Lourdes Peralta Lizarraga, third-year PharmD student at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, earned a coveted spot as a paid summer intern this year with Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. About 600 students applied for the full-time internships and only 23 were accepted.
According to Jim Godsey, the senior vice president of product and technology development for Ventana, their summer interns aren’t sent to the mail room.
“They get to work on something that’s relevant to the company, that’s current, and we get to evaluate new talent,” says Godsey.
Peralta Lizarraga worked at the company’s Oro Valley headquarters for the 12-week program. She had the opportunity to work with the cytology team, which is focused on the development of a new kit that will be used on Ventana instruments to identify women who may have pre-cancerous cervical lesions. The kit, which is in the verification phase, will help women receive necessary treatment and diagnosis more quickly. This important tool could be useful in allowing women to be treated early, before cancer development.
Peralta Lizarraga was excited to hear about the internship with Ventana, a member of the Roche Group, and one of the world’s leading cancer diagnostic companies.
Ashlee Gerfen, PharmD 2012, has not been letting the grass grow under her feet since graduating from the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy. She was accepted for a highly competitive residency at the University of Arizona Medical Center-University Campus immediately following graduation, and now is at the beginning of a second residency.
Gerfen worked in a retail setting as an intern at CVS Pharmacy while attending UA COP. Although she enjoyed the experience, and was offered a job as a retail pharmacist there, she knew that she wanted to work in a hospital setting. So Gerfen was thrilled to find that she was one of only seven applicants selected for her Postgraduate Year One (PGY1) residency program. The pay was considerably less than she would have received as a retail pharmacist, but Gerfen knew that the temporary reduction in income was worth it to pursue the area she wants to work in.
“I gain more experience in clinical pharmacy, and I’m not just filling prescriptions. I am able to interact with doctors, nurses and patients in this setting,” says Gerfen.
Marcella Hoyland joined the College of Pharmacy faculty in July 2012. This audio interview gives a glimpse into the kind of work Hoyland is doing and what her goals as a teacher are.
Hoyland serves a joint appointment as an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science at the college and an internal medicine pharmacist at the University of Arizona Medical Center - University Campus.
For more information about her background, visit Hoyland's biopage here.
Photos and interview by Isaac Cox, student communications assistant
Assistant Professor Lisa Goldstone wants to see people who suffer with mental illness, and the medications they take, come out of the darkness. Goldstone’s patients deal with the stigma attached to these issues on a daily basis. She looks forward to a day when this is not the case.
Goldstone, who completed her PharmD at UA COP in 2007, has spent the last 20 years in the behavioral health field. She already had her master’s degree in clinical psychology, but when in her daily work she saw the lack of knowledge related to treating mental illness with the proper medications, Goldstone decided to go to pharmacy school and learn all she could about this important aspect of the mental healthcare field.
For about three years, Goldstone has divided her time between teaching at the College of Pharmacy and clinical practice at the University of Arizona Medical Center-South Campus in the inpatient behavioral health units. She enjoys the fact that each day is a new experience with a chance to be kind to a segment of society that has, in many cases, experienced a lot of unkindness.
The UA College of Pharmacy student chapter of the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) has been recognized as the society’s 2012-2013 Outstanding Chapter of the Year.
The award was accepted by the chapters’ president, Amanda Harrington, at the 2013 ISPOR annual meeting in New Orleans May 19. Harrington is a graduate student in the pharmaceutical economics, policy and outcomes track.
In addition to accepting the chapter award, Harrington received one of 14 ISPOR Outstanding Service Awards. This award honors individual student chapter members for outstanding contributions to the ISPOR Student Network in 2012-2013.
The COP ISPOR organization was selected for the chapter award from a pool of 41 national and international student chapters due to the outstanding work and student involvement that the group achieved over the year. Some of the chapter’s 2012-2013 accomplishments include:
Making your way to the top takes a lot of dedication. Very few make it to the summit of Mt. Everest, but the determined ones who do are proud to announce their accomplishment.
Likewise, the UA College of Pharmacy likes to share that it has achieved the feat of being tapped by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top pharmacy programs in the country. The college is listed at number 10 in the publication's 2014 Best Graduate Schools issue.
In fact, the college, founded in 1947, has placed in the 10th slot or above since the publication started ranking colleges of pharmacy.
The rankings are based on the results of peer assessment surveys sent to deans, other administrators, and/or faculty at accredited degree programs or schools. All schools surveyed in a discipline are sent the same number of surveys. There are 125 accredited doctor of pharmacy programs in the U.S. at this time.
This achievement is a tribute to the dedication and quality of the faculty, staff, students and alumni of the college, which is striving to be the leader in educating the next generation of pharmacy professionals.
“I never thought this day would come… It doesn’t feel real.”
With joy and excitement in her voice sparked by “finally” graduating, so spoke the president of the PharmD Class of 2013 to faculty, friends, family and the newly minted alumni attending the College of Pharmacy’s Graduation Convocation last Friday morning.
Jessica DiLeo echoed the thoughts of the other 94 new doctor of pharmacy recipients who shared the Centennial Hall stage, and the 14 new PhDs who had been hooded just about an hour earlier. Each new graduate had had an opportunity to express thanks to those who had been his or her supporters and companions through the challenging academic journey.
Speaking on behalf of the graduates, DiLeo said, ”How can I convey to you the excitement we feel, the obstacles we have overcome and the gravity of the positions we are soon to encounter?” She summarized the PharmD class’s journey as if it were a “retrospective, cohort study” that began in August 2009, included more than 120 exams, multiple all-nighters, professional pharmacy conferences and dozens of extracurricular activities. And then came this past year of clinical rotations.
Two pharmacists are coming into the home stretch of a brand-new, innovative residency program in ambulatory care that was introduced by the College of Pharmacy’s Medication Management Center last July.
Hussam Kutbi and Shrouq Qaisi are the inaugural participants in the postgraduate year two (PGY2) residency started by the Medication Management Center. A residency in pharmacy is a program that offers PharmD graduates optional additional training.
“There are not many programs like this,” Kutbi says. “Hospitals and clinics that weren’t interested in ambulatory care pharmacy services are now interested... I’m very thankful for being chosen to participate in this residency program.”
As Kutbi suggests, residencies in ambulatory care are relatively rare in this geographical area. El Rio Community Health Center has a pharmacy practice (PGY1) residency under the COP general residency program focusing on ambulatory care training. The new postgraduate year two (PGY2) residency at the MMC has more in-depth and broader experience in ambulatory care settings.
So what is this new MMC program about which Kutbi is so enthusiastic? Let’s step back in time to learn more about it.
Increase in program fee under consideration
Administrators at the college anticipate asking the Arizona Board of Regents to approve a $450 increase in the program fee added to the tuition of doctor of pharmacy students. College deans and student leaders will meet Oct. 2 to discuss the proposal, which if approved will become effective in Fall Semester 2015.
Affected students have been notifed by email of the upcoming discussion. Students with questions or concerns may send them by email or contact any student named in the Sept. 26 message to the classes of 2016, 2017 and 2018.
UA COP in top 20% for research funding
The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy has released data regarding the amount of research funding awarded to pharmacy schools. The listings are done every fiscal year; this year’s rankings come from data collected from Oct. 1, 2012 though Sept. 30, 2013. UA COP ranks 15th of 93 colleges in total NIH, other federal and non-federal PI grants and co-PI subgrants. UA COP lands 14th of 80 colleges in total NIH PI grants and co-PI subgrants.