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February 6, 2014
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School News

Departments renamed following Board of Trustees approval

At its November meeting, the Auburn University Board of Trustees approved the renaming of two departments in the Harrison School of Pharmacy. The Department of Pharmacy Care Systems is now the Department of Health Outcomes Research and Policy and the Department of Pharmacal Sciences is the Department of Drug Discovery and Development. Pharmacy administration advocated for the name changes to better represent the curriculum and research in each department. The board also approved offering four formal options within the framework of the school’s M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Drug Discovery and Development. The new options, Health Outcomes Research and Policy, Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmaceutics, and Pharmacology, will be forwarded to the Alabama Commission on Higher Education for their approval at their March 2014 meeting before becoming official.

Harrison School of Pharmacy ranked among best pharmacy schools in national survey

The Harrison School of PharmacyAuburn's Harrison School of Pharmacy was ranked number 17 among all pharmacy schools in a national survey of current pharmacy students and recent graduates conducted by The results are based on student and alumni perceptions about academic competitiveness, career support, financial aid and quality of network, among other ranking categories. Program rankings, compiled using data gathered between Sept. 1, 2012 and Sept. 30, 2013, encompass reviews posted by more than 40,000 students participating in over 1,300 graduate programs nationwide including pharmacy, law, business, engineering and others. For a complete list of top pharmacy schools, go to this website.

Kowa Pharmaceuticals establishes endowed scholarship

The Harrison School of Pharmacy received a $25,000 philanthropic gift to establish the Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. (KPA) Endowed Scholarship, which will provide scholarship support for professional PharmD students. KPA will also collaborate with HSOP to offer their facility as an elective rotation site in the near future. The Montgomery-based pharmaceutical firm is the U.S. marketer of Livalo (pitavastatin) and Lipofen (fenofibrate) for the treatment of high cholesterol. Shown are (left to right): Associate Dean David Riese (HSOP), Dr. Craig Sponseller (Kowa VP of Medical Affairs), Dean Lee Evans, Mr. Ben Stakely (Kowa CEO and President), and Dr. Roger Graben, (Kowa Chief Operating Officer). Dr. Graben is a graduate of HSOP’s PhD (2006), MS (1987) and Bachelor of Pharmacy (1985) programs.

Students and faculty host Medicaid Brown Bag Day in Huntsville

HSOP faculty and fourth year pharmacy students in the Huntsville region teamed up with UAB-Huntsville Regional Medical Campus Family Medicine and Internal Medicine clinics to educate Alabama Medicaid patients of the new changes affecting their prescription drug coverage beginning in 2014; the new changes will limit coverage to only 5 medications a month, excluding antiretrovirals, antipsychotics, and antiepileptics. On Dec. 13, HSOP and UAB-Huntsville Family Medicine Clinic hosted a Medicaid Brown Bag Day for patients affected by the changes. More than 40 patients met with a student pharmacist who conducted a medication history and gathered information about medication adherence, fill dates, and any other recent or anticipated changes. Students collaborated with pharmacy faculty and a medical resident/attending physician to make medication adjustments, send 90-day prescriptions, and finalize cost-effective medication plans. Patients were sent home with a copy of a plan for them to keep and a plan to give to their pharmacy.

(l-r) Grant McGuffey, Alexandra Yapp, Dr. Brad Wright, Kristi Payne,
Christie Kibler, Dr. Haley Phillippe, Ryan Owens, Randi Prozan, Dr. Miranda Andrus

HSOP donates more than 2 tons of food

The HSOP family collected 4,325 cans - more than 2 tons – of food to benefit the Food Bank of East Alabama during the Beat Bama Food Drive. P2s won the class competition for the Make Hunger Disappear Project organized by the Committee of 19, collecting more than 1,000 cans during the week-long competition; the P1s came in second place, the P3s in third, and the P4s came in fourth place.

Faculty News

Margaret Williamson (Pharmacy Practice) was elected Chair-elect of the Southeastern Pharmacy Experiential Education Consortium (SPEEC); the two-year term starts in January. Williamson is also now a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist (BCPS).

Pamela Stamm (PP) is now Board Certified in Ambulatory Care Pharmacotherapy (BC-ACP).

Angela Calderon (Drug Discovery and Development) was awarded a research contract for “Metabolite fingerprinting and profiling of a Traditional Chinese Medicine based formulation from two vendors” through Nature’s Sunshine Products, Inc. for $73,227.

William Ravis (DDD) and Jean Lin (DDD) received a one-year award from TaiRx Inc. for $45,000.

Kim Garza (Health Outcomes Research & Policy, formerly Pharmacy Care Systems) received a New Investigator Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy for the project “Effectiveness of Different Financial Incentives to Improve Medication Adherence.” The $10,000 grant is for the period of Jan. 1, 2014 to Dec. 31, 2014.

Kim Garza (HORP), Salisa Westrick (HORP), Benjamin Teeter, and Lynn Stevenson (PP) authored a paper, “Incorporating Hypertensive Patient Education on Salt Intake Into an Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience,” published in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education (Vol. 77, Issue 9).


Rebecca Lee, 2013 HSOP alumna, and Heather Whitley (PP), co-authored a manuscript that will be published in the January 2014 issue of The Consultant Pharmacist called “Use of Social Media to Support Patients with Diabetes Mellitus.” The article is a based on a Social Media effort created and administered by Auburn pharmacy faculty and students called Countryside Diabetes, which uses Facebook to provide ongoing education and support for elderly individuals affected by diabetes.

Jay Ramapuram (DDD) and Rusty Arnold (DDD) were selected as dissertation advisors for two Department of Education GAANN fellows. The GAANN program supports interdisciplinary graduate education in pharmaceutical engineering at Auburn. Fellows are permitted to select mentors in the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Harrison School of Pharmacy, and the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.

Student News

P2s honored by Phi Kappa Phi

Ten P2 student pharmacists were honored by Phi Kappa Phi as recipients of the First Professional Year Outstanding Students award for completing the first professional year of the Pharm.D. program with the highest GPA. Congratulations to the following P2s:

Jenna Bloemer Benjamin Burkhart Nicholas Childers Aaron Garrett Mary Katherine Gentry
Morgan Gwynn Joe Rambo Sara Sanders Brett Sullivan Elizabeth Wood

Bloemer and Gentry were also inducted as new Phi Kappa Phi members.

Gary selected to participate in Capital Hill event

Kaitlyn Gary (P1) has been selected to participate in the 2014 NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill, March 12-13, 2014 in Washington, D.C. The event brings together more than 300 pharmacy executives, pharmacists, students and other pharmacy leaders to educate elected leaders about issues facing pharmacy today.

Achey featured as Take 5 profile

Tom Achey (P4) was recently featured on Auburn University’s Take 5 profile, a weekly feature which highlights Auburn students, faculty, staff, and alumni who have made significant contributions in their respective fields and the community.

View the profile here:

Alumni News

David Darby, a 1982 alumnus, has been elected to the Alabama State Board of Pharmacy.  His five-year term began Jan. 1, 2014. Darby is owner of Darby’s Village Pharmacy and Darby’s Medical Center Pharmacy in Andalusia. He has served on committees on state and national levels, and has held numerous offices in the Alabama Pharmacy Association including president, and is currently serving as district trustee. He also serves on the HSOP Dean’s Advisory Council as well the Blue Cross Pharmacy Advisory Committee.

Alumna Andrea Eagle, Class of 1997, was recently featured in the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer for being one of the nation’s few women to earn a pilot’s license. Read the story here:

Long-time HSOP supporter Mr. James Walker was featured on several media outlets for his generous gift to two Auburn fans. 

View the story here:

More than 400 alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends attended the tailgate, sponsored by CVS, before the Auburn-Alabama game Nov. 30.

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