Auburn Hosts Southern Pharmacy Administration Conference

Dean Richard Hansen addresses the conference Dean Richard Hansen welcomes attendees to SPAC 2018.

June 19, 2018

AUBURN, Alabama – The Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy’s Department of Health Outcomes Research and Policy (HORP) recently hosted the Southern Pharmacy Administration Conference (SPAC).

RELATED: Photos from SPAC 2018

Held June 7-9, the SPAC served as a forum for researchers interested in social, behavioral and economics of pharmacy to share and disseminate their ideas. Since 1985, SPAC has been held once every two years to foster professional development of graduate students and to facilitate dialogue between colleagues across institutions in the southern region.

“It was an honor for the Harrison School of Pharmacy and the Department of Health Outcomes Research and Policy to host SPAC,” said Dr. Salisa Westrick, HORP Department Head. “It has been 26 years since Auburn hosted this conference and it was a great opportunity for other SEC colleagues to visit our beautiful campus and learn more about the exciting scholarly work that our colleagues and peers are conducting.”

The conference had more than 70 attendees from institutions such as the University of Arkansas, University of Georgia, University of Houston, University of Mississippi, University of Oklahoma, University of South Carolina, University of Tennessee and University of Texas, as well as the Food and Drug Administration.

The theme of the conference was “Patient Safety: Teaching and Research to Optimize Medication Use.” The keynote speaker was Dr. Sarah Dutcher of the Food and Drug Administration. Her presentation was titled “Patient safety at the FDA: The role of post-market surveillance in the drug product lifecycle.”

“Patient safety is an important subject in all levels of healthcare, but particularly in pharmacy, and it was encouraging to see the serious discussions that took place during SPAC,” said Westrick. “I would like to thank Dean Richard Hansen and the Harrison School of Pharmacy, along with the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research for their support to make this conference happen. In addition, I would like to thank our faculty members, graduate students and staff for planning and organizing this very successful conference. A special thanks goes to Dr. Brent Fox, Associate Professor, who chaired a Conference Planning Committee.”

All educational activities and presentations were held in Harrison School of Pharmacy’s Walker Building, including poster and podium presentations. Contributed abstracts will be published online in the journal Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy (RSAP).

In the poster presentations, there was a tie for first between Hyeun Ah Kang and Sabina Ndauguba, both from the University of Texas. Kang’s presentation was titled “Evaluation of the risk of stroke in relation to the use of 5-HT agonist among Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) patients,” while Ndauguba’s was “Trends in presentation with advanced HIV disease within Texas, 1996-2013.” Maggie Thannisch of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences took third with her poster titled, “Evidence Based Quality Improvement (EBQI) for development and implementation of community pharmacist-initiated prescribing and dispensing of Naloxone.”

In the podium presentations, Texas’ Kang again took top honors with her presentation titled “Association between hydroxyurea medication adherence and vaso-occlusive crisis events among Texas Medicaid enrollees with sickle cell disease.”

Matt Hill of the University of Texas placed second with “The relationship between chronic Doxycycline use and heart failure: A retrospective cohort study,” while Natalie Hohmann of Auburn University placed third with “Improving patient educational materials regarding generic drugs: A qualitative study.”

The next Southern Pharmacy Administration Conference will take place in the Summer of 2020 with the University of Houston College of Pharmacy hosting. For more information on SPAC at Auburn, visit


About the Harrison School of Pharmacy

Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy is ranked among the top 20 percent of all pharmacy schools in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. Fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the School offers doctoral degrees in pharmacy (Pharm.D.) and pharmaceutical sciences (Ph.D.) while also offering a master’s in pharmaceutical sciences. For more information about the School, please call 334.844.8348 or visit

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Last Updated: June 19, 2018