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Updated December 8, 2020

The Auburn Pharmacist Online is an electronic newsletter providing news, events and updates from the Harrison School of Pharmacy. Have something you would like included? Email hsopcomm@auburn.edu.


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Auburn Pharmacist in the Mail

The latest edition of The Auburn Pharmacist magazine should hit your mailbox soon. Inside you can learn more about happenings around the school and updates from HSOP alumni. If your copy does not come in the mail, it may be a good time to update your contact information at http://develop.auburn.edu/update/.

HSOP Completes Fall Semester With Blend of Virtual and In-Person Instruction

Integrating in-person instruction with virtual teaching during a pandemic can be a challenge. This fall, HSOP faculty, staff, and students accepted and rose to the challenge as the school adopted a hybrid approach to instruction, utilizing live virtual lectures over Zoom with students coming on to campus one day per week to participate in lab activities, take assessments and address any other academic needs. Read and watch to learn more about HSOP's approach to continue developing students in a new and challenging environment.

AU InforMed Addresses Mental Health During COVID

AU InforMed, the electronic newsletter produced by the Harrison School of Pharmacy Drug Information Center, recently addressed mental health during the time of COVID. Guest edited by P4s Kylee Clay, Marion Colvin, and Paige Evans, the issue discusses data, risk factors, treatment, and areas for future research. Learn more on the AU InforMed website.

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Population Health Clinic Receives NACDS Award

The team heading up the Population Health Clinic recently earned recognition from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, or NACDS. The group won the NACDS Foundation Scholarship Award, one of just five awarded in 2020 out of more than 140 submissions. It marks the third year in a row for HSOP to win one of the NACDS awards.

The award was given to expand the activities of the Population Health Clinic to include comprehensive diabetes care remotely to patients of a rural VA clinic. The expansion will provide additional experience for advanced practice students on rotation in the AUPCC. Headed by faculty members Courtney Gamston, Pamela Stamm, Dave Brackett, Lynn Stevenson, and Kimberly Braxton Lloyd, along with alumnus Garrett Aikens, the Population Health Clinic is a program that engages students to provide innovative population health management and telepharmacy interventions through the Veteran’s Administration. Students also identify patients with diabetes who are experiencing gaps in care to address these barriers. Learn more about the Population Health Clinic.

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ACCP Clinical Challenge Team Takes National Runner-Up

The HSOP team competing in the American College of Clinical Pharmacy Clinical Pharmacy Challenge took runner-up in the national finals on Oct. 16. The finish is the highest-ever for HSOP. The team survived six rounds of competition, making it down to the final two out of 109 competitors. The team is made up of Maddie Sheffield (Captain), Chance Partlow and Nate Silar with Dr. Emily McCoy serving as their faculty advisor.

The Clinical Pharmacy Challenge, now in its 11th year, affords teams of three pharmacy students to compete in a “quiz-bowl” type competition. Each round of competition is comprised of three segments — trivia-lightning, clinical case and jeopardy-style items. Items are authored and reviewed by an expert panel of ACCP members. The 2020 competition was held entirely virtually with the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals coinciding with the beginning of the ACCP National Meeting.

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Calderón Receives Award for Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring

Dr. Angela Calderón, associate professor in the Department of Drug Discovery and Development, was announced last week as the recipient of the Provost’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring. Established in 2012, this award recognizes faculty who demonstrate a strong commitment to undergraduate research, whose efforts support Auburn students interested in careers in research and creative works, and who have demonstrated outstanding services to students. Learn more about Dr. Calderón and her work.

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Network Developed for Rural Pharmacies in Alabama, Southeast

With a shortage of health care infrastructure, hospitals and specialty clinics in rural areas, significant health disparities exist for people in those communities. For many, the most accessible and well-positioned health care provider is the community pharmacist. To help address this issue and provide innovative solutions, the Dr. Salisa Westrick, department head in Health Outcomes Research and Policy, is collaborating with counterparts at the University of North Carolina, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, University of South Carolina and the University of Mississippi to create the Rural Research Alliance of Community Pharmacies, or RURAL-CP. Learn more about the RURAL-CP Network.

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Faculty Provide for Underserved in Community Clinics

Committed to taking care of the less fortunate in our communities, two Harrison School of Pharmacy faculty members are actively involved with clinics dedicated to helping the underserved. Dr. Jeanna Sewell and Dr. Katelin Lisenby, both both faculty members in the Department of Pharmacy Practice count these clinics as one of their active practice sites. Sewell has worked with Mercy Medical in Auburn since 2016 while Lisenby has worked with Good Samaritan Clinic since 2015. Learn more about about these community clinics.

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New Items Available in the HSOP School Store

New items are available in the HSOP School Store, including new apparel from Under Armour. Launched in partnership with the Auburn University Bookstore, the online store also includes apparel, drinkware, and other items. All proceeds from the HSOP store will be used to support student success through various programs. To learn more, click HERE or visit pharmacy.auburn.edu/store.

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Oldest Living HSOP Alum Set to Celebrate 100th Birthday

James Rollie “Rich” Richardson, Sr., a member of the HSOP Class of 1944 and the oldest living HSOP alum on record, is set to celebrate a landmark birthday as he turns 100 on Dec. 20. A native of Kentucky, he transferred to Auburn from Louisville and went into the Navy during World War II following graduation. Following the war, he moved to Arkansas where he worked for Sharp and Dome, later becoming Merck, as a sales representative.

Richardson moved up within the company until his retirement in 1986. He was then licensed in Tennessee and continued to practice as a community pharmacist in the Germantown area. An avid fisherman and golfer, Richardson spotted the biggest alligator ever caught in Arkansas and was named a Kentucky Colonel, the highest title of honor bestowed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky to recognize individuals of noteworthy accomplishments, contributions to Kentucky society, remarkable deeds, and outstanding service to a community, state, or nation.

Richardson married in 1946 and was with his wife for more than 50 years until her death in 2000. The couple has five children, 21 grandchildren, and 52 great-grandchildren. A family of avid Auburn fans, Richardson regularly gives Auburn-related gifts to his children and grandchildren around the holidays.

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Mount Elected to Alabama Board of Pharmacy

Dr. Gary Mount, a member of the HSOP Class of 1990, was recently elected to the Alabama State Board of Pharmacy. He will begin his five-year term on January 1, 2021. Mount is currently an assistant professor for pharmacology at VCOM in Auburn.

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HSOP Alumna Leane Reynolds Recognized for Going “above and beyond”

Dr. Leane Reynolds, a member of the HSOP Class of 2018, was recently featured by al.com for her compassionate service as assistant pharmacy manager at the Cary Creek Publix in Auburn. Recognizing how vulnerable one of her patients is to COVID-19, she went above and beyond to help him stay safe and cared for during the pandemic. Read more online at al.com.

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HSOP Mourns Loss of Cmdr. Len Cochran

HSOP is saddened by the loss of Commander Thomas L. “Len” Cochran, a member of the HSOP Class of 1956. Upon retiring from his service with the United States Navy, Cochran returned to Auburn where he worked in various administrative roles within the school of pharmacy. He supported pharmacy students by establishing and supporting the Dr. Byron B. Williams Award, recognizing a P4 student who demonstrates the highest level of improvement since their first year in HSOP. HSOP is grateful for the life of Commander Cochran and the support he showed to Auburn, its pharmacy students, and the pharmacy profession.

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We Want to Hear from You

One of our favorite things around the Harrison School of Pharmacy is when we hear from our alumni and friends. We would love to hear from you with updates on your practice, career, or life in general. Please send any updates or news items you have to hsopcomm@auburn.edu.

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NCPA Chapter Wins Pair of National Awards

The HSOP chapter of the National Community Pharmacists Association was recently recognized with two national awards. The first was the 2020 End of the Year Report in which the chapter came in as second runner-up. Additionally, the chapter won the Legislative Advocacy Challenge. The chapter was formally recognized Oct. 20 at the NCPA Foundation Virtual Awards Ceremony.

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Bidwell and Wesolowski Win Local ASHP Clinical Skills Competition

Tommy Bidwell and Alec Wesolowski, both members of the HSOP Class of 2021, won the local Clinical Skills Competition last week. The pair will represent Auburn at the national competition at the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting. The competition will be held virtually this year on Dec. 5-6. The Clinical Skills Competition is an interactive, team-based analysis of clinical scenarios for hospital and health-system pharmacists. It provides pharmacy students the opportunity to enhance their skills in collaborative practice with physicians in providing direct patient care.

37 Inducted Into Rho Chi Society

The HSOP chapter of the Rho Chi Society inducted 37 new members this fall. Rho Chi is an international honor society for pharmaceutical sciences that seeks to advance pharmacy through intellectual leadership. To be invited to join, students must rank in the top 20 percent of their class, have a minimum GPA of 3.0, have not been disciplined for violations of academic integrity or professional standards, and must be elected by a vote of the current chapter members. Auburn’s Zeta Chapter was established in 1925 as the sixth Rho Chi chapter in the country. Find out who the new inductees are.

Seven HSOP Students Selected as AHEC Scholars

Seven HSOP students selected this fall as Alabama Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Scholars. Invited to the program are Andres Tovar from the Class of 2024; Jaeshon Baldwin, Will Cordell, Jazmyne Jackson, Kylie Sheats, and Sandra Perry from the Class of 2023; and Silvia Kamau from the Class of 2022. Those selected to the program engage in a cutting-edge curriculum designed with six core topics that are critical for our future workforce. Participants receive 40 hours of training (both clinical and didactic for a total of 80 hours) each year of the program and will interact with other AHEC Scholars across Alabama. Clinical training experiences are interprofessional as scholars will train with at least one other health care discipline.

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McDaniel Selected to UAB CCTS Program

Cassidi McDaniel, a graduate student in the Health Outcomes Research and Policy option, was recently selected to the Center for Clinical and Translational Science Training Program (CTSTP) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The program provides training in clinical and translational research, including approximately 50 hours of didactic instruction as well as interactive experiences. Course content includes areas such as clinical trials, epidemiology, biostatistics, ethics, clinical genetics research, behavioral research, outcomes research, and dissemination of results. The competitive certificate program accepts just 40 applicants per year.

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Kavookjian Named ADCES President-Elect

Dr. Jan Kavookjian, associate professor in the Department of Health Outcomes Research and Policy, has been slated as a candidate for president-elect for the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (ADCES). ADCES is an interdisciplinary professional membership organization dedicated to improving prediabetes, diabetes and cardiometabolic care through innovative education, management and support. Kavookjian, who has been a member of the organization for 13 years, has previously served on the Board of Directors. A National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) Lifestyle Coach, Kavookjian has been conducting ADCES trainings in motivational interviewing for National DPP Lifestyle Coaches. Learn more about Kavookjian and her work with ADCES.

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Ngorsuraches Receives Support for Multiple Projects

Dr. Surachat Ngorsuraches, associate professor in the Department of Health Outcomes Research and Policy, received the 2020 Research Award in Value Assessment from the PhRMA Foundation. The $100,000 award will support his project titled “Measuring the Value of Fear of Contagion in COVID-19 Care.” The project period will be for one year, beginning Jan. 1, 2021.

The objective of this project is to obtain a quantitative measure of the value of fear of contagion in COVID-19 care. The project's central hypothesis, based on novel value elements defined by the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research Special Task Force, is that the value of avoiding fear of contagion is significant in value assessment frameworks.

The rationale for this study is that having such value is likely to provide opportunities for a proper value assessment of healthcare technology or intervention, e.g., vaccines and treatments, for infectious diseases. The proposed aim is to determine the value of reducing the fear of contagion from COVID-19. Ngorsuraches will conduct a discrete choice experiment to elicit the willingness-to-pay of adults with and without COVID-19 infection for reducing the possibility of disease exposure. He will also examine the value of fear of contagion based on preference heterogeneity in this study.

Additionally, Ngorsuraches is working with Bristol Myers Squibb and the University of Utah on a project titled “Value Assessment of Innovation: Phase I." In this phase, over an eight-month period, there will be multiple systematic reviews on important attributes of innovation. Ngorsuraches will serve as a site principal investigator and will serve as a co-investigator in the second phase. The next phase of the project will see additional systematic reviews and also apply best-worst scaling and discrete choice experiment techniques to capture the value of innovation.

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New Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Courtney Alexander

With advancing technology, pharmacists are able to provide a specialized approach to medications through pharmacogenomics. Embracing this opportunity, HSOP welcomes back alumna Dr. Courtney Alexander to further develop a precision medicine program. Learn more about Dr. Alexander in the New Faculty Spotlight.

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Eiland Appointed to ASHP Committee

Dr. Lea Eiland, associate department head and clinical professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, was recently appointed to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Pharmacy Educators Executive Committee. The newly-created committee is composed of five ASHP members recognized as pharmacy leaders with broad and diverse practice expertise, will guide the development of education, resources, strategic initiatives, professional policies, and advocacy to support pharmacy educators.

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Garza Receives Funding from National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Dr. Kimberly Garza, associate professor in the Department of Health Outcomes Research and Policy, has secured funding from the National Institute of Arthritis & Musculoskeletal & Skin Diseases. She will serve as a co-investigator on this project, working with Dr. Jeffrey Curtis at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, or UAB, who will serve and principal investigator. The title of the project is “Building and InnovatinG: Digital heALTH Technology and Analytics (BIGDATA).” The project period will run until July 2024. For the first year, Auburn will receive a total of $13,256.

The BIGDATA Core Center encompasses three distinct and synergistic cores (data capture and integration resource, methodologic, and administrative), all aligned around the theme of mobile and digital health, informatics, real-world data and advanced analytics. Garza will participate as an expert in outcomes research and implementation science in the methodologic core. The purpose of the methodologic core is to promote outstanding, innovative, and synergistic rheumatologic and musculoskeletal disease-focused research and expedite clinical, translational and informatics-related projects at UAB.

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Qian Receives Funding from Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama

Dr. Jingjing Qian, associate professor in the Department of Health Outcomes Research and Policy, secured funding from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama for a project titled “Reducing Breast Cancer Risk in Alabama - The Role of Medications.” Qian will serve as the principal investigator for the project, running from January-December, 2021. The grant for the project is for $30,334.

Evidence has shown that a few medications, including selective estrogen receptor modulators and aromatase inhibitors, might help lower breast cancer risk, especially women who are at high risk. The objective of the project is to describe how these medications have been used in Alabama and to examine their impact on breast cancer risk among women residing in Alabama.

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Durham Elected to ALSHP Position

Dr. Spencer Durham, associate clinical professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and director of alumni and professional affairs in the Division of Clinical Affairs and Outreach, was recently elected to the position of Director of Educational Affairs for the Alabama Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists, or ALSHP. His term is for two years and, as part of the role, he will oversee all educational opportunities offered through ALSHP.

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Durham and Fowler Receive ALSHP Award

Dr. Spencer Durham and Amanda Fowler, manager of post graduate education, were recently awarded the 2020 Service Award from ALSHP. The pair earned the award for their work in assisting the association in pivoting its annual summer meeting to a virtual meeting. The ALSHP was held July 26-27 and included continuing education, exhibitor presentations, and networking opportunities.

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Jungnickel Participates in International Webinar

Dr. Paul Jungnickel, associate dean for academic programs, was an invited speaker for an international live webinar titled “Facing the Future: Pharmacy Teaching and Practice during COVID-19.” During the webinar, Jungnickel shared how HSOP has addressed the changes required by COVID-19 and is delivering its curriculum.

Hosted by Mahasarakham University (Thailand), the webinar also included presentations from Taylor’s University (Malaysia), University of the Philippines, University of Health Sciences (Laos), and Sanata Dharma University (Indonesia).

Last Updated: April 09, 2021