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Grant will help School of Pharmacy lead fight against opioid misuse

The University of Missouri-Kansas City is leading the fight against opioid misuse. With a grant from the Cardinal Health Foundation, the UMKC School of Pharmacy is partnering with the Missouri Pharmacy Association and St. Louis College of Pharmacy  to improve prescribing practices for pain management throughout the state of Missouri.

The $120,000, two-year grant was awarded July 1 as part of the Cardinal Health Foundation’s new, nationwide Optimal Prescribing in Pain Management initiative. The initiative pairs schools of pharmacy with state pharmacy associations to develop strategies to drive the optimal prescribing of pain medications and the appropriate use of opioid medications in their states. In addition to Missouri, the other collaborations are from Maryland, Ohio, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

The Cardinal Health Foundation, in partnership with the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA) and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), is the national convener of the program.

“We are honored to be a leader in this initiative, and feel fortunate we can canvas such a big area of the state,” said Heather Lyons-Burney, clinical assistant professor at the UMKC School of Pharmacy and the principal investigator on the grant. Continue reading

Summer Pharmacy Camp unveils a world of opportunities

More than 50 prospective students took part in the UMKC Summer Pharmacy Camp on June 28 at the UMKC School of Pharmacy. The school also offered the one-day camp on its Columbia and Springfield campuses earlier in the month.

Allison Adlich hasn’t decided what direction she would like her career path to take. So, for one day in June, the Warrensburg High School junior was at the UMKC School of Pharmacy learning all she could about the opportunities as a pharmacist.

The Summer Pharmacy Camp provides a unique opportunity to learn about the field of pharmacy and the opportunities UMKC has to offer through hands-on activities, panel discussions with pharmacists and interactions with current Pharm.D. students and faculty.

Each June for the past four years, UMKC has offered the day-long camp at each of its three campuses in Kansas City, Columbia and Springfield.
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Health Sciences Diversity Council sponsoring Cultural Competency Speaker Series

The Health Sciences Diversity and Inclusion Council is bringing a three-part Cultural Competency Speaker series to the Health Sciences campus beginning in August.

With financial support from a University of Missouri System Inclusive Excellence grant, the council will provide lectures and discussions on topics including Creating Safe and Inclusive Spaces for the LGBTQIA Community, Maternity Mortality Rate in African-American Mothers, and Ethnopharmacology. Each session will be open to all students, faculty and staff on the Health Sciences campus.

Tamica Lige, diversity council chair, said the speaker series will be geared toward health care professionals and will address a range of topics focusing on diversity and cultural competency in health care.

“We’ve tried to find topics that will be beneficial to the members all four health science schools,” Lige said. “One of our goals is to provide educational programming that can make an impact on knowledge, self-awareness, attitude, and cross-cultural skills.”

The series begins with the program on safe and inclusive spaces on August 8. Kari Jo Freudigmann, M.S, assistant director of LGBTQIA programs and services in the UMKC Office of Student Involvement will be one of two speakers from noon to 2 p.m. in the Health Sciences Building Room 3301. Her co-speaker will be Kimberly Tilson, BSN, RN, nurse care manager for the Behavioral Health Community Access Program at Truman Medical Center and a Health Science District LGBTQIA patient care advocate. This is a two-part session, with part one being a 101 basic knowledge session and part two being an application skills session.

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School of Pharmacy researcher looks to reduce medication discrepancies during transition of care

Mark Patterson, Ph.D., M.P.H.

It’s not uncommon for nursing home patients to have discrepancies in their medication lists when they transition from hospital to the nursing home. In fact, published reports show that up to two-third of hospital patients being discharged to nursing homes will have at least one discrepancy in their medication list.

Resolving the mismatched prescribing information between hospital and nursing home and the potential risk it poses to patients places additional burdens on nursing home staff that shouldn’t be ignored, says Mark Patterson, Ph.D., M.P.H. associate professor of pharmacy practice and administration.

“It’s a problem that’s hard to solve because there are so many details,” Patterson said. “A patient’s medication list is an ever-changing source of information. Keeping medication lists current across care settings is difficult, but it needs to be resolved somehow.” Continue reading

Pharmacy winners announced from Health Sciences Student Research Summit

Vrinda Gote presents her winning poster at the 2019 UMKC Health Sciences Student Research Day.

Adult macular degeneration is estimated to affect more than 200,000 people each year in the United States. The most common and effective treatment involves a periodic injection into the eye.

Vrinda Gote, a Ph.D. student at UMKC School of Pharmacy, is working to make the treatments less traumatic for patients.

Grote has been conducting a research project using nanotechnology to develop eye drops that can be easily administered by almost anyone as an alternative to the more costly and invasive injections.

“I like doing research and working around nanotechnology particles to see how they behave,” Gote said. “I would like to create a patient-friendly method for treating macular degeneration. The drug that I’m using is cheaper and could save patients a lot of money also.”

Gote was one of 13 students from the School of Pharmacy to present research posters at the 2019 UMKC Health Sciences Student Research Summit. Her presentation, “One -step self-assembling tacrolimus nanomicelles as a topical treatment for wet AMD,” won first place for basic sciences research among the pharmacy students.

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Pharmacy students hit high mark in residency match program

UMKC School of Pharmacy students Maggie Bruce, Kimberly Ehrhard and Bradley Erich celebrate their residency match.

As the pharmacy profession continues to evolve, the number of students choosing to enter pharmacy residency and fellowship programs is rising as well. The UMKC School of Pharmacy set an all-time record for the school with 37 percent of the 2019 graduating class accepted into residency and fellowship training programs.

More than half of the 55 students who matched to the post-doctoral programs will conduct their training at Missouri institutions including Kansas City’s Truman Medical Center, Saint’s Luke’s Hospital, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Research Medical Center, and North Kansas Hospital, as well as University Hospital in Columbia and Cox Medical Center in Springfield.

Many also placed at highly competitive national programs including Duke University, the Medical University of South Carolina, University of Illinois-Chicago, Wake Forest and others across the country.

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New organization will support African-American students at School of Pharmacy

Founding members of the UMKC School of Pharmacy’s Black Student Pharmacists organization.

Students at the UMKC School of Pharmacy have established a new organization they believe will be instrumental in encouraging and helping underrepresented minorities to succeed in pharmacy school and as pharmacists.

The Black Student Pharmacists organization is the first student group at the school created specifically to support African and African-American students, said Essence Daniels-Brewer, a second-year pharmacy student and president of the organization.

She said the goal is to give those students a greater voice and lay the groundwork for future students. Continue reading

UMKC Pharmacy takes honors at national APhA convention

Maddie Leal, third from left, president of the UMKC School of Pharmacy Columbia campus APhA-ASP chapter accepted the first-runner up award for the APhA-ASP National Chapter Achievement Award.

The UMKC School of Pharmacy landed a number of top awards and came close to pulling off back-to-back titles for the nation’s top American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists chapter at the APhA national convention. The annual meeting was held March 22-25 in Seattle.

The UMKC chapter of the APhA-ASP was selected as a first runner-up for National Chapter Achievement Award winners for the 2017-18 reporting period. The chapter won last year’s national award for outstanding activities and superior chapter programs.

UMKC took 43 students to the national convention that included annual meetings for Rho Chi (international pharmaceutical science honor society) and Phi Lambda Sigma (college honor society for pharmacy students). They returned with four chapter awards and a number of individual honors.

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Pharmacy students receive Women’s Council Graduate Assistance Awards

Four women graduate students from the School of Pharmacy were honored at the 2019 UMKC Women’s Council Graduate Assistance Fund Awards Reception on March 7. Representing the School of Pharmacy were Dr. Kun Cheng, Taj Yerova, Dr. Chi Lee, Dr. Dhananjay Pal, Dr. Gerald Wyckoff, Dean Russell Melchert, Vrinda Gote, Maryam Nakhijiri, and Danielle Thomas.

Four students at the School of Pharmacy were recognized as recipients of the 2019 UMKC Women’s Council Graduate Assistance Fund awards during a  reception by the Women’s Council at the Grand Street Cafe on March 7.

The students, Danielle Thomas, Vrinda Gote, Maryam Nakhjiri and Taj Yeruva, were selected from a pool of applicants from throughout UMKC. All four are in the school’s Interdisciplinary-Ph.D. program with a major emphasis on pharmaceutical sciences.
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