HOPE Center's First APPE Rotation was a Great Success

In response to student interest, the HOPE Center offered its first Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotation this fall. The fall timing presented a great opportunity to provide a rich experience for PharmD students Chloe Grace Rose, Joshua Kessler, and Jennifer Weisbrod along with great rewards for both the HOPE Center and the Valley Fever Center for Excellence.

During the rotation, the students developed an understanding of health economics and outcomes research (HEOR) concepts and methodologies. From there they had ongoing opportunities to apply the methodologies through a variety of exercises and case scenarios. They met regularly with preceptors Amy Grizzle, PharmD and Jason Hurwitz, PhD to master these skills. Chloe, Jennifer, and Joshua had a chance to really hone these skills during the 4-day virtual HEOR training program offered by the Center. They joined us behind the scenes and participated in the program with health professionals from across the country and abroad, taking active, professional roles in group discussions and a final project with attendees.

Other experiences included attending select class sessions in the Health & Pharmaceutical Outcomes doctoral program, attending a graduate student ISPOR chapter meeting (the COP chapter of this global professional society has won multiple awards), other meetings and activities with selected graduate students in the Health and Pharmaceutical Outcomes track, and virtual “alumni conversations” with experienced graduates from our program.

We thank our impressive, enthusiastic alumni listed below for answering the call to share their vast wisdom and experience. Both the students and alumni enjoyed and benefitted from these conversations.

  • Chanadda Chinthamit (2018), Research scientist at Eli Lilly and Company
  • Greg Daniel (2008), Global Head of Public Policy, Global Corporate Affairs at Eli Lilly and Company
  • Frank Ernst (2002), Executive director, RWE and Late phase research, CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services
  • Ana Hincapie (2013), Associate professor at Winkle College of Pharmacy, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Kristin Khalaf (2015), Executive Director, Health Economics & Outcomes Research at Esperion – The Lipid Management Company
  • Mok Oh (2020), Senior manager, HEOR, Oncology at Astellas Pharma US
  • Elly Olvey Caplan (2012), Research Lead at Humana Healthcare research Inc.
  • Mira Patel (2015), Reviewer at Division of Clinical Outcome Assessment, US FDA
  • Kim Saverno (2011), Director, HEOR at Incyte (biopharmaceutical company)

The students were exposed to the wide variety of opportunities available in the HEOR field. All three students shared positive feedback following every conversation.

Joshua, Jennifer, and Chloe also played a key role in a collaborative HOPE Center research project with John Galgiani, MD Director of the Valley Fever Center for Excellence.

The nonspecific symptoms of Valley fever, or coccidioidomycosis, hinders its proper diagnosis resulting in unnecessary health care costs and antibiotic usage. The students were instrumental in this study seeking to determine the coverage of the Valley fever diagnostic test as provided by Arizona insurance companies to increase early diagnosis rates.

Efforts by the students were praised by Drs. Galgiani and Grizzle. The project culminated in a recently published paper with our PharmD students as lead authors.

And, finally, a post-rotation update from Chloe. She has accepted a fellowship offer from UIC-Pfizer and is set to spend a year in Chicago working on a MS degree, followed by a year in New York City working at Pfizer. Shared Chloe, “I am really excited, and I wanted to say a big THANK YOU for taking us on for a rotation! I certainly talked about the HOPE Center and the payer project a lot during interviews! I really appreciate [Amy] and Jason taking us on as students and all of the hard work [they] put in - I think it was very beneficial in my fellowship pursuit.”

Multiple win-wins for both the mentors and the students…all because students took the initiative to request a rotation experience in this field!