UCSOP Launches Generation Rx with Kanawha & Boone County Schools

DurinAPhM_Twitter_Icong October 2016, American Pharmacist Month, over 100 students from the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy will be educating students throughout Kanawha and Boone counties on the dangers of prescription drug misuse. Pharmacy students will reach over 500 children by visiting over fifteen 5th grade classrooms at six Kanawha County elementary schools and three Boone County elementary schools throughout the month to deliver an intervention and prevention program called Generation Rx. This evidence based program was developed in collaboration with the Cardinal Health Foundation, the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), and The Ohio State University School of Pharmacy. The Generation Rx curriculum is designed to increase public awareness of prescription medication abuse and medication safety http://www.generationrx.org.

“The program focuses on positive-decision making and social norming as tools for combatting prescription drug abuse,” said Andrew VanDuesen, Class of 2018 genrxand president of the UCSOP APhA student chapter (ASP)

West Virginia middle and high school students are making poor decisions in regard to substance abuse and particularly with prescription medications. According to the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 16.% of high school students have taken a prescription drug—such as oxycontin, vicodin, adderall, ritalin, or xanax—without a prescription one or more time sin their life. Early education is key to prevention.

“As a prevention and outreach program, Generation Rx, is designed to help students of all ages, identify and address prescription drug misuse in their homes and communities,” said Dr. Susan Gardner, assistant dean for professional and student affairs. 

In addition, to the elementary school outreach, pharmacy students will educate undergraduate students at the University of Charleston by visiting every UNIV 101 classroom on October 10, 2016 to deliver the college-level Generation Rx curriculum to freshmen. 

For more information contact: Dr. Susan Gardner, susangardner@ucwv.edu.

FREE Life Saving Training Coming to UCSOP

The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy will be hosting the American Heart Association’s Mobile CPR Unit on UC’s Charleston campus Thursday, September 29, 2016 in the Keenan Parking lot (across from the School of Pharmacy). This programming is being delivered in collaboration  with the UC school of pharmacy, Unicare Inc., and the American Heart Association. The event will serve as UCSOP’s kick off to American Pharmacist Month, which begins October 1, 2016.  

We have a goal of 250-500cpr persons participating in this hands on CPR training education. The program will run every hour on the hour from 10am until 2pm and those wishing to participate MUST sign up athttp://www.cvent.com/d/4vq000. All members of our surrounding community are invited to participate. We also urge faculty and staff participation! 

Anyone interested in serving as a volunteer on this date (beyond participating in the program) should contact Dr. Susan Gardner, Assistant Dean for Professional and Student Affairs in the school of pharmacy, susangardner@ucwv.edu

KCHD’s Harm Reduction Program

Beginning in December 2015 the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department opened its Harm Reduction Clinic with Syringe Exchange Program. The program is designed to reduce the number of shared and re-used needles in order to control the spread of Hepatitis. Through confidentiality the patients receive the assistance they need through the needle exchange, counseling, and the various testing options available.

The Kanawha-Charleston program does not run off of any state funding or grants and relies completely on donations and volunteers to keep up with its increasing number of weekly patients. Volunteers can assist nurses in preparing patient bags containing clean syringes, a container for used syringes, as well as other products used to administer safe injections, such as alcohol pads and cotton balls. Several UCSOP students and faculty volunteer each week and gain experience with patient interactions.

The Harm Reduction Clinic takes place every Wednesday from 10:00am until 3:00pm. Patients, who remain anonymous throughout the process, have the opportunity to consult with a rehabilitation and addiction counselors while in the waiting area. Each patient is given the opportunity to safely exchange used syringes for new ones, with the promise that the patient will return the next week for the same purpose. While at the health department patients have access to free testing for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV. Patients can also request to have a doctor access any injections sites for signs of infection. The program also offers contraceptives to women patients.

In addition to the screening and testing options available, patients are also encouraged to complete a short Naloxone training course. With the increased drug use also comes increased risk of overdose, and this training helps patients to better identify the signs of an overdose. Naloxone can be injected into someone who is experiencing an overdose in order to reverse the effects and potentially safe a life. The training takes place during the hours of the clinic an lasts approximately 30 minutes.  Patients walk away with a sample of Naloxone and the proper training to handle an overdose situation.

The Harm Reduction Clinic and Needle Exchange Program provide a safe place for patients to discuss their concerns and receive counseling. The Health Department also ensures the safety of its patients by keeping the identity of each patient anonymous and maintaining police presence. This program is fairly new it has already seen an increase in the number of weekly patients, and its services have already affected many patients. While the program centers on reducing the prevalence of diseases transmitted by sharing and re-using needles, the program has also aided many patients in drug detoxification and recovery programs.

 

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

The Road to Pharmacist Provider Status

Contributed by: Anojinie Karunathilake, Class of 2017

P1070662Background of Pharmacy

Pharmacy practice has evolved from dispensing medications to a comprehensive clinical, consultative, educational and a more patient centered practice. The value of pharmacist services in collaborative drug therapy management is widely recognized. Pharmacists continue to hold highest ratings as the most trusted healthcare professionals in Gallup Poll. Given this recognition by patients, it is important that pharmacists continue to provide high quality patient care and increase services that are provided to patients, which can be further enhanced by pharmacists obtaining the provider status.

What is provider status?

‘Provider status’ at the federal level consists of a listing of healthcare professionals included in the Social Security Act (SSA) whose services are eligible for Medicare Part B reimbursement. These healthcare professionals include physicians, physician’s assistants, certified nurse practitioners, qualified psychologists, clinical social workers, certified nurse midwives and certified registered nurse anesthetists1.

Title XVIII of SSA that describes provider status does not recognize pharmacist services as eligible for reimbursement under Medicare.   In Medicare part B, pharmacists are omitted as listed providers which limits access to pharmacists services to Medicare beneficiaries2,3.

Legislation

HR 5924 (House of Representatives) and S. 3145 (Senate) are written to amend title XVIII of Social Security Act to provide coverage under Medicare program of pharmacist services. This act is also known as the ‘Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act’

Role of the Pharmacist

Many Americans do not have access to primary healthcare and is expected to get worse as the Medicare enrollees are expected to grow in the future. According to Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Medically Underserved Areas/Populations (MUA/MUP) is defined as “having too few primary care providers, high infant mortality, high poverty or a high elderly population”6. Many areas in West Virginia state are considered as medically underserved areas6. Pharmacists obtaining provider status will help patients in MUA gain access to pharmacists’ services, which increase their quality of life, health outcomes and cost-effectiveness.

According to a report brief published by Institute of Medicine, there are at least 1.5 million preventable adverse drug events (ADE) that occur in the U.S. every year7. These ADE are costly for patients as well as their employers, hospitals and insurance companies. Being a trusted healthcare professional with direct access to patients, pharmacists can provide educational services to reduce incidents of ADE.

Medication adherence also is an area where a pharmacist can make a significant impact. Poor medication adherence estimated to cost around $100 billion a year in the U.S., is a reason for 33-69% of all medication-related hospital admissions8. Especially, almost 50% of patients with chronic diseases do not take their medication properly9.   By increasing pharmacist services through provider status, pharmacists can help improve patients’ medication adherence as well as disease management.

Current Situation

Many pharmacy organizations and several chain pharmacies have been instrumental in advocating for the provider status for pharmacists. Many are involved in writing letters to their representatives in Congress encouraging them to support provider status bill. Currently, a majority of U.S. House have co-sponsored H.R. 59210.

With the momentum building and many more supporters joining to advocate for H.R. 592/S. 314, hopefully pharmacists’ contributions towards healthcare teams and patient services will be recognized as an integral part of healthcare in the near future.

References

  1. APhA. Provider Status: What pharmacists need to know now. 2013. http://www.pharmacist.com/provider-status-what-pharmacists-need-know-now. Accessed January 6, 2016.
  2. ASHP. A bill to amedn title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for coverage under the Medicare program of pharmacist services. 2015. http://www.cqrcengage.com/ashp/app/bill/487919. Accessed January 5, 2016.
  3. O’Brien JM. How nurse practitioners obtained provider status: Lessons for pharmacists. Am J Heal Pharm. 2003;60:2301-2307. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/464663.
  4. Congress.org. HR 592- Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act. 2015. https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/592/text?q={“search”:[“HR+592”]}. Accessed January 6, 2016.
  5. Congress.org. S.314 – Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act. 2015. https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/314/text?q={“search”:[“S.+314”]}. Accessed January 6, 2016.
  6. HRSA DHHS. MUA Find. http://datawarehouse.hrsa.gov/tools/analyzers/muafind.aspx. Accessed February 14, 2016.
  7. Medicine I of. Preventing Medication Errors: Report Brief. 2006. https://iom.nationalacademies.org/~/media/Files/Report Files/2006/Preventing-Medication-Errors-Quality-Chasm-Series/medicationerrorsnew.pdf. Accessed January 6, 2016.
  8. Osterberg L, Blaschke T. Adherence to medication. N Engl J Med. 2005;353:487-497. doi:10.1056/NEJMra050100.
  9. APhA. Improving Patient Care. 2015. http://www.pharmacist.com/sites/default/files/files/Making the Case (2015).pdf. Accessed January 7, 2016.
  10. APhA. An Update from Tom Menighan, CEO of APhA. 2015. http://echo4.bluehornet.com/hostedemail/email.htm?CID=31858955709&ch=59FBFD48BBC77F7D250F6152F0853DFB&h=101a58de85df02e6330c32f53b58b43c&ei=7dMpdFyNK. Accessed January 7, 2016.

Communication Skills are Essential for Pharmacists & Medication Adherence

SOP script your future_FB newsfeedPharmacy students are among the smartest people I know—hands down! Their propensity for science and math contributes to their ability to process large amounts of complex information. I am constantly impressed by the mental prowess of my students.

A scientific mind is indeed key to success in pharmacy school and in the pharmacy profession but I urge any student thinking about entering the profession to also consider the importance of communication skills—in particular, interpersonal communication skills. We all know role of the pharmacist in health care includes: medication therapy management, point of care testing, and monitoring and changing medications via collaborative practice. As the role of the pharmacist in health care increases, it will be even more important for pharmacy students to hone their communication skills.

I often remind our students at UCSOP that breaking information down into digestible pieces for patients is crucial. In fact, the average American reads at the 7th grade level (not at the pharmacy school level). It takes finesse to explain complex information related to medication and disease management in layperson’s terms (so patients and their caregivers understand). It also takes strong interpersonal communication skills to effectively manage one’s emotions and respond effectively to the emotions of one’s patients. In fact, some research has started to suggest that the higher a health care provider’s emotional intelligence, which includes relational skills, the better health outcomes for a patient.

Pharmacists can also increase medication adherence by effectively communicating with patients through medication adherence monitoring, medication reviews, and patient counseling. As we at UCSOP are engaged in the Script Your Future Challenge, a nationwide medication adherence campaign supported by the National Consumers League (www.scriptyourfuture.org), it’s important that we take time to note the importance of communication skills for pharmacy students. Developing these skills now, will help students serve their current and future patients as well as highlight the important role pharmacists play in patient care.

  • 50-60% of patients do not take their medications as prescribed
  • Lack of adherence leads to over 125,000 deaths in the U.S. each year and contributes to $290 billion dollars in health care costs
  • Almost 30% of patients stop taking their medications before their supply runs out

Imagine being someone who has the power to educate patients about the importance of adherence simply through conversation and counseling? Pharmacists do not have to imagine this because it’s what they do each and every day.

If you are a pharmacy student, consider honing your own communication skills by following these simple tips:

  • Check to make sure your non-verbal and your verbal communication match.
  • Actively listen without interrupting.
  • Express empathy by acknowledging that someone may be having a hard time
  • Ask questions about what would help the situation? What is a reasonable action a person can take given their resources and limitations?
  • Ask for feedback from faculty and preceptors regarding how you can improve your communication skills.
  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses in regard to communication and then develop three strategies that will help you overcome those weaknesses.

Enhancing your communication skills now, while in pharmacy school, could help a patient be more adherent to their medication and it may even save someone’s life.

Dr. Susan Gardner is Assistant Dean for Professional and Student Affairs at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy.Dr. Gardner

Don’t forget to take the pledge to take your meds at: www.scriptyourfuture.org. Follow tips about medication adherence on Twitter @UCSOP.

UCSOP Kicks off Script Your Future Medication Adherence Campaign

January 19, 2016 through March 18, 2016 an interdisciplinary student team from pharmacy, physicians assistant, and other health professions from the University of Charleston will kick off a series of community outreach activities through West Virginia to raise awareness about the health consequences of not taking medication as directed. They will join with health professions students across the country in the 2016 Medication Adherence Team Challenge, a two month-long inter-collegiate competition among health profession student teams and faculty for creating solutions to raise awareness about medication adherence as a critical public health issue. The Challenge, coordinated by the National Consumers League (NCL), America’s pioneer consumer group and the lead organization on the national Script Your Future campaign, is returning to university campuses across the country, this year for two months, after four years of successful student innovation.

SYFchallengeinfographic #1 2016[2]

About the Challenge: The Challenge is part of Script Your Future, a campaign launched by the National Consumers League and partners in 2011 to combat the problem of poor medication adherence. In the United States, nearly three out of four patients do not take their medication as directed. The campaign focuses on three disease states—diabetes, cardiovascular, and respiratory. All of these disease states are among the leading causes of hospitalization in West Virginia.

“In 2013 and 2015 our students received national recognition from the National Consumers League for their efforts in educating West Virginians about the importance of medication adherence and managing chronic disease,” said Dr. Susan Gardner, UCSOP’s Assistant Dean for Professional and Student Affairs. “Our students are committed to educating the public and conducting medication adherence and disease management outreach activities that reach individuals in both urban and rural areas.”

Our 2016 Script Your Future Activities: Activities will be coordinated by pharmacy students including health fairs, educational outreach activities, and public service announcements on radio and television through West Virginia January 18-March 18, 2016. Pharmacy students, pre-pharmacy students, athletic training and physician assistant students will be partnering to deliver education and health screenings at various locations throughout the state. In addition, through a partnership with Fruth Pharmacy, mediation adherence information will be distributed with prescriptions at all Fruth locations during February 2016. For a comprehensive list of events CLICK HERE.

“There are many reasons why people don’t take their medicine as directed, but the consequences for patients are the same,” said Michelle Easton, Dean of the UC School of Pharmacy. “Nonadherence puts patients, especially those with chronic conditions, such as diabetes or asthma, at risk for serious complications.” Students, faculty and staff at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy are encouraging EVERYONE to take the pledge to take their medications as prescribed. Take the PLEDGE NOW!

SYF challenge3

For more information about our Script Your Future Activities or to schedule an event at your location or with your organization, contact: Dr. Susan Gardner, 304-357-4879, susangardner@ucwv.edu.

 

 

“Get Smart About Antibiotics” Week: November 16-22

getsmartContributed by: Jeremy Arthur, Class of 2017

According to a report published by the CDC in 2013, nearly half of the prescriptions written today are for antibiotics and nearly half of those are not necessary or the best therapy option. This has resulted in an astounding 2 million US citizens developing severe infections from resistant strains of bacteria. Furthermore, nearly 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections. To help educate the public about the dangers of antibiotic resistance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched “Get Smart About Antibiotics” week November 16-22, 2015. The purpose of this week is to raise awareness about the issue of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use or “antibiotic stewardship”. The term “stewardship” carries an ethical connotation that embodies responsible planning and management of resources by those who use them. Antibiotics are invaluable resources that have saved millions of lives and as such, each person has a duty to use them responsibly.

One factor contributing to resistance is when a person who does not need antibiotics takes them. For example, someone infected by a virus, such as the common cold, would not benefit from taking an antibiotic. Instead, the drug will attack the natural, helpful bacteria in this person’s body. When bacteria are exposed to the same antibiotics over and over, they learn how to fight off those drugs and become resistant. These resistant bacteria can then multiply, making more resistant bacteria, and the cycle continues. Eventually, bacteria that could once quickly be stopped by antibiotics are no longer so easily destroyed. This puts everyone at risk, but by raising awareness, the CDC hopes to stem the tide of resistance.

This year’s Get Smart Week serves as a key initiative for antibiotic stewardship within communities and healthcare facilities. In order to get involved, the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy is hosting a Student Convocation in November to discuss the role pharmacists’ can play in the fight against antibiotic resistance. Dr. Jessica Sobnosky, an Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infectious Diseases Clinical Pharmacist from King’s Daughters Medical Center and Dr. Jessica Robinson, an Assistant Professor from the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, as well as Infectious Diseases Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at Charleston Area Medical Center, will be sharing their experiences and encouraging students to get involved. In order to gain further insight, Dr. Glenn Ridenour, an Infectious Disease Specialist from Charleston Area Medical Center, will be joining Dr. Sobnosky and Dr. Robinson for a Q&A panel following the convocation. The UCSOP Class of 2017 will be following this event with a health fair at the Charleston Town Center on Friday, November 20th in order to engage the public on a direct level and share what they have learned about antibiotic stewardship.

Antibiotic stewardship is one small step towards improving appropriate antibiotic use. Our hope is to get as many students involved in this campaign as possible, so we can reach the community at large. For more information, you may visit the CDC’s Get Smart page at http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/week/

Reflections: West Virginians for Affordable Health Care Annual Reception

ErikHanson

Erik Hanson, Class of 2019

Contributed by: Erik Hanson, Class of 2019

On Friday, October 23, 2015 I had the opportunity to attend the West Virginians for Affordable Health Care conference and fundraiser held at the University of Charleston. I was honored represent the School of Pharmacy at such an impressive event for such an important cause. The keynote speaker, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell, is a very charismatic and eloquent speaker and passion for her cause is unquestionable.  The amount of support from each and every person in the room was very moving- and, while she is a very professional and powerful person, Secretary Burwell was still very approachable and friendly. Having the opportunity to attend the West Virginians for Affordable Health Care fund raising event was certainly one of the most impactful events in my academic career.

Through this experience, I learned that, even though one person can hold immense passion for a cause, it really does “take a village.”  Secretary Burwell and her team are making great strides in achieving affordable health care for all, especially the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides coverage for services such as doctor visits, hospital visits, prescriptions, vision care, and dental care.

While I’m extremely appreciative for the opportunity to attend the event, I wish it were something that the entire school of pharmacy could attend. Events like this make our time in school feel so much more than learning in a classroom. As future pharmacists we can have a major impact in ensuring that everyone has access to affordable health care. Secretary Burwell saw the West Virginians for Affordable Health Care as a calling- and because of that, they are heading towards improving Medicaid, supporting health equity for minority communities, encouraging stronger family leave policies, and pushing for better reimbursement for primary care providers- to name a few. As aspiring pharmacists, we all have a responsibility to make a difference for our patients and our community.  Individuals like Secretary Burwell encourage pharmacists and other health care providers to advocate for our community, our patients, and each other.

UCSOP Student Receives SNPhA National Appointment

OJOjong Bate, a P3 at the UCSOP, was recently appointed as the Student National Pharmaceutical Association’s (SNPhA) Power to End Stroke Chair. Ojong’s history with SNPhA began her first year as a pharmacy student, when she was the Power to End Stroke Initiative Chair for UCSOP’s SNPhA chapter. She has continued as the chapter delegate for the past two years, and has a burning passion for SNPhA’s mission and its role in developing student pharmacists. Ojong is humbled to serve as the Power to End Stroke Chair, and her goal for the upcoming year is to challenge every SNPhA member to fulfill the 2015-2016 presidential theme of “G.O.A.L.S. | Globalization. Outreach. Advocacy. Leadership. Scholarship”. She plans to work together with various chapter committee chairs by assisting them in collaboration with the American Heart Association (AHA), encouraging regional chapter committee chairs and SNPhA members to become certified stroke ambassadors through the AHA, promoting medication adherence, stroke awareness, and the overall promotion of heart health.

ojBorn and raised in the country of Cameroon, Ojong has enjoyed being a college student in the USA since 2010. She attended Delaware Technical Community College (DELTECH) for her undergraduate career, where she later received two Associate degrees in Biotechnology and Chemistry. Her experience at DELTECH instilled in her the passion for community service and the spirit of leadership. In addition to SNPhA, Ojong is also an active member of the American Pharmacy Association (APhA-ASP), American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP), American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), West Virginia Rural Health Association (WVRHA), Delaware Pharmacy Society (DPS), student member of the University of Charleston Quality Assurance Committee, proud brother of Phi Delta Chi Pharmaceutical fraternity (Gamma Chapter), Phi Lambda Sigma (PLS) treasurer, Delta Lambda Chapter of Rho Chi Society, and the immediate past vice president of the University of Charleston Class of 2017.

OJ1Founded in 1972, SNPhA is an organization for pharmacy students who are concerned about pharmacy and healthcare related issues. SNPhA members advocate for stronger minority representation in pharmacy and other health-care related professions. SNPhA’s official purpose “is to plan, organize, coordinate and execute programs geared toward the improvement for the health, educational, and social environment of the community”. SNPhA has 5 main objectives, which include: offering student members the opportunity to develop leadership and professional skills, educate students and promote active participation in national health care issues, develop the role of the minority health professional as a vital member of the health care team, develop within communities a positive image of minority health professionals, and educate communities on better health practices and to increase their awareness and understanding of diseases. There are many benefits to joining SNPhA, including over $130,000 in scholarships and awards, networking opportunities, a rotation at the SNPha National Office, and numerous membership discounts ranging from hotels to Apple products.