111 posts categorized "Pharmacy Practice"

08/19/2015

PCP Students Provide Faith-Based Healthcare to Underserved Philly Residents

SMI_20151Five students from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy collaborated with more than two dozen medical, dental, podiatry, and nursing students from various colleges across Philadelphia during this year’s Summer Medical Institute (SMI) Philadelphia. This three-week health outreach program is sponsored by the Medical Campus Outreach ministry of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia and Esperanza Health Center.

“Teams of health professions students helped address the health and spiritual needs of residents in the Kensington and Hunting Park neighborhoods of Philadelphia,” said Daniel Hussar, PhD, Remington Professor of Pharmacy at University of the Sciences. “This unique experience allowed students to learn how to integrate their faith with their responsibilities as health professionals.”

After initial training sessions, Sherilin Joe PharmD’16, Rebecca Shatynski PharmD’16, Julie Varughese PharmD’16, Megan Pellett PharmD’16, and Christina Besada PhSci’17 joined their peers to conduct door-to-door health outreach in teams throughout the neighborhoods—offering diabetes and blood pressure screenings, as well as nutrition and healthy lifestyle education.

Students also lived together in community, and learned first-hand the impact of social, cultural, emotional, spiritual, and economic factors on individuals’ health. Through interaction with clinicians and staff members at Esperanza Health Center, Dr. Hussar said the students were able to observe an effective model of Christian primary healthcare.

Here’s a break-down of the recorded visits and activities completed by the students during SMI:

  • 630 visits to homes were conducted with health screenings provided
  • 787 blood pressure screens
    • 97 new positives for pre-hypertension were identified
    • 117 new positives for hypertension were identified
  • 756 blood sugar screens
    • 68 new positives for diabetes were identified
  • 737 BMI screens
  • 130 dental screens
  • 68 received in-home HIV testing
  • 200 people received asthma education
  • 917 people were prayed with
  • 87 people requested church follow-up

Following the conclusion of SMI, USciences students made follow-up phone calls to individuals with whom visits were made.  They also met with alumnus Neil Pitts P'73, PharmD'04 and visited the Miriam Medical Clinic that he started at Berean Baptist Church in North Philadelphia.

08/12/2015

College-Bound Students: Don’t Forget to Pack These Necessities, Says USciences Prof

Hewitt-3189Thousands of students across Greater Philadelphia will soon start the next chapter of their lives as they begin their college journeys away from home. But with their new freedom comes the exposure to millions of germs while living and studying in close quarters with others, said Stacey Gorski, PhD, assistant professor of biological sciences at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

“Because students share many of the same spaces and items in places such as residence halls and dining areas, many germs can spread quickly and easily,” said Dr. Gorski, who specializes in immunology. “It’s scary when you think about it, but the more you know about their risks, the better you can protect yourself.” 

So as students pack their bags with necessities like clothing, bed linens, accessories, and electronics, Dr. Gorski also encourages them to remember to pack the following items to help minimize their contact to germs:

  • Flip flops for the shower. Communal bathrooms in residence halls—thanks to their generally moist nature—are breeding grounds for germs, such as fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Shower sandals can help protect students from catching viruses that can cause warts and fungi that commonly cause athlete's foot.
  • Laundry detergent. Students are probably unaware that they are sharing their bed with bacteria, yeast, and other fungi that can lead to skin infections and respiratory issues. Regularly washing bed linens, changing pillows, and showering at night can help reduce the number of germs in a student’s bed. Students should also avoid using their beds as seating areas for guests.
  • Disinfectant wipes. Viruses like the norovirus—commonly associated with gastrointestinal disease on cruise ships, but also a rising cause for concern on college campuses—can live and potentially infect a person for up to 7 days after being deposited on a surface. That’s why it is a good idea to wipe down shared objects, such as eating areas, desks, doorknobs, and keyboards, daily with disinfectant wipes.
  • Hand sanitizer.  Although soap and water works best for killing germs, alcohol-based hand gels can work in a pinch, especially for individuals who use public transportation, or do not have access to a sink for extended periods of time.

On a more serious note, Dr. Gorski also urges college-bound students to consider getting the HPV and influenza vaccinations. Both males and females should receive the three-dose HPV vaccine to protect themselves against preventable cervical, mouth, and throat cancers. She also added that flu shots are the best way to protect students against influenza and possibly missing weeks of class due to the highly-contagious virus. 

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HealthAug. 21, 2015:
Add Germ Fighters to College Packing List

07/21/2015

Jamaican a Difference: PCP Students Complete Interprofessional Medical Mission Trip

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Left to right: Pharmacy students Joellen Friedman, Brie Kassamura, Nitin Bagga, Julian Kam, Grace Park and Monika Cios.

Pharmacy student Nitin Bagga PharmD'16 observed closely as a middle-aged Jamaican woman—with teeth rotted well into her gum line—underwent an oral exam at a free health clinic in Kingston. Until that day, the woman had no means of getting medical attention or hope that the pain would come to an end.

Stories like this highlighted all of the reasons why nearly a dozen pharmacy students and professors from University of the Sciences made the journey to Jamaica last month to participate in an interprofessional medical mission trip.

It was a mission to help others, to learn about a culture 1,500 miles from Philadelphia, to gain work experience, and to come away better people. It was a mission to give back.

“This trip was a humbling experience to say the least…seeing the poverty in different parts of the world and being able to help so many in need was extremely rewarding,” said Bagga. “Working with the different healthcare professionals on the trip has prepared me to be the best pharmacist I can be.”

Bagga was accompanied on this trip by his classmates Joellen Friedman PharmD’16, Brie Kassamura PharmD’16, Julian Kam PharmD’16, Grace Park PharmD’16, and Monika Cios PharmD’16; and pharmacy professors Drs. Shelley Otsuka, Jessica Adams, and Yvonne Phan.

The pharmacy group from USciences joined a large team of healthcare practitioners and professional students from Nova Southeastern University and Women of Health Occupation Promoting Education (H.O.P.E.) to provide essential medical services to Jamaicans in critical need of quality medical and dental care, health awareness education, and pediatric care.

By the end of the trip, the team had provided care to more than 3,000 patients at prisons, churches, schools, and hotels across rural and urban communities in Jamaica. In fact, the USciences pharmacy team filled more than 5,000 prescriptions for these patients.

The Philadelphia College of Pharmacy students had many responsibilities before, during, and after the mission trip, said Dr. Otsuka. They prepared for the trip by updating the medication guide-use tools, reviewing the medication formulary, developing patient education pamphlets, creating a continuing medical education presentation handout, and constructing a research project that included a protocol. In addition, they held disease-state topic discussions with their instructors to help review treatment guidelines.

MissionTrip
Joellen Friedman PharmD’16 provides patient counseling to a mother and her young daughter.

The students also collected donations from pharmaceutical companies, alumni, and local businesses, such as SunRay Drugs and ACME Savon Pharmacies. As a result of their efforts, approximately 75 different medications were used to treat a variety of patient conditions in Jamaica. They also held fundraisers in the spring to offset their housing expenses for the trip and to raise money to purchase medical supplies, including gloves, hand sanitizer, and Ziploc bags—which functioned as the medication vial.

During the trip, the students had the opportunity to work alongside healthcare practitioners and students in the fields of medicine, physical and occupational therapy, and dentistry. They also managed a closed formulary system and maintained an accurate medication inventory system, as well as filled, compounded, and labeled medications, and counseled patients on new medications—all under the guidance of their professors.

When the students returned to Philadelphia, Dr. Otsuka said they took stock of their inventory, wrote self-reflection essays, and gathered and analyzed data for a scholarly project. She said they plan to submit an abstract and research poster for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists' Midyear Clinical Meeting, and share their experience with peers and underclassmen this fall.

Throughout the trip, each healthcare profession interacted with pharmacy in a unique and collaborative way, said Park.

“Pharmacy was truly an equally integrative part of the healthcare system and care of the patient,” Park said. “Being able to be a part of that and see it occur in one room was an unforgettable experience.”

CLICK HERE TO SEE A PHOTO GALLERY FROM THE TRIP

04/06/2015

PCP Student Takes Third Place in Prestigious U.S. Pharmacy Competition

Viha daveBy combining her pharmacy education and interpersonal communication skills, pharmacy student Viha Dave PharmD’16 recently took third place at the 2015 National Patient Counseling Competition—held during the American Pharmacists Association Academy’s (APhA) Annual Meeting and Exposition, on March 29, in San Diego. She competed against 126 student pharmacists from across the country, becoming the first pharmacy student in decades to represent USciences as a top 10 finalist in this prestigious competition.

“It was an honor to represent Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at the national level, and I hope this gets my younger classmates excited to participate in the future, as this was an enriching experience for me,” said Dave. “My PCP education definitely helped prepare me for this experience because many of my professors continually emphasize the importance of delivering personalized care to our patients.”

The main goal of this national competition is to encourage student pharmacists to become better patient educators. Each year, the competition is designed to reflect changes that are occurring in practice, promote and encourage further professional development of student pharmacists, and reinforce the role of the pharmacist as a healthcare provider and educator.

This competition began at the local level in January, where students, like Dave, competed against their classmates to represent their pharmacy school on a national platform. The national competition was divided into the preliminary round and final round. At the preliminary round, students selected a simple practice scenario at random and were required to counsel a mock patient on the appropriate use of the drug involved. Evaluations were based on the content and style of the counseling presentations, and the top 10 student pharmacists advanced to the final round of the competition.

The final round involved a more complex counseling situation where the participants again selected a prescription at random and were asked to counsel their patients on safe and effective drug use. The patient in the final round, however, also displayed personality characteristics such as anxiousness, aggression or apathy to challenge the participants’ ability to convey pertinent information in a realistic situation.

 “I had the opportunity to watch Viha’s performance during her final counseling round and it was clear that she is a highly competent, confident, and compassionate student pharmacist,” said Kenneth Leibowitz, assistant professor of communications at USciences and co-founder of this national competition.

Dave, along with the other top 10 finalists in the competition, were recognized during the closing ceremony of the APhA  meeting, and the four top winners of the competition received cash prizes.

#ProvenEverywhere

03/10/2015

USciences to Host Panel on LGBT Healthcare on April 1

LGBTStriving to address the healthcare needs in the LGBT community, University of the Sciences has teamed up with local nonprofit organizations to host its first Panel on LGBT Healthcare on Wednesday, April 1, from 7-9 p.m., in Griffith Hall (43rd Street at Woodland Avenue).

“This event is intended to bring together students and community members to learn more about the unique needs and challenges faced by the LGBT community in regards to accessing healthcare,” said AJ Young, coordinator of the event at USciences.

Panelists from ActionAIDS, Philadelphia FIGHT, Mazzoni Center, GALAEI, and the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE) will give a brief overview of their organization’s work and mission, discuss current issues and pressing needs in LGBT healthcare, and share what they believe is important for future healthcare professionals to know about working with the LGBT community. There will also be time for questions from the audience.

Invited panelists, include:

  • Tiffany Thompson, Director, Youth-Health Empowerment Project at Philadelphia FIGHT
  • Elaine Dutton, Trans Clinical Services Coordinator, Mazzoni Center
  • Elicia Gonzalez, Executive Director, GALAEI
  • Jay Johnson, Volunteer Coordinator & PWA, ActionAIDS
  • Rosemary Daub, Medical Case Manager Coordinator, ActionAIDS
  • Han Meadway, Transportation Advocate, CARIE

“Our speakers are some of the most knowledgeable and passionate people in Philadelphia regarding LGBT issues, and they’re eager to highlight what future healthcare professionals should know to provide quality care that treats LGBT patients with respect and dignity, while addressing their unique and not-so-unique health concerns,” said Young.

This event is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served after the panel. For more information, contact Young at a.young@usciences.edu or 215.596.8734.

03/03/2015

PCP Prof Honored at USciences 194th Founders’ Day Award Ceremony

Hewitt-1953University of the Sciences proudly recognized pharmaceutical sciences professor Adeboye Adejare, PhD, with the 2015 Founders’ Day Faculty Award of Merit during the University’s 194th Founders’ Day ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 19.

“Dr. Adejare is an accomplished researcher who has been widely published and nationally respected,” said Heidi M. Anderson, PhD, provost and vice president of academic affairs. “He truly exemplifies the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of the USciences’ Founders.”

Since arriving at USciences in 2003, Dr. Adejare has been awarded four patents. Over the course of his extensive career, he has been the principal investigator or investigator on more than 30 grant and contract awards from the National Institutes of Health, as well as other government agencies and pharmaceutical companies. He was also the recipient of the highly-competitive 2014 Carnegie Corporation Fellowship.

Publishing more than 30 papers in prominent, peer-reviewed journals in the areas of pharmaceutical sciences, Dr. Adejare has provided the opportunity for USciences undergraduate and graduate students to coauthor many of those publications. He and his research group members have also been selected to give more than 100 presentations at professional meetings, including national and international conferences.  His research studies deal with trying to understand mechanisms of neurodegeneration as observed in Alzheimer's and similar diseases, as well as drug targeting and pharmaceutical profiling.

Each year, Founders’ Day at USciences recognizes its establishment on Feb. 23, 1821, as Philadelphia College of Pharmacy — the first college of pharmacy in North America, which is now a part of USciences. As part of the ceremony, an honorary degree of science was presented to Carol Buchalter on behalf of her late husband, Martin P’55. Just eight years after earning his pharmacy degree from USciences, Martin Buchalter revolutionized the medical application of ultrasound by developing an easy-to-use transmission gel that once applied to the patient’s skin, provided the medium that the ultrasound waves needed to enter body tissue.

For more information, visit the University’s Founders’ Day webpage at usciences.edu/foundersday.  Click to see Founders' Day: Photos | Video.

12/05/2014

Medication Adherence and Hospital Readmissions

Whether patients are getting medications, seeing a primary care provider, discharged from a hospital, or getting emergency care, they are being shifted between different health care providers. Transitions of care is an important aspect of healthcare because it allows smooth movement of patients from one setting to another.

Transitioning from the hospital to home can be difficult for patients, potentially leading to readmission if the transition is not well coordinated. Kirkham conducted a retrospective cohort study in two acute care hospitals in the United States to see the effect of a collaborative pharmacist-hospital care transition care program on the likelihood of 30-day readmission rates. The two-year study showed patients who did not receive bedside delivery of post discharge medications and follow-up telephone calls were twice as likely to be readmitted within 30 days of discharged than those who did receive these services. For patients greater than 65 years of age, the pharmacist transition of care resulted in a six-fold decrease in 30-day readmission rates. As this study shows, a transition of care program can be associated with a lower likelihood of readmission and pharmacist participation can be of significant benefit.  

A study conducted by Bellone reviewed 131 patients aged 18 to 65 on at least three prescription medications. The intervention group consisted of patients that pharmacists visited within 60 days of discharge to provide medication counseling or dosage adjustments, while the control group did not receive any intervention. The intervention group had an 18.2% hospital readmission rate compared to 43.1% in the control group (P = 0.002).  Pharmacists can optimize medication adherence during transitions of care to reduce readmission rates. The American Pharmacist Association and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists released a Medication Management in Care Transitions Project to display popular models from across the country that improve patient outcomes by involving pharmacists in medication-related transitions of care. Some of the roles and responsibilities of pharmacists in these practices include: medication reconciliation, counseling on medication therapy, contacting the patient’s home for follow-up, preparing medications etc. Through these interventions pharmacists are involved in patient care from inpatient to home settings.

Transition of care pharmacists can be a beneficial aspect in the health care system. By providing appropriate interventions, pharmacists can decrease the likelihood of hospital readmission.

Urvi Patel, PharmD ‘16

11/21/2014

Medication Adherence In Patients with Depression

Depression is a mental disorder that has an unknown cause. There are many explanations for developing depression including genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological features. Signs and symptoms of depression vary from minimal to severe. Indication that someone may need medication to regulate his or her mood include the following symptoms: persistent sadness, hopelessness, fatigue, irritable mood, loss of interest, feelings of guilt, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, and suicidal thoughts.

There are a variety of classes of medications used for depression, but they all need to be given an adequate trial of about twelve weeks to see if the medication is efficacious. Roughly fifty percent of patients prematurely discontinue antidepressant therapy.  There are serious outcomes if medication is not taken including suicide. A systemic review by Chong evaluated the impact of education and behavioral interventions on antidepressant medication adherence and depression disease progression. This review showed patient education alone did not improve medication adherence rates; however, when used with behavioral changes and multifaceted interventions, adherence rates and depression outcomes improved. Behavioral and multifaceted interventions include education, telephone follow-up, medication support, and communication with primary care providers. For this reason, it is crucial to have pharmacist intervention when dealing with antidepressants to provide proper counseling on the medication to lead to better insight on the medication as well as intervene on proper behavioral changes.

Pharmacists can help increase outcomes of depressed patients by counseling them on their medication. Antidepressants are different than other medications because they need a longer period of time to feel it working. This presents as an issue for patients because they do not feel the need to take a medication that is not helping them feel better instantaneously. Also, patients might think they do not need a medication if they are starting to feel better.  Pharmacists should explain to the patient that it takes antidepressants at least two weeks to take effect. Patients should also be informed that there are common side effects associated with these medications and it is important to continue taking antidepressants for at least six to nine months to prevent reoccurrence of depression.

Because there are many negative side effects of depression, it is important to manage it with appropriate medications. Due to their expertise on antidepressants, pharmacists can counsel patients on what to expect, the onset of action, and duration of use for these medications. Through patient education, behavioral changes, and multifaceted interventions patients can have better outcomes for their depression.

Urvi Patel, PharmD 2016

11/10/2014

Students Prepared for Bioterrorist Attack During Medical Reserve Corps Training

Training
Left to right: Alex Fevry PharmD'17, Soonyip Alec Huang PharmD'17, Khiem Huynh PharmD'17, and Ami Patel PharmD'17

A team of eight student-pharmacists from University of the Sciences joined more than 150 new volunteers with the Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps as they acted out a bioterrorist attack which required them to administer antibiotics to thousands of Philadelphians to help prevent the spread of a deadly bacterial infection.

This dramatic, but informational, training session was held at USciences on Saturday, Nov. 8, for these credentialed volunteers – who are typically seen providing medical care and first aid after major storms, or at large city events such as the Philadelphia Marathon.

“Bringing together such a diverse group of local healthcare professionals and students was a positive experience which reinforced USciences’ mission of promoting integrated learning and professionalism,” said Steven Sheaffer, PharmD, associate professor of clinical pharmacy.  

Although Dr. Sheaffer has been a member of the Medical Reserve Corps since 2007, he said regularly attends training sessions to keep up to speed with relief efforts and build stronger relationships with healthcare professionals across the Philadelphia region.

“I hope that more of our students across all disciplines consider attending future training programs and join the Medical Reserve Corps,” he said.

Aside from USciences pharmacy students and faculty, other volunteers at the training session included medical and doctoral students from University of Pennsylvania, nurses, as well as students and faculty from other local universities.

The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the mailing of anthrax-tainted letters to news media and U.S. senators painfully illustrated the need for more organized use of medical volunteers.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health launched the city’s unit in 2005, after Congress allocated money to establish the Medical Reserve Corps program office in the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office. Philadelphia’s chapter now boasts more than 1,800 volunteers who offer their medical, pharmaceutical, behavioral health, and other skills.

“I wanted to volunteer for the medical corps to use my pharmacy education in way that allows me to give back to the community,” said Alex Fevry PharmD’17.

Media coverage:

11/04/2014

USciences Student Leadership Opportunities

By Mehreen Dharsee PharmD’16, PCP Student Council member

As a fifth-year pharmacy student, I can say my experience at University of the Sciences has equipped me well in pursuing my goals.  The pharmacy field appealed to me because it combined my interests of science and helping others. During high school and early college years, I was hesitant to hold leadership positions; however, in my third year, I decided to run for presidency of Circle K, the community service organization on campus. A majority of students at USciences will enter careers where they will be helping patients every day.  I believed providing students with opportunities to help and interact with those in the Philadelphia community would serve as a jumpstart to their careers.

As Circle K president, I delegated tasks to the various executive board (e-board) members and followed up to completion. Establishing timelines and assigning tasks based off members’ strengths was essential. Additionally, constant communication and considering input from all members attributed to the success of the various events.

Circle K was involved volunteering at fundraisers and walks, canned food drives, and creating decorations for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  We also volunteered with the HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy during holidays. A personal favorite of many students and mine was the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event. Approximately 20 students attended the walk and interacted with breast cancer survivors and their families.  Our group participated in volunteering with registration, handing out drinks and snacks to runners, and preparing gift bags for survivors. Several students stated that this was one of their favorite experiences at USciences thus far, and I was happy that Circle K was able to coordinate this event.

I gained skills such as time management, problem solving, communication, and delegation as Circle K President.  This leadership position was the foundation for my involvement in other organizations on campus such as PCP Student Council, American Pharmacist’s Association, as well as off-campus experiences. The skills and experiences as president of an organization are invaluable and will be utilized throughout my remaining years at USciences, as well as my career. A suggestion to all, do not hesitate to get involved on campus. A leadership position is not only educational, but also enjoyable and rewarding. It will help you reach your full potential no matter what career path you choose.

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