Posted by Sam Shimomura, PharmD, FCSHP, FASHP
WesternU was the first institution to develop a comprehensive interprofessional education program involving nine health professions. On March 6, 2018, Dr. Jasmine Yumori and her interprofessional faculty lead an IPE 6100 session to help the WesternU students practice their communications skills. The students practiced scenarios involving heart attacks, seizures and trauma. The exercises were serious, educational and yet fun.
Posted by Sam Shimomura, PharmD, FCSHP, FASHP
On February 28, 2018, Dr. Lee Meyer gave an excellent presentation on "Geriatric Pharmacy Practice" to the Noon Elective Seminar series. A couple of reflections written by students in the class are posted below:
Reflection #1: Mary Youssef, PharmD Candidate
Today I attended a talk given by Dr. Lee Meyer about Geriatric Pharmacy practice. He started off my saying that he spent the majority of practice in long term care. He explained that long term care was not just for elderly people. It is also for people with a chronic illness or disability or even traumatic injuries, such as a car accident. He explained that a long term care pharmacy is basically just a retail pharmacy that has constructed their pharmacy to be closed door that supplies medications to people living in long term care facilities. This was particularly interesting to me, as I am currently doing my rotation at a retail/long term care pharmacy, so I am experiencing it firsthand. Dr. Meyer also spoke about consulting. He explained that consulting pharmacists look at patients regimen and optimize it, which is the clinical aspect. They also focus on quality of service and process improvement, which is the “QAPI” component. I thought this talk was very interesting because it gave me more insight into long term care and made me consider whether it is something I would like to pursue.
Reflection #2: Quynh Ahn Nguyen, PharmD Candidate
The speaker talks about medication regimen review. He speaks of how to do clinical findings, recommendations, and results. He also speaks of the scope of responsibility of regulations such as unnecessary medications, medication errors, significant drug dose. They are also responsible for other important regulations such as medication safety, economics, transition of care, and education. He also explains the medication use process and pharmacists role such as prescribing stage, transcribing stage, dispensing stage, administration stage, and monitoring stage. He also talks about how are professionals distributed to the pharmacy such as nursing, social services, physicians, physical therapists, and ect. Lastly, he speaks of the professional support website where the students can go on there and search for more information. He also discusses about the pharamcists role in every step of the medication use system. Also, he explains how medication related problems stem from every step in the med use system. Pharmacists are qualified to be able to reduce errors in the medical fields. Today I have learned so much about this area of geriatrics.
The Vietnamese Pharmacists Association of the USA held their annual Tet New Year Celebration at the Royal Restaurant and Banquet in Westminster, CA on Sunday, February 25, 2018. The program included music, singing, dancing, raffle prizes and delicious food. The VPhA also provided scholarships for pharmacy students from WesternU, UCSF and USC. WesternU was represented by Bill Burrows and Sam Shimomura as well as numerous students and alumni
February 12th, cold winter day with the California sunshine, 18 people of Japanese group from Aichi Gakuin University (AGU) had arrived at LAX airport with big baggage and smiles expressing excitement and confusion on their faces. Our wonderful visitors included 2 faculties; Dr. Masayuki Umemura, Dr. Jinyong Lee, and 16 students, ages ranging from 20 to 24 years old; Kotaro Ikagawa, Kei Manabe, Hiroki Mizuno, Kaho Ikeda, Haruka Onari, Masayuki Ozoe, Yumi Kamiya, Miku Sakai, Rioka Hiramatsu, Manami Murakami, Akari Watanabe, Rina Suzuki, Ako Tatematsu, Ayumi Ishihara, Kaori Tagawa, and Yukiko Chiba.
My name is Mai Yokota, a second-year student pharmacist at WesternU. I am helping with the Japanese program under Dr. Prabhu. My main task is to provide wonderful cultural experience to Japanese students in addition to learning experience and help them build up a strong relationship between AGU and WesternU though a PenPal program, TA program and activity program both on campus and outside of campus.
They stayed with us for a total 12 days. A welcome lunch party was held between the students with excellent presentations about Japan from AGU students. That was followed by an ice breaking game “Bean picking”, one of Japanese traditional games to check their chopstick skills. Four teams composed by AGU students and WesternU students competed.
In the classroom, they learned about health care system, pharmacists’ roles in various fields within pharmacy; community pharmacy, hospital and ambulatory care, pharmacoeconomics and evidence-based practice. They were also exposed to clinical experience through site visits to WesternU Patient Care Center, Citrus Valley Health Partner Hospital, and Casa Colina Hospital.
Some WesternU students were involved with the TA program to help with their team assignment. One of the topics was culture. By discussing expectations about the other country from their own perspectives and finding the gaps from the facts, both AGU and Western U students learned not only about other cultures but also their own culture as well.
On the last day, the AGU students presented what they have learned during their stay as a team. One of the teams discussed problems including aging society and health care system in Japan; providing their ideas to solve it. Certificates were given by Dean Robinson.
Farewell dinner party was filed with tears and love. What I saw on their face was no more confusion, but happiness and accomplishments. The students left with more than just certificates, they left with knowledge, cultural awareness, and most importantly friendship! Overall, this program ended with very successful influences. I would like to sincerely appreciate all the support given from WesternU faculty, staff, and students.
Posted by Mai Yokota, PharmD Candidate, WesternU College of Pharmacy
Photos below taken by Mai Yokota
Photos below taken by Mary Guenthart
On February 22, 2018, Dr. Thomas Addison described his career in the US Public Health Service and the opportunities available in working for the federal government. A couple of posts by students taking the Noon Elective are posted below:
Reflection #1: Yuan Zang, PharmD Candidate:
In today’s seminar, Dr. Thomas Addison gave an overview of the role of pharmacists at
the federal level. He talks about the surgeon general’s priorities, such as nicotine and tobacco cessation, drug addiction, and mental well-being. The USPHS works closely with the Indian Health Services (IHS) to provide help for the underserved Native American population. There are several opportunities available for students who are looking to get involved in the USPHS, including student rotations, extern programs, and residencies with IHS, NIH, and the BOP. Pharmacists in the USPHS traveled to Africa during the Ebola and Zika outbreak to help out. That caught my interest because I remember when these outbreaks happened and caused a huge commotion in the news. Although this career field seems very interesting and rewarding, I feel like it may not be aligned with my interests. However, I do find that the information in this
session can be beneficial to someone who is looking to work for the federal
government or wishes to serve the underserved population.
Reflection #2: Vincent Truong, PharmD Candidate:
Commander Addison’s presentation touched on the opportunities available to pharmacists by the federal government, he also mentioned his career path and how he became a pharmacist working for the IHS. Under the executive branch of the federal government, there are a variety of positions a pharmacist can take on. Pharmacists can work for one of the armed forces, the FDA, the bureau of prisons, NOAA, and many other organizations under the executive branch. Commander Addison is currently serving the US Navy, he is working for the civil service in the Indian Health Service. He held numerous positions in federal government agencies as a pharmacist and is currently with the IHS. He gave advice on the qualifications and skills needed to work as a federal pharmacist. Lastly, Commander Addison touched upon the pay and benefits working for the federal government, he stated that compared to the civilian sector, pay and benefits are highly competitive.
Dr. Brian Kawahara gave a presentation "CSHP Membership and Future of Pharmacy" to the student pharmacists taking the Noon Elective Seminar on February 14, 2018. A couple of reflections are posted below:
Reflection: Zoey Le, PharmD Candidate
The future of pharmacists is no longer limited to standing behind the counter, distributing medication and monitoring the patients’ health and therapy effectiveness. The SB 493 being signed into law is one step further to provide pharmacists the opportunity to be considered as heath care providers and medication experts and help all Californian patients receive better and safer medical care. Pharmacists can now initiate some certain prescriptions such as hormonal birth control, nicotine replacement therapy and travel abroad medication; they can also provide Naloxone, which is an antidote for opioid overdose – a lifesaving medication. In the shortage of primary physicians nowadays, pharmacists are also allowed to order tests to manage the efficacy and toxicity of medication for diabetes, hypertension, etc. Therefore, in order to gain successful providership, one should obtain up-to-date knowledge, clinical evidence, evidence-based medicines, physician support, and request the support of HR 592 and S109. If student pharmacists know how to manage their schedule, join the CSHP, spend a little time every day learning about health care systems and things to improve the system, then the return on time investment would be huge and valuable. In health care system, pharmacists do not work by themselves but instead get involved in a bigger pharmacy team that involves pharmacy associations, school of pharmacy, board of pharmacy, pharmacy technicians. Pharmacy students do not need to wait until they get the pharmacist license to act as a pharmacist.
Reflection #2: Eunice Kim, PharmD Candidate
Dr. Kawahara emphasized the importance of our involvement in the advocacy for our profession. As student pharmacists, we should utilize the pharmacy organizations that are available on campus such as CSHP and APhA-ASP/CPhA. With the SB 493 implementation and all the advancements that are made in our profession, student
pharmacists need to be prepared for the expanding scope of practice of pharmacists. I am currently involved with the WesternU chapters of APhA-ASP/CPhA, CSHP and AMCP. During the Midyear Regional Meeting with APhA, I had a chance to witness student pharmacists drafting bills and participate on voting on the bills. Even though the bills were drafted by student pharmacists, some of the ideas seemed very beneficial to the current field of pharmacy. By learning about the process as well as getting exposure to how changes can be made in the profession as a student, I believe I will be more active in advocating for our profession when I become a pharmacist.
Linda Garavalia, PhD was honored at her grave-themed retirement party on February 8, 2018. She will be leaving her position as Associate Dean, Assessment for the College of Pharmacy and moving to Florida. Dr. Garavalia not only made a great impact on assessment in the College of Pharmacy but also for the University and the other Colleges of Pharmacy in California and the US. We will miss you.
The Don and June Salvatori California Pharmacy Museum is housed at the CPhA office in Sacramento. The museum contains thousands of pharmacy artifacts mostly from California but also from around the world. Debby Johnson and her team of docents gave me and a steady stream of visitors, drawn to the museum because of Sacramento Museum day, a tour of the museum. Anyone interested in the history of pharmacy should visit this wonderful museum. For more information about the museum, to schedule a tour, or to donate your time, please call (916) 779-4526 or email Debby Johnson at email@example.com.
Dr. Guy Ito from Kaiser gave an excellent presentation on "The Best Gig in Pharmacy: What's HIP and Happening" to the Noon Elective Seminar Class on January 31, 2018. A couple of reflections by students are posted below:
Reflection #1: Varinder Kaur, PharmD Candidate
Dr. Guy’s seminar in regards to Home Infusion Pharmacy was extremely interesting as he provided a vast amount of information. Home Infusion Pharmacy is one of the many subfields in pharmacy, which is stable making it an exclusive position. Dr. Guy emphasized that the many individuals who are involved in home infusion pharmacy tend to stay in home infusion pharmacy because the growth, stability and income is great. Home infusion pharmacy is focused around providing care for individuals who are stable enough to be home but still not healthy. These individuals are in the need to take injectable antibiotics, TPN, hydration, niche IV drugs, with devices such as a IV push, ambpumps, elastomerics, syringe pumps, etc. In order to be a home infusion
pharmacist it is also necessary to have certain characteristics as a health care
professional. The greatest characteristic needed would resemble a cheerleader.
A home infusion pharmacist is supposed to encourage the patients to take their
medication in an appropriate manner at the given times. They are supposed to
be motivated to take their medication and strive for a healthy lifestyle.
Reflection #2: Edison Escobar, PharmD Candidate
Dr. Ito discussed his success as a pharmacist practicing at Kaiser Permanente as a Home Infusion Pharmacist. He discussed what a Home Infusion Pharmacist does and the kinds of patient they treat. Home infusion is exactly how it sounds, infusing drugs via intravenous at the comfort of the patients home. Although the process happens at the patient’s home, it is still regulated by protocols to ensure safety.
Dr. Ito also gave a talk regarding how to prepare oneself to be a good candidate for a position as a home infusion pharmacist. He advised us to maximize our education at pharmacy school. This doesn’t only mean that we have to get the grade, it also involves volunteering and getting dirty while at the same time networking. Having a great attitude will determine the altitude meaning how we react to certain things can determine how successful one can be in pharmacy. At work, Dr. Ito advised to do more than what is expected in order to shine as the best and brightest. Keep a smile on and do not cause any drama. Lastly, he gave advise on how to be successful in life in general. He advised to learn how money works and that money can work for someone through investments. Be generous by paying it forward and always do random acts of kindness. Never expect to be paid back or recognized for doing a good deed;
just do it.
The WesternU College of Pharmacy interviewed nearly a hundred prospective students for the Class of 2022 on Saturday, January 27, 2018. The prospective students were greeted by staff and current students and interviewed by faculty, preceptors, alumni and students. The schedule for the prospective students included an orientation to the college, tour, interview, writing exercise, critical thinking test and information on financial aid.