I was honored to be offered this role, and graciously accepted. The conference call series became my baby, and I started to think about ways that we could expand and improve upon it from previous years. I wanted to increase student interest and awareness about the multitude of opportunities available with the USPHS, diversify the series by including officers from new agencies, and expand it to other schools of pharmacy.

And, I am happy to report that I have been able to accomplish some of these goals by identifying more officers to speak on our series and leveraging established relationships to expand the series to those officers’ colleagues. We have now heard from an officer with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one who transitioned from civilian status to the commissioned corps, and senior officers from the USPHS University Point of Contact Program. Overseeing the series has also put me in contact with officers from numerous agencies, exposing me to areas of pharmacy that I did not even know existed. More than ever, I believe it is crucial that pharmacy students realize just how many different career opportunities are available to them after graduation.

Spreading the Word

I currently have two colleagues from UMES and NDMU who co-lead this series with me. Our group also launched a Facebook page titled USPHS Student Opportunities Conference Call Series (Maryland) where students can request access to join and view upcoming conference call times, call minutes, and other informational materials. The conference calls are held on a monthly basis throughout the fall semester to aid students applying for opportunities such as COSTEPs, IHS residencies, and Food and Drug Administration rotations, as well as to expose students to the multiple routes available for them to become a commissioned officer.

Even if students are not interested in the public health service, I highly encourage them to attend at least one conference call, as they truly are excellent networking and development opportunities. Our final call of the season will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 29, from 6 to 7 p.m., but we are always open to holding more calls in the spring if students are interested.

In addition, I am looking for more students who are passionate about the USPHS to serve as future co-leads and to continue expansion of the series. I encourage student pharmacists to realize the importance of the USPHS’s mission – “to protect, promote, and advance the health and safety of our Nation” – and learn how they can mold their education to align with this mission. For any questions about how to get involved with this series, please feel free to contact our team:


Leadership Team

Social Media Liaison

Chelsea McFadden Education, University Life, USGANovember 29, 20160 comments
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Cherokee Layson-Wolf

Layson-Wolf Named APhA-ASP Outstanding Chapter Advisor

Cherokee Layson-Wolf, PharmD, BCACP, FAPhA, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) and associate dean for student affairs at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, has been named the 2016 American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) Outstanding Chapter Advisor. This award is presented each year to an exceptional pharmacy faculty member who has promoted with distinction the welfare of student pharmacists through various professional activities.

“Dr. Layson-Wolf has dedicated her career to helping student pharmacists at the School exceed their potential both inside and outside of the classroom,” says Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor of the School of Pharmacy. “She has served as the advisor for the School’s APhA-ASP chapter for more than 10 years, mentoring its members and helping them win numerous awards and recognitions for their stellar patient education and outreach efforts. We are thrilled for her to be recognized at the national level and congratulate her on her success.”

The Student Becomes the Teacher

Layson-Wolf received her Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from the School in 2000. She completed a residency in community pharmacy at Virginia Commonwealth University and Ukrop’s Pharmacy before returning to the School as an assistant professor in 2001. She is board certified in ambulatory care pharmacy, and has held numerous positions at the School, including serving as assistant dean for experiential learning.

“The members of our chapter were excited to learn that Dr. Layson-Wolf would be recognized as APhA-ASP’s Outstanding Chapter Advisor this year,” says Elissa Lechtenstein, a third-year student pharmacist and president of the School’s APhA-ASP chapter. “She has provided more than a decade of service to our chapter and has ensured that all of our projects and programs align with the organization’s national mission to serve as the collective voice of student pharmacists, provide opportunities for professional growth, improve patient care, and envision and advance the future of pharmacy. She is an inspiration not only to me, but to all of the student pharmacists that she encounters through her work with our chapter.”

Expanding Her Impact Beyond the Classroom

Layson-Wolf also serves as director of the University of Maryland PGY-1 Community Pharmacy Residency Program. In 2014, she was honored by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) with its Community Pharmacy Residency Excellence in Precepting Award. Her practice specialties include immunization, self-care, point of care testing, medication therapy management (MTM), and diabetes management. She currently serves as a pharmacist with the School’s Patients, Pharmacists Partnerships (P3) Program, a pharmacist-delivered comprehensive medication management program for individuals with chronic diseases.

“Pharmacists are the most accessible members of the health care team, and I strive to encourage students in the School’s APhA-ASP chapter to leverage their involvement in the nation’s largest student pharmacy organization to help expand the profession and develop innovative education and outreach programs that showcase the impact that pharmacists can have on patients’ health care,” says Layson-Wolf. “Watching the student pharmacists that I advised and mentored go on to achieve great success in the profession is one of the most rewarding aspects of my career, so it is an incredible honor to be recognized for my work with the students in this organization.”

Layson-Wolf will receive her award at the APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition, scheduled for March 4-7, 2016 at the Convention Center in Baltimore.

Malissa CarrollABAE, Education, People, UMB NewsMarch 8, 20160 comments
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Flu Clinic

Immunization Clinics Help Keep the Flu at Bay

There are many steps that people can take to help prevent the flu – washing their hands with soap and water, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, and practicing other good health habits. However, the single best way to prevent the spread of this serious illness is to get an annual flu shot.

Unfortunately, there are thousands of people living across the state of Maryland who do not have convenient access to trained health care professionals who can administer their annual flu vaccine. While many schools across the state used to offer clinics that students could attend to receive their yearly flu shot, the funding for these clinics has been cut in recent years for a variety of reasons.

Improving Access to Immunizations

The Maryland Partnership for Prevention (MPP) recognized that students not receiving their flu vaccine at school could have a negative impact on public health. The organization developed a plan and enlisted the assistance of faculty and students at the School of Pharmacy to allow schools across Howard County to continue providing these valuable vaccines to students.

Pharmacists across the state of Maryland have been able to offer immunizations since 2005, and were granted the ability to provide an expanded scope of immunization services in 2011. While staff from MPP coordinated the immunization clinics with the school system and arranged for the necessary supplies, pharmacists and student pharmacists from the School worked to administer the vaccines.

During the month of December, I and two of my colleagues from the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) – Deanna Tran, PharmD, BCACP, and Tim Rocafort, PharmD, both assistant professors in PPS – accompanied 28 student pharmacists to seven schools across the county. We provided more than 1,000 FluMist® vaccinations to elementary and middle school students who otherwise might not have received this important vaccine.

Celebrating the Value of Teamwork

Teachers and administrators at all of the schools that we visited were incredibly supportive of our efforts. They were very appreciative of our work and excited for their students to attend these convenient clinics to receive their flu shots. The school nurses were also instrumental in helping us organize the students who participated in the clinics.

Because of the hard work put forth by the staff at MPP – who collaborated not only with pharmacists, but also with more than 30 nurses to host similar immunization clinics in elementary and middle schools across Baltimore County – I reached out to the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) to nominate the organization for the 2016 Immunization Champion for Partnership award. This annual award recognizes organizations that strive to facilitate partnerships between pharmacists, physicians, nurses, public health departments, and immunization coalitions to address immunization issues and provide immunization services. MPP was selected as the winner for this year’s award, and we could not be more thrilled to celebrate this extraordinary accomplishment with them as they receive the award on March 6 at the APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Inside SOP, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s blog. It is reprinted here with permission.

Cherokee Layson-WolfABAE, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, For B'more, Global & Community Engagement, People, UMB NewsMarch 7, 20160 comments
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