100 posts categorized "Pharmacy Practice"


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.


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.


PCP Student Gained 'Invaluable Learning Experience' During Rotation

LearningThis article was originally published in the fall 2014 issue of Village Voice at Masonic Villages at Elizabethtown.

“Pursuing a professional career in pharmacy and beginning my journey as a Mason have been two of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” said Alexander R. Micale PharmD’16, a fifth-year student at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at University of the Sciences.

He had the chance to continue his pursuit of useful knowledge in the practices and professions of Freemasonry and pharmacy during a two-week institutional pharmacy rotation at the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown’s Masonic Health Care Center in August under Donald Brindisi, who is the pharmacy manager and a member of Abraham C. Treichler Lodge No. 682 in Elizabethtown. Alex hopes to pursue a career in nuclear pharmacy after graduation in 2016.

“I saw first-hand the profound, positive effect that Pennsylvania Freemasonry has on the lives of every single resident and staff member on the entire campus,” he said.

After seeking ways he could have a positive influence on his community while being a part of an organization more far-reaching than anything his university could offer, Alex connected with David Tansey, Past District Deputy Grand Master of District A, and took the first step on his lifelong Masonic journey. He joined the Masonic fraternity on June 23, 2012, as a part of the District A and D One Day Class in northeast Philadelphia. He is a member and Chaplain of Jerusalem Lodge No. 506, Philadelphia, and the Valley of Philadelphia, A.A.S.R., and is a recipient of the 2013 Master Builders Award.

“My experiences as a pharmacy student and a Pennsylvania Freemason have gone hand-in-hand, as both set out the noble goal of helping the surrounding community,” he said. “My education as a pharmacist will allow me to work with other health care professionals to keep our community and fraternity healthy. The lessons taught a Mason act as a guiding light, allowing me to be a positive influence in the lives of every patient I will encounter in my career.”


Physician Assistant Students to Celebrate PA Week, Oct. 6-12

Hewitt-5903National Physician Assistants Week, dubbed "PA Week," is held every year during the week of Oct. 6–12. Physician assistants across the country use this week to increase awareness of both the physician assistant profession and the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

You're invited to join students in the physician assistant studies program at USciences as they celebrate America’s more than 100,000 clinically practicing physician assistants during PA Week 2014. 

Be sure to follow the USciences twitter account at @USciences for photos, updates and fun facts about the University's physician assistant studies program throughout the week.

Monday, Oct. 6
9 a.m. Kick-Off Event in the USciences Quad

To kick off PA Week, the PA Society will be holding a fun information session on the physician assistant profession. As students walk through the quad, they can stop and answer a question from the trivia board to win a small prize (sticker). The trivia board includes questions on the history of the profession and general medical knowledge. This event will bring awareness to the campus community and community-at-large about this exciting profession and the future of U.S. healthcare.

In the case of rain, the event will be moved to STC. Questions? Contact Rachel Harris at rharris@mail.usciences.edu.

Tuesday, Oct. 7

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Leg Up Farms Fundraising
In front of Wilson Dining Hall

A bake sale will be held outside of dining hall to raise money for the Host City Charity for Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants annual conference in Lancaster. Questions? Contact Alex Ellis at aellis1000@mail.usciences.edu.

5 p.m Challenge Bowl: Family Feud Style
IPEX room 239-240

Physician assistant studies students in the undergraduate and graduate programs will compete in a trivia bowl with questions ranging from popular culture, sports, medicine and anatomy. This event promotes collaboration and bonding between students in both programs. Questions? Contact A’lanne Conrad at aconrad@mail.usciences.edu.

Wednesday, Oct. 8
Health Fair: Health Initiatives for a Healthy Campus
USciences Quad

The health fair will include six stations:

  • BP and HR
  • Stress reduction and emotional well-being (in coordination with SHAC)
  • Safe sex practices
  • Smoking cessations
  • Negative effects of binge drinking
  • Exercise and nutrition

As future healthcare providers, PA students will be responsible for many levels of care. An especially important aspect of care is health education. The health fair will benefit both the PA program and the university community by addressing relevant health concerns for the campus. Questions? Contact Maxi Drakopoulos at mdrakopoulos@mail.usciences.edu.

Thursday, Oct. 9
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Leg Up Farms Fundraising
In front of Wilson Dining Hall

Click here to watch USciences' physician assistant studies students in action during the University's recent IPEX ribbon cutting ceremony on Sept. 18.


PCP Students Explore Pharmaceutical Agency Careers, Thanks to Alumni

PharmdayPharmacy students from University of the Sciences and other U.S. colleges recently learned about the growing career opportunities within the pharmaceutical industry from alumni of Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. That’s because they participated in MediMedia Managed Markets’ Student Day and specifically explored pharmacy careers with pharmaceutical agencies, like MediMedia.

Each year, alumna Michele Reed PharmD, vice president of clinical services at MediMedia, encourages pharmacy students from various programs across the nation to complete their Introduction to Pharmacy Practice Experience, Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience, and summer internships at MediMedia

As advocates of pharmaceutical agencies, the medical services team at MediMedia hosted a student event to introduce prospective pharmacy candidates to the numerous opportunities within pharmaceutical agencies. Students were exposed to the differences between a pharmaceutical industry and agency, the specific role of MediMedia in the industry, sample projects by various team members, and they even participated in an interactive MediMedia activity. Not only were the students able to learn more about this niche market, but they were able to spend a couple hours in the shoes of the medical team. The event was followed by a networking session where students were able to inquire more about the specific responsibilities and unique career path each team member has experienced.

“As a recent PCP graduate myself, I want to make sure PCP students are exposed to the various opportunities available to pharmacists before they choose their career path,” said Kunj Gohil PharmD’13, RPh, a post-doctoral fellow at MediMedia. “We hope students can use what they learned during our event and become successful professionals within the pharmaceutical industry.”


Pharmacy Prof Explains Properties of New Pain Pill Approved by FDA

Hussar_DanielOn the heels of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval of an oxycodone pill designed to deter abuse, pharmacy professor Daniel Hussar, PhD, at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, was featured on KYW Newsradio to explain the drug's properties.

Web story: KYW Newsradio: New Oxycodone Pill Designed To Prevent Abuse

Click here to listen to the KYW Radio audio segment

Purdue Pharma's new drug Targiniq ER is an extended release tablet that combines oxycodone — the active ingredient in OxyContin — with the drug naloxone. FDA regulators approved the drug for daily, round-the-clock pain that does not respond to other medications.

If abusers crush these tablets for snorting or injecting, naloxone blocks the euphoric effects of oxycodone, making the drug more difficult to abuse. Naloxone is currently used to reverse the overdose effects of opioids and highly addictive painkilling drugs, including morphine, methadone, codeine and others.


Youngsters Learn Important Safety Tips from PCP Students

PCP2For the third consecutive year, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy’s Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group (PPAG) volunteered at the Pediatric Asthma and Health Fair, hosted by Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper University Hospital on May 22. More than 90 first- and second-grade students from Veteran’s Memorial Family Elementary School in Camden attended the fair to interactively learn health lessons from pharmacy students and medical providers.

“It was a joy to see that the children were already so knowledgeable about health and wellness at such a young age,” said Priya Panchal, PharmD’16, president of PPAG. “Pharmacy students gained insight on how to successfully communicate healthy ideas to children.”

Panchal was joined by several other PPAG members, including Rachael Oyewole PharmD’16; Michael Kee PharmD’16; Minju Lee PharmD’17; Amanda Yu PharmD’16; Aditi Bhogal PharmD’17; Fatima Ali PharmD’18; and Isabel Papraniku PharmD’18. These students had the opportunity to collaborate with the hospital’s departments of pediatrics, pediatric critical care medicine, child life, pharmacy, and dietary services – as well as local nonprofit organizations – to educate the children on asthma, healthy nutrition, smoking cessation, fitness, and medication safety through fun, interactive games.

PCP4In an effort to fascinate young minds, the pharmacy students presented a poster, “Is It Candy?” to highlight medication safety tips. Dr. Laura L. Bio, pharmacy professor and advisor of PPAG; and Dr. Colleen Smith, pediatric/neonatal clinical pharmacy specialist at Cooper, also spoke to the youngsters during the presentation.

“We discussed what medicine is, as well as the importance of never sharing medicine or taking medicine without the presence of a parent or guardian,” said Panchal.

She said the children also played a game that had them guessing whether or not they were pointing to a pill or a piece of candy. This exercise emphasized the importance of seeking permission from a parent or guardian before eating an item that resembles candy, since medicine and candy often look similar.

At the conclusion of the health fair, children played a game where they chose scenarios about safe medication use, or what to do when feeling sick. Each scenario was accompanied by a question about whether or not the child in the scenario handled the situation correctly.

PCP Grads Travel to Kenya, Share Expertise in Underserved Areas

Kenya8Two recent pharmacy graduates of Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at University of the Sciences had the opportunity to travel abroad and share their expertise with health professionals in Kenya – an area where medical and pharmaceutical services are limited.

Alumnus Cornelius (Neil) D. Pitts P’73, PharmD’04, frequently travels to Kenya to help his peers overseas develop and provide medical and pharmaceutical services in underserved areas. Recent graduates Laney Jones PharmD'14 and Carl Gerdine PharmD'14 joined Dr. Pitts and alumnus Leo Ross PharmD'73, as they traveled to Nairobi during their off-rotation period in the spring to work with other pharmacists at St. Mary's Missionary Hospital and Kenyatta University.

Dr. Pitts said they went into the trip with three objectives in mind: Learn about Kenya’s healthcare system, perform volunteer service at medical camps, and connect with pharmacy students at Kenyatta University. All three objectives were met, he said.

 “The dedication of Laney and Carl to careers of service, demonstrates the diverse interests of pharmacy students in exploring careers beyond traditional pharmacy practice,” Dr. Pitts said.

The combination of service and learning opportunities were coordinated through a joint effort by Dr. Pitts and Dr. Titus Kahiga, professor and chief of pharmacology at Kenyatta University. Through this partnership, Jones and Gerdine were able to visit several Kenyan agencies, including the Kenyan Medical Supply Agency, Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (APhA equivalent), Kenyan Pharmacy and Poisons Board (FDA equivalent), and the Kenya Medical Research Institute.

During their time in Kenya, alumni and recent grads had the opportunity to:

  • Hold a medical clinic for more than 280 children at Huruma Children’s Home in Ngong Hills, Kenya
  • Visit GlaxoSmithKline to tour the facilities and chat with the director of medical and regulatory affairs
  • Provide healthcare services to underserved individuals at hospitals and orphanages 

Kenya5While visiting GlaxoSmithKline, the USciences team learned about drug distribution and research in Kenya, as well as counterfeit medications in developing countries. They also sat in on patient clinic visits and surgeries at St. Mary's, and participated in clinical rounds to help meet the needs of the underserved population. Lastly, the team delivered hands-on healthcare to children at the orphanage through pediatric blood pressure screenings, direct administration of medications, and deworming - a routine treatment made necessary by the ingestion of unclean water.

"Although many orphanages are served by mission organizations and other volunteer groups, seldom do pharmacists accompany these teams," said Dr. Pitts. "The outreach of this Philadelphia connection, played an essential role by managing and dispensing medication while others diagnosed and prescribed." 

Dr. Jones will be attending Columbia University School of Public Health this fall, and Dr. Gerdine recently began a clinical pharmacy residency at Paoli Hospital (Mainline Health).

Click here to see more photos from their trip.


PCP Students 'Take a Swing' at Promoting Healthy Hearts Across Philly

Blood pressureA pair of pharmacy students from University of the Sciences put their skills to use as they performed free blood pressure screenings at the American Heart Associations' 17th annual Home Runs for Heart event on May 7-8.

"This was the third, consecutive year that students in our doctorate of pharmacy program participated in this wonderful event," said Grace Earl PharmD, BCPS, assistant professor or pharmacy. "It's a fun way for our students to share their expertise with the community for a good cause."

The two-day home run derby, hosted at Citizens Bank Park, was born out of the sudden death of Hall of Fame outfielder and broadcaster Richie Ashburn. With support from the Phillies, the American Heart Association has raised nearly $2 million over the past 17 years.

Students who participated in the event are members of the University's Operation Heart, a student-group on campus that is associated with the Academy of Student Pharmacists-American Pharmacists Association (APhA-ASP). Scott Cheeseman PharmD'16, patient care coordinator of Operation Heart, said the organization spent the school year promoting the importance of healthy hearts by hosting various blood pressure screenings across the Philadelphia-area, as well as through its second annual Operation Fashion Show event to promote smoking cessation awareness on campus.

FanaticBrielle Carramusa PharmD'16, former patient care coordinator of Operation Heart, said she provided extra special attention to the Phillies' own “Phillie Fanatic," and made sure he had his blood pressure measured. The students were accompanied by Brandon Patterson PharmD, and Dr. Earl, both assistant professors in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administration.

Click here to see photos from the recent Operation Fashion Show.


Pharmacy Alumna to Showcase Vibrant, Abstract Paintings on June 6

Alum ladyBy day, pharmacy alumna Stacy Rosemarin P'83 reviews and manages the medication regimens of patients through her role as a consultant pharmacist for Pharma-Care, Inc. Outside of work hours, however, Rosemarin switches gears and channels her inner Picasso as she creates vibrant, abstract paintings.

“At a young age, my parents noticed that I was more interested in my art classes than academic classes,” said Rosemarin. “Ironically enough, I have been a pharmacist for more than 30 years, but I still remain passionate about creating art.”

Rosemarin’s collection, “On the Wall Abstracts: Living Life in Color” will be showcased at an upcoming solo art show held at Idiosyncrazies Gallery, on Friday, June 6. This art show is open to the public, and will kick off with a reception at 6 p.m. The gallery is located at 638 Arnold Ave., in Point Pleasant, NJ.

Throughout the years, Rosemarin’s artwork has been displayed in galleries across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Florida.  In fact, during her teen years, Rosemarin was one of several artists who painted a mural featured in the 1988 film, Running on Empty.

“My travels throughout the world to exotic places have been a big part of my artwork’s inspiration,” said Rosemarin. “I also love using vibrant colors that reflect my happy, fun, and cheerful personality.”

Rosemarin also served as University of the Sciences’ director of alumni relations from 1999 to 2008.

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