School of Pharmacy posts displayed by tag

Flu Shots

School of Pharmacy Students Hosting Flu Shot Clinic

It’s flu shot time, and members of the School of Pharmacy’s APhA-Academy of Student Pharmacists have their vaccinations ready and will be hosting a flu shot clinic, sponsored by Walgreens, for the campus community Sept. 27, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the Balch Gallery in Pharmacy Hall.

Vaccinations cost $25, may be covered by insurance, and can be paid by cash, check, or credit card. Remember to bring a government-issued photo ID and your medical and prescription insurance cards.

Those wishing to participate must RSVP by completing this online form.

  
Erin Merino People, University LifeSeptember 18, 20170 comments
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A Metabolic Pathway that Feeds Liver Cancer

A little-studied gene may explain how some liver cancer cells obtain the nutrition they need to proliferate, according to new research from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. The results of this research were published as an Editors’ Pick in the Aug. 18 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Because they multiply quickly and spread throughout the body, cancer cells require more energy than normal cells. One approach to treating cancer, therefore, is targeting the pathways that cancer cells have adapted to meet these energy needs, thus “starving” the cancer. The laboratory of Hongbing Wang, PhD, professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, was interested in how this principle applied to cancers of the liver.

“The liver is one of the most busy, active organs in the body,” Wang said, so the healthy liver already needs a lot of energy. In addition, Wang said, liver cancer appears to be one of the few cancers of which incidences seem to be on the rise, possibly in association with the rise of metabolism-related conditions such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

When looking for genes that might play important roles in the metabolism of healthy and cancerous liver cells, Wang and his colleagues became interested in a gene called SLC13A5, which produces a protein that transports citrate into cells. SLC13A5 is expressed mainly in the liver, but its role is relatively understudied.

“If you search for SLC13A5 in PubMed — I searched this morning — there are 54 publications, which is not a whole lot,” Wang said. Nearly half of these studies were published in the last two years. Research on SLC13A5 has focused on its role in obesity and diabetes; knocking out the SLC13A5 gene in mice prevents high-fat diet-induced obesity. If this gene plays a role in energy homeostasis and energy balance in the context of obesity, Wang reasoned, perhaps it could play a role in the energy requirements of liver cancer cells.

Zhihui Li, a postdoctoral fellow in Wang’s lab, performed experiments in which he used a technique called RNA interference to suppress (but not completely eliminate) the production of the SLC13A5 protein. He carried out these experiments in cultures of two human hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines. Suppressing SLC13A5 resulted in liver cancer cells that did not die but had significantly slower growth and division. Similarly, when these cells were injected into mice, the cells in which SLC13A5 was suppressed formed barely discernable tumors compared to the unmanipulated cancer cells.

Wang hypothesizes that the extracellular citrate taken up by the SLC13A5 protein is required by the liver cancer cells for fatty acid synthesis. Because prostate cancer does not express SLC13A5, the growth of prostate cancer cells was unaffected by suppressing SLC13A5 expression. The fact that prostate cancer grew independently of the presence of SLC13A5 supports the idea that different cancers use different methods to meet their high energy requirements.

Wang points out that the current findings are preliminary and that comparing SLC13A5 activity in healthy and cancerous human liver tissue will be necessary before studies of this pathway as a cancer drug target should be contemplated. But understanding the involvement of the citrate transport pathway in the growth of liver cancer marks a step forward in understanding energy use in cancer.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. Read the paper.

About the Journal of Biological Chemistry

JBC is a weekly peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes research “motivated by biology, enabled by chemistry” across all areas of biochemistry and molecular biology.

About the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The ASBMB is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization with more than 12,000 members worldwide. Most members teach and conduct research at colleges and universities. Others conduct research in various government laboratories, at nonprofit research institutions and in industry. The society’s student members attend undergraduate or graduate institutions. For more information, the ASBMB website.

  
Alexandra Mushegian Research, UMB NewsAugust 25, 20170 comments
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Intimate Partner Violence IPE Course

Learning Opportunity: Interprofessional Responses to Intimate Partner Violence

The UMB Community Collaborative on Intimate Partner Violence is sponsoring the one-credit elective course “Interprofessional Responses to Intimate Partner Violence: What We All Need to Know.”

About the Course

This course is comprised of seven consecutive sessions and will be held on Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. beginning on Sept. 20 and ending on Nov. 1. Course instructors will include faculty and staff from the schools of social work, law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and nursing.

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant societal problem, which has persisted despite efforts to eradicate it using numerous intervention strategies. In this course, the student will be introduced to key concepts, processes, measurements, and related theories across diverse practice settings (i.e. dentistry, law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and social work) to be able to effectively address IPV in practice.

We will cover Issues related to those who experience and witness IPV as well as those who perpetrate IPV, including social and cultural factors (e.g., race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status) associated with IPV, including theory practice on intersectionality. The student will explore various strategies established for ending IPV and clinical, policy, and social change interventions from an interprofessional perspective.

Course activities will be designed to help the student think critically and apply understanding of theories from the individual to macro levels of intervention and change across practice settings in social work, law, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, and medicine.

Weekly Class Topics

  • Class 1: Definitions, Prevalence and Impact of IPV
  • Class 2: History and Theories of IPV
  • Class 3: Practice: Social Work and Law (Screening for IPV, IPV Programs [crisis, clinical, advocacy], Civil and Criminal Legal Options, Child Welfare Advocates and Victim Advocates, and Safety vs. Autonomy)
  • Class 4: Practice: Nursing, Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmacy (How Is IPV Visible in My Practice?, Screening and Brief Interventions in Health Settings, Intimate Partner Sexual Violence, and Reproductive Coercion)
  • Class 5: Policy (Local, State, and Federal Law and Policies, Limitations of Current Practice, Promising Practices, and Reporting Requirements)
  • Class 6: Special Populations/Considerations (Minority, Immigrant, LGTB, HIV, Disabled, and Male Victims, Intersection of IPV and Human Trafficking, and Adolescent Relationship Abuse)
  • Class 7: Where are we now? Where do we need to go? (Best Practices, Intersectionality, Social Justice, and Social Change)

Enroll

To enroll, contact your school’s registration office. For additional information on the topics covered in this course, contact Lisa Fedina at LFedina@ssw.umaryland.edu.

  
Lisa Fedina Bulletin Board, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, People, UMB NewsJune 12, 20170 comments
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regulatory science

MS in Regulatory Science Virtual Open House

Join us on Thursday, June 8, at 12:30 p.m. for the MS in Regulatory Science Virtual Open House.

Open houses provide an overview of the MS in regulatory science program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.

Topics to be addressed include the admissions process, course schedule, and other frequently asked questions about the program. Access the open house and get more information.

  
Sharese Essien Bulletin Board, EducationJune 1, 20170 comments
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Dean's Hall of Fame

Kensington Pharmacist Posthumously Inducted into Dean’s Hall of Fame

Huseyin Tunc, BSP ’83, pharmacist and owner of Kensington Pharmacy in Kensington, Md., was posthumously inducted into the Dean’s Hall of Fame for Distinguished Community Pharmacists as part of the annual banquet hosted by the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) student chapter on April 29. Established in 2006, the Hall of Fame Award is presented each year by Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor of the School, in recognition of a pharmacist’s leadership, entrepreneurship, and passion for independent pharmacy.

“Since opening its doors, Kensington Pharmacy has become a place where everyone – patients, pharmacists, technicians, staff, and their families – knows each other,” said Eddington. “Mr. Tunc was a trustworthy and caring health care advocate and mentor. He greeted all patrons by their first names, provided mentorship to his employees, and personally delivered medications to patients at any time. With the support of his wife, he lived his dream of pharmacy ownership in the United States. I am honored to present his family with the 2017 Dean’s Hall of Fame Award for Distinguished Community Pharmacists on his behalf.”

Building a Better Life for His Family

A native of Turkey, Tunc graduated from the University of Istanbul Pharmacy School in 1975. He owned and operated a pharmacy in his hometown of Antalya, Turkey for four years before immigrating to the United States with his wife in 1979. After settling in Silver Spring, Md., Tunc enrolled in the School of Pharmacy, graduating with his Bachelor of Science in pharmacy in 1983. He worked in the inpatient pharmacy at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring before joining a national supermarket chain as a community pharmacist, where he held positions of increasing responsibility for more than 20 years.

Although Tunc experienced tremendous success during his career with the supermarket chain, he remained committed to his entrepreneurial dream of once again owning and operating an independent pharmacy. He completed his Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Phoenix and opened Kensington Pharmacy in 2005. His daughters Zeynep Tunc, PharmD, and Melike Tunc, PharmD – graduates of the School of Pharmacy’s Classes of 2006 and 2008, respectively – later joined him in the family business.

“According to his family, Mr. Tunc was not only a devoted father and loving husband, but also a true entrepreneur,” added Eddington. “His mission to provide the highest quality pharmacy health care to patients continues through the friendly, helpful service offered by his business; his store’s clean and enjoyable atmosphere; the convenience and communication provided to patients; and staff members’ pharmacy expertise. At Kensington Pharmacy, patients are truly treated like family.”

Moving Forward in His Memory

Following a courageous battle with colon cancer, Tunc passed away in April 2016. His family has established the Huseyin C. Tunc Memorial Fund to preserve his legacy and help give others a chance to follow their dreams.

“From the bottom of my heart, thank you for tonight,” said Pinar Tunc, who, along with her daughters, accepted the award on behalf of her husband. “Huseyin was an incredible husband and father, excellent pharmacist, and amazing human being. Although tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of his passing, his light and his spirit are always with us. I encourage you to be kind to one another and help each other – both as students and as pharmacists after graduation – because you never know what tomorrow will bring.”

The NCPA annual banquet recognizes the NCPA student chapter’s yearly achievements. It is also the event at which new chapter officers are installed. “This outstanding group of students is the future of the profession, and a group of which we can be especially proud,” said Eddington.

The chapter’s goal is to promote independent pharmacy with the intent of increasing students’ awareness of its advantages, encourage newly practicing pharmacists to pursue pharmacy ownership, and support independent pharmacy’s already established positive image.

  
Malissa CarrollABAE, Bulletin Board, Education, People, UMB NewsMay 18, 20170 comments
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Mental Health in the Community

Promoting Mental Health in the Local Community

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.

Students, faculty, and staff from the School of Pharmacy collaborated with the Community Engagement Center at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) to organize new workshops for the center’s ongoing “Healthy Living” series. The team created three interactive classes focused on promoting healthy minds and healthy lives. Community members across West Baltimore were invited to attend the classes and meet and participate with health professionals and guest speakers in group discussions that explored topics such as mental health, stress, and cancer.

Members of the School’s Phi Lambda Sigma Leadership Society (PLS) and College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP) student chapter, as well as faculty and staff from the PATIENTS Program helped organize and lead the first three classes, which were attended by dozens of community members in total. The classes took place on Thursday afternoons throughout the month of April, and focused on discovering what mental health topics were most important to community members and how we could provide individuals with the resources and skills needed to address these topics.

Dealing With Social Stigma

According to a 2015 report by the Baltimore City Health Department, 23 percent of Baltimore’s adult population does not receive adequate mental health services. This unmet need has led to some serious consequences for the community, including increased rates of homelessness, incarcerations, and unemployment. Hosting these workshops, particularly at this time, was crucial not only for us to gain experience as future health care professionals, but also to help improve the lives of people living in the city.

The workshops focused exclusively on issues associated with social stigma. Participants in the workshops unanimously agreed that social stigma is often a major barrier when an individual considers receiving mental health care. Mental health issues such as substance abuse, depression affected by fear, public perception of the issue, stereotypes, prejudices, and discrimination were thoroughly debated and discussed. The participants agreed that these factors could prevent an individual from getting a proper mental health assessment, and ultimately contribute to an overwhelming number of social and domestic issues such as crime, domestic violence, and unemployment, as individuals who are experiencing mental health issues are less likely to take care of themselves or reach out to receive care in general.

In addition, workshop activities addressed the following areas related to social stigma:

  • Identification of stigmatizing behaviors
  • Influence of stigmatizing behaviors on individuals
  • Influence of stigmatizing behaviors on the community and society
  • Importance of seeking treatment
  • Information about support groups and programs

Helping Baltimoreans Live Healthier Lives

The three mental health workshops that we hosted were a part of the ongoing “Healthy Living” series at the University’s Community Engagement Center, and were held on April 6, 13, and 20.

The first session addressed the topics of depression, grief, and post-traumatic stress disorder caused by violence. The workshop was led by Kelly Quinn, coordinator for the Community Engagement Center, and featured a presentation by Donna Audia, RN, HN-BC, reiki master, from the School of Medicine’s Center for Integrative Medicine, who discussed healing through energy and other issues related to mental and physical health.

Held April 13, the second workshop featured a fruitful panel discussion with faculty from the School of Pharmacy, including Joey Mattingly, PharmD, MBA, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS), Katy Pincus, PharmD, BCPS, assistant professor in PPS, and Jason Noel, PharmD, BCPP, associate professor in PPS, as well as Adrienne Anderson, BSN, RN. Experts and local community members shared their experiences during a round table discussion about mental health. Issues such as smoking cessation, insomnia, stress, anxiety, asthma, access to mental health care, and crime/safety, as well as community involvement were discussed.

In the final session on April 20, Audia returned to talk about stress relief, breathing techniques, and her experiences as a health care professional. In addition, Mattingly and Emily Heil, PharmD, BCPS-AQ infectious diseases, assistant professor in PPS, were present to facilitate the discussion. Pharmacy students spoke about different local resources for mental health support available in downtown and West Baltimore.

Applying the Lessons Participants Learned

The three workshops organized to address the critical topic of mental health in West Baltimore had a lasting impact on the community. These workshops became a platform from which local community members could gather and share their personal experiences. The classes also allowed student pharmacists to bring awareness to some local resources currently available for people in the community. Faculty members and staff from the Community Engagement Center expressed their hope to bring more events hosted by student organizations from the School of Pharmacy to the community to help increase student involvement in establishing new workshops for the community in the near future.

But most importantly, these workshops were a platform from which we were able to raise awareness about the stigma associated with mental illness like never before, leading to discussions that were fruitful, impactful, and will have long-lasting outcomes.

“These three workshops were phenomenal, and had a tremendous impact on the community members, serving as a bridge to help students from the School of Pharmacy learn how to better serve the local community, especially those individuals facing mental health problems,” said Kemahn Jones, a community health intern at the Community Engagement Center. “Community members had an opportunity to meet new, like-minded individuals and learn a great deal of new information to help them moving forward.”

  
Ana Luisa Moreira Coutinho Clinical Care, Community Service, University Life, USGAMay 15, 20170 comments
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Friends of the National Library of Medicine

Friends of National Library of Medicine Annual Conference

Working with the National Library of Medicine and Research!America, the Friends of the National Library of Medicine will be holding its annual conference: “Consequential and Reproducible Clinical Research: Charting the Course for Continuous Improvement.”

The conference will discuss prevention of nonrepeatable research and inconsequential studies, highlight positive strategies to achieve trustworthy results, and significant quality improvement in clinical research studies.

The constructive and practical messages should benefit producers as well as users of clinical research discoveries. It features a variety of speakers including the School of Pharmacy’s Peter Doshi, PhD. The conference will take place June 14 to 17.

REGISTER NOW

  
Ryan Harris Bulletin Board, Education, People, Research, University AdministrationApril 24, 20170 comments
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Regulatory Science Students at FDA

Regulatory Science Graduate Students Go Behind the Scenes at FDA

Nearly 40 graduate students from the MS in regulatory science program at the School of Pharmacy had an opportunity to visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in White Oak, Md., and met with top scientists in the Division of Cardiovascular and Renal Products (DCaRP) on March 28. Norman Stockbridge, MD, PhD, director of the Office of Drug Evaluation I in DCaRP; Michael Monteleone, MS, associate director for labeling in DCaRP; Edward Fromm, RPh, chief of project management staff in DCaRP; Thomas Papoian, PhD, supervisory pharmacologist in DCaRP; Senatore Fortunato, MD, medical officer in DCaRP; and Lori Wachter, RN, BSN, safety regulatory project manager in DCaRP, spent more than 90 minutes engaged in a panel discussion with students, answering questions about a wide range of topics, such as:

  • Drug safety assessment
  • New preclinical models
  • Labeling
  • Areas of dialogue between FDA and sponsors

Devi Kozeli, a current student in the MS in regulatory science program and senior regulatory health project manager and consumer safety officer at the FDA, organized the panel discussion. “I am thrilled that I was able to help my classmates gain a better understanding about how FDA teams represent the disciplines that we study in class. Scientists with backgrounds in clinical research, pharmacology/toxicology, post-marketing safety, labeling, and regulatory management all work together to review new drugs,” he said.

 Student Insights

Following the panel discussion, I had an opportunity to debrief with students and ask their thoughts about the experience. In addition to expressing their appreciation to the FDA for granting our program this unique opportunity, the students shared their thoughts about the aspects of the experience that they found most enjoyable.

“It was fascinating to learn how the FDA review process is a truly collaborative one that involves scientific exchange among numerous reviewers with different perspectives,” said Laura Murphy, MT, MPH, manager of pharmacovigilance at C.B. Fleet Company and recipient of the School’s Ellen H. Yankellow Scholarship. “A common theme that seemed present throughout the panel discussion was the application of basic science in problem solving. I particularly enjoyed how Dr. Papoian emphasized this concept, as there isn’t always a simple checklist that we can run through to solve these real-world problems.”

“I learned so much from this experience,” added Grishma Patel, MS, quality assurance specialist at Tishcon Corporation. “Safety and efficacy are topics that we discuss every day at work. While classes in the MS in Regulatory Science program address a wide range of approaches that we can use to evaluate efficacy and safety, it was wonderful to gain some additional understanding and learn that the tools currently available to measure safety are not necessarily the same tools that you would use to measure efficacy. Safety evaluation seems much more heuristic than the evaluation of efficacy.”

Keisha Hines-Harris, quality analyst specialist II at Leidos Biomedical and the National Cancer Institute, also noted, “I enjoyed listening to the individual perspectives of each reviewer, which sometimes differ from the general consensus, even though both share the common goal to protect the public health. I also enjoyed the opportunity to meet my classmates, which is rare for programs based exclusively online.”

Learn More

Visit this webpage for more information about the Division of Cardiovascular and Renal Products at the FDA. More information about the MS in regulatory science program is available on the School of Pharmacy’s website.

By James Polli, PhD
Shangraw/Noxell Endowed Chair in Industrial Pharmacy and Pharmaceutics
School of Pharmacy

  
Clare BanksABAE, Collaboration, Education, People, Research, UMB News, University LifeApril 10, 20170 comments
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Wing-a-Thon

13th Annual Wing-a-Thon

Do you like chicken wings? Would you like to raise money at the same time? The 13th Annual Wing-a-Thon is a chicken wing eating contest that raises money for the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center!

Registration fee by April 16 (early/late):
UMB students or Kappa Psi Brothers: $10/$12
Others (ex. non-UMB students): $12/$15

Each team of five is asked to raise an additional $75 ($15 per person).

Event Details

April 24
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
SMC Campus Center, Elm Rooms A&B

REGISTER NOW

  
Laetitia N'DriCommunity Service, ContestsApril 6, 20170 comments
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Wear Red Day

Million Hearts Month: Celebrating Five Heart Healthy Years

Every February, students, faculty, and staff across the School of Pharmacy wear their hearts on their sleeves and come together in support of American Heart Month and the Million Hearts Initiative — a five-year national campaign launched in 2011, with the goal of preventing one million heart attacks and strokes in the United States. Throughout the month, the School’s American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) Operation Heart committee hosts a series of heart-related events dedicated to the initiative and promotion of heart health across the School and local Baltimore area. Within the last five years, our committee has:

  • Provided blood pressure screenings to more than 600
  • Educated more than 5,000 patients about how to keep their hearts healthy
  • Reached more than 60,000 people through public and media relations

With the Million Hearts Initiative coming to an end, our committee decided to leverage this year’s events to celebrate our past dedication to the initiative, as well as the beginning of a new era of promoting heart health. We held seven events to celebrate our final Million Hearts Month.

Wear Red Day

To kick off this year’s campaign, approximately 60 student pharmacists, faculty, and staff congregated in the Ellen H. Yankellow Grand Atrium in Pharmacy Hall for an annual “Wear Red Day” photo to show our support for National Wear Red Day. The event also featured a photo booth in which participants could sign the pledge to keep their hearts healthy and pose with their heart-shaped pledges.

Aspirin Day

In collaboration with APhA-ASP’s Operation Diabetes and the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists student chapter, Operation Heart visited Mt. Clare Apartments in West Baltimore to provide educational presentations about safe aspirin use and healthy low-sugar and low-sodium meals.

 Blood Pressure Training Session

A blood pressure training session led by the School’s cardiology pharmacy practice faculty was held to help prepare student pharmacists to provide cardiovascular screening and education for patients in the community. Faculty delivered presentations that featured general hypertension and blood pressure information. Later, students split into groups to participate in a quiz competition that tested their knowledge.

 Roses for Hearts

Operation Heart sold red roses to faculty, staff, and students on Valentine’s Day, raising more than $150 to donate to the American Heart Association and the School’s APhA-ASP chapter.

 Hits4Heart

Our committee held its annual interprofessional dodgeball tournament to raise funds for the American Heart Association. Students from the School of Pharmacy and School of Medicine participated in an eight-team, double-elimination tournament. More than 55 students attended, raising $210 for the American Heart Association.

Heart Gala and Mr. & Ms. Heart Pageant

New this year, Operation Heart hosted its inaugural Heart Gala to celebrate the School’s dedication to the Million Hearts Initiative. More than 60 guests attended in their red attire and enjoyed dinner as well as entertainment, including heart-related trivia and the first Mr. and Ms. Heart Pageant. Participants competed for the crown and were judged by the School’s cardiology pharmacy practice faculty on their “hearty” attire and heart knowledge.

Charm of a Million Hearts Health Fair

To end this year’s month-long campaign, Operation Heart once again hosted its annual interdisciplinary health fair at Lexington Market, where students offered blood pressure screenings, HIV/Hepatitis C screenings, oral cancer screenings, health education, cooking demonstrations, and dental screenings to members of the local community. Committee members were even interviewed by two news stations during the event. We provided more than 250 patients with services and collaborated with more than 30 school-based and community organizations to make the fair a success.

My co-chair, second-year student pharmacist Teny Joseph, and I are immensely proud of the dedication and commitment shown by all of our committee members and project coordinators this year. It is because of them that we were able to have such a great impact in our community. To that end, we would like to give a special thank-you to the following individuals who helped us organize this year’s events:

  • Carly Cheng, First-Year Student Pharmacist
  • Saniya Chaudhry, First-Year Student Pharmacist
  • Elodie Tendoh, First-Year Student Pharmacist
  • Pasang Sherpa, First-Year Student Pharmacist
  • Jennifer Miller, First-Year Student Pharmacist
  • Charlie Summerlin, Second-Year Student Pharmacist
  • Jennifer Joo, First-Year Student Pharmacist
  • Gao Xin, First-Year Student Pharmacist
  • Xinqi Liu, First-Year Student Pharmacist

Although it is a bittersweet to close the door on the Million Hearts Initiative, I am excited for what the future holds for Operation Heart and the American Heart Association’s new initiative: Rise Above Heart Failure.

  
Meryam GharbiABAE, Clinical Care, Community Service, Education, For B'more, Global & Community Engagement, People, UMB News, USGAMarch 23, 20170 comments
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Advocacy Day

Advocating for Interprofessional Education in Annapolis

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.

As a faculty member at the School of Pharmacy and co-director of the Center for Interprofessional Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), I was thrilled to travel to Annapolis with Jay A. Perman, MD, president of UMB, and student representatives from the schools of dentistry, law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and social work to participate in the state’s inaugural Interprofessional Education (IPE) Advocacy Day on Feb. 21. While students from across the University have historically traveled to Annapolis at different times during the legislative session to advocate on behalf of their professions, this special day provided an opportunity for us to bring all of the professions together to advocate for an interdisciplinary team-based approach to health care.

Delivering a Unified Message

The day began with a message from President Perman about the importance of team-based, interprofessional care in improving patient outcomes. He challenged students to become advocates for this new model of care and shed light on its importance, not only to the legislators with whom they would be speaking that day, but also to other health care professionals and practitioners with whom they might interact throughout their studies and careers. The students were buzzing. You could truly feel the energy surrounding IPE permeate the room.

Once students were equipped with important information about IPE, they separated into smaller teams, with three or four students in each group, and spent the day visiting with senators and delegates from across the state to garner their support for pilot projects to help test and demonstrate the effectiveness of the team-based care model. They also discussed how innovative strategies for bundled reimbursement could better facilitate the implementation of team-based care. In addition to myself, third-year student pharmacists Pamela Younes, Bahareh Ghorashi, and Eli Inscoe represented the School of Pharmacy during the event.

Inspiring Change in Health Care

While Pamela, Bahareh, and Eli joined other interprofessional teams to meet with representatives, I was joined by medical student Deepanjali Jain and nursing student Elizabeth Beeson. We met with Delegates Tawanna Gaines, Christopher West, Marice Morales, and Charles Sydnor III, who each supported the inclusion of IPE in health care. I felt proud to hear Deepanjali and Elizabeth share personal experiences from their education that demonstrated the tremendous impact that team-based care can make in patients’ treatment. It was incredibly inspiring.

Students also had an opportunity to attend the daily legislative session, where they were formally introduced to members of the legislature and received a round of applause. It was a momentous day of advocacy, with both the students and legislators gaining knowledge and insight into this new model of health care.

READ MORE ABOUT ADVOCACY DAY

  
Heather Congdon Clinical Care, EducationMarch 7, 20170 comments
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Employee of the Month McLean

Pharmacy’s McLean Honored For Audiovisual Rescue

When William McLean was asked to go to the President’s Conference Room to offer advice on upgrading the audiovisual service there, he thought nothing about it. Problem-solving is all in a day’s work for McLean, who for nearly 10 years has been multimedia manager at the School of Pharmacy.

UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, listened to McLean’s suggestions for several moments on Feb. 9, then changed the subject, letting McLean know he had been chosen as UMB’s Employee of the Month for February.

“I understand there was a big crisis in the pharmacy school,” Perman said, “and the vendor that you’d been using couldn’t handle the problem and you saved the day.”

“Well, I don’t know about that,” McLean humbly responded. “I just did my job.”

“More than your job,” emphasized Perman, who gave McLean a letter, plaque, and assurances that an extra $250 would be in his next paycheck. After Perman left the room, a smiling McLean told three School of Pharmacy colleagues, “Well, that was unexpected.”

Picking up the Pieces

When asked, he explained in detail the “big crisis” Perman had alluded to. In the summer of 2016, the School of Pharmacy was upgrading its $3 million audiovisual (AV) system and had contracted with a company to take out all the old analog technology and replace it with full digital technology before the fall semester.

“The project went out to bid and we don’t have a lot of control over that,” said McLean, who as multimedia manager handles AV systems for the school, which has a satellite campus and does a lot of videoconferencing, recording of lectures, and interactive applications. Awarded the upgrading project in May, the contractor didn’t begin until the end of June and by late July had only completed the demolition, leaving the 45 to 50 lines running throughout Pharmacy Hall that carry AV signals — content, video, audio, control — still not working.

“Classes start mid-August. So it quickly became apparent, due to the fact I’ve been doing this for 20 years, I knew they weren’t going to be able to get this done,” McLean said of the company, which had the contract terminated with the lines still not functioning.

He learned the day before students returned that the integrated system wasn’t working. “It was interesting,” said McLean, not one to get flustered easily.

Beginning the PharmD classes the next day without audiovisual services was not an option. The school’s satellite campus, the Universities at Shady Grove, is fully dependent on distance-learning technology. Had the classes started in Baltimore and not at Shady Grove in Rockville, there would have been an equity issue. So McLean and his three-person team — Jerry Adney, Erich Gercke, and Brian Hall — jumped in with both feet.

Past Experience

Fortunately, they were not strangers to such disasters. A flood in 2011 almost took out the AV control room at the school. A ruptured pipe in 2015 flooded the north end of Pharmacy Hall, taking out AV service to several of the main lecture halls.

“We had disaster carts we had developed for the old [analog] system,” McLean recalled. “Modifying them, I had to come up with a way to do videoconferencing and recording of lectures in the rooms without an integrated system so I built a series of videoconferencing carts and mediasite recording carts that I then tied into the existing systems in the rooms to get us up and running.”

After some long days and sleepless nights, the crisis passed, with the next-in-line bidder coming aboard to help with the task, which is ongoing.

‘School Is Indebted’

“Bill was up to the challenge and fashioned an improvised AV infrastructure to allow the delivery of PharmD courses, keeping the curriculum on track at both the Baltimore and Shady Grove campuses,” said Tim Munn, assistant dean for information technology, and Shannon Tucker, MS, assistant dean for instructional design and technology, in nominating McLean.

“Bill’s creativity and leadership of the School’s AV group ensured that coursework continued on schedule eliminating any need to consider alternate facilities, compressed course schedules, or an extended semester. The school is indebted to his leadership and technical skills during this trying time.”

McLean said he was honored to be Employee of the Month.

“In a position like mine you tend to hear all the bad things and you don’t very often hear the good things, so it’s just very nice,” he said. “Your story isn’t long enough to thank everyone, but I would like to thank my group for all the hard work they do and making me look good. I’d like to thank Tim and Shannon for nominating me and, of course, Dean Eddington and Bill Cooper [senior associate dean for administration and finance] for agreeing to finance the upgrade and to support our advanced programs.”

— Chris Zang

  
Chris Zang Clinical Care, Collaboration, Contests, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeFebruary 15, 20170 comments
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Dispensing Medication

PharmTechX Program Advances Training for Community Pharmacists

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 School of Pharmacy launched its PharmTechX program in 2014 to teach existing pharmacy technicians the skills needed to take their careers to the next level. Courses are taught by experienced pharmacist educators from the School, and is a collaboration between the School, the University of Maryland Medical Center, the Johns Hopkins Home Care Group, MedStar Health, and Walgreens Pharmacy.

Advancing Careers for Pharmacy Technicians

Designed for technicians who have been in practice for at least three years, PharmTechX is an online, ACPE-accredited program that includes three separate certificates to allow technicians to tailor their course of study to fit their individual career goals.

  • Certificate I: Released in June 2014, “Leadership and Patient Care” is the program’s core certificate that introduces technicians to patient management and describes their role in the patient care process. The leadership component encourages the exploration and expansion of human resources and team management skills to help technicians achieve managerial roles in their pharmacies. Students must complete Certificate I before continuing to Certificate II or Certificate III.
  • Certificate II: Titled “Excellence in Health-System Pharmacy,” Certificate II focuses on inpatient pharmacy. It is ideal for technicians who work in hospitals or other specialized pharmacies, and covers topics such as critical issues in pediatric pharmacy, infectious diseases, complex cardiac patients, oncology, and technology and information systems.
  • Certificate III: “Community Pharmacy Practice and Management,”  the newly launched Certificate III, focuses on outpatient pharmacy. It is ideal for technicians who work in community pharmacies, and covers topics such as outpatient management, non-sterile compounding and calculations, medication therapy management, vaccinations, and point-of-care testing.

Bringing Our Expertise to Community Pharmacists

Just released this year, Certificate III: Community Pharmacy Practice and Management provides 15 hours of ACPE-accredited continuing education, and will prepare technicians to take on advanced operational and clinical roles in the outpatient setting. Building on the knowledge and skills from Certificate I, technicians will learn the basics of outpatient pharmacy management and will apply the steps of process improvement and project management to the incorporation of new clinical services, including:

  • Medication therapy management
  • Vaccination screening and administration
  • Point-of-care testing

Technicians will identify their role in these services to ensure the successful implementation and execution of these programs, while continuing to grow as leaders and managers through the customer service and human resource management modules. Non-sterile compounding and associated regulations, as well as the advanced calculations necessary to prepare the prescribed dose will also be addressed.

Once enrolled in the program’s interactive, online learning platform, technicians will gain immediate access to all of the course materials and be able to complete the modules at their own pace. If you or someone you know is currently working as a pharmacy technician in an outpatient setting and ready to advance not only your career, but also the field of community pharmacy, visit the PharmTechX program website for more information and to enroll.

  
Malissa Carroll Education, For B'moreFebruary 2, 20170 comments
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