Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) posts displayed by tag

SOP’s Whittaker Receives Senior Care Pharmacy Award

Chanel Whittaker, PharmD, BCGP, BCPS,  FASCP, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) and director of education and training for the Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, was named the 2017 recipient of the Armon Neel Senior Care Pharmacist Award by the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP). Presented annually, the award recognizes individuals who apply their knowledge of geriatric pharmacotherapy on a daily basis to significantly improve the quality of life of the senior population while also contributing to the goals of ASCP.

“Dr. Whittaker has dedicated her career at the school to providing superior medication management services not only to the patients at her practice site but also to the older adults living in the local community,” says Jill A. Morgan, PharmD, BCPS, BCPPS, associate professor and chair of PPS. “Her passion for her work is evident. She takes the time to get to know and understand all of the individuals with whom she works and develops quality educational programming aimed at optimizing medication-related outcomes for our senior population. Our department was thrilled to learn that she had been recognized with this prestigious award.”

A Chance Career

Whittaker received her Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from Rutgers University in 2003. After completing a managed care pharmacy practice residency with Kaiser Permanente and a primary care specialty residency at the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center, she joined the faculty at the School of Pharmacy in 2005 as an assistant professor in PPS, where her practice and teaching specialties focused on geriatric pharmacotherapy and chronic kidney disease. She was named an associate professor in 2015 and became the director of education and training programs for the Lamy Center in 2016.

“Since joining the Lamy Center more than a year ago, Dr. Whittaker has taken great strides to develop and implement quality educational initiatives not only for our students and trainees but also for older adults and their caregivers in the local community,” says Nicole Brandt, PharmD, MBA, BCPP, BCGP, FASCP, professor in PPS and executive director of the Lamy Centerl. “She has been the catalyst behind a number of new partnerships for the center and continues to look for opportunities that leverage our geriatric pharmacotherapy expertise to educate older adults and other health care professionals about safe medication use. We are fortunate to have her as a member of our team and could not be more proud of her recent accomplishment.”

Whittaker currently practices with the Geriatric Aligned Patient Care Team (GeriPACT) Medication Management Clinic and the Renal Interdisciplinary Safety Clinic (RISC) at the Baltimore VA Medical Center.

Excelling in the Field

The Armon Neel Senior Care Pharmacist Award is named for Armon B. Neel Jr., PharmD, CGP, a consultant pharmacist and co-author of Are Your Prescriptions Killing You?: How to Prevent Dangerous Interactions, Avoid Deadly Side Effects, and Be Healthier with Fewer Drugs, who has practiced in the field of geriatric pharmacotherapy for more than 40 years. It honors a senior care pharmacy practitioner who consistently exemplifies the practice of pharmaceutical care to the senior population and contributes significantly to ASCP’s goals. Awardees are selected each year by the ASCP executive committee.

“It was a pleasant surprise and an honor to be named a recipient of ASCP’s Armon Neel Senior Care Pharmacist Award,” Whittaker says. “The previous pharmacists who have received this award have had an incredible impact in the field of geriatrics, not only through their interactions with their patients, but also through their efforts to change pharmacy practice across the country. Receiving this award has encouraged me to continue my work to develop great medication safety programming not only for older adults in the community, but also for pharmacists and other health care professionals. I want to ensure that all practitioners have the skills, knowledge, and tools necessary to best care for older adults regardless of the setting in which they receive care.”

Whittaker received her award at ASCP’s annual meeting and exhibition in November.

Malissa Carroll

Malissa Carroll Clinical Care, People, UMB NewsJanuary 26, 20180 comments
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Pharmacy Seminar Addresses Pain in Older Adults

The School of Pharmacy’s Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging and Palliative Care Collaborative hosted a half-day seminar on Jan. 11. Titled “Pain in Older Adults and the End of Life: Opening Pandora’s Box,” the seminar brought together pharmacists, physicians, residents, nurses, social workers, and students to discuss pain — sometimes referred to as the “fifth vital sign” — in older adult populations. Learning how to best manage pain for these vulnerable patients is vital for all health care professionals and students, because appropriate pain management for this population is often seen as an onerous task.

Setting the Stage

The seminar began with an introduction from Nicole Brandt, PharmD, MBA, BCPP, BCGP, FASCP, professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) and executive director of the Lamy Center, who thanked the event sponsors, including the Geriatrics and Gerontology Education and Research Program (GGEAR) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), Gilchrist, Johns Hopkins Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (JHGWEP), and Seasons Hospice. During the first session, Brandt and co-presenter Linda Simoni-Wastila, BSPharm, MSPH, PhD, the Parke-Davis Chair in Geriatric Pharmacotherapy in the school’s Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR) and director of research for the Lamy Center, spoke about the struggle to balance pain management with the risk of opioid diversion in older adults. They dispelled the myth that substance use disorders solely affect the young adult population and discussed how older adults are typically excluded from clinical research trials, which greatly limits the amount of objective, peer-reviewed data that clinicians can apply to that population. Though the academic literature concerning older adults and substance use disorder is sparse, it was encouraging to learn that the Lamy Center is actively analyzing Medicare data to delve into this problem.

Passionate Presentations

In the second session, Danielle Doberman, MD, MPH, a hospice and palliative medicine specialist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, challenged the audience to engage patients in decisions about their own pain management. She introduced the “Ask, Tell, Ask” method that is being utilized for informed consent in certain fields. This technique allows health professionals to use their clinical expertise to guide treatment but ultimately leaves the final care decisions to the patient. By doing so, you are able to achieve realistic pain management goals and build trust with your patient.

Patient care plans are required in the long-term care setting, so Barbara Resnick, PhD, RN, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP, professor in the Department of Organization Systems and Adult Health at the School of Nursing, discussed how to motivate staff to incorporate pain management into practice. The final speaker of the day, Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD, MA, MDE, BCPS, CPE, professor and executive director of advanced postgraduate education in palliative care in PPS, guided participants through an interactive evaluation of the risks and benefits of different pharmacologic agents for pain. The morning wrapped up with a thought-provoking town hall discussion moderated by Barbara Zarowitz, PharmD, FCCP, FCCM, BCPS, BCGP, FASCP, geriatric pharmacotherapy and clinical research consultant for the Lamy Center, concerning the challenges faced by health care professionals in pain management, gaps in research, and the troubling lack of treatment options for older adults struggling with substance use disorders.

Knowledge Gained and Future Aims

The opportunity to network with a wide variety of professionals was a welcomed component of the seminar. The melting pot of interprofessional attendees came from different academic backgrounds but were all passionate about caring for older adults. This made for a meaningful experience, as each attendee brought a unique viewpoint to the collective goal of understanding and optimizing medical treatment for older adults.

As “Pandora’s Box” was opened during the seminar, unique ways to consider and describe pain were revealed. While many realize that there are functional impacts of pain, far less understand or even recognize the emotional aspect of pain. Far too often, pain is thought of as an acute process, such as a simple stubbed toe. However, pain is truly a multicomponent experience, which can carry tremendous implications for a patient’s emotional well-being. This was a powerful emphasis that demonstrated the Lamy Center’s dedication and drive to improving not only the treatment, but also the conceptualization of pain.

The Lamy Center and the Palliative Care Collaborative continue to educate health professionals and students to meet the needs of an aging population. The center is dedicated to improving drug therapy for aging adults through innovative research, education, and clinical initiatives. Overall, it is important that we continue to advocate for legislation related to care of aging adults, establish methods to overcome current barriers, and establish partnerships among health care professionals when tackling the topic of pain in this vulnerable population.

This event was the first of a series of planned seminars to highlight these topics. If you are interested in learning more about the Lamy Center, the Palliative Care Collaborative, or upcoming events, please visit the Lamy Center website or email Brandt at

Max Ditlevson, Elias Inscoe, Rachel Lumish, Joseph Martin, and Pamela Younes

Joseph Martin Clinical Care, EducationJanuary 19, 20180 comments
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Pharmacist McPherson Named Visionary in Hospice and Palliative Medicine

Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD, MA, MDE, BCPS, CPE, professor and executive director of advanced postgraduate education in palliative care in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, has been named a Visionary in Hospice and Palliative Medicine by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM). She is one of 30 health care professionals, and the only pharmacist, to be honored by the organization this year in recognition of her continued work to advance the field.

“In the nearly 30 years since she joined the faculty at the School of Pharmacy, Dr. McPherson has achieved worldwide recognition as a trusted authority in the field of hospice and palliative care medicine,” says Jill A. Morgan, PharmD, BCPS, BCPPS, associate professor and chair of PPS. “She has dedicated her career not only to improving care for patients diagnosed with serious illnesses and their families as a practicing pharmacist, but also to educating future generations of practitioners to ensure that they enter the field prepared to have a marked impact on the lives of their patients. There is no one more deserving of this award, and our department congratulates her on this tremendous achievement.”

Pioneer in Palliative Care

An international expert in the field of palliative care and pain management, McPherson received her Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from the school in 1986 and joined the faculty in 1990. She has maintained a practice in hospice and ambulatory care throughout her career while teaching extensively in the school’s PharmD program on pain management and end-of-life care. She established one of the first palliative care pharmacy residency programs in the United States at the school and recently launched an online, interprofessional MS in Palliative Care program for which she serves as director. She is the author of four books, including Demystifying Opioid Conversion Calculations: A Guide for Effective Dosing, and has received numerous honors and awards for her practice and teaching throughout her career, including the Presidential Citation from the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association and the Robert C. Chalmers Distinguished Educator Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Dr. McPherson over the years on a number of educational activities, both with AAHPM and now with her recently launched MS in Palliative Care program at the School of Pharmacy,” says Vincent Jay Vanston, MD, FAAHPM, associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, who nominated McPherson for the award. “She is a truly outstanding teacher. Through passion, humor, and a razor-sharp mind, she engages students and draws them into her commitment to providing excellent care for patients near the end of life. More importantly, she is a genuinely kind person. She is honestly interested in her students and works assiduously to help them achieve their goals.”

Pinnacle of Success

Hospice and palliative medicine is the medical specialty that focuses on improving quality of life and relieving pain and other symptoms of seriously ill patients. AAHPM is the professional organization for physicians who specialize in this field, though members also include nurses and other health care professionals such as pharmacists, who have demonstrated a commitment to improving quality of life for seriously ill patients and their families. Its Visionaries in Hospice and Palliative Medicine awards program was established in 2012. The award is presented to deserving leaders in the field every five years based on nominations submitted by AAHPM members. From the more than 140 nominations received this year, 30 practitioners were selected as recipients.

“This program recognizes key individuals who have been critical in building and shaping our field over the past 30 years,” says Steve R. Smith, MS CAE, chief executive officer for AAHPM. “These individuals represent thousands of other health care professionals in this country who provide quality medical care and support for those living with serious illness — each and every day.”

McPherson will receive her award at the Annual Assembly of Hospice and Palliative Care in March. She and the other honorees join the inaugural group of Visionaries named by the organization in 2012.

“It is truly an honor to have been named one of this year’s Visionaries in Hospice and Palliative Medicine, particularly given the list of ‘who’s who’ nominees for this prestigious award,” McPherson says.  “I am touched that my peers thought that my work in the field to date has been of value, and receiving this recognition has invigorated me to continue my work with palliative care colleagues from across all health disciplines to further advance the role of appropriate medication management in serious illness.”

Malissa Carroll

Malissa Carroll Clinical Care, Education, People, UMB NewsNovember 22, 20170 comments
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Scholarship Awards Recognize Up-and-Coming Health Services Researchers

The Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy hosted its Graduate Program Awards Presentation and Reception on Oct. 2 to present the Donald O. Fedder Memorial Fellowship, the Harris Zuckerman Scholarship Award, and the Arthur Schwartz Memorial Scholarship to eight exceptional students in its PhD in PHSR program. The event recognized students who received the awards in the 2015-2016, 2016-2017, and 2017-2018 academic years.

“These student awards were established by individuals or families who shared special relationships with the PhD in PHSR program at the School of Pharmacy,” said Francis Palumbo, PhD, JD, professor in PHSR and director of the program. “We present these awards to outstanding students each year as a way to share their legacies with future generations of health services researchers.”

Promoting Social Justice, Pharmacy Advocacy, and Public Health

Established by Michaeline Fedder in honor of her husband Donald Fedder, DrPH, MPH, BSP, FAPhA, a public health pharmacist and longtime faculty member at the School of Pharmacy who passed away in 2010, the Donald O. Fedder Memorial Fellowship supports the training and development of a graduate student whose work focuses on social justice, pharmacy advocacy, or public health. At the event, Elisabeth Oehrlein; Melissa Ross, PhD, who graduated from the PhD in PHSR program in May 2017; and O’Mareen Spence — the 2016, 2017, and 2018 recipients of the award, respectively — had an opportunity to share their journey in the program, as well as give an overview of their current research, with members of the audience.

“Since joining this program, my work engaging patients has shown me firsthand how the experience of receiving a serious or chronic diagnosis can affect patients,” said Oehrlein, who spoke about the parallels between her research in risk factors for stroke among patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and the research conducted by Fedder more than 20 years ago. “Working with claims data, it can be easy to forget that there is a real person behind every diagnosis code or outcome. So when you’re working with claims, please remember that every time you see a diagnosis code for stroke, atrial fibrillation, or any other disease area that you might work in, there is a real person behind that diagnosis whose life was forever changed as a result of it. That experience can be incredibly scary. I think remembering this can help us conduct the highest quality research.”

Becoming Clinician-Researchers

The Harris Zuckerman Scholarship Award was endowed by Ilene Harris, PharmD ’83, PhD, retired professor and chair of PHSR, to assist students interested in jointly pursuing Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) and PhD degrees. Named in honor of her parents — Daniel Harris, MD, and Ann Harris — the scholarship provides support for the training, development, and advancement of graduate students in the PhD in PHSR program. Students Aida Kuzucan, PharmD ’15; Anna Hung, PharmD ’14; and Joey Mattingly, PharmD, MBA, who also serves as an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and  Science (PPS), were recognized at the event as the 2016, 2017, and 2018 recipients of the award, respectively.

Accepting the award, Mattingly spoke about his experience as a teenager and young adult watching his grandmother, whom he affectionately referred to as “mammaw,” cope with multiple chronic illnesses, particularly the expenses that she and his grandfather incurred as a result of the medications she was prescribed. Although Mattingly explained that his grandmother passed away during his first year in pharmacy school, he noted that he plans to use the funds from the scholarship award to help support his research and “help mammaws around the world.”

Realizing a Lifelong Dream

As the first student admitted to the PhD in PHSR program, Arthur (Artie) Schwartz demonstrated great interest in drug use and pharmaceutical marketing issues. After his death at an early age, his wife, Karen Schwartz, established the Arthur Schwartz Memorial Scholarship to provide funding for future students in the program based on academic standing and financial need. Students Jan Sieluk, MPharm, and Aakash Gandhi were celebrated as the 2016 and 2018 recipients of the scholarship, respectively.

“When I was a little kid, my father traveled to Denver and bought a huge map of the United States,” recalled Sieluk, a native of Poland whose current research focuses on the costs associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) caused by alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, a genetic condition that can result in serious lung disease in adults or liver disease at any age. “That map ended up over my bed. I looked at it every morning when I woke up and every night before I went to bed. I knew that I needed to be part of this country. After graduating from the Medical University of Warsaw, I reached out to C. Daniel Mullins, PhD, professor and chair of PHSR. I thank him for bringing me here, nominating me for this award, and helping to make my American dream come true. I will be forever indebted to him.”

Palumbo, accompanied by each student’s mentor, presented the recipients with their awards.

“Our department is humbled by the generous support of the Fedder, Harris, and Schwartz families, whose gifts help to alleviate the financial challenges that our students must often overcome in the pursuit of their education,” Palumbo said. “The students recognized today have demonstrated remarkable drive and dedication in both their studies and research and are truly deserving of these distinguished awards. We look forward to all that they are sure to accomplish as they leave our program prepared to enter the dynamic field of health services research.”

Malissa Carroll


Malissa Carroll Education, People, UMB NewsNovember 1, 20170 comments
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Engaging Hepatitis C Patients to Improve Research Methods

When I joined the School of Pharmacy in 2014, my primary focus was on teaching pharmacy management and developing research skills in the area of economic evaluation. As a faculty member in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS), I enrolled in the PhD in Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR) program at the school to become a pharmacoeconomist and build cost-effectiveness studies. However, I enrolled into the program at a time when the culture in research was beginning to shift, primarily because of extraordinary PHSR professors who knew that researchers could do a much better job systematically including the patient voice in our work.

Evaluating cost-effectiveness of hepatitis C treatments

Like any other graduate student, I dove into the literature around the new treatments for the hepatitis C virus (HCV). With help from Julia Slejko, PhD, assistant professor in PHSR, and C. Daniel Mullins, PhD, professor and chair of PHSR, I developed my first cost-effectiveness study for HCV treatments, but I fell into the trap of focusing on traditional methods that did not include patients.1 Although it was good experience for me to gain while learning this field, I knew there was much more to do.

Engaging patients to improve methods

After submitting my economic model, I spoke informally with Susan dosReis, BSPharm, PhD, and Eleanor Perfetto, PhD, MS, both professors in PHSR, about the lack of patient input in all of the HCV cost-effectiveness studies that I had reviewed. Without hesitation, Perfetto smiled and said, “There is your next paper.” So, we went to work. We systematically reviewed economic studies for HCV treatments and found that the inclusion of the patient voice has been limited in this area, to say the least.2

Submission to PCORI: It takes a village

One of the key lessons that I’ve learned over the past year is that most good research proposals require a team effort, and all researchers are influenced by the company they keep. With several faculty in the department having success with their contract submissions to the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) – facilitated, in part, by the creation of the PATIENTS Program – a culture of authentic, patient-centered research has weaved throughout the school.

I recently had an opportunity to become the director of operations with the PATIENTS team, where I learned firsthand what it meant to “continuously engage” patients in every step of the research process.3 The natural progression for me was to submit a Pipeline to Proposal (P2P) Tier A award to PCORI, which would fund the work necessary to build relationships with patients in the West Baltimore community where the School of Pharmacy is located. I pitched an idea to leverage the Community Engagement Center at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) to work with underserved patients as advisors to our research to Shyamasundaran Kottilil, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and renowned HCV clinician and researcher at the School of Medicine’s Institute of Human Virology (IHV). He immediately came on board.

With the support of Kottilil; Ashley Valis, executive director for strategic initiatives and community engagement at UMB; and Mullins, as director of the PATIENTS Program, our proposal was created and, fortunately, won over the reviewers at PCORI.

Now the real work begins

In our P2P, we aim to engage underserved HCV patients to inform and improve comparative effectiveness research for HCV interventions. We also plan to develop a blog that will target patients and researchers to disseminate our work in a way that is meaningful to both audiences. We want to bring patients, clinicians, and researchers to the same table to discuss research questions related to HCV treatment that matter most to patients. This multi-stakeholder approach will help us develop another research proposal that might be of interest to funding agencies such as PCORI, the National Institutes of Health, or the Food and Drug Administration. We’re excited to get started and can’t wait to see how the results of our work might impact future studies.

Joey Mattingly, PharmD, MBA, assistant professor in PPS and PHSR graduate student


1 Mattingly TJ, Slejko JF, Mullins CD. Hepatitis C Treatment Regimens Are Cost-Effective: But Compared With What? Ann Pharmacother. 2017; online: July 1, 2017. doi:10.1177/1060028017722007.

2 Mattingly TJ, Perfetto EM, Johnson S. Engaging hepatitis C infected patients in cost-effectiveness analyses: A literature review. Hepatology. August 2017. doi:10.1002/hep.29482.

3 Mullins CD, Abdulhalim AM, Lavallee DC. Continuous Patient Engagement in Comparative Effectiveness Research. JAMA. 2012;307(15):1587-1588.

Joey Mattingly ResearchOctober 18, 20170 comments
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From Maryland to Mississippi: Lessons in Pharmacy Education

By Deanna Tran, PharmD, BCACP

As an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, I recently had an opportunity to participate in a faculty exchange program through the Pharmacy Practice Mariner Project. Named for NASA’s Mariner program – which launched a series of robotic interplanetary probes to investigate Mars, Venus, and Mercury – the Pharmacy Practice Mariner Project engages early career clinical faculty in a personal exploration of academic roles, responsibilities, policies, and practices through a series of expeditions across a cohort of peer institutions.

Broadening my horizons

When I first learned about the program, I knew it was an excellent opportunity to gain new insights into another institution’s teaching methods and curriculum – insights that I might be able to bring back to our pharmacy practice laboratory group as well as the self-care and nonprescription pharmacotherapy course. After submitting my application, I was matched to travel in June to the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, where I met with faculty and leadership in its Department of Pharmacy Practice and learned more about how the school is preparing its student pharmacists to meet patients’ needs in today’s dynamic health care arena.

During my visit, I toured the school’s campus in Oxford, where first- and second-year student pharmacists take classes. I met with a number of faculty members, including those who taught in the skills lab and over-the-counter course, as well as some who practiced in ambulatory care. I also visited the campus in Jackson, where third-year student pharmacists complete their didactic courses and rotations, and spoke with other faculty members, including Kim Adcock, PharmD, professor and director of faculty and academic affairs; Katie S. McClendon, PharmD, clinical associate professor and assistant dean for student services; and Meagan A. Brown, PharmD, clinical associate professor and coordinator for community pharmacy development.

Gaining a new perspective

In my discussions with the faculty, I discovered problem-based learning is a key teaching strategy for students in the third year of Mississippi’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program. I enjoyed learning about this flipped-classroom teaching method, which centers on the learner in an effort to empower students to conduct research, integrate theory and practice, and apply knowledge and skills to develop solutions and recommendations for a specific problem or case. It was great to see the way the faculty implemented this method in the classroom and how it helps students become independent learners who use critical thinking and communication skills to solve problems in a clinical setting.

My interactions with faculty gave me a chance to bounce ideas off of like-minded individuals, understanding that our institutions often encounter similar challenges in our efforts to advance  pharmacy education and the profession. I learned that faculty at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy are working to implement a new curriculum that has some similarities to our school’s curriculum. It is my hope that the experiences I shared will help them as they move forward in that process. Before my visit ended, I delivered a seminar titled “‘SPEC-tacular Change: Self-Care and Nonprescription Pharmacotherapy,” which highlighted the new self-care course offered to our students.

Although my trip was brief, the information I learned will be invaluable in honing my teaching methods and advancing my professional growth. My sincere thanks to Jill A. Morgan, PharmD, BCPS, BCPPS, associate professor and chair of PPS, and the faculty at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy for allowing me the opportunity to visit, learn, and share experiences that I know will help shape our outlook as educators and practitioners.

Deanna Tran Education, PeopleOctober 3, 20170 comments
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Faculty, Students Assess Antimicrobial Practices in Zambia

Emily Heil, PharmD, BCPS-AQ ID, AAHIVP, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, and Neha S. Pandit, PharmD, BCPS, AAHIVP, associate professor and vice chair for research and scholarship in PPS, traveled to Zambia in June as part of a new project to assess antibiotic use practices that will contribute to improved antimicrobial stewardship at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka.

“Antimicrobial resistance is one of the greatest threats to public health worldwide,” says Jill A. Morgan, PharmD, BCPS, BCPPS, associate professor and chair of PPS. “Health care professionals in developing countries face a myriad of unique challenges in their efforts to manage rates of infection in both inpatient and outpatient care settings. I applaud Drs. Heil and Pandit for their critical work in this field and look forward to following their progress on this new initiative.”

Assessing the threat

Antimicrobial resistance describes a bacteria or virus’ ability to stop interventions such as antibiotic or antiviral medications from working against it, rendering those treatments ineffective and contributing to the spread of infection. Limited national data have revealed that about one-third of E.coli cases diagnosed in Zambia have demonstrated a resistance to even the most advanced antibiotics, as well as a high prevalence of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection among hospitalized patients.

In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a global action plan that tasked countries with a responsibility to establish strategies to mitigate antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobial stewardship is an evidenced-based strategy to improve prescribing practices for antimicrobials and is essential to the antimicrobial resistance crisis. An antimicrobial stewardship program would monitor and promote the optimization of antimicrobial medications at the University Teaching Hospital by ensuring that patients receive the right medication at the correct dose for the optimal amount of time.

Heil’s and Pandit’s first trip to the University Teaching Hospital was an exploratory visit to assess its antimicrobial use practices and establish a foundation on which to conduct further research and implementation of antimicrobial stewardship initiatives.

“Although all hospitals in the United States are required to have formal antimicrobial stewardship programs, similar efforts are still very much in their infancy in countries with limited resources,”  Heil says. “Our first visit to Zambia provided us with an opportunity to survey the situation in person and understand how health care is delivered in both inpatient and outpatient settings. We also identified potential areas of improvement that we can address during future visits.”

Preparing the next generation

In addition to contributing to antimicrobial stewardship in the hospital, this project establishes new international research and education opportunities for students across the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). For their first visit, Heil and Pandit were joined by two student pharmacists from the School’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program and a student from the University of Maryland School of Nursing. The students had an opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary rounds with the hospital’s infectious diseases consult team, assist faculty in educating hospital staff about antimicrobial stewardship, and lead a quality improvement project focused on the timing of antibiotic administration in the hospital.

Heil received a $5,000 seed grant from the UMB Center for Global Education Initiatives to help cover travel costs associated with this visit.

“Having the opportunity to observe how health care is delivered in a developing country and witness firsthand the obstacles that health care professionals must overcome to care for their patients is a tremendous learning experience for our students,” Heil says. “Students go into these experiences wanting to have a meaningful impact on the individuals that they serve but often learn much more than they give. I hope the lessons that our students learned during their time in Zambia stay with them forever and influence not only their education, but also their future practice.”

Visit the School of Pharmacy’s blog, Inside SOP, to read reflections from third-year student pharmacist Gloria Rinomhota about her time in Zambia.

Heil and Pandit plan to return in the near future to Zambia, where they will use the results of the students’ quality improvement project to evaluate potential measures for inclusion in the hospital’s antimicrobial stewardship program.

Malissa Carroll Clinical Care, Education, UMB NewsSeptember 19, 20170 comments
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School of Pharmacy, UCSF Partner on Pediatric Drug Initiative

The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (UMSOP) has established a collaborative partnership with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) schools of medicine and pharmacy.

Led by the Center for Translational Medicine (CTM) at the UMSOP, the partnership brings together academic leaders in the fields of pediatrics, pediatric clinical pharmacology, pharmacometrics, and regulatory science for a new initiative focused on advancing pediatric drug and device development and providing expanded research and educational opportunities for faculty, students, and trainees at both institutions.

“The unique challenges of conducting clinical research in children have caused the translation of basic insights into therapeutic advances for children’s health to lag far behind drug development for adults,” says Joga Gobburu, PhD, MBA, professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) and director of the CTM. “We believe that academic research institutions like the School of Pharmacy and UCSF have a unique opportunity and responsibility to contribute to better pediatric health. Partnerships like this allow us to combine the expertise of faculty at both institutions to provide a first-of-its-kind service that will accelerate the pace of approved pediatric interventions, while also helping to train the next generation of pediatric research and clinical innovators.”

The cost of pediatric health care in the United States continues to rise. In 2012, approximately $429 million was spent on health care for children, compared to $298 million in 2000. Yet, most drugs prescribed for children have not been tested in pediatric populations. Recent advances in the understanding of children’s physiology, combined with advances in pharmacometric modeling and the development of more clinically relevant animal models, have started to shift the focus of pediatric drug development away from protecting children against clinical research to protecting them through research. This initiative will bring together a premier network of pediatric researchers from the UMSOP and UCSF to identify opportunities for the development of new therapeutics for pediatric applications and establish cutting-edge programs to support the preclinical and clinical development of existing and novel therapeutics for pediatric populations, including clinical trials.

“This partnership will not only further advance the academic, scientific, and research programs at both of our institutions, but also maximize our mutual ability to generate and disseminate knowledge and apply that knowledge to solve today’s most challenging health care problems,” Gobburu says. “Both of our universities will become leaders in facilitating efficient pediatric drug and device development by commercial and government organizations.”

The partnership also establishes exchange programs through which faculty, students, and trainees from both institutions can pursue a short- or long-term course of study. The CTM will bring its expertise in the field of pharmacometrics to these programs, showcasing how this multidisciplinary approach to studying therapeutics that integrates the relationships between diseases, drug characteristics, and individual variability across drug development can help health care professionals tailor treatments to individual patients.

“For the students who come to the School of Pharmacy, this is an opportunity for them to learn how to use quantitative methods for dosing,” says Vijay Ivaturi, PhD, research assistant professor in PPS. “That will truly be the biggest gain for them, because they will not learn those methods as part of the regular Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum.”

“These exchange programs will be crucial in expanding the knowledge of both current and future pediatric clinical pharmacists and translational pharmacometricians, as well as propelling forward the field of pediatric therapeutics and drug development,” adds Janel R. Long-Boyle, PharmD, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Division of Pediatric Allergy/Immunology/Blood and Marrow Transplantation at UCSF.

The UMSOP hosted its first trainee from UCSF under the new partnership this past spring.

“While I understand how science can change practice, I also feel that practice is what truly guides science,” says Danna Chan, PharmD, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy at UCSF, who studied pharmacometrics and its implications for personalized medicine at the school. “My experience studying pharmacometrics at the School of Pharmacy has been phenomenal. The faculty in the CTM are well versed in the field, and I feel that my knowledge in this area has increased exponentially during my time here. I am excited to take the lessons that I have learned and apply them to help the patients that we treat at UCSF.”

Malissa Carroll Collaboration, Education, Research, UMB NewsSeptember 18, 20170 comments
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School of Pharmacy Celebrates the Class of 2017 at Convocation

Family, friends, faculty, preceptors, and staff looked on with pride as the newest Doctors of Pharmacy from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy walked across the stage to receive their doctoral hoods at the School’s annual convocation ceremony held at the Hilton Baltimore Hotel on May 19.

In her opening remarks, Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor of the School, highlighted some of the numerous accomplishments that the Class of 2017 has achieved over the past four years. She commended the graduates for their ambition, leadership, and camaraderie, and encouraged them to follow the examples set by the School’s Founding Pharmapreneurs – including individuals such as George Avery Bunting, valedictorian of the Class of 1899, founder of Noxzema, CoverGirl Cosmetics, and the Noxell Corporation; and Alpheus P. Sharp, Class of 1842, and Louis Dohme, Class of 1857, co-founders of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. – and use their passion and enthusiasm to help advance the pharmacy profession and impact patient care in a visible, sustainable manner.
“Our Founding Pharmapreneurs dared, dreamed, and never backed down from the challenges and obstacles that they encountered along the way,” she said. “They did not take the easy route. Instead, they took an idea, a concept, or a vision, and turned it into reality. As new practitioners, you have amazing opportunities in front of you to be critical thinkers, and to solve the perennial, long-term problems that face health care, research, and society today. Follow the examples set by our Founding Pharmapreneurs who chose to be innovators and creators. Challenge the status quo approach to health care in this country.”

Sharing Advice for the Ages

Rear Admiral Pamela Schweitzer, PharmD, BCACP, chief pharmacy officer for the United States Public Health Services, was chosen by the Class of 2017 as the keynote speaker for convocation in honor of her extraordinary dedication to improving pharmacy services across the federal government and her leadership of pharmacy programs and professional affairs for the Office of the Surgeon General and the United States Department of Health and Human Services. In her speech, Schweitzer passed down words of professional advice and guidance that she has received throughout her career.

“You are coming into the pharmacy profession at a time when health care is rapidly changing in response to trends in health care payment reform, improving quality outcomes, and increasing patient empowerment,” she said. “Although it is exciting to know that each of you are going to be part of this transformation, you must be mindful that with this esteemed degree also comes responsibility and expectations. The School of Pharmacy has prepared you to be leaders, innovators, and lifelong learners. You are true professionals now, and well-respected members of society. Use your influence to make positive changes within your profession and your communities.”

Joining a Respected Health Care Profession

Brent Reed, PharmD, BCPS-AQ Cardiology, FAHA, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS); and Fengtian Xue, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC); with assistance from Cherokee Layson-Wolf, PharmD, BCACP, FAPhA, associate professor in PPS and associate dean for student affairs, joined Eddington in presenting graduates with their doctoral hoods to signify their completion of the highest professional degree in pharmacy.

“Donning the traditional olive colored pharmacy hood represents the fact that you have entered a caring profession that depends upon your proper use of scientific and clinical knowledge,” said Eddington. “You must care for your patients with compassion as well as intelligence. You will be trusted by patients – do not underestimate the importance of that trust, nor treat it lightly. You will have an impact on peoples’ lives.”

Celebrating All Graduates

Fifteen students graduating from the School’s PhD in pharmaceutical health services research (PHSR) and PhD in PSC programs received their hoods during the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s Graduate School ceremony on May 18. The MS in regulatory science program also hosted its second convocation in Pharmacy Hall on May 18 to celebrate its more than 30 graduates.

“The MS in regulatory science program allowed me to build a foundational knowledge of the laws, regulations, and good manufacturing processes mandated by agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration and its international counterparts,” said Aicha Moutanni, laboratory research specialist at the University of Maryland School of Nursing and member of the program’s Class of 2017. “I loved every minute of learning, and never shied away from any challenge that the program presented. I extend my sincerest thanks and gratitude to Dr. James Polli for his excellent leadership and guidance, and for making regulatory science a reality for my career.”

The School’s MS in pharmacometrics program also celebrated its fourth graduating class, which included 10 students.

Following the School’s morning convocation ceremony, graduates assembled in the afternoon for a Universitywide graduation ceremony at the Royal Farms Arena, where William P. Magee, Jr., DDS, MD, chief executive officer and co-founder of Operation Smile, delivered the keynote address.

To view more photos and video from this momentous occasion, please visit the School of Pharmacy’s Facebook page.

PharmD Class of 2017 Awards and Prizes

  • Preceptors of the Year: Laura A. Hatfield, PharmD, BCPS; Julie Caler, PharmD; Katy Pincus, PharmD, BCPS; and Todd P. Yori, PharmD
  • Andrew G. DuMez Award for Superior Proficiency in Pharmacy: Felicia Elaine Bartlett
  • Terry Paul Crovo Award in Pharmacy Practice for Performance and Promise to Uphold the Highest Standards of the Profession: Molly Amanda Rincavage and Dhakrit Rungkitwattanakul
  • Lambda Kappa Sigma, Epsilon Alumnae Chapter-Cole Award for Proficiency in Pharmacy Administration: Yoon Duk Hong
  • William Simon Memorial Prize for Superior Work in the Field of Medicinal Chemistry, Practical and Analytical Chemistry: Thao Thu Vo
  • Wagner Pharmaceutical Jurisprudence Prize for Meritorious Academic Achievement in Pharmaceutical Jurisprudence: Christine Anne McCulley
  • John F. Wannenwetsch Memorial Prize for Exceptional Performance and Promise in the Practice of Community Pharmacy: Songe Baek
  • Conrad L. Wich Prize for Exceptional Work in Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy: Willy Wen-Hao Li
  • S. Williams Practical Pharmacy Prize to the Student Having the Highest General Average in Basic and Applied Pharmaceutics: Huy Chan Truong
  • Universities at Shady Grove Academic and Community Excellence Award: Monica Victoria Tong
  • Maryland Pharmaceutical Society Award: Sidonie Josiane Sokoudj Takougang
  • Maryland Society of Health-System Pharmacy Award: Ha Khanh Phan
  • Maryland Pharmacists Association Award: Elissa Edda Joy Lechtenstein
  • Maryland-ASCP Award: Joshua Yian-Lung Chou
  • Alfred Abramson Entrepreneurship Award: David Kewui Tran
  • S. Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award: Huan Nhan Tran
  • Mylan Excellence in Pharmacy Award: Judith Sewha Kim
  • TEVA Outstanding Student Award: Kyle Slavin
  • Leadership Awards: Brandon James Biggs, Ryan James Button, Joshua Yian-Lung Chou, Amy Rose Kruger Howard, Elissa Edda Joy Lechtenstein, Monica Victoria Tong, David Kewui Tran, and Huan Nhan Tran
Malissa Carroll Bulletin Board, Education, On the Move, People, UMB News, University Life, USGAMay 22, 20170 comments
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Quality Care Network

Pharmacy Partners to Expand Pharmacy Services

The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy has contracted with the University of Maryland Quality Care Network (UMQCN) to provide pharmacy services and case management support to approximately 125,000 patients who receive care under the network. Patients from private insurance, as well as Medicaid and Medicare patients, will receive care coordination services from pharmacy faculty and staff in the network in collaboration with more than 350 primary care providers across Maryland.

“The School of Pharmacy is committed to expanding the role of pharmacists and their impact on pharmacy education, research, and patient care,” says Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner, PharmD, FAPhA, professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) and associate dean for clinical services and practice transformation at the School. “The expertise of our faculty and staff, combined with the innovative resources and programs at the School, uniquely position us to support UMQCN in this endeavor and further advance its pharmacy and case management programs. We are excited to collaborate with UMQCN on this initiative and look forward to working alongside their team to improve health care for thousands of Maryland residents.”

Providing Quality Care to Patients

UMQCN is a provider-organized network of physicians and other health care providers in the state of Maryland. It employs an engaged primary care model, advanced medical management programs, and innovative technology platform to provide patients with high quality, efficiently coordinated, and cost-effective health care services. Through the new contract with UMQCN, faculty and staff from the School of Pharmacy will be responsible for providing a variety of services to patients in the network, including medication management, telehealth management, drug information, and patient and provider education on numerous medication-related issues.

“We are excited to have this opportunity to collaborate so closely with the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy,” says Stacy Garrett-Ray, MD, MPH, MBA, president of the UMQCN. “By leveraging the intellectual capital at the School, we are tapping into a resource that will be very beneficial for our patients.”

Expanding the Pharmacist’s Impact

Integrated into UMQCN’s comprehensive medical management model, the services provided by faculty and staff at the School will mirror those offered through the School’s Maryland P3 Program – a pharmacist-delivered comprehensive medication management program for patients with chronic diseases.

“In the Maryland P3 Program, specially trained pharmacists apply a comprehensive model of care that offers patients step-by-step guidance on medication adherence, lifestyle changes, and self-care skills,” says Rodriguez de Bittner, who also serves as the executive director of the School’s Center for Innovative Pharmacy Solutions (CIPS), a national resource center and leader in the development of innovative patient care and business solutions to health problems, which will oversee the implementation of services under the contract. “By bringing similar services to patients in UMQCN, we are ensuring that the organization remains on the forefront of patient care, delivering high quality pharmacy-related programs to its patients and significant cost savings to its payers.”

Enhancing Education of Future Pharmacists

Faculty and staff working with providers and patients in the UMQCN will also gain new insights in the field of integrated population health management, which will help inform the School’s curriculum and prepare future pharmacists for roles in the field of population health management.

“The School of Pharmacy continues to evolve its curriculum to provide future generations of pharmacists with the knowledge and skills needed to be essential contributors to the health care team,” adds Rodriguez de Bittner. “Through our collaboration with UMQCN, faculty and staff from the School will gain invaluable, firsthand experience in the emerging field of population health management. This experience will enable the School to adapt its curriculum to meet developing needs, provide students with experiential rotations in the field, and potentially develop new revenue generating programs from which faculty, staff, students, and the community alike can benefit.”

Services incorporated in UMQCN as part of this contract began in February 2017.

Malissa Carroll Clinical Care, Collaboration, UMB NewsMay 16, 20170 comments
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IPE - foot screenings

Improving the Health of Homeless Individuals With Diabetes

On April 12, students from the School of Pharmacy participated in a unique outreach event in which we have never previously been involved – collaborating with students in the physical therapy and rehabilitation science (PT) program at the School of Medicine to provide diabetic foot screenings for homeless individuals.

Meeting a Community Need

This interprofessional partnership was prompted by feedback received from the community. In recent years, PT students have volunteered to perform diabetic foot screenings at the Weinberg Housing and Resource Center (WHRC) – the largest emergency shelter in Baltimore that provides resources for homeless individuals, many of whom have been diagnosed with diabetes. The students evaluate each patient’s medical history, vital signs, foot sensation, posture, and provide patient education.
However, one major aspect was missing from this outreach event – knowledge about the medications often prescribed to individuals with diabetes. Many patients had questions about their medications, but the PT students needed assistance providing answers. This need sparked the idea of incorporating an interprofessional approach into the event in which PT and pharmacy students would work together as a team.

Calling in the Medication Experts

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 School of Pharmacy, reached out to the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) Operation Diabetes’ chair and co-chair – third-year student pharmacist Kyuhee Kim and myself, respectively – to ask if we would like to be involved. Since second-year student pharmacists had recently completed a diabetes module in class, we pulled together a group for an experience that would allow us to apply our knowledge to real-life practice.

A lot of behind-the-scenes planning took place before the event to familiarize pharmacy students with what would be expected and to prepare us for the questions that patients might ask. However, thanks to the combined efforts of faculty members Laurie Neely, PT, DPT; Linda Horn, PT, DScPT, MHS, NCS, GCS; and Layson-Wolf; student pharmacists Stephanos Gozali, Sanchari Gosh, Ghania Naeem, and Amanda Hom; and physical therapy students Nina Fisher, Kimberly Wiman, Eric Sanchez, Shannon Will, and Broderick Bass, we were able to coordinate a successful event.

Working with Patients

Upon arriving to WHRC, each pharmacy student partnered with a PT student to set up five separate screening stations, which allowed us to screen more patients and better work as a comprehensive health care team. Students’ duties were assigned to align with their unique expertise in their individual disciplines, with PT students primarily working to take patients’ medical history, complete the foot screening, and provide education, while pharmacy students took patients’ medication history and vital signs, as well as provided education about medication adherence and disease state/wellness.

Once the patient completed the evaluation, he or she was given a form that detailed his or her vital signs and the information discussed during the screening. Afterwards, all patients were provided with a healthy snack and water as a “thank you” for attending the screening.

Learning from Each Other

We screened 35 patients during the two-hour event, which was an increase over previous years. While the PT students learned a lot about the medications for individuals with diabetes, we also learned a lot about foot screening and functional mobility testing. Although student pharmacists are taught how to conduct diabetic foot screenings, the screenings provided by the PT students were more vigorous, as they asked questions about shoe size/fit and balance.

Through this interprofessional experience, we learned that a collaborative health care team is essential to delivering quality care to patients. The homeless individuals who attended felt fortunate to have experts in different disciplines educate them about their health and answer any questions they had. We thank all who have contributed to the success of this event and look forward to collaborating in the future.

Aylin Unal Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, USGAMay 9, 20170 comments
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Palliative Care Program

Pharmacy Launches New, Online Graduate Program in Palliative Care

To meet the growing need for interprofessional education in hospice and palliative care, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy has launched a new, online graduate program in palliative care. Directed by Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD, MA, MDE, BCPS, CPE, professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) and executive director for advanced post-graduate education in palliative care at the School, the online Master of Science (MS) and Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care program is an interprofessional program designed for all palliative care practitioners, including physicians, pharmacists, nurses and advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, therapists, psychologists and counselors, administrators, social workers, chaplains, thanatologists, and bereavement and volunteer specialists.

“In the field of palliative care, health care professionals practice as a team, so it makes perfect sense for the practitioners enrolled in our program to learn as a team,” says McPherson, an internationally recognized leader in the field. “One of the most important priorities for our program is fostering an interprofessional, team-based approach to caring for an incredibly vulnerable population – individuals and their families who are facing a serious illness. In fact, each course in our program is taught by two or more faculty members from different disciplines to better model interprofessional practice for our learners.”

An Interprofessional Approach to Care

The term palliative care refers to the specialized care often offered to patients and their families who are facing a serious illness. Palliative care aims to improve the quality of life for these individuals and their families through the prevention and relief of physical, psychosocial, and spiritual problems. Palliative care services are rapidly expanding in both hospitals and communities across the nation in response to the increasing number of individuals living with serious and chronic illnesses.

“We know that knowledgeable and well-trained palliative care clinicians can greatly improve the quality of life for patients and caregivers, as well as reduce the cost of care,” says Eduardo Bruera, MD, FAAHPM, chair of the Department of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and one of McPherson’s colleagues in the field. “At this time, there is an increased demand for palliative care clinicians, but an insufficient number of individuals with the proper training to meet this need. The MS and Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care program has been designed and developed by a world class leader in the field, and comes at the right time to fill this gap in patient care in the United States.”

Choose the Path That’s Right for You

Students who enroll in the MS and Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care program can choose to earn a graduate certificate in palliative care or complete the full program to receive the master’s degree. All learners must complete four required courses in the first two semesters. Each course is eight weeks long, and together culminate in the awarding of a Graduate Certificate in Principles and Practice of Hospice and Palliative Care. Upon completion of the certificate, students can choose to pursue the master’s degree offered through the program by completing an additional four elective courses, as well as two more required courses. The elective courses can be completed in a specific track, including clinical, administrative and leadership, psychosocial and spiritual, or thanatology.

“After an extensive search for a post-graduate palliative care program that offered both a flexible and learner-friendly approach to the field, I found the MS and Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care program and am confident that it will address all of my needs as a palliative care practitioner,” says Neive George, a chaplain with Community Hospital in Cocorite, Port of Spain, and one of the more than 20 members of the program’s inaugural class. “This program provides cutting-edge, interprofessional instruction through a rich, patient-centered academic experience. Its comprehensive curriculum is well-rounded and puts the patient’s humanity and dignity first.”

“Throughout my two-decade career as a registered nurse, I have learned that patients’ palliative care needs far exceed the relief of physical symptoms, and often encompass emotional and legal issues, issues of faith and relationships, and grieving and mourning,” adds student Jason Ware, RN, physician relations manager at Montgomery Hospice. “I enrolled in the MS and Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care program to hone the knowledge and skills necessary to help relieve the symptoms and stressors born from serious illnesses that occur throughout patients’ lifespans. I appreciate the program’s flexible design, online platform, and access to faculty experts, and am confident that the lessons I learn will be invaluable in my professional development.”

Learn More About the Program

The next deadline for admissions for the MS and Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care program is June 30, with classes beginning in fall 2017. To apply online, attend a virtual open house, or learn more, please visit the program’s website.

Malissa Carroll Clinical Care, Education, UMB NewsMarch 27, 20170 comments
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Giving Day - School of Pharmacy

School of Pharmacy Hosts First-Ever Giving Day

To help commemorate the end of its 175th anniversary, the School of Pharmacy hosted its first-ever online Giving Day on Jan. 27. Giving Day leveraged the power of social media to bring together faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends for an unprecedented, 24-hour philanthropic event to help generate gifts for the School’s annual fund and ensure its continued ability to provide quality pharmacy education, research, and service to residents across the state of Maryland and beyond. More than 180 donors made gifts to the School on the designated day, raising more than $30,000 and exceeding the day’s goal of reaching 175 donors.

“The success of the School of Pharmacy’s first-ever online Giving Day was truly the ‘icing on the cake’ for our 175th anniversary celebration,” says Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor of the School. “The School has achieved many remarkable triumphs throughout its storied history, and it is exciting to imagine all that we are sure accomplish over the next 175 years with the continued support of our dedicated faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends whose generous gifts made possible the success of this event.”

Meeting the Challenge

The School of Pharmacy held its online Giving Day from 12 a.m. on Jan. 27, to 12 a.m. on Jan. 28. The event was marked by several challenges designed to increase the impact of the donations received. The hallmark challenge for the event was the 175 Donor Challenge. If the School received gifts from 175 different donors before the end of the day, the challenger – an anonymous alumnus – agreed to donate an additional $10,000 to the School. In the end, the School received gifts from more than 180 donors.

“Although the School of Pharmacy has made significant  impacts on pharmacy education, scientific discovery, patient care, and community engagement on both the national and international level, we are a surprisingly small community, and we knew that reaching 175 donors for this event might be somewhat challenging,” says Greer Griffith, assistant director for alumni giving at the School. “I was thrilled to see that we exceeded the goal of our hallmark challenge. The continued investment of our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends proves that the future is bright at the School of Pharmacy and ensures that we have the resources needed to continue setting the standard in pharmacy education.”

Leveraging Social Media

Giving Day also featured three bonus challenges made possible by pledges from Andrew Phan, PharmD ’13, pharmacist in the Investigational Drug Services Pharmacy at the University of Maryland Medical Center and president of the School’s Alumni Association; Nicole Brandt, PharmD ’97, MBA, BCPP, CGP, FASCP, professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) and executive director of the Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging at the School; and Andrew Coop, PhD, associate dean for academic affairs and professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC) at the School. Phan agreed to donate $1,000 to the School if 25 alumni from the Classes of 2006-2016 made gifts during Giving Day, while Brandt and Coop each pledged $1,000 to be added to a randomly selected donation made between 11 a.m. and 1p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m., respectively.

All three challenges were met, with gifts from Abigail Strawberry, BSP ’93, and Cathy Chang, PharmD ’13, selected to receive the $1,000 pledges from Brandt and Coop.

“Showing my support for the School of Pharmacy by making a gift on Giving Day was important to me,” says Jackie Tran, PharmD ’13, clinical pharmacist at Johns Hopkins Hospital. “I truly enjoyed the time that I spent at the School and would not be the person that I am today were it not for the education that it afforded me. By paying it forward with my donation, I’m also helping to ensure that current and future students – including my sister, who is currently a third-year student pharmacist at the School – have access to the highest quality pharmacy education and best resources as they progress through their studies.”

Another crucial component to the success of the event was the use of social media ambassadors who volunteered their time to share messages about Giving Day on their Facebook and Twitter pages, helping to extend the reach of the event and increase the number of individuals who were able to participate. In addition to pledging $1,000 for the Young Alumni Challenge, Phan was the School’s most dynamic social media ambassador, generating 97 clicks from the messages that he shared on social media and raising an additional $2,400 for the School. Jennifer Abernathy, PharmD ’13, pharmacy manager for Harris Teeter, generated 61 clicks from the messages that she shared on social media.

If you or someone you know was unable to participate in Giving Day, but would still like to make a gift to the School, please donate online.

Malissa Carroll Education, People, UMB NewsFebruary 2, 20170 comments
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Pharmacy Student Meeting

Students Celebrate Success at APhA-ASP Meeting

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.

The American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) Region 2 Mid-year Regional Meeting marked an exciting time for student pharmacists from across the region as we came together to celebrate the success of our respective chapters on Oct. 21-23 in Somerset, N.J. As president of the School’s APhA-ASP chapter, I was thrilled to see our chapter selected for two regional patient care operation awards, witness the passage of a student-written policy resolution, and cheer for one of our own executive board members – Charlie Summerlin, a second-year student pharmacist – as he was elected to a regional officer position.

What is the Mid-year Regional Meeting (MRM)?

Each year in October, 20 APhA-ASP chapters from Region 2, which spans from Virginia and West Virginia through Pennsylvania and New Jersey, come together during the Region 2 MRM to network, celebrate chapter accomplishments, elect regional officers, and vote on pharmacy policy resolutions. Students also have the opportunity to attend workshops in leadership development, residency preparation, and patient care to further enhance their professional growth.

Taking Home the Gold

In addition to networking and professional development, an important part of MRM involves celebrating chapter accomplishments. There are five national patient care projects within APhA-ASP that focus on relevant health issues in which pharmacists and student pharmacists can make an impact. Chapters are recognized for their innovation, collaboration, and impact on the community through Operation Heart, Operation Diabetes, Operation Immunization, and OTC Medicine Safety events. Thanks to the tireless dedication of our members, who spent thousands of hours working on a variety of initiatives for these projects, our chapter was selected as the recipient for both the Operation Diabetes and Operation Heart regional awards. As second-year student pharmacist and our chapter’s president-elect, John Lee, stated “This recognition truly serves as a testament to the devotion that our members show. Their selfless work across the local area, their genuine care for the community, and their passion for the profession of pharmacy energize me in my own work with APhA-ASP.”

Because our chapter is only as successful as our members, I must thank the many first-, second-, third-, and fourth-year student pharmacists who have joined our group over the years, as well as our three faculty advisors – Cherokee Layson-Wolf, PharmD, BCACP, FAPhA, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) and associate dean for student affairs; Deanna Tran, PharmD, BCACP, assistant professor in PPS; and Leah Sera, PharmD, assistant professor in PPS – and six new practitioner mentors for all of their efforts to make this year a resounding success.

Watching Students Take the Lead

Another important aspect of this student-focused conference is the student-led policy process. Each chapter has the opportunity to propose a resolution that its members feel is important to student pharmacists or pharmacy practice. This year, second-year student pharmacist Mark Bickley led our chapter in developing a resolution that encourages all schools and colleges of pharmacy to expand simulated patient care interactions to supplement existing experiential learning curriculum experiences. He stressed the importance of this resolution, stating, “Considering how important patient interaction is to pharmacy practice, our resolution is extremely relevant. Supporting an increased number of simulated patient interactions will help student pharmacists communicate more effectively.” At MRM, second-year student pharmacist and chapter member Tedding Dunning successfully proposed and defended this resolution. It will now move to the national APhA-ASP Resolutions Committee for consideration.

Regional Election

On the final day of MRM, our chapter members anxiously awaited the results of regional elections, as our classmate Charlie Summerlin was running for regional member at large, a position that involves working with other regional members at large across the country to promote open communication and highlight the activities of the 20 chapters across Region 2. Throughout the weekend, Charlie networked with students from other chapters and promoted his platform of “communication, collaboration, and commitment.” On Sunday, he delivered his speech describing the value that he has brought to our chapter and how he will be able to leverage that experience as a regional officer. The other chapters must have liked what they heard, because they elected him to the position! Our chapter is excited to see the positive impact that Charlie is sure to make at the regional level. But, for now, we are looking forward to an opportunity to connect with even more students and pharmacists at APhA’s Annual Meeting in San Francisco in March 2017.

Rachel Lumish University Life, USGANovember 10, 20160 comments
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Agnes Ann Feemster

Pharmacy Names New Assistant Dean for Experiential Learning

Agnes Ann Feemster, PharmD, BCPS, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, has been named the new assistant dean for experiential learning at the School. A member of the School’s faculty since 2014, Feemster brings more than 15 years of clinical, leadership, and management experience to her new role.

“The Experiential Learning Program (ELP) at the School of Pharmacy is an integral component of our Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum,” says Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor of the School. “The program strives to develop in each student pharmacist the professional judgement and competencies needed to meet the responsibilities of a practicing pharmacist in a wide range of settings. Dr. Feemster has served as a preceptor for pharmacy students and residents for 20 years, and has significant experience in health-system pharmacy and management, as well as an outstanding reputation in pharmacy organizations across the state. I am excited to welcome her into her new role, and look forward to all that she is sure to contribute.”

Real World Practice for Pharmacy Students

The Office of Experiential Learning at the School of Pharmacy recruits and oversees preceptors – full-time or part-time pharmacy practitioners and other professionals who serve as affiliate faculty for the School and supervise students during their experiential rotations – as well as manages introductory and advanced pharmacy practice experiences for students, which account for more than 30 percent of the School’s PharmD curriculum. As assistant dean for experiential learning, Feemster will work with staff in the office to increase the School’s roster of ambulatory care rotations and implement experiences focused on the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners’ Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process and Entrustable Professional Activities.
“Being named assistant dean for experiential learning is an incredible honor, and I am excited for all of the opportunities that the future holds for me in this new role,” says Feemster. “I look forward to working alongside staff in ELP to continue providing high quality preceptors, sites, and services to cultivate the best learning experiences for our students and ensure that they emerge from our program as lifelong learners prepared to advance the pharmacy profession and to meet the current and future health care needs of the patients they serve.”

The Right Person for the Job

Feemster received a bachelor’s degree in pre-professional health studies from Clemson University, and a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the Medical University of South Carolina. She completed her PharmD at the University of South Carolina, and later pursued a pharmacy practice residency at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. Her research interests include pharmacy practice management and leadership, medication safety, educational methods and outcomes, pharmacy informatics, global health, and interprofessional education.

Before joining the School of Pharmacy, Feemster was interim director of pharmacy at the University of Maryland Medical Center, where she also served as assistant director of clinical pharmacy, investigational drug, and central production services. Now a member of the School’s Curriculum Committee, she leads the pharmacy practice management and health-system pharmacy course in the PharmD program, manages the practice lab experience for first-year student pharmacists, and coordinates the international training program in PPS.

“As one of the top 10 schools of pharmacy in the United States, our School takes pride in fostering students’ success through innovative curricula, superior practical experiences, and professional engagement. This new role represents a tremendous opportunity for me to continue serving our faculty, students, and preceptors in a new, more dynamic capacity,” she adds.

Malissa Carroll Education, People, UMB NewsAugust 29, 20160 comments
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