Celebrating Women in Pharmacy: Mary Olds Miner

Special Note: During the Month of March, we will be highlighting women in pharmacy who have contributed significantly to the profession.

MOM  Since the establishment of North America, women have fought for their civil rights as well as their rights in the workplace. With all the accomplishments of women in the past, the present is a great time to be a female pharmacist. Fortune named pharmacy the top profession “ruled by women” in 2013. According to the 2014 National Pharmacist Workforce Survey prepared by the Midwest Pharmacy Workforce Research Consortium, 83.9% of female pharmacists work in a pharmacy-related field versus only 65.2% of their male counterparts. As a female in the profession of pharmacy today, it may be easy to forget how male driven the field once was.

The Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, founded in 1821, was the first North American pharmacy school. However, the first woman did not graduate from the college until 1883. Mrs. Mary Olds Miner graduated from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy in 1890 with a pharmaceutical chemist (PhC) degree. After graduation, Mary Miner moved to Hiawatha, Kansas where she and her husband eventually owned a pharmacy. Although owning a pharmacy is a significant task and great accomplishment for a pharmacist, Miner pushed herself to achieve more. She became very involved in pharmaceutical associations. From 1892 to 1896, Mary was the Kansas Pharmaceutical Association Secretary. Mary Miner was even elected the third vice president of the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA) in 1895. This election named Miner the first female to ever hold an officer position of APhA. After the election, Mary Miner stated:

 I am mindful of the honor you have conferred upon me. I receive it not so much for myself as a tribute you pay to women in pharmacy. For the great American Pharmaceutical to admit to its roll of officers, no matter how low a grade of office it may be, a woman, is surely a tribute to women in Pharmacy. For this I thank you.

Mrs. Mary Miner was a true attribute to women’s progression in the profession of pharmacy. The first female president of APhA, Mary Munson Runge, was not elected until almost a century later in 1979. Miner helped pave the path for female pharmacists of today and those who aspire to enter the profession in the future.

Although women have been increasingly successful in the profession, a gender or race-dominated field should deter no one. The world is changing and becoming more diverse everyday. Pharmacy requires individuals from all walks of life to better assist the community.


Achievements of women in pharmacy lauded at foundation dedication. (2012, November 1). Retrieved September 17, 2015, from http://www.pharmacist.com/node/85850

DuBois, S. (2013, March 11). 5 professions ruled by women. Fortune. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2013/03/11/5-professions-ruled-by-women/

Henderson, M. L., Worthen, D. B. (2002, March 8). American women pharmacists. Binghamton, NY: Pharmaceutical Products Press.

Women in pharmacy. (n.d.) Retrieved September 5, 2015, from http://www.aphafoundation.org/sites/default/files/ckeditor/files/WIP%20mural%20descriptions.pdf

Gaither, C. A., Schommer, J. C., Doucette, W. R., Kreling, D. H., Mott, D. A. (2015, April 8) 2014 national pharmacist workforce survey. Retrieved September 15, 2015, from http://www.aacp.org/resources/research/pharmacyworkforcecenter/ Documents/ExecutiveSummaryFromTheNationalPharmacistWorkforceStudy2014.pdf

Contributed by: Domonique Dobson, P2, Class of 2018

Celebrating Women in Pharmacy: Elizabeth Marshall (1768-1826)

EMSpecial Note: During the Month of March, Women’s History Month, we will be highlighting women in pharmacy (past and present) who have contributed significantly to the profession.

One of the first female pharmacists in the United States, Elizabeth Marshall, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1768. Many people credit her with being the very first female pharmacist in the United States. In reality, that title actually belongs to Elizabeth Gooking Greenleaf. However, while she may not have been the first American female pharmacist, Elizabeth Marshall was most certainly the second and was no doubt a hugely important figure for both women in the Pharmacy profession and for Pharmacy history in general.

Elizabeth Marshall’s father, Charles Marshall, as well as his father Christopher Marshall before him were both well-known pharmacists in Philadelphia at the time. Christopher Marshall’s apothecary shop was said to be the most complete outside of New York City. This distinction led to him being commissioned to look after the needs of the sick and wounded in the hospitals of Philadelphia. Charles Marshall not only took over the business from his father after his retirement but also went on to become the first president of the Philadelphia College of Apothecaries after it was founded in 1821, despite his old age. He was 77 at the time.

With such important family ties to pharmacy and medicine, it should then come as no surprise that Elizabeth too would follow into the family business. Elizabeth Marshall first started her career as a pharmacist as an apprentice in her family’s drugstore, a position in which she worked until 1805 when she finally took ownership over the store that her grandfather had founded over seventy years earlier. Under Elizabeth’s new management, the store’s business increased greatly and she was able to bring the shop out of its recent bankruptcy and restore it back into a sound financial success. It is very likely that she was the first woman in Philadelphia to have a successful commercial career, especially one of such an extensive scale.

EMAElizabeth would continue to run the store for two decades where several of Philadelphia’s most famous pharmacists would begin their careers working as apprentices under her guidance and leadership. In 1825 she finally sold ownership of the business to two of the stores apprentices, Charles Ellis and Isaac P. Morris.

The Marshall family name, along with their drugstore, are very significant pieces of pharmacy history. Elizabeth’s grandfather, Christopher Marshall, is the subject of one of the paintings in the Great Moments in Pharmacy series by historical illustrator Robert Thom. In it, Christopher can be seen showing his to sons, Elizabeth’s father and uncle, the art of manufacturing pills. And in 2012 Elizabeth Marshall, along with 16 other women pharmacist pioneers, was pictured on the wall of the Women in Pharmacy Exhibit and Conference Room at the APhA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Today, women make up over half of all of the pharmacists in the United States. This would not have been possible if it weren’t for women like Elizabeth Marshall who will always be remembered for her contributions to the profession and advancement of women in pharmacy.


Achievements of women in pharmacy lauded at foundation dedication. (2012, November 1). Retrieved September 19, 2015, from: http://www.pharmacist.com/node/85850

Beringer, G.M. (Ed). (1921, Janurary). A record of the progress of pharmacy and the allied sciences. American Journal of Pharmacy, 93, 87-89. Retrieved from: https://books.google.com/books?id=QT0fAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA89&lpg=PA89&dq=elizabeth+marshall+pharmacist&source=bl&ots=GxRb677C_m&sig=FZ4lSNt5uh4uxwF2cBtYjiPdlmk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CFwQ6AEwDGoVChMImIWUh9eDyAIVjEGSCh2X0gcH#v=onepage&q&f=false

Thom, R. (n.d.) The marshall apothecary. [Picture]. Retrieved September 20, 2015, from: http://www.lewis-clark.org/article/2565

Women in pharmacy. (n.d.). Retrieved September 19, 2015, from: http://www.aphafoundation.org/sites/default/files/ckeditor/files/WIP%20mural%20descriptions.pdf

Contributed by: Ryan Nolan, P2, Class of 2018

UC Pharmacy Student Advocates for Childhood Immunizations Worldwide

Around the world, a child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable disease.

shot at life As the SNPhA Operation Immunization Chair, I was introduced to the Shot@Life campaign founded by the United Nations Foundation. It aimed at increasing the awareness for the use of polio, pneumonia, rotavirus, and measles vaccines in children less than 5 years in developing countries. After conducting a fundraiser here at UCSOP in November 2015, I was able to join the 2016 Shot@Life Summit in Washington, D.C. from February 29th to March 2nd. This was a great honor for me to be part of such a great cause.

Christelle Nagatchou, Class of 2018 with Senator Joe Machin and SNPhA in Washington, D.C.

In D.C., I learned even more about the need for vaccines worldwide and became an advocate for the campaign. I had the privilege to support it through enforcing my role as a future pharmacist and health care provider at the Capitol by meeting with West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito’s staff and Senator Joe Manchin and his staff. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything as it taught me so much about advocating in what we believe in. I strongly encourage all future pharmacists to be involved in promoting the advancement of our profession!

You can learn more about Shot@Life at: http://www.shotatlife.org/

Contributed by: Christelle Ngatchou, Class of 2018

Celebrating Women in Pharmacy: Ella P. Stewart (1893-1987)

ESSpecial Note: During the Month of March, we will be highlighting women in pharmacy who have contributed significantly to the profession.

Ella P. Stewart was born on March 6, 1893 in Stringtown, West Virginia. As a child, she was very ambitious, showing great interest in education and furthering her knowledge. Stewart always felt she had many obstacles to overcome being from a segregated community. She went to Storer College in West Virginia, the only school in the region that accepted African American students.

During this time, she married and began her family. Unfortunately, her only child died at a young age due to whooping cough. Trying to focus on better things, she began to work as a bookkeeper in a local pharmacy. It was here where her interest for pharmacy began. She applied to the University of Pittsburgh but was denied acceptance due to segregation and discrimination. Even though she was turned down multiple times, she kept persistent and was finally accepted at University of Pittsburgh but was forced to be separate from the other students. She graduated from University of Pittsburgh with the highest marks passing her state licensure exam in 1916. She became the first African American female to be a licensed pharmacist in Pennsylvania and one of the earliest African American female pharmacists in the country.

Stewart moved to Braddock, PA where she managed a drug store, which she later purchased. The stress of the store forced her to divorce her husband and years later step down from owning the drug store entirely. She turned the business over to a fellow graduate, William Stewart, who she married in 1920. Together they moved to Ohio, where she was the first African American employee in an all white hospital. She overcame discrimination and helped desegregate the hospital.

Years later she moved to Toledo, Ohio where she was active in the community and was elected president of the Ohio Association of Colored Women in 1944 and later became president of the same organization on a national level. Stewart was on the forefront of promoting civil rights in her community and frequently went to Washington D.C. to do the same. With the money earned from her pharmacy, she endorsed scholarships to assist young black women in attending school.

With all her knowledge and leadership qualities, she was appointed to be a delegate to the International Conference of Women of the World. There she helped to strengthen peace efforts by promoting understanding and friendship among women all over the world. In 1963, Stewart was appointed commissioner of the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Stewart never stopped fighting to overcome racism even when she faced adversity. She passed away in 1987 but we still remember her motto “fight for human dignity and world peace.”  She has paved the way for both African Americans and females across the country.


Ella P. Stewart Collection. Center for Archival Collections. BGSU Libraries. https://lib.bgsu.edu/finding_aids/items/show/795

Contributed by: Samatha Farrah, P2, Class of 2018

Celebrating Women in Pharmacy: Leticia Van de Putte

LVDPSpecial Note: During the Month of March,  we will be highlighting women in pharmacy (past and present) who have contributed significantly to the profession.

When most people think about what a pharmacist does, they think most often this of counting pills, talking with patients, or answering doctors calls. However, Leticia Van de Putte is not your typical pharmacist. She has stepped outside of the four walls of the pharmacy and is now serving her patients in a greater arena.

Leticia Van de Putte attended pharmacy school at the University of Texas at Austin. Upon graduation, she wanted to give back and serve her local hometown. Van de Putte opened an independent pharmacy, Loma Park Pharmacy, in San Antonio, Texas and worked there for 12 years. Later on, she held various other pharmacy positions, including hospital pharmacy, institutional pharmacy, nursing-home consulting pharmacy, and community pharmacy. She was also the owner of Dixie Flag Manufacturing Company in Texas, which has grown from a small business to a leader of the industry. Currently, she practices at Davila Pharmacy in San Antonio, Texas.

Leticia Van de Putte has earned hundreds of awards, honors, and has been recognized at the local, state, and national level over the years. Van de Putte won the Texas Pharmacy Association “Pharmacist of the Year Award, Region D” in 1995 and the Texas Pharmacy Association “Distinguished Service Award” in 1996. The American Druggist Magazine named her one of the 50 Most Influential Pharmacists in 1999. She was recognized by the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA) with the “Hubert H. Humphrey Award” in 2000, a prestigious award that recognizes APhA members who have made major contributions in government and legislative service at the local, state, or national level.

In 1990, Van de Putte was elected as a Texas state Senator. She had a passion for helping children and health care and economic issues. She saw this as an opportunity to serve her patients on another level and became an advocate for these issues. In 1995, she was able to sponsor and help pass Senate Bill 601. SB 601 established the Texas Patient’s Bill of Rights, bringing the patient into the health care team and allowed them to take part of treatment decisions. This later went on to become the national model that we use today. In 1999, she sponsored Senate Bill 1224, which passed and brought about the Texas Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). CHIP offered low-cost health care insurance for children and families who do not qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford health insurance. This insured over one-half million children.

Leticia Van de Putte’s contributions have greatly influenced the lives of many people. Children who may have gone without proper evaluation by a physician can now be assessed and treated for any medical issues. As a result of SB 601, patients now play an active role in their health. They are able to work with their physician to work towards a healthier life.


Leticiavandeputte.com. (n.d.). Retrieved September 14, 2015, from http://www.leticia-vandeputte.com/

Small Business Owner – Leticia Van de Putte. (n.d.). Retrieved September 14, 2015, from http://www.leticiaformayor.com/meet-leticia/small-business-owner#content

Pharmacists in politics. (2012, August 31). Retrieved September 14, 2015, from http://www.pharmacist.com/pharmacists-politics

Contributed by: Carissa Dotson, P2, Class of 2018

Diabetes Eye Care & Medication Adherence

Contributed by:  Ashley Rife and Anojinie Karunathilake, Class of 2017 Fellows

SOP script your future_FB newsfeedThrough March 18, 2016, the University of Charleston is participating in the National Script Your Future Challenge focused on promoting medication adherence.

Through outreach activities our goal, is to help educate the public and our patients about the importance of taking medications as prescribed. As part of our efforts to spread the word about medication adherence, our students are writing articles and blog posts related to three specific disease states–cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and respiratory disease. 


There are several vision related complications that can arise in patients with diabetes. These include diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma1.

  • Diabetic retinopathy: the most common form of diabetic eye disease where there is damage to blood vessels in the retina
  • Cataract: clouding of the lens
  • Glaucoma: damage done to the optic nerve that is often resulted from high blood pressure2

Risk Factors

The risk for diabetic eye disease increases the longer a person has had diabetes. Older adults, African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic/Latino populations are at a higher risk for developing vision loss due to diabetes1.

According to National Eye Institute of National Institutes of Health (NIH), you can follow these simple steps to keep on ‘TRACK’ (see picture)1.

Take medications as directed by your doctor

Reach and maintain a healthy weight

Add physical activity

Control your ABC’s (A1c, Blood Pressure and Cholesterol)

Kick the smoking habit



Take Your Medications As Prescribed by Your Doctor

It is very important you take the medications as instructed by your doctor1. Your pharmacist and doctor can help you with appropriate technique, storage, and dosing. In order to help preserve good vision it is necessary to stay in control of your blood sugar1. Taking your diabetes medications as prescribed and testing your blood sugar appropriately will help to keep your diabetes under control. Fasting blood sugar (the blood sugar in the morning before breakfast) according to the American Diabetes Association guidelines should be less than 110 mg/dl3. Blood sugar readings after a meal according to the guidelines should less than 140 mg/dl. High blood sugar over time can damage your eyesight. If you keep your blood sugar levels steady (in control), you can slow the damage to the tiny blood vessels in your eyes. Lastly, it’s recommended you keep a log of your blood sugar readings and bring that to your pharmacist and physician so they can help you better control your blood sugar. Keeping a log will also help with adhering properly to your medication regimen.

The Importance of Taking Medications that Aren’t Specifically for Diabetes

There are also several medications that are not necessarily prescribed for diabetes that are important to take as prescribed. These include medications for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. High blood pressure alone can lead to eye disease. If you have high blood pressure and diabetes, you need to be even more careful about how you manage your conditions. Although you may not feel “sick” from high blood pressure, it is important to take your medication daily as prescribed. Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure at every visit. Check with your local pharmacist and see if they provide blood pressure checks. No appointment needed! For most people with diabetes, your goal blood pressure should be less than 140/904. Be sure to have your cholesterol levels checked annually. All it takes is a simple blood test to find out how much “bad” (LDL) and “good” (HDL) cholesterol you have. Too much LDL is linked to blood vessel damage.


  1. NIH NEHEP. Stay on TRACK to Prevent Blindness from Diabetes. https://nei.nih.gov/sites/default/files/nehep-pdfs/NDM_SM_Toolkit_2015.pdf. Accessed February 15, 2016.
  2. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org. Accessed February 11, 2016.
  3. American Diabetes Association. Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes-2015. Diabetes Care. 2015;38:1-94.
  4. Dennison-himmelfarb C, Handler J, Lackland DT. 2014 Evidence-Based Guideline for the Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults Report From the Panel Members Appointed to the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC 8). JAMA. 2014;311(5):507-520.




UCSOP Offers Summer Camp for High School & Undergraduate Students

Contributed by: Taylor Pickens, ExRx Boot camp Alum and Class of 2020

Are you interested in learning about the pharmacy profession? Registration for the 2016 Experience Pharmacy Bootcamp is now open. Tuesday, June 21 will mark the first day of the second ExRx BExRx-postcardootcamp event held at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, in Charleston, WV. This unique four-day event is designed to give high school juniors, seniors, and undergraduate college students the opportunity to experience pharmacy in an interactive, hands-on fashion. Students will take part in organized activities beginning Tuesday morning, June 21 and ending Friday afternoon, June 24. Some of the week’s events will include hands-on simulation, compounding, and IV lab experiences, as well as sessions on the history of pharmacy, medicinal plants, pharmaceutical career options, mock interviewing, and many other activities.

Students learn to compound IV products at ExRx Bootcamp

Students learn to compound IV products at ExRx Bootcamp

This unique experience is a prime opportunity to gain insight and preparation for that next step toward a future in pharmacy. Whether you are interested in learning more about a pharmacy career as a whole, or need help preparing for the application process, ExRx Bootcamp will prove to be a worthwhile experience. Emily Chattin, a freshman pre-pharmacy scholar at the University of Charleston says, “I would highly recommend attending this event. You are educated on what it takes to succeed before, during, and after pharmacy school, make lifelong friendships and connections with your preceptors. You also get to do fascinating experiments in the lab.”

Participating students will be housed in UC residence halls, with meals provided by the UC dining hall. Cost for the four-day camp is ONLY $99.00 per student, and includes meals, lodging, linens, towels, as well all activities. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available. If you would like to register, or are interested in receiving more information, please contact Ms. Jamie Bero at jamiebero@ucwv.edu, or call (304)720–6685.

Registration forms and information can also be accessed online at: http://www.ucwv.edu/pharmacy/ 

UCSOP Student Albert Won to Compete in National Competition

Contributed by: Jenny Long, Class of 2017

Every year the University of Charleston student chapter of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) holds their annual patient counseling competition. This year, the competition was held on campus January 25th and 28th. Students from each class within School of Pharmacy compete by counseling a standardized patient to win a trip and the chance to compete at the national level at APhA annual meeting. In the local competition, students are given a mock patient case to review for 5 minutes prior to counseling the patient. The counseling session is recorded so judges can evaluate the counseling process using a rubric provided by the national organization. This year, the winner of the local competition is P4 student Albert Won.

P4 Albert Won will be competing in the APhA National Patient Counseling Competition in Baltimore, MD.

P4 Albert Won will be competing in the APhA National Patient Counseling Competition in Baltimore, MD.

The counseling competition is reflective of what pharmacists do in a community pharmacy on a day-to-day basis. According to Albert, “It felt like a counseling session in a community pharmacy.  The counseling session often occurs right as the patient is about to pick up his medications. There is so much drug information available. It is up to pharmacists to clearly present a condensed material.”

Albert decided to enter the competition because it mimics what happens on a daily basis in community pharmacies and provides a good opportunity to refine the counseling skills a pharmacist needs and receive feedback from faculty who have experience in the field. “I’ve signed up every year since my first year in school, and this is the first year I have been selected as a representative of the school to compete in nationals. I felt that my experience in the competition have me more practice and confidence on patient counseling during my rotations.”

Since winning the local competition, Albert has been preparing vigorously to compete in the national competition to be held at the APhA Annual Conference in Baltimore, MD March 4th -7th. Preparing for the national competition includes learning how the competition will be setup. “There is a webinar all competitors are required to watch that explains the national competition setup, and I will review past winners’ competition recordings that are available on YouTube,” said Albert. In addition to learning the setup of the competition, Albert will also be studying clinical information, such as counseling tips on how to handle different patients. He also has a textbook to refer to as a guideline.

Albert is looking forward to the opportunities both the competition and meeting will bring. “Not only will I be representing UC as participant I will be one of the UC delegates for Phi Lambda Sigma and Phi Delta Chi. It is my first time attending APhA Annual, and I am looking forward to networking with other students and pharmacists at the meeting. I am going to give my all at the competition and do the best I can.”

PCAT Prep and Resources

CaptureAs you are preparing for your entry into pharmacy school, you will need to take the Pharmacy College Aptitude Test (PCAT). Most schools of pharmacy require this test, and many schools require a particular score for admission.

The PCAT contains six sections: writing, reading comprehension, verbal ability, biology, chemistry, and quantitative ability.

  1. The Writing section is timed for 30 minutes and includes one writing topic where you are asked to address conventions of language and problem solving
  2. The Verbal Ability section is timed for 25 minutes and includes analogies and sentence completions
  3. The Biology section is timed for 35 minutes and covers general biology, microbiology, and human anatomy and physiology
  4. The Chemistry section is timed for 35 minutes and covers general chemistry, organic chemistry, and basic biochemistry
  5. The Reading Comprehension section is timed for 50 minutes and includes 6 passages and covers comprehension, analysis and evaluation
  6. The Quantitative Ability section is timed for 45 minutes and covers basic math, algebra, probability and statistics, pre-calculus and calculusCapture

Electronic resources to assist you with preparing for the PCAT exam:

Highly Rated PCAT prep books:

Mobile Apps:

  • My PCAT. This Apple application is designed to help prepare for the computer-based PCAT covering topics in PCAT specific subjects. Cost: $18.99
  • PCAT prep for Android. This android application has over 1100 detailed flashcards.
  • McGraw Hill PCAT prep. This application has over 1000 copyrighted questions, 10 diagnostic tests, over 100 pages of review material including 50 top strategies for test day, and a PCAT study plan. Cost $34.99

It’s Your Time to Apply to Pharmacy School @UCSOP!

The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy (UCSOP) is excited to share that there is still time to apply to join the Class of 2020!

You may have heard that our application deadline was March 1st. However, the UCSOP will be granting individual PharmCAS deadline extensions through June 1, 2016.  

To take advantage of this deadline extension, please follow the process outlined below: 

  1. Create your PharmCAS account by May 18, 2016
  2. Once you are ready to submit your application, email Stacie Geise at staciegeise@ucwv.edu to request your PharmCAS extension.  
  3. Once the extension is granted, PharmCAS will email you directly confirming the 48-hour window to submit the application has begun.
  4. Complete your UCSOP Supplemental Application at http://www.ucwv.edu/pharmacy 

Please note: the UCSOP Supplemental Application deadline has also been extended to June 1, 2016. The UCSOP will accept January & February PCAT scores.  

If you have any questions about this process, please contact Stacie Geise at 304-357-4889 or staciegeise@ucwv.edu.  

We look forward to receiving your PharmCAS application soon!