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12 posts from October 2014

10/30/2014

USciences Named an 'Outstanding ACS Chapter Award' Recipient

AcsUniversity of the Sciences' student chapter of the American Chemical Society received national recognition for its activities during the 2013-14 academic year, as the American Chemical Society named it an Outstanding Chapter.

Of the 400 U.S. student chapters who submitted reports to ACS, only 44 (approximately 10 percent) received Outstanding status; 85 received Commendable and 151 Honorable. The USciences chapter was praised for its activities during National Chemistry Week, which the judges called “exemplars for the rest of the ACS student chapters,” as well as its involvement with the Science Olympiad, which was held on USciences' campus for the first time on Feb. 1, 2014.

Tom Barton, president of the American Chemical Society, praised the club’s members and its chemistry faculty advisors, Dr. Catherine Bentzley and Vanessa Jones.

“Few faculty members are willing to make the great commitment of time and energy that a successful chapter requires. Dr. Bentzley's and Ms. Jones' efforts certainly represent the best in undergraduate science education and mentoring around the country,” Barton said. “We extend our warmest congratulations to the students and Dr. Bentzley and Ms. Jones for setting such a fine example for other chapters and being exemplary chemistry ambassadors!”

Last year, this on-campus organization was named Student Organization of the Year at USciences, and was under the leadership of alumnae Megan Mohadjer Beromi C'14, a doctorate student at Yale; and Julie Mercandante BC'14, a medical student the Commonwealth Medical College.

This chapter also won the second place in the 2014 Chemistry Wars, a competition between Delaware Valley chemistry programs, co-sponsored by USciences and Temple University’s ACS Chapters. They also organized the first Philadelphia Local ACS Chapter poster session at USciences, which was attended by more than 130 students from Philadelphia-area.

USciences' student chapter of ACS was invited to accept the award at the 249th ACS National Meeting in Denver on March 22, 2015, as well as to present and attend research discussions.

Congratulations!

Chronic Medication Adherence: Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of Americans. It is a group of metabolic disorder characterized by persistent hyperglycemia. Early diagnosis and proper treatment is important to reduce complications such as coronary artery disease, blindness, and loss of sensation. However, as stated by Dr. C. Everett Koop “Drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them.”

Diabetes is one the leading causes of death. It is very important to eat a healthy diet especially with this disease. Patients who have diabetes should be encouraged to modify their diet to include more vegetables, whole grains, fruits, non-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, poultry, and fish. A study done to see the correlation of self-monitoring of blood glucose to weight loss by doing a weight loss intervention showed increased self-monitoring of blood glucose and greater weight loss was achieved through better adherence to diet. The authors concluded self-monitoring of blood glucose leads to increased adherence to diet. Also, patients that were educated about the impact of diet on weight loss, showed increase adherence to diet and better glucose control.

A retrospective literature search was conducted by Cramer to assess the adherence to oral hypoglycemic agents and insulin products and its effect on glycemic control in diabetes patients. In this systematic analysis, she found that electronic monitoring was effective in identifying patients who were poorly adherent.   The study showed that electronic monitoring systems can be used to increase adherence by providing health care providers the information needed to identify patients than need interventions.

Pharmacists today use electronic monitoring through computerized programs that measure adherence rates such as refill rates. There are many ways pharmacists can intervene to increase adherence rates with chronic medications, such as oral hypoglycemic medications. Non-adherence can be detrimental to patients, so pharmacists can intervene by counseling newly diagnosed individuals of the benefits of taking their medication properly and the risks that may occur if medication is not taken. Also, pharmacists can review adherence rates with patients to identify reasons why patients may not be taking their medications. If patients cannot tolerate certain medications, or cannot follow directions appropriately, pharmacists can suggest other products.

The cost of not taking medications is high in patients with chronic medications, so it is important that pharmacists and patients work together to create a regimen that is most beneficial.

 

Urvi Patel, PharmD’16

Chronic Medication Adherence: Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of Americans. It is a group of metabolic disorder characterized by persistent hyperglycemia. Early diagnosis and proper treatment is important to reduce complications such as coronary artery disease, blindness, and loss of sensation. However, as stated by Dr. C. Everett Koop “Drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them.”

Diabetes is one the leading causes of death. It is very important to eat a healthy diet especially with this disease. Patients who have diabetes should be encouraged to modify their diet to include more vegetables, whole grains, fruits, non-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, poultry, and fish. A study done to see the correlation of self-monitoring of blood glucose to weight loss by doing a weight loss intervention showed increased self-monitoring of blood glucose and greater weight loss was achieved through better adherence to diet. The authors concluded self-monitoring of blood glucose leads to increased adherence to diet. Also, patients that were educated about the impact of diet on weight loss, showed increase adherence to diet and better glucose control.

A retrospective literature search was conducted by Cramer to assess the adherence to oral hypoglycemic agents and insulin products and its effect on glycemic control in diabetes patients. In this systematic analysis, she found that electronic monitoring was effective in identifying patients who were poorly adherent.   The study showed that electronic monitoring systems can be used to increase adherence by providing health care providers the information needed to identify patients than need interventions.

Pharmacists today use electronic monitoring through computerized programs that measure adherence rates such as refill rates. There are many ways pharmacists can intervene to increase adherence rates with chronic medications, such as oral hypoglycemic medications. Non-adherence can be detrimental to patients, so pharmacists can intervene by counseling newly diagnosed individuals of the benefits of taking their medication properly and the risks that may occur if medication is not taken. Also, pharmacists can review adherence rates with patients to identify reasons why patients may not be taking their medications. If patients cannot tolerate certain medications, or cannot follow directions appropriately, pharmacists can suggest other products.

The cost of not taking medications is high in patients with chronic medications, so it is important that pharmacists and patients work together to create a regimen that is most beneficial.

 

Urvi Patel, PharmD’16

Samson College Kicks Off 'Allied Health Week' on Nov. 3

Samson College of Health Sciences at University of the Sciences will kick off its Allied Health Week on Monday, Nov. 3, with "Mindful Meditation" at 12:15 p.m. in the IPEX, second floor.

Here's the agenda for the rest of the week:

Tuesday, Nov. 4 at 1 p.m. | IPEX, Room 139 | "FED UP"

Everything we’ve been told about food and exercise for the past 30 years is dead wrong. "Fed Up" is the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see.

Wednesday, Nov. 5 at noon | IPEX Steps

“Walk with me Wednesday”

Thursday, Nov. 6 at 1 p.m. | IPEX, second floor

“Guiding Flame” Sculpture Dedication
(Dessert reception following dedication)

1 p.m. in ARC | IPE Volleyball Tournament

Anyone interested in signing up must sign up with a team of 6 in 4500 Woodland, Suite 100 by Wednesday, Nov. 5

10/28/2014

USciences Prez, Students and Faculty Attended Life Sciences Future in Philly

PABioLSF14_-138University of the Sciences President Dr. Helen-Giles Gee, as well as students and faculty from USciences, joined hundreds of life sciences leaders and innovators during the Life Sciences Future Conference on Oct. 13-14 in Philadelphia.

Life Sciences Future was a two-day event designed by Pennsylvania Bio to reflect the rapidly-evolving landscape in healthcare - which includes biopharma, medical device and diagnostics, healthcare IT, contract research organizations, medical research institutions, and the investment community.

The first day of the event kicked off with Life Sciences Future Symposium: Partnerships in Science, which was designed for an exclusive audience of academic researchers, such as USciences students and faculty, to explore best practices for engaging business development representatives at large companies as well as the next steps in developing their technologies. The second day of the conference was jam-packed with speakers, topics and features all related to advancing science and healthcare industries.

Dr. Giles-Gee and students had the opportunity to meet and speak with Michael Sofia, inventor of Sofosbuvir – known by the brand name Sovaldi, a hepatitis C therapy drug approved by the FDA last December.

“The sessions were outstanding and much appreciated by the faculty and students who attended," Dr. Giles-Gee.

10/27/2014

USciences Well-Represented at Annual UMBC Research Symposium

Bio research University of the Sciences was well-represented at the 17th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Chemical and Biological Sciences held at University of Maryland, Baltimore County on Saturday, Oct. 25.

This annual event – sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health – showcased dozens of mentor-approved contributions from undergraduate students who investigated various aspects of chemistry, biology and biochemistry. 

Ashley Stewart MB'15 and Reecha Pandya BISci'15 joined Drs. Peter B. Berget and Matthew Farber, both professors in the Department of Biological Sciences, as they presented their research.

Stewart’s research, “Blood Sensors: Development of Biosensors for the Measurement of Factor Xa and Thrombin Concentrations in Blood,” aimed to advance diagnostic testing methods by creating a protein-based “detector” that can directly assess clotting measures in a patient’s blood. Dr. Berget, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, served as her research advisor for the project.

Pandya’s research, “Effect of Fermentation Parameters on Protease Activity in Beer” was intended to optimize beer fermentation conditions that minimize potential protease release, ultimately benefiting quality control for home brewers and commercial breweries. She conducted her research under the guidance of Drs. Farber and Berget. Dr. Farber is currently a postdoctoral fellow under Dr. Berget specializing in cell biology and protein purification. 

10/17/2014

VIDEO: Mayes College Alumnus Shares Experiences in Ireland

 
Video by Sport Changes Life Foundation

Alumnus Patrick Connaghan PhB'14 is currently continuing his education and basketball career in Carlow, Ireland through the Sport Changes Life Foundation's Victory Scholarship program. He is pursing his Masters in Business at the Carlow Institute of Technology, and is on track to finish his degree this spring.

You can follow Patrick's journey in Ireland by following him at @Connaman on Twitter, or by reading his Sport Changes Life blog.

Continue readingRecent Grad Gives Back to the Game of Basketball, Gains Free Education

10/15/2014

Community Pharmacy Medication Adherence

Medication adherence is a growing concern for health care providers. For this reason many community pharmacies are focusing on was to increase medication adherence rates. This can be done in various ways ranging in diverse settings.

            Medication therapy management (MTM) are services provided by pharmacists to increase therapeutic outcomes. There are approximately 1.5 billion preventable adverse effects that cause $177 billion in injury and death. A major target for MTM occurs in community pharmacies. The Pennsylvania Project studied 107 Rite Aid pharmacies that trained pharmacist to perform interventions including asking questions about medication adherence and 111 control pharmacies that did not perform these interventions.  The endpoints of this study showed an increase in medication adherence (PDC >80%) in the intervention group over the control group.  There was a significant increase in adherence of 3.1% for beta-blockers and 4.8% of for anti-diabetic drugs.

            Patient counseling is a great way for community pharmacists to change medication adherence rates. In an internal study, Walgreens Pharmacy is creating a way to identify patients that may need a little more help with medication adherence by examining  poor past medication adherence rates or new medications prescribed. In a study across 76 Walgreens, these interventions showed an increase in medication possession ratio.

            Chronic medications can be difficult to control of especially if a patient is taking multiple medications. An AHRQ tool used in community pharmacies called refill reminders, can help patients pick up their medications on time.  Using this script as part of an automated reminder system, can help prompt patients to refill their prescriptions or pick up their medication.

            While at work, I have come across these methods to increase medication adherence in the community setting. It is important as pharmacist to intervene early by educating and counseling the patient, so adherence rates start off high. These methods have proven extremely beneficial in my place of work. For example, automatic courtesy refills allow all patients on maintenance medications to be reminded to pick up their medication, so they do not miss doses. These are just some examples of methods being implemented in community pharmacies to help pharmacists identify these patients and improve medication adherence.

Urvi Patel, PharmD ‘16

10/13/2014

Get Vaccinated: Flu is Bigger Threat to You than Ebola, Says USciences Prof

Hussar_DanielWith the 2014-15 flu season officially underway, pharmacy professor Daniel Hussar, PhD, at Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at University of the Sciences, urges people to stop worrying about Ebola and get a flu shot instead. That’s because the flu is far more deadly in the U.S. compared with Ebola, and resulted in 131 flu-related deaths in Pennsylvania alone during the 2013-14 flu season (Sept. 29, 2013 to Sept. 27, 2014).

“While everyone should get a flu vaccine this season, it’s especially important for infants, children, pregnant women, and seniors because they are most vulnerable to developing serious complications – like pneumonia – if they catch the flu,” said Dr. Hussar.

Flu seasons – which typically span from October to May in Pennsylvania – are unpredictable and often differ in length and severity. However, influenza remains a leading cause of death in the U.S, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of the 131 flu-related deaths in Pennsylvania last flu season, the Pennsylvania Department of Health revealed that nearly 80 percent of those deaths were recorded among people aged 50 and older. Nationwide, about 200,000 people are hospitalized with the flu and up to 49,000 people die each year.

As an advocate for protecting people against the flu, Dr. Hussar compiled a list of key facts people need to know regarding flu vaccinations:

  • Safe for pregnant women. Pregnancy should not be a restriction to receiving a flu shot as it protects the mother and her baby for several months into its life.
  • It’s never too late. While people are encouraged to receive their flu shots in early fall, the immunization still provides benefits to individuals who wait until December or January to get vaccinated.
  • Healthy children need flu protection, too. Between 2004 and 2012, flu complications killed 830 children in the U.S., many of whom were otherwise healthy, according to the CDC.
  • Convenient locations. Most Pennsylvania pharmacies house a certified pharmacist who is authorized to administer flu shots to individuals older than 18. Anyone under the age of 18 is encouraged to receive vaccinations through their pediatrician or community health clinics.
  • ‘Flu caused by vaccination’ myth. The flu vaccine is made from an inactivated virus that cannot transmit infection. That means people who get sick after receiving a flu vaccination were going to get sick anyway, they just assume the shot caused their illness.
  • Nasal spray an option. The nasal spray vaccine – or the live, attenuated influenza vaccine – is commonly known by its trade name, FluMist, and offers protection to healthy adults from 2 to 49 years old who are not pregnant. FluMist contains a live but weakened flu virus that cannot cause flu illness.

“Don't let the recent Ebola news headlines distract you from taking measures to protect yourself and your loved ones from the much greater risk of catching the flu,” said Dr. Hussar.

10/08/2014

USciences Students Advanced to Semifinals of National Pharmacy Competition

STUDENTCOMPETITIONLOGOThree doctor of pharmacy students at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia excelled to the semifinals of the 2014 American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Clinical Pharmacy Challenge earlier this month in Austin. They were the only students representing a Pennsylvania college or university in this competition.

USciences teammates Alex Hansen PharmD'15, of Mohnton, Pa.; Hoan Hoang PharmD'15, of Philadelphia; and Dennis Sainsbury PharmD'15, of Severna Park, Md., faced off against teams of three pharmacy students from across the country in a "quiz bowl" format. They defeated the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy in the quarterfinal round, but later fell to the Purdue University College of Pharmacy in the semifinal round. Purdue went on to win the championship.

The preliminary rounds for this national competition were conducted over the Internet in September; and 104 teams of pharmacy students from across the nation vied for the opportunity to compete in the final rounds of the competition. The quarterfinal, semifinal, and final rounds were held live during the ACCP meeting.

AACP“I know firsthand the fierceness of this national competition,” said Heidi M. Anderson, PhD, provost and vice president of academic affairs at USciences. “This is an outstanding achievement and we are proud that these students advanced to being one of the top eight pharmacy schools in the country competing in the finals.”

Each team participating quarterfinal round received three complimentary student full-meeting registrations, and each team member also received an ACCP gift certificate for $125 as well as a certificate of recognition. In addition, semifinal teams not advancing to the final round, like USciences, received a semifinal team plaque for display at their respective institutions.

Yvonne Phan, PharmD, assistant professor of clinical pharmacy at USciences, accompanyed the USciences team to Austin. The other colleges who competed in the quarterfinals included South Dakota State University, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy, Touro University-California, University of Kentucky, and University of Utah.

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