Archive for January, 2016


Now Recruiting for a Drug Study

Research volunteers needed for “Absolute Bioavailability/Pharmacokinetic and Residual Drug Analysis of Duragesic® Transdermal System and Generic Fentanyl Transdermal System in Healthy Adults.”

UMB IRB #HP-00063835
FDA Grant #5U01FD004275-03

Eligibility Requirements

• Healthy 18 to 45 years old
• Nonsmokers
• Not pregnant

The study will require 25 procedure days (plus a screening visit) with 10 overnight stays and collection of blood samples, over approximately 12-18 weeks.


You will be paid up to $2,525 for completion of all study procedures.


General Clinical Research Center
22 S. Greene St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

Principal Investigator

Samer El-Kamary, MD

For more information contact: Tamara Rigaud (443-890-1020).

Tamara Rigaud Bulletin Board, Research, University LifeJanuary 29, 20160 comments
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Mandatory USGA Funding Informational Sessions

Any student group requesting USGA funding for spring/summer 2016 must send a representative to one of the mandatory USGA funding information sessions.


Friday, Jan. 29 at 3 p.m. in SMC Campus Center Room 223
Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 5 p.m. in SMC Campus Center Room 223
Thursday, Feb. 4 at Noon in SMC Campus Center Room 223


Desiree Dantona Bulletin Board, Education, People, University Life, USGAJanuary 29, 20160 comments
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Texting and Driving

Put Your Phone Away, Don’t Text and Drive

Five seconds. Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55 mph, five seconds is enough time to cover the length of a football field and to put yourself, another driver, passenger, or bystander in danger of becoming the next victim of a car crash.

Surveys show 77 percent of adults are very or somewhat confident that they can safely text while driving, but the U.S. Department of Transportation notes that cell phones are involved in 1.6 million auto crashes each year that cause a half million injuries and take 6,000 lives. Teenage drivers are especially susceptible to fatal crashes because of distracted driving.

Staying off your phone while driving can be very difficult. Once your phone rings or buzzes, you’re likely to instantly reach for your phone and become distracted.

Keep Your Eyes on the Road

  1. Designate a texter

Driving with a friend or family member? Ask them to send a text for you if it’s an emergency.

  1. Download an app

Apps are available that can help you stop texting and driving. Download Live2Txt for Android phones or LifeSaver for iOS phones.

  1. Keep it on silent

Before pulling out of your parking space, after fastening your seatbelt, turn your phone on silent. The less you hear your phone, the less you’ll be tempted to text while driving.

  1. Out of sight, out of mind

Put your cell phone in a place where you can’t reach it. If you don’t have your phone, you can’t text.

Sarah RebackEducation, For B'more, Research, University LifeJanuary 29, 20160 comments
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Migraine Headache

Do You Suffer From Migraine Headaches?

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine are looking for volunteers to participate in a research study examining the effects of two different nondrug techniques for reducing headaches. The techniques focus on learning different stress management strategies and one group will learn meditation.


We’re looking for volunteers! Call to see if you are eligible: 410-550-9056.

Mariya Prokhorenko Bulletin Board, Collaboration, People, ResearchJanuary 29, 20160 comments
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Phillip Gentry School of Dentistry

From The Clinic Floor: 10 Reasons Not to Use Tobacco

Besides causing cancer, and killing you, here are Dr. Gentry’s top 10 reasons not to use tobacco products.

Tobacco Use:

1. Reduces blood flow and nutrients to the gums. Without vitamins and proper nutrients you develop gum disease, jawbone loss, and your teeth fall out.
2. Decreases saliva flow. Without the cleaning action of saliva, tooth decay and cavities develop.
3. Is gross and makes your teeth look stained and ugly.
4. Causes inflammation of the roof of your mouth.
5. Gives you bad breath – yuck!
6. Causes you to develop a disgusting cough from irritating your lungs.
7. Causes you to lose your sense of taste.
8. Dissolves the spot where chewing tobacco is placed – you are 50 times more likely to develop cancer.
9. Decreases healing, causing lower success rate with dental implants and other dental procedures.
10. Is addictive and expensive! Nicotine is highly addictive and there are much better ways to spend your money.

Philip A. Gentry, DDS
Fellow, Academy of General Dentistry
Dean’s Faculty, Advanced Education in General Dentistry
Department of General Dentistry,
University of Maryland School of Dentistry

Philip GentryBulletin Board, Clinical Care, Community Service, Education, For B'more, People, University LifeJanuary 26, 20160 comments
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Ann Mech

Mech Appointed Chair of Maryland CareFirst Board of Directors

Ann B. Mech, JD, RN, assistant professor and legal affairs coordinator, University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON), has been appointed chair of the Maryland CareFirst Board of Directors. Mech, the only nurse on the Board, has been a member of the Board since September 2013.

CareFirst is a nonprofit health care company independently licensed by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The health care company offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to 3.4 million individuals and groups in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia through its affiliates and subsidiaries.

The Board of Directors approves modifications to state benefit plans, provider networks, provider reimbursement levels, product underwriting guidelines, rating plans, marketing goals, and availability or affordability of health care in Maryland. As chair, Mech is tasked with presiding over Board meetings and overseeing the implementation of policies approved by the Board. Mech, who is also an ex-officio member of all the committees of the Board, will work closely with CareFirst’s chief executive officer and senior administrators.

“My background in nursing has taught me how important access to health care services is to overall health, and keeping health insurance affordable is an important goal for CareFirst,” Mech said. “My vision is to expand the participation of both patients and providers in the patient-centered medical home model of care in order to manage and coordinate high-quality, efficient, and cost-effective health care services for CareFirst subscribers.”

Mech is a long-time community volunteer having served on several local health-related boards, including Howard County’s Board of Health and Howard County General Hospital’s Board of Trustees. In addition to the Maryland CareFirst Board of Directors, she is currently a member of the Vantage House Board of Trustees and the Nursing Advisory Board of Howard Community College.

“We are very proud of Ms. Mech for being elected chair of the Maryland CareFirst Board of Directors. She epitomizes the term ‘nurse leader,’ and CareFirst has served as a staunch supporter of nurses,” said UMSON Dean Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN. “I am confident that under her leadership, CareFirst will continue to champion the critical role nurses play in the transformation of health care.”

Kevin Nash Bulletin Board, Collaboration, People, University LifeJanuary 22, 20160 comments
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Global Medical Brigades

Serving the Underserved: Global Medical Brigades Travels to Nicaragua

Since first coming to the School of Pharmacy in 2014, I have searched for ways to become more involved in the field of public health, particularly global public health. During the most recent winter break – a time that many student pharmacists like myself use to decompress from the fall semester and begin preparing for the upcoming semester – I was fortunate to gain exposure as well as valuable, hands-on experience in this field by joining the University’s Global Medical Brigades on an unforgettable trip to Nicaragua.

Providing Health Care Abroad

Global Medical Brigades is an international volunteer program that provides students in universities around the world with opportunities to visit rural areas in developing countries such as Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama to help address the health care needs that exist in those communities. Each fall, the University’s Global Medical Brigades chapter advertises a new volunteer opportunity. Students from across all of the schools at the University can apply to participate in these experiences. Although I missed the deadline to participate in the experience last year, I made sure to submit my application as soon as possible this time and, luckily, was selected to serve as a volunteer! In fact, I was joined by more than 30 other students from the Schools of Pharmacy, Social Work, and Nursing – as well as practicing pharmacists and nurses – on our visit to Las Lomas, a small community located in the mountains of northern Nicaragua.

Serving a Common Goal

Witnessing students from multiple health care professions come together to serve a common goal – to help our fellow man – was indeed a beautiful experience. We established a base for our brigade in a community health clinic operated by local health care workers who were full of smiles and laughter and eager to assist us in any way possible. We brought medications, as well as medical supplies, that we could use to provide care for patients as well as dispense to individuals in need within the community. I assisted in a number of stations that were set up in the clinic, including triage, consultation, pharmacy, and dental care. With the assistance of local doctors, dentists, nurses, and clinic workers, our brigade was able to provide care for 820 patients – all during our short three-day visit!

Learning Valuable Life Lessons

Being part of the Global Medical Brigades team was a rewarding experience that is hard to put in words. It was unbelievable to see just how warm and welcoming everyone from the community was, despite language barriers. Their appreciation was evident through the kindness that they showed us every day, offering us coffee and snacks during our first meeting and the amazing send-off that they organized for us with a DJ and piñata full of lollipops. They truly went above and beyond to make us feel welcomed and to demonstrate their gratitude.

In addition, having the opportunity to work at a variety of stations allowed me to gain a better understanding of the different elements needed to provide patients with comprehensive health care. I recognized just how much I have learned in my first two years at the School of Pharmacy and was able to implement my knowledge and skills to help others. I also met students from different professional backgrounds and was able to watch them excel in their fields and learn from their expertise. Without this shared experience, I might never have met these individuals that I now call my friends, and for that, I will be eternally grateful for this experience.

If you are interested in serving as a volunteer with the Global Medical Brigades or would like more information about my experience, please feel free to contact me at You can also contact the incoming president of the University’s Global Medical Brigades chapter, Ali Kirsch, at

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.

Dana Valentine Clinical Care, Community Service, University LifeJanuary 21, 20160 comments
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New Recommendations Offer Guidance to Curb Prescription Opioid Epidemic

Linda Simoni-Wastila, BSPharm, MSPH, PhD, professor and vice chair of research for the Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, recently participated in an interdisciplinary task force led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to publish recommendations aimed at curtailing the prescription opioid abuse epidemic in the United States. Sponsored by the Clinton Foundation, the report – titled “The Prescription Opioid Epidemic: An Evidence-Based Approach” – offers a number of measures that can be implemented across health care providers and settings to ensure opioids are correctly prescribed and used only as intended.

“Prescription opioids play an important role in improving the quality of life for many patients who live with acute or chronic pain,” says Simoni-Wastila, who joined the task force to provide her expertise on prescription drug policy as related to prescription drug abuse and diversion – a topic on which she has conducted research for more than 15 years. “However, studies have shown that these medications are often prescribed in excessive amounts, and in many cases, for conditions that are outside of the evidence base. The comprehensive guidelines developed by our task force focus not only on preventing new cases of opioid addiction, but also on identifying the early signs of addiction and ensuring that individuals struggling with addiction have access to effective treatments, while also safely meeting the needs of patients who depend on these medications for pain relief.”

An Interdisciplinary Approach

Opioids have been shown to provide significant pain relief for many patients when used as prescribed. Although these medications were initially only prescribed to patients with cancer, they became more widely used for other chronic and acute diseases and conditions in the late 1990s, but their addictive potential was significantly underestimated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now notes that prescription opioid sales have increased 300 percent since 1999, and estimates that more than 16,000 people died as a result of overdoses related to prescription opioids in 2013 – four times the number from 1999.

The report developed by Simoni-Wastila and her colleagues on the interdisciplinary task force, which included representatives from the fields of medicine, pharmacy, injury prevention, and law, as well as patient representatives, insurers, and drug manufacturers, divides its recommendations into seven categories. In addition to calling for more stringent oversight of clinical prescribing, mandatory use of prescription drug monitoring programs, and expanding the availability of naloxone – which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose if administered correctly – the experts advocated for expanding the role of pharmacies and pharmacy benefits managers to help curb the prescription opioid epidemic.

“There are many ways that pharmacies and pharmacy benefits managers can help reduce the incidence of inappropriate prescribing and intervene when patients abuse, sell, or give others their prescription opioids,” says Simoni-Wastila. “In particular, pharmacies can encourage the use of eprescribing, which has been shown to reduce the number of forged or fraudulent prescriptions. Pharmacy benefits managers can also remove prescriber dispensing privileges and allow pharmacists to provide counseling for patients with controlled substance dependence.”

How Pharmacies Can Help

The report issued by the task force also examines how pharmacies and pharmacy benefits managers can support research into new controlled substance interventions, identify individuals who are at risk for opioid abuse or in need of addiction treatment, and improve the management and oversight of patients who use prescription opioids. Other recommendations included encouraging pharmacies and pharmacy benefits managers to support restricted recipient (lock-in) programs, participate in prescription drug take-back programs, and improve overall monitoring of pharmacies, prescribers, and beneficiaries.

“Prescription opioids have a high potential for abuse, sometimes leading to serious and even life-threatening adverse events when not taken as prescribed,” says Simoni-Wastila. “The goal of the task force was to review existing information about prescription opioid misuse, abuse, addiction, and overdose and identify strategies that could help reverse current trends in injuries, addiction, and deaths from these drugs. While the recommendations published in our report are a great step forward in our work to ultimately put an end to this devastating public health crisis, we recognize that there is still much work to be done.”

Malissa Carroll Collaboration, Research, UMB NewsJanuary 20, 20160 comments
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Inclement Weather

In Case of Inclement Weather

Check the University’s home page or the UMB Alerts page.

Get Text Alerts

Even easier? Sign up for UMB Alerts!

By Phone

Call the Campus Emergency Information phone line at 410-706-8622.

University’s General Policy on Inclement Weather

It is the general policy of the University of Maryland that the campus is always open for business, and employees are always expected to report to work.

In the event of inclement weather, a decision regarding the status of the University will be made by the president or his designee. No other University official has the authority to determine the status of the campus.

Once a decision has been made, the Office of Communications and Public Affairs will contact both the media and internal communications personnel to ensure that changes are communicated quickly and efficiently.

The ElmBulletin Board, People, UMB News, University LifeJanuary 20, 20161 comment
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Regulatory Science

4th Annual America’s Got Regulatory Science Talent Competition

M-CERSI “America’s Got Regulatory Science Talent” Competition

The fourth annual America’s Got Regulatory Science Talent Competition will be held on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 from 10:30 a.m. to Noon in Pharmacy Hall.

What’s it About?

The competition aims to promote student interest in regulatory science – the science of developing new tools, standards, and approaches to assess the safety, efficacy, quality, and performance of FDA-regulated products. The competition involves teams presenting proposed solutions to a current opportunity in regulatory science.

Join the fun! There are prizes for the top team and lunch for all!

How to Participate

Email a completed information sheet to by Jan. 27. Last year, the top teams had the opportunity to present to the FDA Commissioner.

Get More Info

More information and our very brief application form are available at

Sponsored by the University of Maryland Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (M-CERSI).

Dana Joyce Collaboration, Contests, Education, Research, Technology, UMB NewsJanuary 19, 20160 comments
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Three Tricks to Sneak in Healthier Foods

It’s January, which means it’s time to take the “holiday season” mindset and sweep it under the rug, and refocus on your health and possibly your waistline.

Holiday Weight

For most Americans, we tend to pack on a few pounds over the holidays months and it can be quite a challenge to get back on track. By making a few simple tweaks to your diet you can make big strides in reaching your health goals.

Sneak Healthy Foods Into Your Diet

Try out some of my quick and dirty tricks to sneak in healthier foods to your diet.

  • Consume at least five servings of nonstarchy vegetables every day
  • Eat one serving of protein (20-30 grams) with each meal
  • Drink low calorie beverages throughout the day

Read the details on how to act on these tricks in the full article on the Center for Integrative Medicine blog, Transforming Wellness.

Erin PeisachClinical Care, Education, University LifeJanuary 19, 20160 comments
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HS/HSL Technology Brown Bag: DMPTool

The Data Management Plan Tool was developed in response to a growing need for managing the lifecyle of research data found in funding requirements and global expectations for open science.

Technology Brown Bag Discussion

Join our technology brown bag discussion for a detailed look at what the DMPTool is, why it’s an important resource, and how to use it to manage grant-funded data.

Friday, Jan. 29  |  Noon to 12:45 p.m.  |  HS/HSL

Ryan HarrisBulletin Board, Collaboration, Education, ResearchJanuary 15, 20160 comments
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