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UMKC pharmacy students do their part to immunize Missouri against influenza

Tis the season for colds and flu. And this fall, UMKC School of Pharmacy students were again busy battling the bug.

Third-year pharmacy students participate each year in a pharmacy practice experience that includes learning to administer immunizations. This year, that experience involved administering 2,676 flu shots to patients at 59 immunization events throughout Missouri.

This is the eighth year the School of Pharmacy has been part of the flu shot initiative. It started in 2011 as a collaborative effort with the University’s Healthy for Life wellness program to administer the shots to faculty and staff.

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UMKC Health Professions Students and Coterie Theatre Have Important Message for Kansas City Teens

Students from UMKC health professions schools, working with the Coterie Theatre, each take on the character of a Kansas City teen to discuss the dangers of STDs and HIV. Photos provided by Stefanie Ellison, UMKC School of Medicine

Gus Frank begins to share his story with a group of Kansas City teenagers. For about 20 minutes, he describes how this local high school basketball player discovered that he is HIV-positive and must now live with consequences.

But the story is not really his own. It is, however, the unnerving and true story of a Kansas City teen whose life has been dramatically changed forever.

Frank is actually a fourth-year medical student at the UMKC School of Medicine acting in the production, “The Dramatic STD/HIV Project.” The partnership brings together health professions students from UMKC, the University of Kansas and Coterie Theatre actors to provide Kansas City teens with the facts about sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS.

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School of Pharmacy celebrates 2019 scholarship recipients, donors

UMKC School of Pharmacy alumnus Frederick Manasseh and his mother, Monica, (right) recognized 2019 Monica E. Manasseh Scholarship Award recipient Shu-wen Tran at the annual Achievers of Excellence Scholarship celebration.

Ph.D. students at the School of Pharmacy who received scholarship awards.

More than 100 students from across the UMKC School of Pharmacy’s three campuses joined guests and donors for the Achievers of Excellence Scholarship Awards program on Oct. 25 at the UMKC Student Union.

More than 300 people attended the event, including 40 scholarship donors, to celebrate the school’s 2019 scholarships awards. For fall 2019, the UMKC Pharmacy foundation presented 146 scholarships totaling more than $152,000 to students at the Kansas City, Columbia and Springfield campuses.

While guests attending the program came from across the country, one special attendee took a longer route. Fredrick Manasseh is a 2007 Pharm.D. graduate who came to the United States from Kenya to attend college. The 2018 UMKC Defying the Odds Alumni honoree established a scholarship in the name of his mother, Monica, to help minority students who encounter financial barriers. This year, she travelled from her home in Kenya to join Manasseh for the Achievers celebration.

UMKC student pharmacists receive individual, chapter honors at regional APhA-ASP meeting

UMKC School of Pharmacy students Zack Hitchcock, Springfield campus (second from left), Kailey Roberts, Columbia campus (third from left), and Saloni Patel, Kansas City campus (fifth from left) accepted the school’s chapter awards at this year’s regional APhA-ASP meeting in Dallas.

Students from all three UMKC School of Pharmacy campuses brought home recognition and awards from the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists midyear Region VI meeting Nov. 1-3 in Dallas.

Four students were recognized with individual leadership and service awards, and the school received regional chapter awards for outstanding service in three different patient care projects, Operation Diabetes, Operation Immunization, and Over-the-Counter Medicine Safety.

Thirty-one students from UMKC attended the regional meeting.

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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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