School of Pharmacy graduates, faculty honored with special awards, recognitions

The UMKC School of Pharmacy recognized a number of graduating students and two faculty members with special awards and honors during the 2019 Commencement Ceremony on May 17 at the Swinney Recreation Center.

2019 Commencement Photo Album

2019 Student Awards

Kimberly Ehrhard — Douglas Adcock Memorial Award: Graduate who exhibits concern for others with a desire to practice pharmacy in the public health sector.
Alexandra Ruby — American College of Apothecaries Community Pharmacy Achievement Award: Student with outstanding scholastic achievement, participation in school activities, and plans to pursue a career in independent community pharmacy.
Haley Hilden, Amanda Morelock, Nichole Sherwood — APhA-ASP Senior Recognition Certificate Award: Graduates who have done the most for the UMKC student branch of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP).
Kaitlyn Hollenberg — American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Award: Professional achievement, recognized leadership, and commitment to serving others.
Curtiss Lane, Michelle Sproat, James Unverferth — Merck Academic Excellence Award Students with noteworthy academic achievement in the area of medicinal chemistry.
Amanda Rackers — Mylan Excellence in Pharmacy Award: Recognizes a student with superior academic achievement, professional motivation and a demonstrated ability to communicate drug information.
Madelin Leal, Amanda Morelock, Alexandra Ruby — Pharmacy Alumni Association Award: Students who exhibited outstanding leadership in school affairs.
Sierra Richard, Nichole Sherwood — UMKC Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Honor Recipient: Recognizes exceptional students who maintain high scholastic performance while actively participating in University and community leadership, as well as service activities outside of the classroom.
Jacquelyn Bradley — United States Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Practice Award: Significant leadership contributions to and participation in programs that benefit medically underserved communities.
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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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Pharmacy students make strong showing in IPE health care reasoning competition

Winners of the 2019 UMKC Interprofessional Education Health Care Reasoning Competition (front row) Anthony Spalitto, School of Pharmacy; Dylan Schwindt, School of Medicine; Becca Stockhausen, School of Nursing and Health Sciences; Louis Sand, School of Medicine, with School of Medicine Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D. (Back row) Event organizers Jordann Dhuse, School of Medicine, Stefanie Ellison, M.D., School of Medicine IPE coordinator, Paig Charboneau, School of Medicine, and Michael Scott, School of Pharmacy.

Pharmacy students made a strong showing in the third-annual UMKC Interprofessional Education (IPE) Health Care Reasoning competition as members of the top two teams in the March 2 event held on the health sciences campus.

Pharmacy student Anthony Spallito was a member of the winning team. Ashley Ragan and Andrew Yates were part of the competition’s second-place team.

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Pharmacy alum’s insulin research attracts national spotlight


Lunch celebration with UMKC School of Pharmacy’s 2019 Alumni Award honoree, Dr. Alan Carter (’79 & ’02). Joining Dr. Carter was Dean Emeritus Bob Piepho, Bill Larmer (’75) and Dean Russ Melchert.

UMKC School of Pharmacy has selected Alan W. Carter (B.S.P. ’79, Pharm.D. ’02) to receive the school’s 2019 Alumni Achievement Award. Carter was honored at the 2019 UMKC Alumni Awards on March 15.

With more than 35 years of experience in clinical pharmacy management and research, Carter has been an educator, board member and researcher. He is currently the pharmacy director at Aetna Better Health of Kansas and recently gained national attention when his research raised a red flag on problems with the storage of insulin.

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Harmony Gala supports scholarships for underrepresented minority students

Music and a festive atmosphere filled Pierson Auditorium in the UMKC Atterbruy Student Success Center  on Saturday night, Feb. 16, when nearly 200 people enjoyed the fifth annual UMKC Health Sciences Harmony Gala.

The event is sponsored by the UMKC Health Sciences Diversity and Inclusion Council. It serves as a scholarship fundraiser to support underrepresented minority students enrolled in the UMKC health sciences schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Health Studies, and Pharmacy.

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