APhA-ASP Mid-Year Regional Meeting 2016

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The American Pharmacist Association-Academy of Student Pharmacist (APhA-ASP) held its Mid-Year Regional Meeting, or MRM, for Region II in Somerset, New Jersey from October 21st to 23rd  2016. It was composed of students from all over the world representing twenty different schools and colleges of pharmacy from the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. The APhA-ASP officers, Shelly Ray, the Regional Meeting Coordinator from Rutgers University, Nimit Jidal, the Regional Delegate from Rutgers University, and Laura Byrd, the Regional Member At-Large from the University of Maryland Eastern, directed the conference through multiple programs. Some of the programs included speakers on leadership, networking, Generation Rx, and medication safety.

One of the highlights of the conference was an impassioned speech about the past of a former drug user from the recovery program of the College of New Jersey. This talk helped us realize the importance of health care providers in society, and the impact we as pharmacists can have on drug abusers. Then, the CEO of Walgreens and Manager of Walmart shared their experiences and challenged us to improve our leadership skills and shared their advice on how to become successful leaders in the pharmacy profession. Another CEO and successful owner of many pharmacies flew in from California to come and share advice regarding how to become a successful owner of a pharmacy, as well.

A career expo offered opportunities for attendees to meet with representatives from all over the country and learn more about different fellowships and post-graduate opportunities. Raffle tickets were given out along with games which added some excitement, levity, and encouraged networking with our fellow attendees through competition. Throughout the meeting, members who have contributed to the success of their home APhA-ASP chapters were recognized, and our own Rachel Peaytt, President-Elect, was recognized for her hard work for the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy APhA-ASP student organization. This meeting also provided an opportunity for various student chapters to propose their ideas on new policies which were then discussed and voted upon to be brought to attention at the national APhA-ASP with the intention to improve the field of pharmacy. This meeting allowed connection between APhA-ASP members, promoted the development of essential pharmacy skills, provided a chance to learn from successful leaders, and encouraged members to continue to contribute to the pharmacy community all while perpetuating the APhA message: “Together We Can.”

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.

APhA – American Pharmacists Association

During the month of April, UCSOP will be featuring our many student organizations. At UCSOP, we believe that co-curricular experiences (outside the classroom) allow our students to practice their pharmacy skills and serve our communities. 100% of our student body is a member of at least one organization and our students participate in over 25 community health fairs each year serving over 5,000 patients. 

The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) national organization was founded in 1852. With 62,000 presently active members, it is now the largest association of pharmacists in the United States. Members of this organization include practicing pharmacists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmaceutical scientists. The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy is very fortunate to have a local chapter of this widespread national organization.

P3s LaTasha Marshall and Beverly Okoroji, P2 Rafi Saadallah, and P4 Melanie Richmond present a poster for APhA's Operation Heart.

P3s LaTasha Marshall and Beverly Okoroji, P2 Rafi Saadallah, and P4 Melanie Richmond present a poster for APhA’s Operation Heart.

Locally, our APhA-ASP chapter at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy has over 100 student pharmacist members. Coincidently, it is also the largest student organization within the school of pharmacy. Having a lot of active members allows the organization to cover many different areas within the pharmacy field. One of our busiest and most exciting campaigns takes place annually in the month of October. Nationally, October is recognized as American Pharmacists Month. During this time, we as an organization sell American Pharmacists Month apparel, advocate publicly for the profession, and show our appreciation for the pharmacists and faculty that educate and prepare us for our future career.

Our APhA-ASP organization hosts an annual patient counseling competition. During this event, student pharmacists counsel a mock patient on a specific medication, and then UCSOP faculty judge each patient interaction and determine a winner. This exciting opportunity allows pharmacy students to have an authentic, valuable experience with professional feedback in a non-threatening environment. The winner also receives a paid trip to attend the APhA annual meeting in the spring, which is in Baltimore, MD this year. This is just one of many “perks” available to APhA-ASP members at the University of Charleston.

Within our chapter, we have many sub-committees that target different areas within the large umbrella of pharmacy. Operation Self Care, for example, educates students, pharmacists, and the general public on the significance of using over the counter medications safely and effectively. Similarly, GenerationRx provides information on prescription drug abuse, and the importance of taking the proper medication as prescribed. Other committees include Operation Immunization, Operation Diabetes, and Operation Heart

As with many major disease states, pharmacists can play an imperative role in preventing and managing cardiovascular disease. In 2009, Archives of Internal Medicine published a study demonstrating that collaboration between pharmacists and physicians resulted in better hypertension (high blood pressure) control. In 2014, 84 of the student chapters of APhA-ASP incorporated Operation Heart committees into their chapters, and we are hopeful that participation will continue to grow. Being the public’s most accessible health care provider, we as students and pharmacists should make an effort to educate our patients and advocate for our profession.

Contributed by: Celine Quevillon (APhA Secretary, class of 2017) and Lindsay Tincher (APhA Self-Care Co-Chair, class of 2017)

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.”