The 27th Annual IPA Trade Show was held at the Anaheim Marriott on Saturday, September 24, 2016. WesternU sponsored the the continuing education program presented by Tony Park, PharmD, JD "2016-Q4 New Laws Review" at the meeting. WesternU faculty, alumni and students also participated in the exhibit program and the banquet.
Dean Robinson convened his Dean's Advisory Council for a meeting at WesternU on September 23, 2016. He welcomed three new members: David Kvancz, Senior Vice President Strategic Client Relationships, Visante, Brian Yamate, Director, Pharmacy Services, Citrus Valley Medical Center and Mario Jimenez, Director of Diversity Initiatives, WesternU College of Pharmacy. The agenda included a report from the Dean, a tour of the new classrooms and "Intelligence Reports" from the members describing the major issues in pharmacy that impact their various areas of practice. The Dean also described the 20th Anniversary Gala held last Saturday and the other activities that celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the WesternU College of Pharmacy.
Kethen So, CSHP President, presented to the WesternU Student Chapter on September 23, 2016 on his career and involvement with CSHP. The chapter officers described CSHP Seminar coming up at the Disneyland Hotel and encouraged them to attend. The student chapter will help subsidize the cost of registration for students attending.
As part of the Noon Elective Seminar, Dr. Doreen Pon gave an excellent presentation on "Pharmacists on Medical Missions". A couple of reflections from student pharmacists in the class are posted below:
Reflection #1: Jane Kim, PharmD Candidate 2020
Dr. Pon talked about the prevalence of health issues in other parts of the world, ways to prepare for medical mission trips, and what happens on these trips. Child and adult mortality rates are much higher in other parts of the world compared to the US. It is due to the lack of health care resources and infrastructure making it an overall public health issue. This is a reason why medical missions exist. To help people in need. Medical mission trips require pre-trip preparations such as formulary planning, medication procurement, dispensing procedures, and paperwork. One non-profit organization involved in medical mission trips primarily to Guatemala is called Help’s International. On these trips pharmacists dispense, counsel, and participate in special projects. I found this seminar to be very interesting and useful for me if in the future I want to go on medical mission trips. I feel that this is a great way to use my skills to help people who are in need, not just in my community but around the world. It will help me to leave my comfort zone and experience the world and meet new people.
Reflection #2 Hyun Ji Chin, PharmD Candidate 2020
Today’s seminar evolved to be a surprising session for a student pharmacist who was never exposed to any concept related to medical and pharmaceutical missions. Somehow, I always had thought that the medical mission only involved collaboration of physicians, dentists and nurses in absence of pharmacists. But it is quite obvious that the pharmacist must be present to ensure the safety of provision of pharmaceutical care. The seminar was inspiring and informative that another goal was added on to my future personal career goal lists: medical mission off to the third-world country. I believe that committing to medical mission, at least once in my life time will bring a lot of changes in my life. I can actually play a significant role in saving others’ lives and provide more quality lives as well. Nonetheless, I really need to work hard on developing myself to become more adaptive and flexible to a sudden environmental changes. Because I am a person who gets really stressed when things turn out in a way that I did not expect to be, I will not be able to adequately handle the uncertainty and unfamiliarities that are associated with medical mission. Thus throughout the pharmacy school year, I would practice in learning how to manage and handle those uncertainties through confronting with more unexpected events.
Alumni, faculty, students, staff and friends of the College of Pharmacy gathered on the WesternU Esplande to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the founding of the College on September 17, 2016. Dean Robinson introduced the following VIP's to the celebration: Daniel Wilson, Thomas Fox, Max Ray, Patricia Chase, Kathy Knapp and Steve Gray. Following tours of the new classrooms, wine reception and a buffet dinner, the program continued with alumni awards and the raffle drawing.
Luis Aguilar, PharmD 2000 received the Special Recognition Awards for being the first graduate of the WesternU College of Pharmacy. Other alumni receiving awards were Tim Chen, PharmD 2004 , Distinguished Alumni Award and Mark Bounthavong, PharmD 2004 Alumni Achievement Award. Preceptor Catherine Hirokawa, PharmD received the Distinctive Service Award.
The group also enjoyed the photo booth and the music provided by the DJ.
WesternU College of Pharmacy held its 10th Annual Legislative Day on September 16, 2016 to a standing room audience of students and faculty. The day provides students an opportunity to learn from legislators and pharmacy leaders about new laws and and regulations that affects the profession of pharmacy. Dr. Micah Hata acted as the MC for the program. The speakers were Steve Gray, PharmD, JD, Sarah McBane, PharmD, CDE, BCPS, FCCP, Jorge Farias, PharmD, MS and Daniel Martinez, from Congresswoman Norma Torres's office. The main message of the speakers was to get involved by joining professional associations, volunteering and donating talent and money.
Operation Education is a program to reach out to prospective students to the WesternU College of Pharmacy. Each year, the Office of Recruitment trains and schedules pharmacy students to help with recruiting a diverse and highly qualified group of prospective students for the Admission's Committee to select from. University Recruiter Susie Fang, coordinated the orientation meeting and introduced faculty members Sunil Prabhu, Sam Shimomura and Mario Jimenez as well as several students who participated last year. Operation Education students visit local colleges and universities, give tours of WesternU and participate in Preview Day student panels.
The WesternU College of Pharmacy partners with the UCLA School of Medicine to provide a 4 day (37 hour) continuing education program "Intensive Course in Geriatric Medicine and Pharmacy" for physicians who want to prepare to become board certified in Geriatrics and pharmacists who want to prepare to take the Certified Geriatric Pharmacist examination. WesternU faculty members Patrick Chan, Janice Hoffman and Cynthia Jackevicius were speakers on the program. UCLA also presented an interprofessional "Dementia Workshop" before the course. Sam Shimomura helped to facilitate that workshop.
Daniel Kudo, PharmD, a medical liaison for AstraZeneca gave a presentation entitled "My Journey to the Dark Side" on September 7, 2016. His lecture was part of the Professional Seminar elective series. A couple of reflections written by student pharmacists are posted below:
Reflection #1: Rita Semerjian, PharmD Candidate 2020
This Seminar was highly intriguing to me because I had never heard of a Medical Science Liaison (MSL). When Dr. Kudo first introduced the subject, I immediately started forming negative thoughts about the position but Dr. Kudo quickly busted all the myths that I was thinking about. This position is one that I definitely will think about for the future because it seems like a job I would like to do and it has multiple perks, such as networking opportunity, traveling, and engaging with world renowned doctors and specialists. I thought Dr. Kudo did a good job of presenting both the advantages and disadvantages, which are only disadvantages for some people. For instance, the extended travel time is definitely something that stops me from perusing this career path right now because I would like to start a family in the near future and
traveling a lot would not be ideal.
Reflection #2: Stephane Teixeira, PharmD Candidate 2020
My name is Stephanie Texeira and I attended Dr. Kudo’s seminar, “My Journey to the Dark Side” on September 7, 2016. Dr. Kudo defined his current occupation as an MSL (medical science liaison) and explained the differences between an MSL and a drug representative. He also pointed out that an MSL working in industry is a not a “traditional” pharmacist role. Overall, his seminar discussing the pros and cons of working in industry have helped me to further narrow down my own career interests. I was previously open to the idea of working in industry, but I am now less receptive to the option after hearing about the need to travel three quarters of the year, especially because I am interested in starting a family soon. I benefited the most from his “keepers” that include collecting business cards, planning early for retirement, and getting rid of my student debt as quickly as possible.
Depression: A revolution in treatment?
Please read the link above and then commentary below:
I really enjoy articles like this because they strongly challenge the way we think about and practice mental health care. Psychiatry has been a discipline practicing in a silo and the connection between the body and mind has been thought of as being independent of one another by many medical professionals. Science is catching up and the duality of mind and body (as well as spirit) is quickly collapsing which will (hopefully) lead to major shifts in the way mental illness is conceptualized and treated. It is actually surprising that the idea of mind and body being separate has persisted this long as we have known that physical activity such as cardiovascular exercise or mind/body practices like yoga and tai chi exhibit benefit on psychological wellbeing (and also modulates immune function). Certainly I don’t find it coincidental that epidemics of diabetes, hypertension, and obesity are occurring at the same time as epidemics of depression, anxiety, and addictive disorders.
The elephant in the room that is not really discussed in the article is why the immune system is functioning aberrantly. It is exciting to think of all the new drug targets that can be rationalized from scientific exploration of the relationship between the immune system and the mind. Certainly this topic deserves further research. However, to think of improper immune function as the etiological root of depression seems somewhat shortsighted. For example, there are many environmental factors that influence immune function such as chronic stress, social isolation, and diet. All of these to some extent have been associated with depression. Therefore, I think we need to probe deeper into lifestyle interventions at the individual level and cultural shifts at the population level that are likely to impact both aberrant immune signaling and psychological health. It is these types of changes that I believe to have the most potential for major impact on disorders such as depression.
Posted by Benjamin Malcolm, PharmD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Administration, WesternU College of Pharmacy