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Updated June 28, 2021

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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Sue and Johnny Bell

Walker Building auditorium named in honor of Bells

With a $1.2 million commitment from Johnny H. Bell and Sue Tate Bell, HSOP will name the auditorium in the Walker Building in their honor. The Auburn Board of Trustees agreed to name the room as the Johnny and Sue Bell Auditorium at its April 16 meeting. The couple’s gift will provide support for the ongoing development of the school’s strategic initiatives, accomplishing the overall mission of making Auburn a premier destination for pharmacy education. The gift will also establish the Johnny and Sue Bell Endowed Chair, the first endowed chair in the school. Learn more about this generous commitment to the school.

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Skills Lab and patient rooms named in honor of Isbell

HSOP is thankful for the generous donation from the children of Dr. Charles Alexander Isbell ’55 in his memory. Through their philanthropic gift, the Auburn University Board of Trustees passed a resolution on June 11 to name the skills labs and patient assessment areas in the Walker Building after Dr. Isbell. Additionally, the family established the Dr. Charles Alexander Isbell ’55 Endowed Scholarship within HSOP. Dr. Isbell served as a pharmacy officer at Brooke Army Hospital after graduation, going on to earn his medical degree. He served as a pediatrician in the Fort Payne, Alabama, area for more than 50 years, where he was noted for being devoted to his patients, co-workers and the community.

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HSOP awards 164 degrees at 2021 Commencement

HSOP held its Spring 2021 commencement ceremony on Monday, May 3 at Auburn Arena. The class of 2021 included 151 students receiving the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. Four students received a Master of Science (M.S.) degree, and nine others received Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. Read more about the ceremony and see a listing of the class.

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Record-setting 67 HSOP graduates moving on to residencies and fellowships

A record-setting 67 HSOP graduates were recently selected to post-graduate programs at hospitals, clinics, universities and the pharmaceutical industry around the country. Along with setting a new benchmark, it is the fifth year in a row for at least 50 Auburn pharmacy graduates to move on to the highly competitive programs. Learn more and see the full list.

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Tiger Giving Day project surpasses goal

For the 2021 Tiger Giving Day, HSOP raised money for a project to prepare care packages for residents of assisted-living facilities, who have not able to interact with family members, loved ones, caregivers, and even their friends. This isolation has increased anxiety in these populations, depression, a lot of things that are a result of that social isolation. With goal of $7,500, the project surpassed the target with $11,665 from 191 donors. Care packages were delivered in May to various long-term care facilities in the Auburn community.

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Pharmacists asked to complete ADPH survey

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is interested in learning about pharmacists’ provision of clinical services within the state of Alabama. We are calling upon you to assist us with collecting this information so we can assess the level of pharmacist engagement in patient care in various practice settings across the state.

ADPH needs information from all pharmacists, even if you are not currently providing clinical services within your practice setting. Please take a moment to complete the following survey concerning your pharmacy/practice site.

The completion of this survey is voluntary. The survey should take less than 15 minutes to complete. By clicking the following the Link to the Survey and completing the survey, you are providing your consent for your data to be included. If you have any questions concerning this survey, you can contact Kortnei Scott at ADPH at the following e-mail address: Kortnei.Scott@adph.state.al.us.

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Piazza joins HSOP as DDD department head

Dr. Gary Piazza has been named the department head and professor for HSOP’s Department of Drug Discovery and Development, Dean Hansen announced in March. A highly-respected cancer investigator with more than 30 years in the field, Piazza comes to Auburn after 10 years at the Mitchell Cancer Institute at the University of South Alabama. Learn more about Dr. Piazza and his innovative work.

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HSOP recognizes annual award winners

Outstanding Harrison School of Pharmacy students, staff, faculty members and preceptors were recognized in virtual ceremonies March 25-26 as part of the 61st Annual Hargreaves Awards Program. Check out the full listing of award winners.

AU and HudsonAlpha team up for genomic health program

Auburn University and the HudsonAlpha Health Alliance, LLC in Huntsville, Alabama, are collaborating to provide genomic health screening to Auburn employees through the Auburn University Pharmaceutical Care Center. Learn more about this exciting and innovative program going on within the Walker Building.

AU InforMed discusses NSAIDs

The AU InforMed newsletter, published by the HSOP Drug Information Center, recently focused on NSAIDs. Topics included benefits, risks, uses, and other general information. Check out the issue, as well as previous issues, on the AU InforMed website.

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HSOP team wins APA Self-Care Challenge

The HSOP team recently won the 2021 Alabama Pharmacy Association Self-Care Challenge. Contested on June 22, the competition consists of two rounds of Jeopardy-style questions about over-the-counter products. Making up the HSOP team are (from left): Will Cordell, Shelton Givens, Jordan Conner, Kaylee Carlson, and Will Kendrick.

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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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Stan Harrell receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Stan Harrell, a member of the HSOP Class of 1958, was recently announced as the recipient of the Auburn Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award. A native of Thomaston, Alabama, he founded Pharmacy Management Services, Inc. in 1972. Read more in the release from the Auburn Alumni Association. You can also read more about Harrell in this feature from HSOP.

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Alumna Erin McCreary wins awards

Dr. Erin McCreary, a member of the HSOP Class of 2015 and an antimicrobial stewardship/infectious disease pharmacist with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, recently won a pair of awards. She was recognized with the UPMC Award for Commitment and Excellence in Service for 2020. McCreary currently leads the UPMC COVID-19 System Therapeutics Committee. Early on during the pandemic, this group was dedicated to making crucial treatment decisions with very limited knowledge, research, and studies. She read anything she could from around the world summarizing studies concisely and effectively for a large stakeholder group with many differing opinions. Managing feedback from many physicians and pharmacists, McCreary combined information to create a path forward quickly for the committee.

Additionally, she was selected to the Rho Chi Alumni Honor Roll. Nominated by the Auburn Zeta Chapter, she was one of just three recipients nationwide this year. Honor Roll honorees are recognized for advancing the profession of pharmacy through intellectual leadership and the pursuit of excellence.

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APAA award winners announced

The Auburn Pharmacy Alumni Affiliate handed out its annual awards June 22 at the Auburn breakfast during the Alabama Pharmacy Association annual convention. Award winners from 2020 and 2021 were recognized since last year’s meeting was canceled.

Winners from 2020 included Ralph Sorrell ’80 earning the Distinguished Alumnus Award while Kori Caldwell, HSOP’s director of development and alumni affairs, receiving the Distinguished Service Award. For 2021, Dan McConaghy ’79 ’82 won the Distinguished Alumnus Award while Dr. Spencer Durham ’07 took the Distinguished Service Award. A new award was also introduced for 2021 with Dr. Takova Wallace-Gay ’14 taking the inaugural Distinguished Young Alumnus Award.

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HSOP alum recognized for advocacy for multiple sclerosis

Ann Davis, a member of the HSOP Class of 1994, was in pharmacy school when her first symptoms of MS started to appear, years before she would receive her diagnosis. Her journey has led to advocacy for early detection. Learn more about her story in this feature by the Shelby County Reporter.

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Sorrells highlighted for work in vaccine distribution

Beginning in December, Ritch’s Pharmacy became one of only three independent pharmacies in Alabama chosen to distribute the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Ritch’s was picked, at least in part, because it’s one of the largest immunizing pharmacies in Alabama, dispensing 1,400 immunizations of various types annually. Learn more about HSOP alums Ralph and Becky Sorrell in this story from Living Village.

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HSOP alum recognized for volunteer work

Mark Bowen, a member of the HSOP Class of 1964, was recently recognized for his volunteer work in the community. After reaching Major General in the National Guard, he has remained active with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. Read more about Bowen in this feature from the Shelby County Reporter.

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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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Maddie Sheffield: 2021 President's Award Winner

After seeing the impact health care workers in her family made, Maddie Sheffield knew that was something she wanted to do. Learn more about Sheffield, HSOP’s 2021 President’s Award Winner, and where her path in pharmacy is taking her on the HSOP website.

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McDaniel receives PhRMA Predoctoral Fellowship

Cassidi McDaniel, a graduate student in the Health Outcomes Research and Policy option, was recently selected for the Predoctoral Fellowship in Health Outcomes Research from the PhRMA Foundation. The name of her dissertation is “Unpacking the complexity of diabetes care through investigating disease control and therapeutic inertia among patients with type 2 diabetes,” and her dissertation advisor is Dr. Edward Chou. The highly competitive fellowship includes a $25,000 stipend. McDaniel is one of four recipients nationwide for the fellowship in health outcomes research.

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McDaniel and Davis receive funding from AFPE

HSOP graduate students Brandy Davis and Cassidi McDaniel recently received prestigious pre-doctoral fellowships from the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education, or AFPE. For both, it is the second year they have received the fellowships in the Social and Administrative Sciences category. The primary goal of the AFPE Pre-Doctoral Research Fellowship program is to positively impact patient and public health by supporting high performing students who possess the skill and aptitude to become outstanding scientists and leaders in the pharmaceutical industry, academia and the government/nonprofit sectors.

Davis, a Ph.D. student pursuing the Health Outcomes Research and Policy option, is working under Dr. Kimberly Garza on a project titled “Implementing a depression screening and referral service in rural community pharmacies: A mixed methods comparative case study." McDaniel, a Ph.D. student pursuing the Health Outcomes Research and Policy option, is working under Dr. C. Edward Chou on a project titled “Improving access to quality care for rural residents with diabetes: developing a framework for care transitions and policy implications."

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Cadwallader selected for AFPE/AACP Summer Research Exchange

Tiffany Cadwallader, a member of the HSOP Class of 2023, was recently selected for a Summer Research Exchange Mentorship Program sponsored by he American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education will once again sponsor three American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Social and Administrative Sciences Section. She is one of 23 students selected to the overall AACP program, but one of just three to be supported by AFPE.

In her exchange, Cadwallader is working under Dr. Karen Farris at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy. Currently, she is working on a research project where they are implementing the PCOM (Pharmacist Coordinated Care Oncology Model) in patients who are receiving oral anticancer agents and who have multiple chronic conditions. She also plans to code interviews, participate in conducting interviews and build a data collection survey for monitoring oral anticancer agent use over time.

HSOP Group Recently Published in JMCP

A team from HSOP consisting of health outcomes research and policy graduate student Yi Zhao, Pharm.D. student Kavon Diggs and faculty members Dr. Natalie Hohmann, and Dr. Salisa Westrick were recently published in the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy. Their article, titled “Qualitative exploration of factors influencing the plan selection process by Medicare beneficiaries,” examined their process in evaluating the ways in which Medicare beneficiaries select their plan.

Grad student published in Frontiers in Pharmacology

Yi Shi, a Ph.D. student pursuing the pharmacology option, was recently published in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology titled “The Role of the CXCL12/CXCR4/CXCR7 Chemokine Axis in Cancer.” Co-authored by Dr. David Riese and Dr. Jianzhong Shen, the article examines the role the CXCL12/CXCR4/CXCR7 axis plays in tumor development, survival, angiogenesis, metastasis and tumor microenvironment, as well as potential cancer therapy.

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Wilson presents at Rx Summit

NeCall Wilson, a Ph.D. student pursuing the Health Outcomes Research and Policy option, presented this week at the 10th Annual Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit. President Joe Biden delivered the opening address on April 5. Wilson co-presented a panel session titled, "Overcoming Barriers to Naloxone Access in Rural Community Pharmacies." She was joined on the panel by faculty from the University of Kansas and the University of North Carolina. The objective of the panel was to provide participants with new evidence-based information about challenges, opportunities, and innovative strategies for expanding rural naloxone access via community pharmacies. Learn more at www.rx-summit.com.

HORP students published

A pair of graduate students pursuing the Health Outcomes Research and Policy option recently had manuscripts accepted to be published. NeCall Wilson, along with Dr. Salisa Westrick, is a part of a group that authored “Lessons Learned Recruiting A Diverse Sample of Rural Study Participants During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” in the International Journal of Drug Policy.

Additionally, Yi Zhao was first author on “Participation in emergency preparedness and response: A national survey of pharmacists and pharmacist extenders,” in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association. Co-authors on the article include Pharm.D. student Kavon Diggs and Westrick.

Student Symposium winners announced

Several HSOP Pharm.D. and graduate students, along with undergraduate researchers, recently presented at the 2021 Auburn Research Student Symposium. First through third place awards were presented in several categories for both poster and oral presentations with winners for each school or college designated in the two divisions, as well.

In the poster presentations, Manjusha Annaji took first place in the graduate student Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics category with a poster titled “Meloxicam coated 3D printed stainless steel implants to prevent implant rejections.” Kaniz Afroz Tanni took second place in the category with a poster titled “Comparative effectiveness of eribulin in metastatic breast cancer (MBC): a systematic review and meta-analysis"

In the undergraduate division, Anna Solomonik, a student in the lab of Dr. Murali Dhanasekaran, took first place with “Evaluating the effects of chemotherapeutics on dopaminergic cells,” while Audrey Hall, a student working under Dr. Angela Calderon, too third place with “Identification of antibacterial compounds from Psidium guajava extracts using LC–MS chemical fingerprinting and profiling.”

The school winners in the poster competition were undergraduate student Victoria Jiminez from Dr. Raj Amin’s lab with “The role of FMO3 induces nonalcoholic hepatic steatosis,” and Pharm.D. student Austin Moore with “Meta-analysis of SARS-CoV-2-induced central nervous system disorders.”

In the oral presentations, graduate student Kelli McDonald was the school winner with her presentation titled “Neuroprotective signaling metabolite, βhydroxybutyrate, reduces oxidative stress and augments mitochondrial functions in hippocampal neurons.”

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Calderón receives R03 grant from National Institutes of Health

Dr. Angela Calderón, associate professor in the Department of Drug Discovery and Development, has received an R03 grant from the National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health (NCCIH) and the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) of the National Institutes of Health. The total cost of the NIH R03 award is $148,960. She is the principal investigator of the project titled “Evaluation of the potential of Ashwagandha extracts to produce CYP-mediated drug interactions.”

Collaborators on the project include Dr. Satyanarayana Pondugula from Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Dr. Amala Soumyanath, Director of the NIH-funded BENFRA Botanical Dietary Supplements Research Center at Oregon Health and Science University. Ashwagandha, Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal (family Solanaceae) is being studied for its ability to improve resilience to neurological changes experienced in aging in the BENFRA Botanical Dietary Supplements Research Center. Calderon and her team will investigate the potential of Ashwagandha to produce botanical-drug interactions when is administered concomitantly with other drugs. The project outcomes will contribute to the safe use of Ashwagandha-containing dietary supplements, particularly in the elderly population.

Faculty earn promotion

Five HSOP faculty members were recently awarded with promotion, recognizing their outstanding efforts to the school. The promotions are effective October 1, 2021. In the Department of Drug Discovery and Development, Dr. Peter Panizzi was promoted to professor. Panizzi has been with HSOP since 2010. In the Department of Pharmacy Practice, Dr. Kelly Hester was promoted to clinical professor. Hester has been with HSOP since 2002. Additionally, Drs. Sarah Cogle, Rebecca Maxson and Taylor Steuber were promoted to associate clinical professors. Cogle and Maxson joined HSOP in 2015, followed by Steuber in 2016.

Surachat Ngorsuraches stands outside Walker Building

Ngorsuraches places in PhRMA Foundation Diversity Challenge

Tasked with identifying ways to account for underrepresented populations when it comes to health disparities, HSOP’s Dr. Surachat Ngorsuraches rose to the top with a second-place award in the Valuing Diversity: Addressing Health Disparities Challenge. An associate professor in the Department of Health Outcomes Research and Policy, Ngorsuraches placed with his submission titled “Using Latent Class and Quantum Models to Value Equity in Healthcare: A Tale of Two Stories.” Learn more about the project and award.

Ngorsuraches receives PhRMA Foundation awards

Dr. Surachat Ngorsuraches was recently announced as a recipient of Value Assessment Research Award from the PhRMA Foundation. With the $100,000 award, he seeks to obtain a quantitative measure COVID-19 fear of contagion that can be factored into value assessments of vaccines and therapies that treat this and other diseases. His team plans to conduct a discrete choice experiment (DCE) to elicit the willingness-to-pay among a sample of 500 adults with and without COVID-19 infection and use the results to determine the relative importance between all study attributes and costs.

Additionally, Ngorsuraches is a co-investigator with Dr. Diana Brixner, one of the other two award recipients, on her project that aims to estimate patient preferences and willingness-to-pay for a select group of high and low-value medications in an effort to inform the development of value-based formulary (VBF) designs.

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Jackson receives Saklad Award

Dr. Cherry Jackson, professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, recently received the Judith J. Saklad Memorial Award from the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP). The award celebrates the life and work of the late Judith J. Saklad, who was a clinical pharmacologist and clinical coordinator of pharmaceutical services at San Antonio State School and clinical assistant professor of pharmacy and pharmacology at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. This award is presented annually to a senior psychiatric pharmacy practitioner who has achieved a level of professional distinction and demonstrates a continuing dedication to the practice of psychiatric pharmacy.

Peter Panizzi stands in lab

Research Spotlight: Panizzi focuses multimodal imaging on bacterial endocarditis

Dr. Peter Panizzi, associate professor in the Department of Drug Discovery and Development, recently worked with a diverse multi-institution team to introduce new fluorescent and radioactive probes to detect the deadliest form of endocarditis and track the growth or regression of the bacterial-fibrin masses, also called vegetations, a hallmark of the disease. This work was published last November in Science Translational Medicine. Learn more about his innovative work in this Research Spotlight.

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Kelley and Eiland receive AACP honors

Drs. Lea Eiland and Kristi Kelley were recently recognized by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Eiland, a clinical professor and associate department head in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, was honored with the Pharmacy Practice Section Outstanding Service Award. Kelley, a clinical professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, was installed as chair of the Pharmacy Practice Section. The Section represents faculty engaged in pharmacy practice and the clinical sciences, works to advance pharmacy practice education through research and dialogue in teaching methods and curriculum design and promotes the acquisition of new knowledge through independent or collaborative research on the pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, sociologic or therapeutic aspects of clinical drug use.

Calderón publishes safety review of cranberry

Dr. Angela Calderón, associate professor in the Department of Drug Discovery and Development, and her team recently published “Safety of Cranberry: Evaluation of Evidence of Kidney Stone Formation and Botanical Drug-Interactions,” in Planta Medica. With cranberry being a popular dietary supplement in the United States, Calderón and co-authors reviewed its use to determine any safety concerns.

Heck and Calderón publish application note on Açaí

Graduate student Kabre Heck and Dr. Angela Calderón recently collaborated with Corning for an application note on the development of a method to assess permeability and inhibition of liver CYP3A4 metabolizing enzyme for botanical dietary supplements. The note titled “Applications of Corning® BioCoat™ Pre-coated PAMPA Plate System for Studying Human CYP3A4 Inhibition by a Botanical Ingredient of Dietary Supplement, Açaí,” is now available on the Corning website.

HSOP group recently published in JAPhA

A team from HSOP consisting of Dr. Jeanna Sewell, Dr. Edward Chou, grad student Cassidi McDaniel, and Pharm.D. student Shelby Harris were recently published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association. Their article, titled “Implementation of a pharmacist-led transitions of care program in an indigent care clinic: A randomized controlled trial,” looked at readmission rates and other data from an indigent care clinic where a pharmacist led the transitions of care for the patient.

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Petitt and Bulloch published in Pharmacy Times

Class of 2021 member Anna Lee Petitt and faculty member Dr. Marilyn Bulloch were recently published in Pharmacy Times with their article titled “Treatment and Outcomes Data Are Evolving for Patients With COVID-19 and Cancer.” The article examines increased risk of severe illness from COVID in cancer patients and how treatment interacts with cancer treatment.

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Mobile health apps and tools for a new year

Dr. Brent Fox, associate professor in the Department of Health Outcomes Research and Policy, and Dr. Josh Hollingsworth, HSOP alum and current assistant professor with VCOM, were recently published in Computer Talk with their article on health and fitness apps and their performance during 2020.

Eiland mentioned in Pharmacy Practice News

Dr. Lea Eiland, associate department head and professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, was quoted as a pediatric expert in an article in Pharmacy Practice News on children returning to in-person school. Check out the full article and read her input on the Pharmacy Practice News website.

CHS welcomes new class of residents

HSOP’s Division of Clinical Health Services recently welcomed five new residents for the 2021-22 year. Joining the division for the upcoming year are Khalefa King, Andrea Latson-Chambers, David Mercer and Mafe Zmajevac in the ambulatory programs and Kirsten Doremus in the community program. King is a native of Atlanta and a graduate of Xavier University Louisiana College of Pharmacy while Latson-Chambers is from Atlanta and Fort Worth, Texas, and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Mercer is from Griffin, Georgia and a graduate of Mercer University College of Pharmacy, and Zmajevac is a native of Caracas, Venezuela and a graduate from HSOP. Doremus is a Tuscaloosa native and a graduate of the McWhorter School of Pharmacy.

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Quiles, State Wellness Center recognized by Alabama House of Representatives

The Alabama House of Representatives on May 17 recognized by resolution the leadership efforts of Dr. Camille Quiles Abernathy, a clinical pharmacist with HSOP who has led COVID-19 testing and vaccine programs through the State Wellness Center throughout the 2021 legislative session. The State Wellness Center provides medical and pharmacy services for state employees and their dependents and is operated by HSOP’s Division of Clinical Affairs and Outreach.

During the legislative session, approximately 2,500 COVID tests were conducted for legislators and State House employees, and 10,000 COVID-19 vaccines were administered to state officials, legislators, state retirees, active state employees and state employees’ dependents. HSOP pharmacists, post-doctoral pharmacy residents, pharmacy students and nursing students from Auburn University and Auburn University at Montgomery provided the clinical services. Nursing students from Reid State Technical College, Central Alabama Community College and Troy University also participated.

Last Updated: July 09, 2021