UCSOP Kicks off Radio Program on Medication Adherence & Safety

On February 1, 2017 the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy kicked off the first of a six-part Radio Blog Talk Series on Medication Safety and Adherence in partnership with Forest of the Rain Productions.

Script Your FutureEvery Wednesday from 8:30pm-9:30pm EST, February 1-March 8, 2017, the program will feature our students, faculty, staff and community partnership. We will be sharing information about medication adherence and highlighting our community efforts to promote medication safety.

The first show focused on the Script Your Future Campaign. Guests included our Dean, Dr. Michelle Easton and 2017 Script Your Future Chairs, David Poe (Class of 2018), Erik Hanson (Class of 2019), and Tyler Leroy (Class of 2020).  The show was recorded for rebroadcasting and download and can be accessed at: http://forestoftheraineducation.weebly.com/parent-talk-live-special-edition-series-safe-medication-use-script-your-future-medication-adherence-challenge.html

In total, UCSOP We has the potential to reach between 5,000 and 10,000 persons per show throughout the U.S. and in over 50 countries Worldwide.

Learn more about the series at: http://forestoftheraineducation.weebly.com/forest-of-the-rain-productions-and-the-university-of-charleston-school-of-pharmacy.html

 Future programs include: 

February 8: Generation Rx—Prescription Safety Education Partnership with Kanawha County Schools and the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy

Guests: Being Confirmed

February 15: Proper Medication Disposal

Guests: Rebekah Dunham, Class of 2017, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy and Kristi Justice, Executive Director, Kanawha Communities that Care

February 22: The Nationwide Drug Epidemic & The Role of Medication Adherence with

Guests: Michael Brumage, MD, MPH, FACP, Executive Director/Health Officer, Kanawha-Charleston Health Department; Lindsay Acree, Pharm.D., Assistant Professor, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy; and Rachel Peaytt, Class of 2019, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy

March 1: Medication Adherence & Safety–Focus on DEA 360 Program

Guests: David Gourley, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Agency, Charleston District Office; Victoria Oyewole & Amy Bateman, Class of 2018, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy

March 8: Disease Management and Medication Adherence

Guests: Lindsay Acree, Pharm. D., Assistant Professor, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy; Kristy Lucas, Pharm.D., Professor, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy; Karrie Juengel, Pharm. D., Assistant Professor, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy; and Anne Tiechmann, Pharm.D., Assistant Professor, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy

 

Pharmacy Students Help Prepare Medicines at Animal Shelter

Contributed by Amanda Miller, Class of 2019

When an area experiences any form of natural disaster our first instinct is to try and help the people affected by the disaster. However, humans are not the only ones in need of help. Natural disasters can also displace animals. After the floods that happened in West Virginia in June 2016, there were many animals that lost their homes or owners, and many became extremely ill. Luckily, the Kanawha Charleston Humane Association (KCHA) stepped up to help as many of these animals as possible.

kcha1Since June, KCHA has experienced a huge influx of animals coming into the shelter—many are extremely young and very ill puppies and kittens. In these cases these animals have to be separated from the general population of the shelter and require more intense care from the veterinarian and the staff that assists them. This increased need for medical attention has made it difficult for the veterinarian technicians at KCHA to maintain a supply of prepared medications.

In order to host kittens at the shelter, most need at least 4 different medications when they first arrive. This does not include the animals who are extremely sick and will need this care for multiple days or possibly weeks of care. That means if the shelter takes in 20 kittens who require this extra care, which may require as many as three doses a day, these kittens will need 420 doses of each medication for one week. That is a lot of medication to both prepare and give to these kittens. This is where student pharmacists have stepped in to help.

kcha2As pharmacy students we have experience with preparing medications. From our first year of pharmacy school we are taught how to compound medications and how to draw medicine appropriately into syringes. So, although we do not have the know-how on how to give these medications to the sick animals, we do know the medications they are being treated with. For American Pharmacists’ Month we at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy (UCSOP) are volunteering our time to try and help KCHA prepare medications. By taking this extra workload off the veterinary staff, we are enabling them to spend more time actually treating these animals instead of having to spend their time preparing the medications. The veterinarian and veterinarian technicians have all been extremely thankful for our help because we have been able to help when they are in such direr need of help. Because we are training to become medication experts, pharmacy students are able to offer assistance for this specific area of need.

Our hope is to continue our relationship with KCHA and volunteer not only in October for American Pharmacists Month but year-round as well. Volunteering at the shelter not only helps the community but it allows pharmacy students to put their skills and knowledge into practice while helping our furry friends!

Reflections: UCSOP Summer Internship Experience

As an undergraduate looking to one day attend pharmacy school I was looking for any chance I could get to gain experience in the field of pharmacy. When the opportunity to become an intern at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy came up I had to take it. I quickly began the application process and soon was asked to interview for the position. After two rounds of interviews I received a phone call offering me the internship, which I quickly accepted.

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Beautiful view of the WV State Capitol building from UC’s campus.

I moved into East Apartments in the beginning of June to begin the internship. On the first day I received a very warm welcome from the faculty and staff of the School of Pharmacy. We toured Charleston, visited the Capitol building and Cultural Center, and became oriented with our new home for the next 8 weeks.

While we received many tasks to work on for the duration of the internship, our biggest project for the month of June was to serve as Head Counselors of the ExRx: Experience Pharmacy Summer Bootcamp. The camp was a week-long experience for high schoolers and undergraduates who were interested in pharmacy school. We spent the weeks leading up to the camp planning events, setting up activities, and preparing for the arrival of the students to the dorms. While we were leading the activities, we also got to immerse ourselves into the curriculum and learn about pharmacy school as well. After the camp ended we were invited to attend two School of Pharmacy alumni events; Blues Brews and BBQ, and Wine and all that Jazz. While the week of camp was long, we learned so much about UCSOP as well as meeting current students and alumni of UCSOP.

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Killian Rodgers, summer intern, and I volunteered at the animal shelter giving medication to dogs.

Throughout the month of July we got to work very closely with a P4 student who was on rotation with UCSOP administration. We also got the opportunity to work in the research lab under Dr. Linger. We spent the week assisting her running diagnostic tests, purifying proteins, and preparing a poster presentation. Also in the month of July we were able to shadow Dr. Juengel from UCSOP at WV Health Right. Both experiences allowed us to see different sides of pharmacy, and different paths we could take with a PharmD. Throughout the month we also volunteered at the local animal shelter and the health department. Both volunteer experiences served to broaden our horizons on what can be done with a PharmD, as well as giving us a sense of community and communication skills that are often used in pharmacy school.
Overall the experience allowed me to become even more excited about one day obtaining my PharmD. I got to experience several different paths of pharmacy that I didn’t know existed and I made connections with pharmacists and administrators that are invaluable. The eight weeks flew by as I grew to love Charleston more every day. To anyone who is currently and undergraduate and looking to attend pharmacy school this internship is a great way to further develop skills and experience that will be so useful when it comes time to apply!

UCSOP ExRx Bootcamp a Success!

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High school students make ointment in the compounding lab

From June 21st through the 24th the halls of UCSOP looked very different with almost 30 high school and undergraduate students here for the 3rd annual ExRx- Experience Pharmacy Summer Bootcamp. These students were formally here to learn about UC and the profession of pharmacy as a whole but also to do what anyone at a camp wants to do- have fun! Favorite activities included compounding camphor-menthol ointment in the compounding lab with Mr. Ramirez, preparing sterile IVs with Dr. Embrey and Ms. Condee, and a photo scavenger hunt around campus which turned into a fierce competition to find as many UC Golden Eagles as possible. (The winning team, The Green Circle Group ultimately found 28!)

Campers came from all over the country. While a majority came from West Virginia we had people come all the way from New York, Florida, and numerous other states to participate. In addition to the hands on experiences, campers also got a feel for the more didactic classroom based portions of the Pharm D. program through sessions on the history of pharmacy, ethics, and the APhA Career Pathways program.

One particularly exciting session was Dr. Radhakrishnan’s lecture “The Travelogue of a Tablet” which covered the journey of tablet from mouth to active site to excretion. Campers enjoyed being in the “facilities and us[ing] resources that current pharmacy students get to use” while getting a lecture from a professor they very well may have if they come to UCSOP.

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Students work with a mannequin in the simulation lab

Ultimately, the success of a program like this is the impact it has on the students. One student even went so far as to say they had “been to few camps and things about pharmacy and [in] the few short days here…learned more then any other place as well had more fun. So [they] would highly recommend this to anyone for the fact of all th [sic] info …[and] how fun it was.” A focus of UCSOP and in turn a focus of the camp was on promoting rural health. Students were exposed to the unique challenges of rural health pharmacists by interacting with some and hearing about their experiences. As a result, 75% indicated after the camp that they are interested in serving rural populations.

While this extended four day ExRx program is only offered once per summer, UCSOP has shorter ExRx open house events on campus throughout the school year. Check out this link for more information.

Each group of campers led by a P2 Fellow created a short video to capture their camp experience. Check them out below to see what each group was up to!

The Silver Star Group led by Kathryn Howerton

The Pink Circle Group led by Rachel Peaytt

Squad Red Stars led by Kyle Theiss

The Gold Star Group led by Blanche Ndifon

The Blue Star Group led by Leila Fleming

The Green Circle Group led by Amber Gross

(Cirlce groups are high school students and star groups are current undergraduate students)

Be sure to look out for information about ExRx 2017 next Spring on the UCSOP website this fall!

Pharmacy Students and Faculty Enjoy an Evening of Celebration

Contributed by: Jenny Long, Class of 2017

The spring semester at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy is always full of celebration, with some of the most anticipated events being the Rites of Passage Ceremony, Honors & Awards, and the Pharmacy Gala. This spring, the Rites of Passage Ceremony was held on April 15th in the Geary Auditorium at UC, while the Pharmacy Gala was held immediately after the ceremony in the Rotunda and Erma Byrd Art Gallery.

 

P3 Seol Park poses for a picture with retiring faculty member Dr. Dennis K. Flaherty

P3 Seol Park poses for a picture with retiring faculty member Dr. Dennis K. Flaherty

The Rites of Passage Ceremony recognizes P3 students by presenting them with a pin to wear on their white coats as they end their didactic curriculum and start P4 rotations. Many P3s, including Renee Neidich, were honored to receive this recognition as a result of the hard work and dedication needed to receive it. “This pin may not look like much, but it shows three years of hard work, dedication, long days with sleepless nights, breakdowns and tears, and smiles and good times.”

The pin received at the Rites of Passage Ceremony not only represents the hard work students have put into their pharmacy school careers, it also signifies a new chapter in their lives for the upcoming school year. Renee says, “It signifies the end of my didactic (in class), years of pharmacy school and opens the road for the last leg of my journey: P4 rotations and a year packed with experience and learning. This pin may not look like much, but it means the world to me.”

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Faculty members Drs. Sarah Embrey, Karrie Juengel, Michelle Knight, and Alice Gahbauer strike a pose in the photo booth at the Pharmacy Gala.

In addition to the Rites of Passage, several students received awards and scholarships during the Honors & Awards Ceremony. Katie Oliver, a recipient of the Leadership Award and the Rita Carrico Memorial Scholarship, says that being awarded two scholarships was a highlight of the night. “Accepting two scholarships at The Rites of Passage Ceremony was a wonderful way to end my P3 year! Being recognized for the hours of hard work put into this curriculum, and experiencing that with my family, is a wonderful experience that I am grateful for.” Katie also says that the scholarship money rewarded at the Honors & Awards Ceremony will be helpful in paying for the expenses of the upcoming year of rotations. “I am so thankful for the scholarships and opportunities provided to me, as they will help immensely during my P4 clinical rotations.”

After the ceremony, students attended the Pharmacy Gala to enjoy a night of celebration with their classmates and families. This is the first year the event was held immediately after the Honors and Awards and Rites of Passage Ceremony, but Pharmacy Gala chair Sydney Bailey feels that the Pharmacy Gala was a great success. “I thought we had a great turnout and I think it was a great idea to have it right after the Honors and Awards and Rites of Passage Ceremony!”

P1 students Rachel Peaytt and Kathryn Howerton sign a picture to be gifted to retiring faculty member Dr. Dennis K. Flaherty.

P1 students Rachel Peaytt and Kathryn Howerton sign a picture to be gifted to retiring faculty member Dr. Dennis K. Flaherty.

Activities taking place at the Pharmacy Gala included signing a picture to give to retiring faculty member Dr. Dennis K. Flaherty, a DJ, heavy hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and a photo booth. According to Sydney, all of these activities were popular among students, “The rotunda turned out beautiful, and everyone seemed to love the decorations and photo booth!”

Planning the Pharmacy Gala was a great experience for Sydney, along with co-chair Linda Nguyen and committee members P1s Jasiris Boccheciamp, Nneoma Imo, Kelcey Duerson, and Sara Yagodich. “Planning the Pharmacy Gala this year was a lot of fun, and it was rewarding to see the event come together when the day finally arrived,” Sydney said. “I cannot wait to see what the future holds for upcoming Pharmacy Galas.”

Almuna Spotlight! Life After Pharmacy School: Dr. Allison Richmond Williams

Contributed by: Jenny Long, Class of 2017

As a current fourth year pharmacy student at UCSOP, I often look forward to the day I graduate in 2017. I am excited for the day when I can put my pharmacy education into practice and utilize the information I have learned over these past few years while completing the pharmacy curriculum. I know I am not the only pharmacy student looking forward to the day we will finally be pharmacists, so I reached out to UCSOP alumnus Allison Williams (formerly Richmond) from the Class of 2015 for an Alumna Spotlight feature. Dr. Williams was generous enough to grant us an interview detailing her life after graduation to show us there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Joseph and Allison Williams at graduation in May 2015.

Joseph and Allison Williams at graduation in May 2015.

Q: Please tell us a little bit about yourself! Where are you from? Any hobbies or interests?

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Drs. Allison and Joseph Williams

Dr. Williams: My name is Allison Williams and I live in Charleston, WV with my husband and UCSOP alumnus Joseph Williams. I’m originally from Talcott, WV and moved to this area after graduation. I am employed by Wal-Mart Pharmacy and currently serve as a floating pharmacist working at multiple stores in the area. I am also serving as an alumni member of the UCSOP Fellows Advisory Board. I enjoy spending my days off with my husband when we get them together! I also enjoy reading, baking, singing, and hanging out with friends.

Q: Could you tell us a little bit about your duties as a pharmacist? What’s your daily life? Do you enjoy your job? How do you feel about taking on students as a preceptor?

Dr. Williams: As a floating pharmacist, I go to multiple stores during the week to help out during vacations and busy times. My day consists of verifying prescriptions, counseling and talking to patients, giving immunizations, talking to other healthcare professionals, and working with the technicians. I also have the opportunity to do MTM at some stores. I do enjoy my job, and it is very rewarding to help patients understand their medications. In the future when I am at one store all the time I would be willing to take students, but as of now it is too hard as a floating pharmacist.

Q: We recently heard you were married! How do you handle or maintain a balance between work and your personal life?

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Allison and Joseph Williams on their wedding day. Photo by Meredith Dickens.

Dr. Williams: Joseph and I got married in July 2015 in Charleston. At first it was hard to balance the time, but now it has become a lot easier. We don’t always have the same days off each week. Whenever we do share a day off together we try to enjoy each other’s company and do something fun. Since we are both pharmacists it is easy to get caught up in talking about work, but we have learned to takeq time to talk about the other things going on in our lives. Balancing work and personal life is challenging, but in the end its worthwhile to set aside time to enjoy our life together.

Q: Could you take us back to when you were a student at UCSOP? What was your favorite class? What was the most challenging class for you? Any suggestions for current students?

Dr. Williams: I had a strong interest in infectious disease so I really enjoyed the portion of Pharmacotherapy III taught by Dr. Robinson. I also really enjoyed Bad Bugs taught by Dr. Flaherty my P1 year. I would say that one of my most challenging classes was Immunology as a P1. For current students, it’s important to find the study method that works for you. Once you find that, stick with it and you will do just fine with the material!

Allison and Joseph Williams. Photo by Meredith Dickens.

Allison and Joseph Williams. Photo by Meredith Dickens.

Q: Do you have any other long-term goals or dreams?

Dr. Williams: I hope to be able to settle down into one store instead of floating between pharmacies. Joseph and I are also hoping to buy a house soon so that we may begin thinking about starting a family.

We would like to thank Dr. Allison Williams for her help with this post! We wish her the best of luck in her career as a pharmacist!

SCCP – American College of Clinical Pharmacy

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 Student Chapter of Clinical Pharmacy (SCCP) is the student chapter of American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP). SCCP strives to “advance human health by extending the frontiers of clinical pharmacy through strategic initiatives, partnerships, collaborations, and alliances.” We accomplish this by, “promoting innovative science, helping in the development off successful models of practice, and advocating new knowledge to advance pharmacotherapy and patient care.”

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SCCP members participating at the Caregivers Health Fair at Temple Israel

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SCCP members Rani Saadallah, Jacob Jones, and Brandon Coleman helping kick off American Pharmacy Month at the University of Charleston Football Game

During the two semesters SCCP has been on campus we have participated in and developed many events and activities. In the spring semester SCCP hosts a faculty research symposium were faculty members are able to present their research to students as well as other faculty members. This has lead to students participating in research while still in school. We as an organization are also in the process of developing participation criteria for the annual ACCP research competition for first and second year pharmacy students. This would not only be a great opportunity to develop research and professional skills, but it would also give the student an advantage as they are applying to residencies during their P4 year. Another way SCCP helps its members to obtain residencies is by bringing in clinical pharmacists from around the community to talk about their individual jobs as well as what students need to do in order to obtain residencies in the future. These events give students a first person account of the countless job opportunities clinical pharmacists have and the path students need to take to get there. Throughout the year SCCP also participates in a variety health fairs to help advance the public knowledge on health care and enhancing patient care. This is an excellent opportunity for members to go out into the community and practice interacting with the public and other health care professionals.

As an organization we encourage the advancement of our members leadership, advocacy, and inter professional skills. This is accomplished through member participation in not only SCCP events, but as well as other organizational events on campus and throughout the area. Being a relatively new organization on campus there are many opportunities for new and current members to step up and have a leadership role in the organization and help lead the organization to advance the field of clinical pharmacy in the present and in the future.

For the 2015-2016 academic year the dues to join SCCP was $35 dollars for national dues and $5 for local dues.

Contributed by: Brandon Coleman, SCCP Treasurer (Class of 2019)

ASCP – American Society of Consultant Pharmacists

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. 

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ASCP members present at the Student Chapter Activity Poster Showcase at the ASCP annual meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) is a non-profit association that was established in the year 19691. As a student chapter of ASCP at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy (UCSOP) in Charleston, West Virginia, our mission correlates with the mission of the national chapter of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. The mission is the following:

The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists empowers pharmacists and other healthcare professionals to enhance quality of care for all older persons through the appropriate use of medication and the promotion of healthy aging.1

The purpose of the student chapter at UCSOP is to allow ASCP members to enhance their skills as student pharmacists and promote the health care quality of the elderly in the Charleston area. The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists chapter at UCSOP is accomplishing this through various activities.

The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists invites speakers with geriatric experience, such as residents that have done or are doing their residency in geriatrics, to come to our meetings to talk to the ASCP members. A new educational series is scheduled to launch in the spring semester of 2016. The Health Educational Sessions will provide the elderly in nursing homes helpful information about their health and how they can better it. ASCP also tries to reach out to the community and show support. For example, the ASCP members have participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The student chapter of American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) tries to make an impact in the school as well as in the community.

The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) is a growing chapter at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy. ASCP welcomes any student pharmacist that would like to make an impact in the lives of the elderly’s health care quality and wants to improve his/her leadership and communication skills. There is a $20.00 local feel to become an ASCP member. Currently, there is no national fee. As a member of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP), one is expected to attend the monthly meetings held at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy and participate in the events hosted by ASCP. The benefits of being an ASCP member include: online version of The Consultant Pharmacist journal, member discounts to ASCP’s online store and member discounts to ASCP meetings.1 ASCP is a great organization for those who would like to explore a different aspect of pharmacy, make an influence in the lives of others, and work together with fellow student pharmacists.

Contributed by: Glorisel Cruz (ASCP Parliamentarian, class of 2018) and Marina Farid (ASCP Historian, class of 2018)

Phi Delta Chi

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. 

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Brothers Jenny Long, Lindsay Tincher, and Felix Tran celebrate American Pharmacist’s Month at a UC football game.

Phi Delta Chi is a professional pharmacy fraternity that emphasizes community service, leader-development, and a strong sense of brotherhood for its members, boasting strong community service involvement and a large networking base around the country. It was founded in Ann Arbor, Michigan on November 2, 1883 and remains one of the largest professional pharmacy fraternities in the country as nearly 1 in every 12 pharmacists is a Phi Delta Chi Brother.

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Brothers Jenny Long, Byron Magedanz, and Domonique Dobson at Grand Council in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

This past August, the Gamma Chi chapter traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the 70th Grand Council which over 600 collegiate and alumni brothers attended to participate in general business meetings, officer training courses, St. Jude’s bowling fundraisers, Continuing Education opportunities, and the chance to meet brothers from other chapters around the country. While there, the UCSOP chapter won two national awards, including the 100% Achievement Award and the Pharmacy Leadership & Education Institute (PLEI) Leaders in Action Scholarship.

During the Fall semester, the members of Phi Delta Chi focus on Fall Rush, which gives each student at UCSOP an opportunity to commune with members of the fraternity and see what our organization is about. Our Wednesday Night Tradition and Rush events included a Pizza Party Meet-and-Greet, Pumpkin Carving, Trivia at a local restaurant, and a Bonfire complete with hotdogs and s’mores. We had an excellent turnout for all of our events and were excited that students have shown a strong interest in our Fraternity.

Brothers Paige White (Beta Kappa, Campbell University), Jenny Long, Byron Magedanz, and Domonique Dobson with the Gamma Chi Charter at Grand Council in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

On various Wednesday nights, the fraternity enjoys going out to local restaurants and engaging in the fraternal fellowship that is so dear to Phi Delta Chi.

The members of Phi Dex are currently working on building an outdoor library for the Ronald McDonald House. Books will be placed in the library, and any resident of the Ronald McDonald House and the community is welcome to borrow books from the community library as well as donate to the library. Phi Delta Chi brothers are also planning on preparing a meal for the families staying at Ronald McDonald House during the spring semester.

Advisor Ron Ramirez proudly wears his letters in his lab at UCSOP.

Advisor Ron Ramirez proudly wears his letters in his lab at UCSOP.

Our plans for the coming Spring semester include partnering with Script Your Future by participating in the Script Your Future Health Fair at the Charleston Civic Center. In addition, we are planning on collaborating with the local CPFI chapter to

For more information about Phi Delta Chi, please visit phideltachi.org.

 

Contributed by: Jenny Long (Phi Delta Chi Worthy Chief Counselor, class of 2017) and Lindsay Tincher (Phi Delta Chi Worthy Inner Guard, class of 2017)

AAPS – American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists

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. 

This year, the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) wanted to make a very large  impact in the UC School of Pharmacy. We have been pretty silent in the past, but this year we want to turn it all around and show that AAPS is able to make a beneficial contribution to the field of pharmacy.

AAPS members visit a Raffle Table at an AAPS meeting

AAPS members visit a Raffle Table at an AAPS meeting

We started off the year with our Cystic Fibrosis Event. We wanted to do an event for Cystic Fibrosis (CF) awareness as a part of American Pharmacists Month because pharmacists play a major role in orphan disease states such as Cystic Fibrosis. Orphan diseases don’t have many drug therapy options, so it is crucial for pharmacists to engage with the patient to ensure proper symptom management to increase quality of life.

In order to increase awareness of the roles that pharmacists play for patients who have Cystic Fibrosis, we had three speakers for our event. We had a P1 student from Marshall University School of Pharmacy speak about her son who has CF, a resident of Tennessee who has a daughter with CF did a Skype call, and Dr. Linger spoke about her research involvement with CF as well as her cousin who passed away due to complications from CF. Each speaker has been personally affected by Cystic Fibrosis through either her child or a relative. They spoke about their personal stories as well as how pharmacists have played an important role. One speaker mentioned the amount of care that her pharmacist gave her daughter and how important it is for pharmacists to treat their patients as human beings and give that personal care aspect.

Dr. Rebecca Linger speaking at an AAPS meeting

Dr. Rebecca Linger speaking at an AAPS meeting

We also had information pamphlets to hand out that discussed what Cystic Fibrosis is, the pathophysiology and epidemiology, and the treatment options that are available. We closed out our event with a raffle where attendees were able to purchase raffle tickets for a dollar each. Several sponsors around the Charleston area including Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Subway, Edible Arrangements, Books-A-Million, Café Creperi and several others donated the prizes. Through all of the raffle ticket purchases from our 60 attendees, we were able to raise $900 to donate to the West Virginia chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. We were told that this money would go towards the Great Strides Walk held in Charleston, WV in May to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis.

AAPS members listen to a speaker at a chapter meeting.

AAPS members listen to a speaker at a chapter meeting.

Overall, we felt this event was a great success and we hope to continue this event in the future and make it an annual one. Due to the success of this event, we want to continue putting on events for spring semester that can impact the UC community as well as the Charleston community. We will be putting on a health fair with NCPA as part of Script Your Future to educate patients on the importance of getting regular health checks and how this can greatly benefit them from reducing the risk future disease states such as hypertension and diabetes through regular blood pressure and blood glucose checks.

Contributed by: Monica Ven (AAPS President, class of 2017).