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Alumna digs deeper into uranium exposure

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Monica Yellowhair, a member of the Navajo nation and College of Pharmacy graduate, is a postdoctoral research assistant investigating uranium exposure linked to certain forms of cancer.

Fervent Wildcat beginning 2nd residency

smiling woman in front of computer screens

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.

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Ashlee Gerfen, PharmD 2012, has not been letting the grass grow under her feet since graduating from the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy.

Marcella Hoyland: Making pharmacy look good (video)

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

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Marcella Hoyland is a recent addition to the College of Pharmacy faculty. In this podcast with photos, she tells us why she loves working with students and patients.

Lisa Goldstone: Helping bring patients into the light

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.

woman in front of behavioral health building

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Assistant Professor Lisa Goldstone wants to see people who suffer with mental illness come out of the darkness and into the light of better health.

ISPOR group receives Chapter of the Year Award

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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:

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The college's student chapter of the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research received the society's 2012-2013 Outstanding Chapter of the Year Award. Amanda Harrington (left) is president of the COP group.

UA College of Pharmacy: Reaching for the top

hiker on Mt. Everest

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.

Story by Rebecca Wingate

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Hard work and dedication do get noticed. The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy places in the top 10 of U.S News and World Report's Best Grad Schools.

A morning to savor, a day to relish

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“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.

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Nearly 100 new doctor of pharmacy recipients, including Kimberly Tran (left), shared the Centennial Hall stage with 14 new PhDs at the College of Pharmacy Convocation May 10.

A look at MMC's new ambulatory care pharmacy practice residency

male patient with pharmacist taking blood pressureTwo 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.

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Hussam Kutbi and Shrouq Qaisi are two young pharmacists coming to the end of an all-new residency program started by the Medication Management Center for those interested in ambulatory care pharmacy services.

Shave the date!

Line drawing of man getting his mustache erasedOn Tuesday, Nov. 4, John Murphy, associate dean of the COP, will lose his mustache for the first time in more than 40 years! It’s all in support of Kappa Psi and the Movember Foundation’s commitment to “changing the face” of men’s health.

To raise awareness and funds, one lucky raffle winner will have the honor of shaving off Murphy’s iconic mustache. Buy a raffle ticket in the Student Lounge during every lunch period (12:15 p.m.-12:50 p.m.) through Oct. 31, or join Kappa Psi’s “We Moustache You To Take Your Meds” team by donating on the team’s Movember webpage. The raffle winner will be chosen Monday, Nov. 3. Tickets are one for $1 or seven for $5.

The Movember Foundation website describes their mission: “As a global men’s health movement, the Movember Foundation has the ambition to contribute to improving the lives of men around the world. To achieve this, we challenge men to grow moustaches during Movember (the month formerly known as November) to spark conversation and raise funds …[to fight]  prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems.”

To keep with the theme, Murphy will then observe Movember by re-growing his hairy signature.

Updated: Thursday, 23 October 2014

Team PharmCATS joins the AIDSWALK cause

Group of people walking outside on a sunny day

On Sunday, Oct. 12, six COP affiliates participated in the 26th annual Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF) AIDSWALK Tucson as members of Team PharmCATS. The AIDSWALK event raises awareness of HIV/AIDS, as well as helping SAAF provide medical and social services for community members living with HIV/AIDS.

Team PharmCATS was organized by Class of 2017 students Grace Lin and Daniel Vergel de Dios, HIV/AIDS awareness coordinators for the UA chapter of the International Pharmaceutical Students' Federation (IPSF).

For more information, see the websites for SAAF AIDSWALK Tucson and IPSF.

Photo, left to right: Daniel Vergel de Dios, Evan Mallory, Nicholas Ong, Daniel Trinh, Andrew Garcia, Merta Cushing at the Oct. 12 AIDSWALK event.

Updated: Thursday, 23 October 2014

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