Archive for April, 2016

Pharmacy Donor Dinner

Evening Gala Celebrates the School of Pharmacy’s Donors and Friends

The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy hosted a special dinner on April 14 to celebrate the members of the David Stewart Associates (DSA) Society, its recognition society for leadership level giving by individuals.

“Members of the David Stewart Associates Society support the School in many tangible ways,” said Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor of the School of the Pharmacy, at the event. “As leadership level donors, you have contributed to scholarships, fellowships, and numerous other awards. You have named the School as a beneficiary in your will, named spaces in Pharmacy Hall, and designated funding for the School’s greatest needs or for one of its departments or centers. The sustainability of the School of Pharmacy relies on your generosity, and we want you to know how much we appreciate all that you do to help make our School one of the best in the country.”

Established in the 1980s, the DSA Society is named for David Stewart, the nation’s first professor of pharmacy and one of the School’s founders. Members of this prestigious group recognize the importance of sustained, leadership giving to provide a solid base of private support and to ensure the School’s continued prominence in the pharmacy profession. These individuals make an annual gift of $1,000 or more to an unrestricted or restricted gift designation.

Supporting the School through Scholarships

More than half of the students attending the School of Pharmacy receive scholarship support thanks to the philanthropy of individuals like DSA Society members. During the dinner, Brandon Biggs, a third-year student pharmacist in the School’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program, and Priyanka Gaitonde, a graduate student in the PhD in Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR) program, delivered heartfelt remarks about how support from the DSA has made it possible for them to pursue their dreams of becoming a community pharmacist and pharmaceutical health services researcher, respectively.

The recipient of the Nicholas Lykos Scholarship in Community Pharmacy, Biggs reflected on his unconventional journey to pharmacy school. He spoke about the unwavering emotional and financial support that he has received from his mother over the years. He explained how receiving the scholarship has helped him to give back to his mom – someone who has made tremendous sacrifices to help him to pursue him dream.

“Donations from members of the David Stewart Associates Society, and the scholarships that they create, truly make a difference,” said Biggs. “Receiving the Nicholas Lykos Scholarship in Community Pharmacy has given me the opportunity to not only pursue my dream of becoming a pharmacist, but to also tell my mom – once and for all – that it is time for her to focus on her own life, and to stop worrying about me. Thank you for all that you do, and for your continued support of the School.”

Gaitonde, who received the Arthur Schwartz Memorial Scholarship, spoke about the numerous opportunities that she has been afforded since joining the PhD in PHSR program at the School. She discussed her interest in assessing barriers and other factors associated with access to specialty drugs among older adults, and explained the important role that her scholarship played helping her achieve her goal of disseminating her research findings to health care professionals and members of the community by attending both national and international conferences and meetings.

“Scholarships not only represent applause for efforts, but also an expectation of continued excellence,” said Gaitonde. “It has been my dream to have stakeholders around the world take the findings from my research into consideration when making decisions about issues that affect access to specialty drugs for older adults. As a result of the scholarship that I received, I now have the opportunity to disseminate those findings, and it is through the dissemination of my research that I will work to uphold the legacy of excellence associated with the Arthur Schwartz Memorial Scholarship. Thank you all for your generous support.”

Presenting the Key to Pharmacy Hall

Before the evening concluded, Eddington presented the Key to Pharmacy Hall, which is awarded annually to an individual who has significantly impacted the School through his or her advocacy efforts and who has demonstrated commitment to assisting the School of Pharmacy with advancing its mission to lead pharmacy education, scientific discovery, patient care, and community engagement in the state of Maryland and beyond.

This year’s recipient was Calvin H. Knowlton, BSPharm, MDiv, PhD ’93, founder and chief executive officer of Tabula Rasa Healthcare, Inc., the parent company of CareKinesis, Inc., and an alumnus of the School.

“Dr. Knowlton has founded 10 companies during his career, and been the recipient of numerous awards,” said Eddington. “In fact, when he joined the PhD in Pharmacy Administration (now PHSR) program at the School, Dr. Knowlton was already a successful pharmacy owner with strong ties to academic pharmacy. As an alumnus, he knows first-hand the emphasis that the School places in all of its academic programs on professionalism, compassion, achievement, and excellence. He is truly the embodiment of our motto of ‘expertise, influence, and impact,” and it is an honor to present him with this year’s Key to Pharmacy Hall.”

Knowlton received his Bachelor of Science in pharmacy from Temple University. He completed a master’s degree in divinity at the Princeton Theological Seminary, and later joined the graduate program at the School of Pharmacy. His long and storied career includes founding the medication management and distribution company Hospice Pharmacia/excelleRX, developing a cloud-based medication risk mitigation model that allows pharmacists to work with health care providers to optimize drug therapies, and serving as president of the American College of Apothecaries and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). Knowlton was named the Most Influential U.S. Pharmacist in 1997, received both the 2003 and 2013 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Greater Philadelphia Region, and was recognized with APhA’s highest honor – the Remington Medal – in 2015.

“It is an honor to receive the Key to Pharmacy Hall during one of the most pivotal times of transition in health care,” said Knowlton. “As we leave the era of safe, siloed practice and enter a new era of collaborative competition, we have an opportunity to empower the next generation of pharmacists with the business, leadership, and entrepreneurial skills that they will need to advance their careers and navigate a system that is increasingly centered on outcomes and patient satisfaction. Change is happening, and I am fortunate to be a part of that change at the School of Pharmacy. As one of the top ten schools of pharmacy in the nation, if any institution can tackle the new challenges that await, it is us.”

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a member of the DSA Society, please contact Ken Boyden, JD, EdD, associate dean for the School’s Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, at (410) 706-3816 or

Malissa Carroll ABAE, People, UMB News, University Administration, University LifeApril 28, 20160 comments
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Shannon Idzik

Nursing’s Idzik Elected to National Nurse Practitioner Board

Shannon Idzik, DNP ’10, MS, ’03, CRNP, FAANP, associate professor and associate dean of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON), has been elected treasurer of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF). Idzik will serve a two-year term.

As treasurer, Idzik serves on NONPF’s board, is responsible for all NONPF fiscal matters, and provides oversight for the disbursement of funds. NONPF seeks to provide timely and critical resources for nurse practitioner (NP) educators and to advance innovative models that support NP educational programs to meet the highest quality standards.

“We are at a critical time where nurse practitioners have a unique opportunity to redefine health care from a disease-based approach to a wellness approach. NONPF is the leader in quality nurse practitioner education,” Idzik said. “I am thrilled to represent nurse practitioner educators and the School of Nursing in national discussions that not only influence nurse practitioner education, but also inform policy, certification, licensure, and accreditation.”

NONPF’s board works to promote continuous and collaborative quality improvement and evidence-based approaches to national and global nurse practitioner education, influence policy to advance NP education, foster diversity across NP education, promote scholarship opportunities for NP educators, and strengthen resources to sustain the NONPF membership.

“We are very proud of Dr. Idzik for being elected treasurer of NONPF and for her ongoing role in the organization. Her service to NONPF is emblematic of her commitment to ensuring that nurse practitioner education is of the highest caliber,” said UMSON Dean Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Dr. Idzik has clearly demonstrated her leadership abilities on behalf of nurse practitioner education, research, practice, and service, and has made a lasting contribution to the profession and delivery of health care services in the state. Her contributions now extend to the nation.”

Kevin Nash Bulletin Board, Education, People, UMB NewsApril 27, 20160 comments
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Student at Conference

Spotlighting Pharmacy at USA Science and Engineering Festival

A few weeks ago, I received an invitation from Cherokee Layson-Wolf, PharmD, BCACP, FAPhA, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) and associate dean for student affairs at the School of Pharmacy, to help staff a booth sponsored by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) at the fourth annual USA Science and Engineering Festival held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. The festival was predicted to attract 350,000 attendees over three days. The event was huge, and the AACP booth was a very popular exhibit.

Lip Balm: Not Just A Fashion Statement

At the booth, our team of student pharmacists partnered with staff members from AACP to help visitors compound lip balm. This was a truly exciting and unique opportunity to showcase the skills that I have obtained during my first year at the School of Pharmacy, as well as to use my knowledge to help get children involved and excited about the pharmacy profession.

The children were amazed by the demonstration and eager to learn about pharmacy. Their parents were also intrigued to learn about the field of compounding pharmacy and excited to participate in the activity. We encouraged both children and parents to ask questions about the pharmacy profession, and I spoke with several high school students who expressed an interest in pursuing careers in pharmacy. They wanted to know more about the roles of pharmacist and the steps that they would need to take in order to pursue pharmacy as a career path.

Shining Light on the Profession

Perhaps one of my most memorable experiences from the festival was having the opportunity to speak with a graduating high school senior who wasn’t sure whether nursing or pharmacy was the path for her, as she most wanted to work in a hospital setting. I am so glad that my classmates and I had the chance to pull her to the side for a more in-depth conversation and assure her that pharmacists play a very important role in the clinical setting. She was not even aware that clinical positions were available for pharmacists!

Overall, it was great to see both children and parents so actively engaged in compounding. They asked a lot of brilliant questions and were excited to take the end product home with them. It was truly a privilege to represent the School of Pharmacy while working side-by-side with the representatives from AACP. I believe that we made a positive impact on many attendees, and hope we were able to spark interest and convince at least one person – if not many – that pharmacy is a captivating, dynamic, and rewarding career choice.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Inside SOP, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s blog. It is reprinted here with permission.

Diamond Melendez ABAE, Community Service, For B'more, University LifeApril 27, 20160 comments
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Don’t Leave Tots in Cars

Every summer, preventable deaths happen to young children when they are left alone in hot cars, even ones that are parked in shady areas or with a window cracked. Did you know that a child’s body can heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s, causing heatstroke, brain damage, and even death? This is why it is so important to never leave your child alone in a car, not even for a minute.

Here are some simple ways to keep kids safe:

  • Remind Yourself
    • Always look in the back seat every time you exit the car. Put your wallet, purse, or phone in back after placing your child in his/her car seat as a reminder if you are sometimes forgetful.
  • Lock Your Vehicle
    • Always lock your car. Teach your children that vehicles are never to be used as a play area. If a child is missing, check the pool, car, and trunk immediately.
  • Take Action
    • If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Every minute counts.
  • Know the Warning Signs
    • If a child is in distress due to heat, remove him/her from the vehicle as fast as possible.
    • Warning signs of heatstroke include nausea; confusion; a throbbing headache; strange behavior, a rapid or slow pulse; red, hot, and moist or dry skin; and lack of sweating.
Sarah RebackEducation, University AdministrationApril 27, 20160 comments
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Golf Tournament

31st Annual Charity Golf Tounament

URecFit will be hosting its 31st Annual Golf Tournament on Thursday, May 26, 2016. Tournament proceeds will benefit the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science (PTRS), as they celebrate their 60th anniversary. Please join us in making this our best year yet.

In order to make this event successful and meaningful, we are asking you to submit a foursome or to serve as a sponsor.

Event Details

Thursday, May 26  |  8 a.m.  |  Oakmont Green Golf Club, Hampstead, Md.


Julia Wightman Clinical Care, Collaboration, Education, University LifeApril 27, 20160 comments
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match day

Pharmacy Students Match With Residency Programs Nationwide

With the end of the matching period for pharmacy residency and fellowship programs across the country on April 8, thousands of fourth-year student pharmacists learned their fate when the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) announced its final Residency Match Day results. Thirty-four students from the University of Maryland school were matched to residency positions at institutions such as the Johns Hopkins Hospital, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and the Veteran’s Affairs Health Care System.

“Pharmacy residencies offer students a wonderful opportunity to continue developing their knowledge and skills in a clinical environment where they can be mentored by a more experienced pharmacist,” says Cherokee Layson-Wolf, PharmD, BCACP, FAPhA, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) and associate dean for student affairs at the School. “The number of employers that require applicants to have one or two years of advanced training beyond the completion of their Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree continues to increase. To stay competitive in the ever-changing job market, many students now actively pursue opportunities that allow them to gain this training.”

Pursuing Advanced Training

Residency training plays a critical role in helping pharmacists obtain more specialized roles within the health-system setting, and current students now understand the value that this additional training can add to their careers. In 2010, only 22 percent of graduates from the School of Pharmacy went on to pursue residency or fellowship training. In 2015, that percentage increased to 33 percent.

One fourth-year student pharmacist at the School to receive a residency match was Suzan Hua. Hua was matched with the residency program at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, which is part of the largest post-doctorate pharmacy training program in the country and offers its trainees the opportunity to participate in direct patient care.

“I was incredibly excited to learn that I had matched to a residency program, and cannot wait to take advantage of the wide range of teaching and experiential opportunities offered through the program,” says Hua. “The knowledge and guidance that I received from professors, preceptors, and my advisor throughout my time at the School of Pharmacy were instrumental in helping me to prepare for the next step in my training.”

Muhammad Sheheryar, another fourth-year student pharmacist at the School, also received a residency match with University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Mercy, which offers a wide range of rotation opportunities for its first-year pharmacy residents. “To help facilitate my transition from a student pharmacist to an independent clinician, I knew that receiving residency training would be crucial to broaden my clinical knowledge and gain valuable experience in direct patient care. The faculty and alumni with whom I worked at the School were immensely supportive throughout the process, providing assistance that ranged from reviewing my curriculum vitae to conducting mock interviews. They were truly there for me every step of the way,” he adds.

Finding Matches at the School

The School of Pharmacy’s joint residency program with the University of Maryland Medical Center also had a successful match. Twenty residents and fellows will join or continue in the program in July to advance their knowledge and skills in a number of specialty areas, including cardiology, oncology, pediatrics, and psychiatry.

“Our residency and fellowship programs offer a wide range of innovative educational, research, and practice settings in which our trainees gain the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful practicing pharmacists and obtain competitive positions in their respective specialties,” says Kristin Watson, PharmD, BCPS-AQ Cardiology, associate professor in PPS and director of post-graduate training for the University of Maryland Residency and Fellowship Programs. “We are tremendously proud of this year’s successful match, and look forward to welcoming all of our new residents and fellows this summer.”

Jackoline Costantino, who will be joining the School of Pharmacy from Idaho State University, is one of four residents to be matched with the School’s Post-Graduate Year 1 (PGY-1) Pharmacy Practice Residency Program.

“When I visited the University of Maryland for my interview, I was astonished by how everyone welcomed me without hesitation, integrating my goals with the program’s existing strengths and recognizing the value that each member brings to the team,” says Costantino. “The matching process was filled with a kaleidoscope of emotions for me, from incredible nervousness to overwhelming excitement, and although the program at the University of Maryland truly spoke for itself, it was my experience during the interview process that led me to move forward with the match. I cannot wait to work alongside so many genuine professionals.”

Returning to the School for an additional year of specialized training in the PGY-2 Psychiatry Pharmacy Residency Program is Sarah Luttrell, PharmD ’15, who completed her first year of residency training at the Sentara Rockingham Memorial Hospital Medical Center in Harrisonburg, Va.

“Spending a year away from the School of Pharmacy helped me realize just how much I learned while I was there as a student,” says Luttrell. “The incredible faculty with whom residents and fellows can interact and the vast learning opportunities available in a range of health care settings are truly unique to the School, and I am excited to have another chance to work with the same individuals who mentored me as a student and helped to shape me into the clinician that I am today.”

More than 4,800 graduating pharmacy students and new practitioners participated in ASHP’s Resident Matching Program this year. Approximately 2,900 first-year residency positions were matched, with an additional 644 second-year residencies receiving matches as well.

Malissa CarrollABAE, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Education, People, UMB NewsApril 26, 20160 comments
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Germer Inspires in UMBrella Event

Put on your shoes. That’s the first step in building a satisfying life in which you reach your potential, Fawn Germer told a crowd at UMB on April 21. It was also one of many memorable phrases of encouragement passed along by the nationally respected author, speaker, and business consultant.

Part of the University’s UMBrella (UMB Roundtable on Empowerment in Leadership and Leveraging Aspirations) Speaker Series, Germer’s presentation urged the audience to not be afraid to fail. “Risk taking is the only way to test your potential,” she said.

She used many incidents from her own life to support her point.

Don’t let security be your dangerous anchor.

Germer began her career as an investigative reporter at the Rocky Mountain News in Denver. She found her path to advancement blocked by a difficult boss who said she’d always be “just a reporter.” So she took a risk and “bet on herself,” accepting a job at the Tampa Tribune as an editor that required a different skill set than being a “hard-charging, just the facts” reporter.

Looking for help to make her “Dale Carnegie” transformation, Germer searched for a book on how to be an effective, strong woman in a male-dominated field — and found none. “A friend said, ‘You’re a journalist; write it,’” Germer recalled. “I was sick of people writing books about things they know nothing about. But I thought I am a journalist and no one has gone to the strongest women of our time and asked them what did you learn the hard way that might make it easier on the rest of us.”
Her first book, Hard Won Wisdom, came from interviews from these 50-plus successful women. But the book didn’t enjoy the instant success Germer envisioned. After all, she said, it takes obstacles to find success.

If you aren’t failing a little, you don’t know your limits.

Oceanographer Sylvia Earle told Germer of a failed business idea when Earle was in her 60s that took every dime she had. When Germer asked if she was bitter, Earle said, “No, look what I learned. I can always make more money later.”

Thus inspired, Germer quit her job at the Tampa Tribune the next day so she could focus on completing the book. “Which was rejected by every publisher in the U.S.,” Germer told the audience. Then more bad luck. Later, Germer having found a publisher, the book was released the day before 9/11, limiting her promotional opportunities.

But Germer didn’t learn to “fall down seven times, get up eight” by accepting defeat. So she persevered, eventually attracting the notice of the book community, including Oprah Winfrey, with her first of eight books and launching a successful career as a motivational speaker.

“It really is all about the obstacles,” Germer said. “All these things pushed me to where I am. The Rocky Mountain News died. If I had stayed in that ‘secure’ job, I would have nothing.”

You’ll never learn to fly if you won’t jump off the cliff.

So Germer has spread her wings, sky-diving to celebrate her 50th birthday, becoming a long-distance cyclist and hiker. She traveled to India — alone. All in her quest to reach self-fulfillment. She urged those in the audience to do the same, pointing out how far women have come.

“In my lifetime there were states that wouldn’t let women sit on juries. Where you couldn’t get birth control unless you were married. If a woman was beaten they’d say what did you do to provoke that, if a woman was raped they’d say why did you wear that.

“The world has changed. It is different. You can see now how women are starting to learn how much more power we have by supporting each other. That’s amazing. That’s what you can do for each other.”

Group support is a basic tenet of UMBrella, which was launched last year to help UMB women achieve their potential, find their voices, and feel empowered. The group works to engage a community that supports the success of women, that advances women into leadership roles at UMB, and that champions women at all levels of its organization.

Every mountaintop is within reach if you keep climbing.

Germer also touched upon self-esteem and self-confidence. She reminded the audience “we all are flawed. But we have a choice. We can either show up all the way or hold yourself back because of your flaws, which aren’t any worse than anyone else’s.”

She drew a Wizard of Oz analogy and urged those assembled to “click their heels.” She said to “never waste a sunset,” and “go outside and breathe” when feeling overwhelmed because nature is a wonderful elixir.

Mortality broadsided Germer in 2013 when, within the span of a few months, Germer’s seven-year relationship ended, her mother, then her father died, and a close friend sold her a house that had a myriad of expensive and hidden problems.

Even the usually upbeat Germer was plunged into depression … until she put on her shoes.

Over the course of two weeks, she walked more than 70 miles of beach near her home in Pinellas County, Fla. Along the route she found herself — her previous happy self — again.

“Sometimes you have to disengage, mark an end to what’s not working,” Germer said after a short video of her recharging beach walk that inspired her latest book, Reset.

“Just make your mind up you’re going to be happy every day of your life. While on the beach I thought ‘Thank you God for giving me this life.’ And I heard something inside of me say ‘You chose this life.’ So what are you choosing? Are you actively taking power, are you risking things so you can be truly happy? Do you believe in yourself, are you being kind to yourself? Because if not, today is a great place to start. All you have to do is put on your shoes.”

— Chris Zang

Chris ZangPeople, University Administration, University LifeApril 25, 20161 comment
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Pharmaceutical Research Computing

PRC Summer Institute ‘Data ‘R’ Dirty: It’s Time to Clean’

Computing, analyzing, and formatting data can be a tedious task, and, if not done correctly, it can lead to inaccurate results.

The Pharmaceutical Research Computing (PRC) center at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy is hosting a comprehensive summer institute June 6 to 8, at the University of Maryland, Baltimore Health Sciences and Human Services Library.

This three-day course will provide training on best practices for investigating, analyzing, and visualizing data. Participants will have individual workstations where instructor-led demonstrations will walk students through the programming code and analytic thought processes needed in the early stages of data evaluation and analysis.

Who Should Attend

The PRC summer institute is designed with the beginning user in mind as we learn to program in SAS and R to clean data. The content is ideal for researchers, programmers, and analysts in any field new to SAS and R.

Course Content

• initial data investigation
• planning the cleaning process
• developing cleaning algorithms
• using SAS to apply the cleaning algorithm
• using R to visualize cleaned data

Complete course materials will be made available to each participant.


Learn more about the PRC summer institute and register.

Jacqueline MilaniABAE, Bulletin Board, Collaboration, Education, People, Research, TechnologyApril 25, 20160 comments
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Pharmacy - Museum of Industry

Bringing Compounding Pharmacy to Life at the Baltimore Museum of Industry

The Baltimore Museum of Industry (BMI) showcases the industrial heritage of Baltimore and the surrounding region through a variety of exhibits, including a cannery, garment loft, machine shop, print shop, and pharmacy.

Seeing the Potential

The pharmacy exhibit — aptly named Dr. Bunting’s Pharmacy in tribute to Dr. George Bunting, a Maryland native and 1899 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, who is credited with developing the formula for Noxzema — contains relics that offer patrons a brief look into the history of pharmacy. On a weekend trip to the museum, Margaret Hayes, the director of student services and outreach at the School of Pharmacy, saw the potential to turn the pharmacy into an interactive exhibit. Working with both the director and the program manager at the BMI, she and I were able to develop a plan to execute this vision. Prior to drug manufacturers and the mass production of medications, compounding was a large component of the practice of pharmacy, so it was fitting to incorporate a live demonstration of different products that can be made.

Breathing New Life into the Exhibit

On Saturday, April 16, I facilitated the first live demonstration of compounding at the museum. Using Smarties, Sweet Tarts, and lactose, I walked visitors through the steps of how to compound capsules, starting with some basic compounding equipment and terminology (i.e. trituration, geometric dilution, and packing the powder bed), and demonstrated the appropriate technique that pharmacists use to get the desired amount of powder into each capsule shell (also known as punching the capsule). Patrons of the museum then had an opportunity to come up and punch their own capsules, a task that many of them found to be harder than it looked!

After compounding the capsules, I performed a quick demonstration of how to make a pluronic lecithin organogel (PLO), a common delivery system for topical or transdermal medications. PLO is made by combining two ingredients, pluronic and lecithin, both of which start out as a liquid, but, as you mix them together, you can see the product change from a liquid to a solid. The last product that I prepared was a calamine ointment using calamine powder, mineral oil as the levigating agent, and white petrolatum as the ointment base.

Showcasing the Role of the Pharmacist

As the instructor for the compounding portion of the School’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum, I was excited by the idea of showcasing these unique skills to the public and discussing how pharmacy has evolved over the years. (Do you know what the columns hanging from the ceiling in the top right corner of the picture below are? Remember back to a time before there were computers and electronic prescriptions, back when all prescriptions were hand-written and manually filed — those columns are one year’s worth of prescriptions from a pharmacy!) I wanted the patrons to learn that pharmacists are not just that person in the white coat behind the counter at their local store taking pills from a large bottle and placing them into a smaller bottle, but instead are part of a continually changing field with the knowledge and expertise that allows them to ensure that each person receives the best medication to treat their condition.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Inside SOP, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s blog. It is reprinted here with permission.

by Ashlee Mattingly, PharmD, abilities lab pharmacist and technician training coordinator

Ashlee MattinglyCommunity Service, For B'more, People, University LifeApril 25, 20160 comments
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Upcoming Concerts at Westminster Hall

Westminster Hall welcomes members of the UMB community to enjoy Charm City Folk & Bluegrass and the Archbishop Curley High School Choral Group this May.

Event Details

Sunday, May 8, at 4:30 p.m.
Charm City Folk & Bluegrass Presents: Live at Westminster Hall.
Dan Tyminski and Ronnie Bowman with very special guests, Danny Paisley and The Southern Grass to bring you the Charm City Folk and Bluegrass.

Thursday, May 12, at noon
Lunch Under the Pipes
Archbishop Curley High School Choral Group under the direction of Michael Gaffney.

Clare BanksBulletin Board, People, University LifeApril 25, 20160 comments
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Energy Conservation

Happy Earth Day! Celebrate this year by conserving energy!

Fact: Walking up two flights of stairs saves 72 kilowatts of energy each trip.
Tip: Skip the elevator and take the stairs. Burn calories, not energy!

Fact: Traditional incandescent bulbs use a lot of energy to produce light, and 90 percent of this energy is wasted as heat.
Tip: Replace your five most frequently used light bulbs to save money and energy!

Fact: As much as 85 percent of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes to heating the water.
Tip: Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible.

Fact: Electronics, chargers, and appliances use energy even when they’re off.
Tip: Unplug to save energy!

Fact: Adjusting your thermostat to the recommended temperature can save 5 to 15 percent on your bill each year.
Tip: Keep your thermostat at 68 degrees during the winter and 78 degrees during the summer.

Fact: Turning off your office lights when not in use saves $160 per year.
Tip: Conserve energy, and turn off the lights.


Sarah RebackBikeUMB, Bulletin Board, Community Service, Education, For B'more, Global & Community Engagement, People, UMB Go Green, University LifeApril 22, 20160 comments
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PROMISE AGEP Family & Friends Cookout

Calling all graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, staff, alumni! Bring your family and friends to the annual PROMISE Cookout! Graduate students from all disciplines and all levels (1st year masters to doctoral candidate) are invited to participate!

This is an annual event! Feel free to bring games, cards, and athletic equipment.

All PROMISE participants who are graduating from a masters or doctoral program from any school within the University System of Maryland will be celebrated!

Send your name, school, department, and degree to with the subject: “PROMISE Cookout 2016.” Family and friends are invited to celebrate with you.

Event Details

Saturday, May 7  |  1 to 4 p.m.  |  10100 Superior Ave., Laurel, MD 20723


LaNette ParsonABAE, Bulletin Board, People, University Life, USGAApril 22, 20160 comments
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Pharmacy Research Day

Annual Event Spotlights SOP’s Up-and-Coming Researchers

More than 70 student pharmacists, pharmacy residents, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows participated in Research Day at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy on April 13. Created to highlight the breadth and depth of research among the School’s students and trainees, this annual event offered an opportunity for participants to showcase their current work, as well as network with potential collaborators.

“In addition to giving our students, residents, and postdoctoral fellows a chance to share their latest work, Research Day provides those who participate with an opportunity to learn more about the research being conducted in other departments across the School,” says Peter Swaan, PhD, associate dean for research and graduate studies and professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC) at the School of Pharmacy. “It is our hope that this venue will stimulate new collaborations within the wide range of disciplines across the School.”

Research Across the Disciplines

To kick off this year’s event, several students, residents, and postdoctoral fellows were selected by their departments or programs to deliver presentations highlighting their recent research. The first student to address the audience was Tomefa Asempa, a fourth-year student pharmacist who, under the mentorship of Julie Zito, BSPharm, PhD, professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR) at the School, examined trends and patterns of psychiatric and non-psychiatric emergency department visits among Medicaid-insured youth.

“Visits to the emergency department – regardless of the reason for which they occur – are expensive, and indicate a disruption in care for individuals with chronic illnesses,” said Asempa, whose research uncovered a significant increase in psychiatric-related emergency department visits among Medicaid-insured youth from 2007 to 2012, particularly for those youth in foster care and youth living with disabilities. “Because we often do not think about mental illnesses as chronic conditions, there is not a lot of information available about why children, in particular, visit the emergency department for psychiatric-related symptoms. Fortunately, our research team had access to a wide range of administrative claims datasets that allowed us to begin to address this issue.”

Also delivering presentations during Research Day were Tabassum Majid, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in PHSR, and Katharine Briggs, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in PSC. Majid presented her research eliciting care management and treatment preferences from family caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, while Briggs spoke about her work to determine whether water proton nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) could detect conformational transitions (changes in the shape of a macromolecule) in amphiphilic molecules (molecules with both polar and nonpolar regions).

Under the guidance of Susan dosReis, BSPharm, PhD, associate professor in PHSR, Majid took a patient-centered approach to her research, conducting interviews and organizing focus groups for nearly 30 caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias to better understand how they prioritize the benefits and risks associated with available care options. “Caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias presents a lot of unique challenges. There are only five medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat these conditions on the market, and many patients opt not to take those medications because they do not see any real benefit. As a result, it is necessary for us as researchers to look beyond pharmacological interventions to better understand the other options that caregivers might be exploring for their loved ones,” she said.

Working in the laboratory of Yihua Bruce Yu, PhD, professor in PSC, Briggs conducted a series of experiments using an amphiphilic molecule known as FIT-27 to verify water NMR as a method of detection for conformational transitions, measuring the chemical shift changes, relaxation rates, and diffusion coefficients for both water and fluorine – another imaging agent – to determine if both detected the same molecular transitions in FIT-27. “Previous research in our laboratory has shown that water NMR can detect aggregates of drug products, so the results from these studies were very exciting to us. We now have data that shows promise for using water NMR to also detect conformational transitions, and are looking forward to continuing these studies to develop a novel way of measuring biologics and conducting quality control across the pharmaceutical industry,” she said.

An Opportunity to Network and Collaborate

A poster session held later during the event presented an opportunity for faculty, staff, and students to network and learn more the cutting-edge research being conducted by up-and-coming researchers across the School. One of the posters showcased research conducted by Joey Mattingly, PharmD, MBA, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) at the School and a graduate student in the School’s PhD in PHSR program, where he is currently examining methods to measure the economic burdens of disease and the actions that decision-makers can take to improve how health care dollars are spent.

“Research Day is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the tremendous work being done by the School’s students, residents, and postdoctoral fellows, with the most valuable part being the role that it plays in the development of these young researchers,” said Mattingly. “After my first year teaching at the School, I applied to the PhD in PHSR program. My work focuses on the field of pharmacoeconomics. Although I have presented several posters at national meetings as a pharmacy practitioner, having the opportunity to participate in Research Day was particularly special for me, as I not only served as a mentor to two pharmacy residents who had posters on display, but also had an opportunity to share my own work as a graduate student.”

Malissa CarrollCollaboration, Education, Research, UMB News, University LifeApril 22, 20160 comments
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