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  • Samford, Meijo Pharmacy Schools Celebrate 20-Year Link+

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    Something pretty amazing" is the way Samford University's McWhorter School of Pharmacy chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice Michael D. Hogue describes a 20-year relationship between the school and its counterpart at Meijo University in Nagoya, Japan.

    Representatives of the two pharmacy schools met at Samford Thursday, July 10, to celebrate two decades of what all agree has been a highly successful exchange program.

    The initial idea, said Hogue, was for graduate level clinical pharmacy students at Mejio to visit Samford for a summer program that would introduce them to American clinical pharmacy practices and academics.

    "It is what we envisioned it to be," said Joseph O. Dean, who was the MSOP pharmacy dean when the relationship was begun in 1994.

    At the time, the Samford pharmacy school was eager to broaden its international connections and welcomed Meijo as its first partner from a non-English speaking nation, Dean recalled. The relationship was formalized in 1997 with a signing ceremony attended by then Samford president Thomas E. Corts, Dean and Meijo representatives.

    "The relationship has been wonderful for both sides," Dean said, adding that a large part of its success boils down to people caring about each other "and caring about having strong pharmacy education in both countries."

    Since the first cohort of 9 Meijo students arrived in Birmingham in August, 1994, Samford has welcomed between 10 and 16 students for two weeks each summer for clinical training on campus and at area hospitals and retail pharmacies. They have attended professional pharmacy association meetings, enjoyed social outings and visited area cultural and historic sites.

    "The exception was the one year when there was an influenza outbreak," said Hogue.  Through the years,  Meijo pharmacists have also participated in lengthier Samford programs lasting several months.

    The learning exchange works both ways.

    About 10 Samford pharmacy faculty have traveled to Nagoya and other cities in Japan to participate in conferences of pharmacy educators, lecture in classrooms and absorb Japanese culture. Samford pharmacy students have studied at Meijo, where they made case presentations and gain clinical experience at local hospitals.

    The 20th anniversary observance included remarks by Meijo pharmacy dean Hirokazu Okamoto and professor Hiroyuki Kamei.

    Okamoto gave an overview of his pharmacy school, which enrolls 1,600 students and celebrated its 60th anniversary this year. He received congratulatory applause when he mentioned that its 2012 graduating class achieved a 100 percent passing rate on the national pharmacy examination and claimed a 100 percent employment rate.

    Kamei, making his 14th visit to Samford, praised the longtime exchange of faculty and students, citing their collaboration on research projects and other benefits.

    "It is important to learn the role of the advanced pharmacist in the U.S. and to learn how pharmacy education will contribute in the future. Meijo students gain valuable experience learning clinical skills and being with professional pharmacists during their visits to Samford," said Kamei, who detailed Meijo's clinical practice program that Samford students participate in during their visits.

    Samford and Meijo representatives exchanged gifts and mementoes during the ceremony.

    Samford vice president for advancement Randall Pittman, on behalf of Samford president Andrew Westmoreland, presented Okamoto with a framed proclamation commemorating the 20-year relationship.

    Okamoto left for Westmoreland a handsome enameled picture depicting Japan's famous Mt. Fuji and three cranes, which are symbols of good fortune in Japan.

    The Japanese delegation also received gifts of Alabama-made items to help them remember this year's special visit to Samford.


    Pharmacy School Honored by American Heart Association+

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    Samford University's McWhorter School of Pharmacy was recently recognized by the American Heart Association's Power to End Stroke program for its efforts to help gain understanding of the issues of stroke in African Americans and the role individuals play in helping to decrease the devastation of this disease. Associate Professor, Dr. Pilar Murphy and third year pharmacy student Josh Knight accepted the award on behalf of the school. 

    Under the direction of McWhorter School of Pharmacy faculty Dr. Dee Dugan and Dr. Pilar Murphy, students worked with patients enrolled in the Check-Change-Control program. Students provided education related to blood pressure control, and encouraged consistent blood pressure monitoring to help reduce the likelihood of strokes.  Students engaged with patients in Birmingham at the local YMCA, and in Perry County with patients who were given home blood pressure monitors.Story

    Crouch Named Dean of McWhorter School of Pharmacy +

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    Dr. Michael A. Crouch has been named dean of Samford University's McWhorter School of Pharmacy effective July 1, 2014.  Crouch, an accomplished educator, clinician and researcher, currently serves as executive associate dean and professor at East Tennessee State University's Gatton College of Pharmacy, Johnson City.

    The selection follows a national search to replace Dr. Charlie Sands III who resigned in May 2013 to pursue medical missions opportunities. Sands continues to serve as a member of the pharmacy school faculty. Dr. Michael D. Hogue has served as interim dean since Sands' resignation, and he will return to his role as chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice. 

    "With experience in a variety of pharmacy education programs and within a College of Health Sciences, Dr. Crouch is uniquely qualified to assume the deanship of McWhorter School of Pharmacy," said Nena F. Sanders, vice provost of Samford's College of Health Sciences. "His knowledge of and experience in developing inter-professional education opportunities combined with his assessment and accreditation experience, makes him well-suited to advance the McWhorter School of Pharmacy's reputation as a leader in pharmacy education."

    Crouch joined the Gatton College of Pharmacy in 2010 as professor and associate dean for professional education and academic affairs. He accepted his current leadership position in 2012. Prior to his positions at East Tennessee State, he served for 12 years on the faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond and later as chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice at South University, Savannah, Ga.  

    A recipient of numerous teaching awards, Crouch has dedicated much of his career to educating pharmacy trainees, Sanders said. He is a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist who also holds added qualifications in cardiology. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and an active member of ASHP and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.

    A native of North Carolina, Crouch received his bachelor of science in pharmacy from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He earned his doctor of pharmacy from Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston and pursued postgraduate training that included a first-year residency at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, N.C., and a second-year residency, with emphasis in cardiology, at the Medical University of South Carolina.

    Crouch has a number of ongoing and completed research initiatives, including investigations involving inter-professional education and other teaching strategies. He has more than 100 scholarly publications, including two books: Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy: a Point-of-Care Guide and Securing and Excelling in a Pharmacy Residency.

    For more than 80 years McWhorter School of Pharmacy has been at the forefront of pharmacy education. McWhorter School of Pharmacy remains one of the most influential pharmacy schools in the country, with graduates who are transforming lives in a variety of settings, from acute care, to retail, to executive management with some of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies.

    "It is an honor to be selected as dean of Samford University's McWhorter School of Pharmacy," said Crouch. "The School has a rich and distinguished history and I am excited by the inter-professional education opportunities afforded by the College of Health Sciences. I look forward to working with the faculty, staff and students to advance the School's strong reputation as a leader in pharmacy education." 


    Pharmacy School Receives NACDS Foundation Grant+

    News Item Photo McWhorter School of Pharmacy has received one of only six National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation Pharmacy Partners grants.  The $20,000 grant will be used to develop a prototype model to facilitate improved patient care and enhance public health outcomes. 

    The NACDS Pharmacy Partners Program funds projects that hold promise to meaningfully improve patient care.  McWhorter School of Pharmacy's project will achieve this goal by testing the hypothesis that community pharmacies from the private sector have the capacity to facilitate public health goals by expanding access to products and services that might otherwise be unavailable in urban areas, especially for populations with limited resources and mobility.

    "Our school has long been a leader in connecting community pharmacy and public health practice," said Dr. Michael Hogue, interim dean of the McWhorter School of Pharmacy.  "With the longest standing post-graduate residency in a public health department and faculty members committed to public and community health practice throughout Alabama, this award will allow us to further support the important role of the community pharmacist in public health," he added.

    The project will provide data to demonstrate how models of innovative care involving pharmacies can alleviate demands on the health care system by expanding access to public health services such as immunizations. It will also provide a tool for enhancing the role of pharmacists to improve patient care and conduct public health education. Upon completion of the research, the pharmacy school will produce a practical guide for implementing effective partnerships between community pharmacies and local governments.

    The NACDS Foundation Pharmacy Partners Program began in 1997, and since that time has provided more nearly $3.5 million in scholarships for pharmacy students. The program is supported by a group of benefactors comprised of NACDS Chain Members and Associate Members.

    Pharmacy Student Finishes Third Runner Up in National Patient Counseling Competition+

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    Pharmacy student Ashley Waddell received third runner up in the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Students Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) National Patient Counseling Competition. This is the highest placing any student from McWhorter School of Pharmacy has ever achieved in the annual competition; as one of the top four finalists, Waddell received a cash prize for her efforts.

    The patient counseling competition encourages student pharmacists in their efforts toward becoming better patient educators and reinforces the role of the pharmacist as a health care provider and educator.

    Waddell, a third year pharmacy student from Greenville, Tenn., competed against 127 student pharmacists from throughout the country at the 2014 APhA Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla. on March 29 and 30. The competition was divided into the preliminary round and final round. During each, students selected scenarios at random and counseled a patient on safe and effective drug use.

    Thirty four students and ten faculty members from McWhorter School of Pharmacy attended the conference and were there when Waddell received the third runner-up prize at the APhA-ASP Awards Celebration on March 30.


    Registration Open for International Scholars Conference+

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    McWhorter School of Pharmacy is now accepting registrations for the second annual International Pharmacy Scholars Conference. Scholars from around the globe will stay on the Samford University campus, observe various pharmacy practice sites in the Birmingham area and attend workshops and lectures.  The conference will be held July 10-20, 2014.

    The cost of attendance is $1,500 per person, or $1,250 per person when groups of five (5) or more from the same institution register at the same time. Because attendance is limited,registration will not be confirmed until payment is received. To reserve your spot $200 is due at the time of registration; the remainder is due by June 1st. Payment information will be sent to your email address, once the registration form is submitted. 

    In 2013, 28 individuals from five countries participated in this global learning experience. For more information, please contact Kim Eckert at keckert@samford.edu or 205-726-2917.

    Click here to register online.

    Pharmacy Student Receives National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation’s Student Scholarship Award+

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    Birmingham, Ala. – Jessica Carver, a second year student in Samford University’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy, was selected by The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation for one of only four Pharmacy Student Scholarship Awards.

    The student scholarship award recipients were chosen for work that shares the NACDS Foundation’s commitment to benefit patients, improve outcomes and advance public health. Carver has demonstrated an interest in advocating for issues that advance patient care in the community pharmacy setting through active participation and leadership in her student pharmacy associations. She is president-elect for the Samford chapter of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the Review Sessions Leader for her class. In 2013 she traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with Senator Richard Shelby’s legislative assistants to discuss issues in pharmacy, including the topic of provider status for pharmacists.

    "This very significant and competitive national scholarship is going to a very deserving student,” said Dr. Michael Hogue, interim dean of the McWhorter School of Pharmacy. “Jessica has demonstrated consistent leadership with a servant's heart. She is a great example of what our school desires for and in our students.”

    In addition to her work with professional organizations, Carver advocates for issues that advance patient care through volunteer work at local health fairs. “Many people see their pharmacist as someone who stands behind the counter and fills their medication,” said Carver. “At the McWhorter School of Pharmacy, we frequently go out into the community to offer free blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose screenings. I am passionate about educating the community about the unique services a pharmacist can offer.” Carver exemplifies the key missions of the NACDS Foundation. “She is going to achieve great things in her career as a pharmacist,” said Hogue.

    Pharmacy Student Selected for National Student Leadership Council+

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    Birmingham, AL (February 26, 2014)— Pharmacy student Taylor Hightower has been selected for a position on the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Student Leadership Council. As one of only 16 council members from across the country, Hightower will serve as a regional representative and contact for NCPA student chapters and will provide student perspective regarding the development of NCPA programs.

    In addition, Hightower will have the opportunity to review chapter reports for all chapters in her region and to travel to at least two schools/colleges of pharmacy to present basic information on community pharmacy and NCPA.

    The Student Leadership Council supports the development of future leaders and recognizes student pharmacists who have a strong interest in entrepreneurship and pursuing a career in community pharmacy. Council members are selected through a competitive application and interview process.

    Hightower is the incoming president of the Samford University chapter of NCPA and is from Hamilton, Ala. She will begin her two-year term on the Council in March.

    Pharmacy Students Selected for Kappa Psi Regional Committees+

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    Six students from Samford University’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy have been appointed to serve on regional committees for the Gulf Coast Province of Kappa Psi. There are 14 chapters in the Gulf Coast Province.

    The following students were selected for these important leadership roles:

    Niki Baren, second year pharmacy student from Birmingham, Ala., Publications Committee & Province Development Committee

    Daniel Boalch, second year pharmacy student from Bremen, Ga., Legislative Committee

    Chase Carpenter, third year pharmacy student from Cullman, Ala., Social Media Committee Chair

    Kameron Kelly, second year pharmacy student from Loveland, Co., Advisory Committee & Province Development Committee Chair

    Katelynn Mayberry, third year pharmacy student from Old Hickory, Tenn., Province Development Committee

    Michael Montgomery, second year pharmacy student from Northport, Ala., Legislative Committee

    Kappa Psi is the oldest and largest professional pharmacy fraternity in the world. Kappa Psi accepts both male and female pledges and engages in many professional, philanthropic, and social activities throughout the year.

    Samford NCPA Student Chapter Partners with Cardinal Health for Independent Pharmacy Ownership Workshop+

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    The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) student chapter in the McWhorter School of Pharmacy partnered with Cardinal Health to host an independent pharmacy ownership workshop on February 8 at Samford University. Forty-six pharmacy students from Samford and Auburn University attended the half-day workshop. Students participated in lectures and breakout groups that covered topics involving independent pharmacy ownership and how to run a successful business. Example topics included managed care, financial planning, independent pharmacy best practices, pharmacy start-ups and acquisitions, and current emerging trends in independent pharmacy that can affect financial reimbursement.

    Cardinal Health sponsored the lunch and provided a number of exceptional speakers, all of whom are experts in their fields who shared unique insight into the world of independent pharmacy ownership.

    According to Dr. Jessica Skelley, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice, providing this workshop presented an important opportunity to promote the unique advantages of small business ownership within the realm of pharmacy. “Many of the students walked away from the workshop very energized and excited,” said Skelley. “In fact, the biggest request from students we received on feedback was that they wanted the workshop to last even longer- many of our question and answer sessions ran well over time, and several students stayed after the end to continue discussions with our speakers from Cardinal Health.”

    As one of the chapter organization advisors for NCPA, Dr. Skelley assisted in planning and coordination of the workshop along with leadership at Cardinal. Also assisting was Josh Knight, Samford NCPA chapter president and a third year student, and Leanne Justis, also a third year student and a student officer in NCPA.

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