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Student pharmacists

Student Pharmacists Save the Day

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 part of the School of Pharmacy’s Experiential Learning Program (ELP), student pharmacists are required to work with pharmacy preceptors at clinical locations. These rotations vary in length and complexity depending on the time at which they occur in the four-year curriculum and provide student pharmacists an opportunity to observe the profession in action and assist in daily pharmacy activities.

Occasionally, though, these educational opportunities become much more significant for the students and their patients at these learning sites. This was the case for a group of students during one introductory pharmacy practice experience (IPPE) rotation this summer.

Lending a Second Set of Eyes

As the clinical supervisor at the MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, D.C., and a clinical pharmacist for ELP, I had an opportunity to create a student rotation in collaboration with the hospital that allows students to work directly with patients. It was during this rotation that third-year pharmacy students Deidre Peters, Vicky Zhu, and Rebekah Tesfaye had an opportunity to make a high-level clinical intervention that had a significant health impact on a patient being discharged from the hospital.

During the course of this rotation, these students discovered an “absolute drug-drug contraindication” — medications that, if used together, could cause serious harm — during their discharge medication reconciliation. The absolute contraindication occurred between the patient’s HIV medication and anticoagulant (blood thinner) therapy, which was initiated right before the patient’s admission to the hospital. This interaction, which was missed on admission and not caught during the patient’s stay, would have put the patient at a significantly higher risk for bleeding and possible readmission. In addition, this patient had a history of falls, with a major fall the previous day.

Protecting Patients from Harm

The students determined that this interaction would make the patient much more likely to experience a dangerous bleeding event if he were to fall again after he left the hospital. Unfortunately, by the time the students uncovered the interaction, the patient was ready to leave the hospital. The students and I decided that it simply was not safe for this patient to leave on his current medication regimen. As a team, we asked a provider at the hospital to review the patient’s medications and discuss them with us, since the patient’s regular physician was unavailable.

Together, the pharmacy students and I worked with this physician to change the patient’s anticoagulant to another medication that was appropriate for the patient’s condition but no longer carried an absolute contraindication.

Showcasing the Pharmacist’s Skills

As a result of the students’ hard work and diligence, not only was the patient able to leave the hospital on a much safer medication therapy, but the hospital’s perception of pharmacists also was strengthened. The MedStar corporate office even recognized these students for their commitment to the hospital’s patients and their profession with a corporate medication safety award known as the “Monday Good Catch.” This systemwide recognition further drew attention not only to these students and the quality of the pharmacy program at the School of Pharmacy, but also to the value of pharmacists on interdisciplinary teams.

As their preceptor, I was highly impressed by the professional commitment that Deidre, Vicky, and Rebekah displayed for their patient and his safety. These students and their actions on my rotation demonstrate the best of what we are committed to at the School of Pharmacy, as we strive to collaborate with health care teams to provide the best care for all of our patients.

— Joanna Lyon, PharmD, BCGP, clinical pharmacist and preceptor

 

Joanna LyonClinical Care, Contests, PeopleAugust 15, 20180 comments
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July-August President’s Message

Check out the July-August issue of The President’s Message. It includes Dr. Perman’s column on immigrants’ rights and how Maryland Carey Law is helping secure them; a Q&A with new Police Chief Alice Cary; a preview of Campus Life Services’ Welcome Month; a recap of Project SEARCH’s graduation, and a new alignment for UMB’s overall commencement; stories on UMBrella scholarships and Teaching with Technology Day; a look ahead to Dr. Perman’s Sept. 18 Q&A; and a roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements.

Click here to read the full message.

Chris ZangABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAAugust 7, 20180 comments
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Save the Date: TEDx is coming to UMB on November 9

The Next Big Ideas: TEDx Is Coming to UMB

The TEDx Program, which was formed in 2009 to help communities, organizations, and individuals spark conversation and connection, is coming to the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB).

On Friday, Nov. 9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the SMC Campus Center, speakers will make TEDx presentations related to the theme of “Improving the Human Condition,” a primary piece of UMB’s mission statement.

TEDx Talks should express great, well-formed ideas. These can be a new and surprising idea or a great basic idea presented with a compelling new argument behind it that challenges beliefs and perspectives. In other words, TEDx is for ideas that are more than stories or lists of facts. It’s for ideas that take evidence and observations and use them to draw larger conclusions.

TEDx rules allow only 100 attendees at the event, so a lottery system is being used to acquire tickets. Details will be available later on UMB’s Tedx website, where you also will find links to learn more about the TEDx Program.

If you’re interested in being a speaker — and you are urged to make us laugh or make us cry! — apply before July 16 at tedxumbaltimore.com/apply/.  Finalists will be contacted for an exploratory interview, and speaker selections will be made by Aug. 15. TEDx Talks are 18 minutes maximum.

UMB is proud to be joining the 15,000 TEDx events that have been held in every corner of the world and solicited 1 billion views online.

Communication and Public AffairsBulletin Board, Contests, Education, People, UMB News, University Administration, University Life, USGAJune 27, 20180 comments
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The President's Message-June

The President’s Message

Check out the June issue of The President’s Message.

It includes:

  • Dr. Perman’s column on last month’s State of the University Address
  • A recap of commencement, UMB’s Neighborhood Spring Festival, Glendening and Ehrlich’s political discussion, and the CURE Scholars’ end-of-year celebration
  • A look ahead to Dr. Perman’s June 19 Q&A
  • Stories on philanthropic gifts to the schools of medicine and nursing
  • Two more employees benefit from the Live Near Your Work Program
  • UMB police start active shooter response training
  • A roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements
Chris ZangABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAJune 11, 20180 comments
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2018 Healthiest Maryland Business Award-Silver

UMB Awarded Wellness at Work Award

At the Ninth Annual Maryland Health and Wellness Symposium on June 1, more than 50 Maryland employers were recognized as Healthiest Maryland Businesses Wellness at Work Awardees for their exemplary accomplishments in work site health promotion.

UMB placed silver based on its wellness program planning, assessment, implementation, and evaluation. The award demonstrated an advancement from previous years — winning bronze for two consecutive years.

The theme of the conference was “Mental Health in the Workplace.” Preventing mental illness and promoting good mental health involves actions to create environments that support mental health and to help people adopt healthy lifestyles and place measures to abolish stigma in the workplace.

UMB and is partners will continue to provide employees with wellness events and activities that pertain to their needs and promote trending topics by increasing awareness and communicating programs to the University.

Jina BacchusCollaboration, Contests, Education, UMB News, University LifeJune 8, 20180 comments
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Check Out the Latest ‘Connective Issues’ Newsletter

The May 2018 issue of the Connective Issues newsletter from the Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL) is now available.

Included in this issue:

  • The GDPR – Why Should We Care?
  • Virtual Reality Headset Available at HS/HSL Innovation Space
  • Fruit Ninja VR Study Break Contest – Game On
  • Discover and Share Data with the New UMB Data Catalog
  • Advice for Grads
  • Movable Monitors Roam the HS/HSL
  • HS/HSL Historical Collection Open House Event
Everly BrownContests, Education, Research, TechnologyMay 10, 20180 comments
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Fruit Ninja VR Study Break Contest – Game On

Take a break from reality and slice up some virtual fruit salad!

The Health Sciences and Human Services Library’s (HS/HSL) Innovation Space is hosting a Fruit Ninja VR study break from May 7-16.

The top score gets a $50 Amazon gift card; second and third place earn $25 gift cards. To enter, take a screenshot of your high score and post it on social media (Twitter/Facebook) with #HSHSLSTUDYBREAK.

Drop by to get your game on between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day.

Brian ZelipContests, People, TechnologyMay 7, 20180 comments
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Apply for Endowed Scholarships by June 1

Endowed scholarships are competitive awards requiring a record of demonstrated academic achievement and commitment to the community.

Currently enrolled, degree-seeking graduate and professional students at the University of Maryland, Baltimore may be eligible to apply for one or more endowed scholarships. Applications will be accepted until June 1, 2018.

Visit this link to apply and learn more.

 

Meghan Bruce-BojoContests, Education, University LifeMay 2, 20180 comments
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The President’s Message

Check out the April issue of The President’s Message.

It includes:

  • Dr. Perman’s column on Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen and the global/local movement she’s helped shape
  • Recaps of the employee recognition luncheon and human trafficking lecture
  • A story on how the Housekeeping Department has benefited from UMB’s Project SEARCH, which trains and hires individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • CURE Corner spotlights
  • A story on the first employee to benefit from our improved Live Near Your Work Program
  • A roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements
Chris ZangABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAApril 4, 20180 comments
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Employee of the Month: Saxon’s Service with Smile Saluted

If Angelo Saxon, senior accountant for the UMB Foundation, were defined by a symbol, it would be a smiley-face emoji. During his 10 years in UMB’s Office of Philanthropy, Saxon has come to be known for two things: quality accounting work and his upbeat attitude.

UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, said as much on March 22 when he surprised Saxon by naming him Employee of the Month.

“Colleagues say you are a consummate professional,” Perman said before giving Saxon a plaque and telling him there would be $250 in his next paycheck. “You represent the foundation in a cheerful way with a can-do attitude. Your answers to requests are speedy. You’re not just a colleague; you’re a teammate.”

Minutes earlier, Saxon was more than a little confused. He had come from the Lexington Building to the Saratoga Building with a group of co-workers, including Thomas J. Sullivan, CFRE, MS, chief philanthropy officer and vice president, ostensibly for a tour of their new offices. But rather than going to the 13th floor, where the foundation staff will be relocated later this year, they went to 14. And when Perman showed up to lead the “tour,” Saxon knew something was up.

“I really avoided you all day long, Angelo,” Pamela Heckler, COO and treasurer of the foundation, told Saxon after the ceremony. “Because I had this big smile on my face and I didn’t want you to know.”

“Of course, the downside is he’s never going to be able to trust you again,” Sullivan said, teasing Heckler.

Such give-and-take among colleagues is one of many things Saxon enjoys about working in the Office of Philanthropy. “We all gel very well over there,” he said.

Then there is the work itself. “I’ve always been a numbers guy, so the accounting fell right into place,” said Saxon, who has mastered their system, Financial Edge NXT (Next Generation).

The UMB Foundation is an independent entity that manages and invests private gifts and/or property for the benefit of UMB, facilitates fundraising programs and contributions from private sources, and engages in other activities to further the educational, research, and service missions of UMB. Its current holdings are nearly $300 million.

Saxon knows all the ins and outs of handling foundation money. “I know the foundation as a whole — from the opening of an account, what it takes to disperse funds from the account, how to reconcile the account. How the financial system works start to finish.”

Because of this knowledge, not to mention his sunny outlook and willingness to make Financial Edge NXT house calls, Saxon is in demand among schools and departments.

“Angelo always provides assistance with a great attitude,” said Jennifer Fisher, executive director of development operations at the School of Medicine. “Every request comes with a proactive ‘please and thank you’ and his answers to requests are speedy. It’s always a pleasure to work with Angelo.”

Fisher’s colleague, assistant director Trish Bates, agrees. “Angelo is always extremely helpful,” Bates said. “His work is fast and accurate. He goes above and beyond when asked to perform a task and he always maintains a positive attitude even in difficult situations.”

Saxon insists such a positive mindset comes naturally.

“That’s just me, that’s my total personality inside and outside of work,” he said. His four brothers and one sister also are upbeat. “Every last one of us,” he said with a wide smile. “Mom and Dad absolutely raised six children with the same spirit that I carry.”

The Office of Philanthropy considers itself fortunate Saxon is that way.

“Angelo represents the foundation and our department with a cheerful, can-do attitude!” Heckler said in her nomination. “We rely on his institutional knowledge as one of the core ‘point people’ in our department. Throughout many transitions and staff changes he is a constant — a dependable member of our team. And his uplifting positive demeanor is most appreciated!”

Added Kusumam Pavanal, associate director of foundation operations, “Angelo has done a phenomenal job adapting to various departmental changes and accomplished many responsibilities. He is very helpful, dependable, and conscientious. We are so fortunate to have him in our department as an excellent team player.”

Saxon is just glad to be part of the UMB team.

“I have been here long enough to adjust to different management styles and have learned from each,” he said. “I do enjoy the motivation of our current management to build upon a culture of philanthropy. I believe in Dr. Perman’s mission to encourage and be a part of the outcome of the community in which we work for the betterment of all.”

And as for those colleagues who got him to the Saratoga Building on March 22 under false pretenses? “Oh, they’ll pay,” Saxon said with his familiar smile. “They will have to eat every last doughnut I bring in here!”

— Chris Zang

Chris ZangBulletin Board, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeMarch 29, 20181 comment
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The President’s Message

Check out the March issue of The President’s Message. It includes Dr. Perman’s column on the significance of Women’s History Month, a 2017 global education recap, a look back at our Black History Month presentation, a look ahead to Dr. Perman’s Q&A on March 7, and a roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements.

Chris ZangABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAMarch 1, 20180 comments
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Wear Red Day

2018 Heart Gala Planned for Feb. 23

Don’t miss the Heart Gala planned by the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) Operation Heart committee.

The event is being held Feb. 23, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the SMC Campus Center to raise awareness of women’s cardiac health to improve health outcomes in women and the entire community. Students can come and show off their red outfits and compete in a fun, heart-healthy trivia/pageant style show where a winner is selected by a group of judges. The event also will include a speaker from the American Heart Association, heart-health trivia, and raffles to win prizes. At the end, “Mr. and Mrs. Heart” will be selected.

RSVP or sign up to compete in the Heart Gala here.

All funds raised from the event will be donated to the American Heart Association.

Michael ObinemeContests, University Life, USGAFebruary 13, 20180 comments
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Million Hearts Month Cholesterol Management Relay Day

Support the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists’ Operation Heart and Operation Diabetes in a competitive way to celebrate the American Heart Association’s Million Hearts Month.

Team up with your classmates and race to win the top spot in this challenging relay. Freshen up on your cholesterol and heart healthy facts, then lace up for an athletic activity. Teams are encouraged to dress alike so they look unified. You could win bragging rights for your class as well as prizes!

The event will be held Feb. 19, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the SMC Campus Center, Elm Room 208A.

Tickets are $3 and include raffles, refreshments, and prizes. For details and to register for Million Hearts Month Cholesterol Management Relay Day, click here.

Caroline TitusContests, Education, UMB News, University LifeFebruary 8, 20180 comments
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The President’s Message

Check out the February issue of The President’s Message. It includes Dr. Perman’s column on the Live Near Your Work Program, a look ahead to his quarterly Q&A on March 7, CURE Corner, a story on Jody Olsen’s nomination as Peace Corps director, and a safety tip on winter driving.

Chris ZangBulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAFebruary 2, 20180 comments
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School of Medicine’s Hassel Wins MLK Faculty Award

Bret Hassel, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the School of Medicine, has been a team player, helping with multiple Universitywide initiatives, since coming to UMB in 1995.

So it shouldn’t be surprising that when Kevin Cullen, MD, director of the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, asked Hassel to be UMGCCC’s liaison for the UMB CURE Scholars Program that he jumped in with both feet.

“What started as a peripheral role on the UMB CURE team rapidly evolved to a more substantial commitment as I was ‘infected’ by the contagious enthusiasm for this program that has now spread as an ‘epidemic’ for the good across UMB schools and the entire city of Baltimore,” Hassel said of the UMB pipeline program that is preparing West Baltimore children for health and research careers through hands-on workshops, lab experiences, and mentorship.

“Indeed, the UMB CURE team is a microcosm of diversity that is at the heart of its goal, with each member bringing a unique skill set that fuels the program,” Hassel said.

For his contributions to CURE and many other programs at UMB and beyond that help under-represented minority students find success, Hassel will receive the Outstanding UMB Faculty Award as part of the University’s Black History Month celebration on Feb. 1.

Hassel, a member of the UMB CURE Scholars team since its inception, serving as a mentor and co-chair of the Sustainability Subcommittee that is charged with writing grant applications to fund the program, said he shares the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Recognition Award with many colleagues.

“It is a humbling honor especially in the context of the many UMB faculty and staff who are also deeply passionate about the importance of diversity and inclusion,” he said. “In that vein, the committed people that I work with are equally responsible for the success of the different outreach and education programs and should be considered as co-recipients of this award.”

In addition to the CURE Scholars, Hassel plays leadership roles in multiple National Institutes of Health-funded programs that promote minority inclusion and diversity at UMB. He has directed the School of Medicine’s Nathan Schnaper Intern Program in Translational Cancer Research for 16 years and is a member of the core team for the STAR-PREP minority postbaccalaureate program.

Most recently, Hassel received a Bridges to the Doctorate grant in partnership with Towson University to foster the progression of minority master’s degree students to PhD programs. He also contributes to minority-focused training programs at Morgan State, Coppin State, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

“Bret does not treat scholar diversity as a dream, he is a team player who helps find the funds and helps build the structures to make this a reality,” said Gregory Carey, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at SOM, who nominated Hassel for the MLK award.

“Bret is focused on diversity achievement at the individual level as well,” added Carey, director of student summer research and community outreach at the school and a former MLK award winner himself. “A faculty member recently asked Dr. Hassel and I to help with a Howard Hughes research fellowship application for one of our PhD-track, African-American scholars. This talented and wonderful young lady happens to also have a certified neurocognitive disability. Bret and I responded enthusiastically! Proudly, we learned from her mentor last week that the student has been advanced to the finalist round for a Howard Hughes Medical Institute student award! What greater reward for service than to read through the letter sent by this proud young lady and celebrate her win with her? This is Dr. King’s dream and what Bret lives for.”

Hassel, who loves mentoring, teaching, and interacting with students, said he gets back more than he gives.

“Working in an environment that promotes a culture of diversity, like UMB, has allowed me to experience the benefits of a diverse workplace and understand the importance of efforts to expand this at UMB and beyond,” he said when asked why helping minorities is so important to him. “The impact of programs that advance minority representation, and benefit all parties involved, provides plenty of motivation to continue this work.”

For more on UMB’s Black History Month celebration, click here.

— Chris Zang

Chris Zang Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Community Service, Contests, Education, People, Research, UMB News, University LifeJanuary 30, 20180 comments
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